The Cost of Living in Logroño, La Rioja

For fans of Spanish reds and rolling countryside, La Rioja is arguably the place to be. Marcela, a Miami native, found that out during her time in Logroño. We happen to love this Spanish gem, home to the famous Calle Laurel, a foodies’ paradise where the wine is cheap and the pintxos, bite-sized delicacies, are plentiful.

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Name: Marcela

City and Comunidad: Logroño, La Rioja

School:  I was placed in two primary schools in Logroño, working 6 hours at each one. I had Fridays off, therefore I had 3 day weekends.

Your living situation? I shared a 3 bedroom/ 1 bathroom flat in the very center of the city with two other auxiliares.

How did you find your flat? The previous tenant was also an auxiliar and posted an ad on our region’s facebook group. I agreed to live in the flat before arriving to Logroño. I wouldn’t recommend that to everyone but it worked out well for me.

Rent: I paid 175 euros not including utilities. The rate for our whole flat was 450 euros. 

What did you spend on utilities? Our gas and electricity bill came in alternating months. One month we’d pay gas and the next we’d pay electricity. We always paid about 60euros a month. Our gas bill did go up for about two months in the winter, where we were each paying about 80 euros.

You cell phone company and plan? I used my unlocked iPhone 4 and had Orange as my carrier. I had the dolphin plan, where I paid about 2euros weekly for internet. I’d use maybe about an extra 5euros a month for calls/texts. Although my main method of communication was whatsapp.

What do you pay for internet? Our total bill was 30euros a month, split between all three of us we each paid 10euros.

What did you spend on groceries? I’d spend about 120 euros a month on groceries and would eat out about 2-3 times a week.

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Did you have any other sources of income? I gave private conversation classes in the afternoons, which brought in an extra 120euros weekly if no one cancelled. I’d charge between 12-15 euros an hour per person.

Were you able to save any money? Overall, after paying the bills and adding in other costs I had about an extra 500euros a month. Had I not travelled so often, I would’ve been able to save quite a lot.

Your favorite pintxos bar? This is a difficult question because there are so many pintxo bars I loved. I’d basically recommend any bar on Laurel street but I’ve narrowed it down to two. My absolute favorite was “Tio Agus”, where I’d always order salchichon on a stick, or salchichon in a little hot dog bread with a secret sauce. This was 1.50€ and paired with a glass a rioja wine I’d always spend about 2.50€. My second favorite was “Bar Angel”, there main specialty was three mushrooms stacked on a piece of bread with a little shrimp on top. So simple, yet so tasty. Again, paired with a glass of Rioja wine I’d spend about 2.50€.

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Your breakfast and coffee bars suggestions: Every Wednesday I’d go to bar “Impass”, on calle Avenida de la paz during my 30min break. I would order a café con leche and toast for only 2€. You can get naturally squeezed orange juice for only 50cents more.

Nightlife in Logroño: My favorite disco was casino nightclub, it was a casino and a nightclub however this place closed at 4am (which is early in Spanish time), so we’d always preceed elsewhere. If I recall correctly, a copa was about 6-7€ and there was no entrance fee. Although must other night clubs in Logroño have a 10€ entrance fee which includes a drink.

How did you get around? Logroño is a fairly small city so I could walk just about anywhere but I would occasionally take the bus. I had an bonobus card therefore each ride was only 0.72 cents

What you loved about living in LogroñoI loved Logroño for its size. I’m from Miami, where getting anywhere can take you up to 30 mins or more because of traffic. Getting around in Logroño was always so easy. If I ever got lost I could easily find a recognizable landmark to help find my way. It was also nice to randomly run into people I knew every once in a while.

And your dislikes? I missed the lack of food variety at times. Although I am a big fan of Spanish food, being from the states, we are accustomed to easily being able to find food of all ethnicities. This was a challenge in Logroño.

How easy was it to travel around Spain and Europe from LogroñoThe nearest international airport was in Bilbao and flights out of Bilbao were usually significantly more expensive than out of Madrid or Barcelona. I’d usually end up flying out of Barcelona, which would then entail a 6 hour bus ride to get there and the 60€ bus fee. However, our bus and train station were well connected to other Spanish cities, primarily northern cities.

Your guilty pleasure purchases: Without a doubt, I splurged on shopping a lot more than I should have. I’d always end up on Gran Via on my way back from work or private classes and sometimes I just couldn’t help myself, especially during rebajas.

What are the top attractions in LogroñoLa Rioja, is mostly known for its wine and Bodegas are definitely a top attraction. Most of them are in smaller towns and villages throughout La Rioja, but Bodega Franco españolas is a 10min walk from the city center of Logroño. Other Must-see sites are the Cathedral de La Redonda or one of the many scenic walking trails in which you will most likely encounter un peregrino en route to Santiago.

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Something you wish someone had told you before moving to Spain: I feel as though everyone has this preconceived notion that Spain is always hot and Sunny. Compared to most other European countries this is true but they do in fact have winter and it can get very cold, especially up north.

 

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