1500€ p/month For A One Bed Apartment?! Salou, Spain

PLEASE, be gobsmacked at this figure with me. Please. We knew it wasn’t going to be super cheap here in Spain and I guess the free week on the Costa Brava had spoiled us a little. But the quote to stay in our apartment in Salou WITH A WORKERS DISCOUNT (of about 30%) was still at least 1500€ per month. Here is a post on how we got around the veherry expensive living arrangements in Salou, Spain.

I would first like to introduce you to our base. We booked four nights at the Catalonia Gardens Apartments (or Rooms) to give us some time to look for work without worrying about where we were going to sleep. It was the cheapest thing we could find at about £18 per night for the two of us.

When we arrived at reception, at the Salou Suites, to collect our keys we were informed that we had an upgrade. Yipee! We now had a kitchen and a separate living room with a balcony overlooking the pool. The greatest thing about the upgrade is that the pool was just downstairs instead of being just down the street.

The Kitchen: Where most of the noods were had

The Bathroom: Where most of the rubbish was kept

The Bedroom: Where most of the noise was heard

The Balcony: Where I spent most of my time

The Pool: Where I was harassed by Irish Gypsies*

*No joke. In my first ten minutes by the pool I managed to get the attention of a weird Irish woman. She gave me a sob story like no other and then asked me for money to buy a beer, because she’s pregnant and she’s not had any food or water for five days and the tap water makes her sick… because she’s pregnant. And she needs a cigarette… because she’s pregnant. And has diabetes.

When we were quoted well over what my earnings would be to stay at the Salou Suites (which were perfectly fine by the way, and I’d happily stay there again) we started looking at other options.

Rent in all the other apartments were pretty much the same and it was hard to compare places when we didn’t know a jot of Spanish. In the end, we turned to Airbnb, but the prices were still high to stay in Salou.

We spent an hour in Uncle Sam’s American Diner conversing with a lady, named Josefa over Airbnb, about her apartment in Tarragona and how much she would charge us for three months. In the end, with some help from the Spanish speaking owner of Uncle Sam’s we booked the apartment on the agreement of 450€ per month including all bills.

I worried a little, that the 20-30 minute bus ride from Tarragona to Salou (50€ max for an unlimited monthly travel bus card btw) and back again every day might be too taxing but this really was our best option.

I can now say, having lived here for almost a full month, that this was the best move we could have made. Okay, it’s not ideal being in a different city but it is FAR from being inconvenient. The buses take 45 minutes at maximum and that’s if you don’t get on the fast ones. In the summer months, the buses also run throughout the night on a 24 hour schedule, so they’re not a problem when I’m working late.

The nicest thing about living in Tarragona is that I get to leave the busy, touristy vibe behind in Salou. I like Salou, but it’s nice to get the best of both worlds. Tarragona has tons of beautiful buildings, a beach, a port and a shopping center. What more could a girl want? It’s also a lot cheaper to eat out or get a few drinks than it is in Salou.

Our flat, which we pay 450€ per month for is shared with other Airbnb-ers. We currently have a family of six from France. They’re a bit messy and smoke on the balcony outside our window but it’s not a huge problem. Though if they steal our sausages again there will be hell to pay. But usually it’s just other traveling couples passing through, which is nice.

There are two bathrooms, a kitchen, a back balcony for hanging washing and depositing pet dogs, a front balcony for relaxing and a living room with two TVs and nice, comfy sofas. Then there are four, big, double rooms. One of which is ours. The closest to the wifi of course.

Our big, double room at Josefa’s in Tarragona

 If I had one way to describe this place, it would be homely. I feel so comfortable here.

Josefa is a wonderful landlady. She speaks no English and so our conversations happen over a laptop and google translate but when our washing machine was being replaced she happily washed our clothes for us at no extra cost. She kinda reminds me of my Nan.

Here’s our view from the balcony and our bedroom window. It might look like a bunch of ugly high rises to you, but to me it looks like home. Like my town.

Good day, Tarragona
Others frowned when we told them how much we would be paying. “450€? That’s too much! I pay 250€!” However, these people have signed contracts for the full year and we are only here for summer (when everything is naturally more expensive). We also can’t speak enough Spanish to be able to fix the wifi when it breaks or call a plumber when our sink gets blocked.
Having Josefa there to look after us is worth the extra money. In my opinion.
So, guys, I have shared my home with you and now please share my post with the world! Just kidding. Leave me a comment about what you got up to in Spain instead. 
I like to hear your stories, thoughts, advice and suggestions.
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