Living in the Barcelona region

The City

Barcelona is among the world’s best cities in classifications of quality of life, safety and fairness. Barcelona has established itself as a prestigious brand identified with aspects such as creativity, talent, quality of life, modernity and economic, technical and social progress. According to the Barcelona City Brand Programme survey, it is the world’s fourth most creative city. According to the QS ranking of the world’s 50 best student cities (2015), Barcelona is in 19th position. This ranking assesses criteria such as: reputation of the centres, price, quality of life of the city, employment prospects and the characteristics of its student community. With five public and three private universities, Barcelona is home to over 25,000 foreign students and researchers each year: a unique opportunity to experience different cultures and enrich your personal and professional relations.

Accommodation and cost of living

There are several options for accommodation in Barcelona or surrounding areas. Accommodation in Barcelona is relatively expensive, and prices have definitely increased in the last few years. However, there are always cheaper options once you move away a little bit from the city centre. In addition, there is always the possibility of living in the metropolitan area nearby the UAB Campus at Bellaterra where ICMAB is located (20 kms from Barcelona). If you are planning to stay outside the campus facilities (University Village/Campus Hotel), please bear in mind that there are some additional options like Sabadell, Cerdanyola del Vallés or Sant Gugat del Vallés. The cost of living can be also different depending on where do you live; with an average between 700 and 1.200€/month. For Barcelona this can be an approximation (Cerdanyola and Sabadell would be cheaper):

- Accommodation: from 350-500€/month (room) to 900-1.200€ (2-bedroom flat)
- Bills: Electricity + gas + water ca. 60-80€/month
- Internet: from 40€ (only internet) to 80-100€ (fusion packages integrating mobile phone + internet + tv)
- Public transport: single metro ticket 2.15€, 10-journey pass 1 zone (city centre) 9.95€. For more than 1-zone, monthly and quarterly tickets prices increase. 


There are several ways to get to the ICMAB: train, coach and car. If you do not have a car, the easiest way is to use the train services, with two stops near the campus: Cerdanyola Universitat Station and Universidad Autónoma Station.
Train connections:
a) Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC); Line S2: Barcelona-Sabadell, station: Universitat Autònoma.
In Barcelona, these trains stop at Catalunya, Provença, Gràcia, Muntaner and Sarrià. You can also take these trains from Sant Cugat, Sant Quirze and Sabadell, among other places. At Sant Cugat station, there is a connection with line S1 (Terrassa and Rubí). All trains to Sabadell, UAB or Barcelona stop at the University. The journey time to Barcelona is 30 minutes, and trains depart approximately every 10 minutes. You can check the timetables on the FGC website
b) RENFE Rodalíes (Spanish National Railway Network); Line C7 - Cerdanyola Universitat station. From Barcelona you can take the train from Sant Andreu Arenal. The journey takes around 15 min. from Sant Andreu Arenal, with trains leaving every 20-30 minutes. A ten-journey ticket, which can be used by more than one person if travelling together, gives a 40% discount. You can check the timetables on the RENFE website

Free bus service
A free bus service connects the RENFE station to the different buildings across the campus (see UAB Campus map in the documents section).
If you want some additional information on living in Barcelona and its metropolitan area, the cost of living and accommodation options, visit the following links:
DOCFAM+ has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 10181337

ICMAB acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, through the “Severo Ochoa” Programme for Centres of Excellence in R&D (SEV- 2015-0496, CEX2019-000917-S)

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