The Cost of Living in Antequera
Nestled in the foothills of the El Torcal and Sierra de la Chimenea mountain ranges, you’ll find Antequera, known fondly as the Heart of Andalucía due to its proximity to four of the community’s capital cities: Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Sevilla. Antequera is a town brimming with beauty and character, as Jessica found out during her time living there and working as an auxiliar in the nearby town of Campillos.
Name: Jessica Poitevien
City and Comunidad: Antequera, Andalusia
School: I was placed at a bilingual elementary school in Campillos, a town fairly close to Antequera.
Living Situation: I shared an apartment with an American girl who was also working as a Language and Culture Assistant. We had two bedrooms and one bathroom.
How did you find your flat? Before heading to Antequera, my roommate and I did a ton of research on websites like easypiso.com, milanuncios.com and idealista.com. We complied a list of apartments we liked and contacted the owners. We made some appointments to see apartments before we even left the U.S. Others we contacted once we got there, and it was easy to make last minute appointments. We looked at so many apartments that I can’t honestly say I remember which website the apartment we ended up renting came from.
Rent: We got a great deal on our rent. Originally the place was being rented at the reduced cost of 350 euros per month. We were then able to talk the owner down to 330 euros a month. My roommate and I didn’t split the rent evenly. My room was slightly bigger and had more closet space so I paid 175 euros per month while she paid 155.
Utilities: My electricity bill was the bane of my existence while living in Antequera. Before getting my first electricity bill I didn’t quite understand why Antequeranos accused the electricity companies of being part of the mafia. After getting the bill I understood perfectly. It was 200 euros for two months! And that’s with my roommate and I who weren’t home for half the day and were very cautious about not using the radiators or even the lights too much. When the weather got warmer and the daylight hours a little longer, the bill went down to about 140 to 150 euros per month, but even that is quite high. Thankfully the other utility bills were not so bad. Our water bill was usually 40-50 euros max every two months.
Mobile phone: I used Movistar for my cellphone and was fairly satisfied with their service. I paid 10 euros per month for unlimited phone calls and data although the internet and some apps worked slower after reaching a certain point. I can’t remember exactly how much my phone calls cost me, but they were less than a euro for the first minute (maybe 60 cents or so) and the rest of the minutes spent on the call were free.
Internet: I also got my Internet service through Movistar. I shared the cost of it with my roommate and we each paid 15 euros per month for wifi in our entire apartment. We had the option to get a landline for an extra cost, but we didn’t need one since we both had cellphones.
What did you spend on groceries? I probably spent between 50 and 60 euros a month.
Sources of extra income? I taught a few private classes to get some extra cash. For one student I charged 12 euros per hour. For two students I charged 16 per hour.
Were you able to save any money? I wasn’t able to save any money unfortunately. My budget was tight and any extra money I had, I usually spent on traveling and going out with friends.
Your favorite tapas bar: My favorite place by far was Las Hazuelas. They have a great selection of tapas for just one euro each. There croquetas are my favorite in town, but my favorite dish overall at Las Hazuelas was not a tapa though. It was secreto iberico al caramelo. It’s a piece of meat (from a pig I think) with a crusted layer of caramel on top. The sweet and salty combo is so delicious. Another place I went to often was La Carerra. I went there almost every Thursday with my friends and would always get two or three tapas with one or two tintos de verano. My bill never came to more than 5 euros. It was great. My favorite tapa there was la bomba, a potato ball with meat in the middle. The best part of eating at La Carerra was that you always got a mini ice cream and a shot of sweet alcohol to end your meal.
Your coffee hangout: My favorite place to just hang out, get an afternoon coffee or even bring my laptop to do some work was this café/bakery called La Antequerana. They have amazing pastries, but my absolute favorite was the pionono. I always got one with a café con leche, and that cost me about two euros and change. The people there pretty much knew my order by the end of my time in Antequera.
Nightlife in Antequera: The bar scene in Antequera was pretty sad for a 20-something-year-old like me. I liked going to a bar called Refugio. A decent number of young people hung out there and drinks were between 5 and 8 euros, depending on the drink and the night of the week. I also liked the bar Stadium because they had trivia on Thursday nights and although the crowd was a little older on the weekends, they did play good music. Right before I left, they opened a big nightclub in the industrial area of Antequera, but I never got the chance to check it out.
How did you get around? Antequera is a small town, so I just walked everywhere and never had to walk for more than twenty to twenty five minutes. Whenever I wanted to get out of town, there was a bus station and train station very close to the center of the town so I could walk there as well.
Your favorite thing about living in Antequera? My favorite thing was that I experienced the small town feel, but I still got some of the “basic” fun things like a mall and movie theater.
Any dislikes? Overall, I enjoyed my time living in Antequera, but my biggest complaint was that there weren’t many people my age living there and sometimes it could get boring.
How easy was it to travel around Spain and Europe? Traveling around Spain from Antequera was very easy for me. Antequera is the “heart” of Andalusia and is very well connected to all the major cities of the south by car and by train. It is also very easy to catch train rides from Antequera to Madrid. The closest big city, however, is Malaga. It’s only about an hour away by bus and that is also where the closest international airport is located.
Any guilty pleasure purchases? I went to the movies a lot in Antequera. They had this great deal that if you went to see a movie on a Wednesday, you could go for free the next Wednesday so that was definitely the little thing that I splurged on.
What are the top attractions in Antequera? The top attraction in Antequera is El Torcal. It is a part of the mountains surrounding Antequera that has interesting limestone rock formations. It’s a great place to go hiking, have a picnic and just enjoy some fresh air and nature.
What’s something you wish someone had told you before moving to Spain? I wish someone had told me what a long and ridiculously frustrating process it would be to get my visa before going to Spain and then my resident’s card once upon arrival. It wouldn’t have helped much, but at least I would have been mentally prepared for all the troubles.
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