How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Spain? I’m sure it costs less than you imagine and a little more than you want to spend! So let’s talk about money and how to make the most of your travels without going bankrupt. Welcome to the Spanish edition of “How Much does it cost to Travel”, where we breakdown our costs and share the budget of our Spain trip.
Last editions we broke down our expenses and proved that Portugal is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe and also that The Philippines is an affordable paradise. Now the task is a little bit more complicated. Spain is not as cheap as Portugal and it has a ‘disadvantage’ of having lots of good parties. Which is really tempting to us and also a money drainer!
Before we start talking about how much it costs to travel in Spain, let me explain that our travel plan is to stick to a budget of $50 USD per day per person. If you are not familiar with this travel budget plan, have a look at this awesome book: How to Travel the Word for $50 per day by Nomadic Matt. You will understand how easy and possible it is to travel on a shoestring.
The easiest way to stay connected while traveling in Spain is to get a portable wifi that works in the whole country. Get your Teppy unlimited portable hotspot here.
Spain was the second country we explored during our Love and Road Project. We have already traveled there before, as tourists, not as nomads and travel bloggers. And that’s a completely different way to approach the cities and collect information. Traveling to Spain on a budget was a good experiment for us, we had the opportunity to try many different ways to save money, travel wisely and have fun there. We are pretty happy with the result and proud to share the details of how much it costs to travel in Spain.
How much does it cost to travel in Spain? Is Spain expensive?
» Spain in figures:
[the values are in Euros, at the end of the article we’ll convert the totals to US dollars. All prices are for two people.]
Inbound: Flight from São Paulo (Brazil) to Madrid
Outbound: Flight from Málaga to Marseille (France)
» Transport cost in Spain = € 431.65
[not included our inbound and outbound flights]
Intercity: € 320.55
Local transport: € 111.10
We saved a lot in Spain by traveling with BlaBlaCar. Never heard about it? It’s a website based on shared economies that connect drivers and travelers. You pay less than a bus or a train ticket and you can make new friends. With BlaBlacar we traveled to 5 different destinations in Spain. The cost of 5 shared rides for two people was € 76,00. Just to compare, look how much we spent on the other modals:
1 train trip = € 43.60
3 bus trips = € 66.95
1 car rental for 3 days = € 134.00
» Accommodation costs in Spain = € 419.00
Hotel – 4 nights = 109.00
Airbnb – 16 nights = 310.00
Friend’s house – 4 nights = 0.00
House sitting – 12 nights = 0.00
Great isn’t it?
During our Spanish tour, we used some tricks and hacks on free accommodation to minimize our expenses. Apart from having a bed for free in a friend’s house, there are other ways to find cheap accommodation in Spain.
If you like hotels and hostels, you will find plenty of them around Spain. You can choose by the rates, prices or locations. On the coastal cities, most of the hotels have studios with kitchenette, which can be a great deal. When we visited Cabo de Gata, a secret and beautiful destination on the Spanish coast, we got a studio room for a really cheap price on Booking.com.
For cheap and comfortable accommodation in Spain, we found Airbnb to be another good solution. We got amazing places, awesome hosts and spent such a small amount of money. Join the Airbnb community, sign up here and get up to $30 off on your first booking! Start your trip to Spain saving some bucks!
Now the best advice for free accommodation in Spain [and everywhere around the world] is: Become a House Sitter. There are many house owners seeking trustworthy and reliable people to look after their houses and pets. This is such a cool way of traveling that we even wrote a post about house & pet sitting. It’s one of our top 10 articles.
If money is not a problem check these hotels out. They are the crème de la crème!
» Cost of food in Spain = € 762.63
Groceries: € 334.44
Here is everything we bought in supermarkets or street markets. At the places we stayed through Airbnb or house sitting we had kitchens, so our breakfast and sometimes lunch/dinner were prepared at home. This was a great way to keep the budget low and eat well. In the groceries cost is also included the toiletries and cleaning products we bought on the way.
Eating out: € 418.19
We always carry in our bag some water, fruits and a sandwich, that helps cut the cost of eating out a lot. We also try to avoid the touristy restaurants, we always search for local places. In Madrid, we had a feast eating in some amazing local restaurants. Imagine a meal and a beer for just €5, amazing isn’t it?! Don’t be jealous, you can try this too, we wrote a delicious guide to eat cheaply and well at the Spanish capital. 😛
Spain is not an expensive country to eat, especially because of their Tapas Culture. Small bites of delicious food at a reasonable price can be found everywhere. Even though the food is the biggest figure on our ‘How much does it cost to travel in Spain’ spreadsheet, that’s why it is so important to choose an accommodation where you can cook, we definitely saved a lot by having meals at home.
» Attractions cost in Spain = € 107.35
Spain is an open-air museum with tons of attractions to visit and see. Art galleries, parks, heritage sites, a bunch of beautiful and interesting stuff. Most of them charge an entrance fee, which can ruin your budget on a long-term trip. However, the solution is very simple, instead of cashing out money, first research about the attractions and if they have a day with free entrance.
In Málaga, we had an amazing time exploring the city and its attractions without spending a penny. Most places have free admission weekends, and we listed all of them on a great guide about Malága. Worth mentioning that Malága and the whole Andalucia region are packed with attractions for couples, read our guide to romantic things to do in Southern Spain here.
Madrid is another budget paradise, two of the biggest museums in the city are open to the public for free on some days of the week.
A savvy traveler knows how to find ways to save money! Barcelona is an expensive city, although our second visit there was a real budget success. That’s because we discover the authentic Catalan style of fun. We learned how to enjoy Barcelona like a local, and when you do local things, your money stretches a lot! For those traveling with family, here are some tips for visiting Barcelona with kids.
Another important tip for those who want to travel to Spain on a budget is to book the tickets for the attractions in advance. In Barcelona for example, you can save hours of your day if you buy the ticket to Sagrada Família online.
The free walking tours are a great way to get to know the city and save money too. We went on walking tours in almost all the places we visited in Spain and thumbs up! You can search for the tours on the internet, Tripadvisor is the best place to find them and to check for reviews. In Valência, the walking tour was outstanding! In a single day, our local guide explained to us about culture, history, food, and drinks. Because of him we enjoyed the city a lot and I got hooked up on Agua de Valencia, and Rob tried Horchata, two typical and delicious drinks.
» Cost of a night out in Spain= € 311.00
As I already said, Spain is a paradise for partying and having fun. How can we ignore the summer mood in Barcelona, the beach parties at Costa del Sol, and so many festivals?? Tough to resist! We enjoyed all of them, no regrets! 😉 And I think by the amount of fun we had, we didn’t lose [that much] control of how much we should spend traveling in Spain.
» Other costs in Spain= € 117.65
WC: € 1.20
Souvenirs: € 9.40
Internet / Print: € 3.00
Pharmacy: € 28.60
Locker: € 3.60
Clothes: € 71.85
This time we included a new category on our ‘How much does it cost to travel in Spain’ spreadsheet: clothes. I know clothes are not properly a cost of traveling, but for us, full-time travelers, garments are a part of our budget and in Spain, it was hard to ignore the nice clothes and amazing designers. A couple of t-shirts wouldn’t harm our Spanish travel budget. 😀
So, how much does it cost to travel in Spain?
It cost us € 2,144.18! This amount was for two people for a 36-day trip, in June/2014, so it was 1,468.76 USD per person.
Cost to travel in Spain per person / per day = 40.80 USD
Congratulations to us, we made it!!! Spain in the Summer for less than 50 USD per day per person. We had tons of fun, we enjoyed cities, beaches, and the amazing Spanish cuisine. See? You don’t need to be rich to travel, either sacrifice your fun to save every penny. The key is to research a lot, check prices, find smart ways to save money and plan your Spain budget wisely.
It was only possible to find out how much it costs to travel in Spain because we took notes of all our expenses. The best advice I can give to you is to keep a track of everything you buy and pay. And never, absolutely never, give up on the fun and unforgettable moments just for saving some bucks. You are in a different country with amazing culture and attractions to enjoy, do it!
Planning a trip to Spain?! Pin this post for later!!
PS 1: Our cost does not include the inbound and outbound flights to/from Spain. The cost of transport will always depend on where you are coming from and where is your next destination.
PS 2: We didn’t add the price of our travel insurance in the costs because ours is a worldwide yearly coverage one, and the price for this type of plan is very different from monthly or weekly travel insurance. Before contracting yours, request a quote from World Nomads, we recommend them!
If you need more information read our Travel Insurance Guide here.
Now let’s talk about yourself, do you keep track of your travel expenses? Have you already traveled to Spain? How much does it cost to travel in Spain your style?