“Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands.” - Richard Burton
The cost of living in Spain is lower than in the UK.
But what does that mean for somebody who wants to travel to Spain on holiday?
From the north to the south of Spain, food, transport, and accommodation are a significant part of any traveller’s budget. It’s, therefore, very important that you calculate your budget before you go to Catalonia, Galicia, or Andalusia.
Whether it’s the cost of paella, a hotel, or getting a ticket for the Madrid metro, you need to be ready to pay for stuff. Since travelling isn't free, you need to learn how to travel on a budget, regardless of your destination. Whether you're a tourist going to the Caribbean, Asia, or just up the road, every tourist needs to work out their budget to pay for airline tickets, accommodation, food, and attractions.
Whether you're backpacking or going on a weekend getaway, in this article, we're going to look at how much it costs getting to Spain, how much you can expect to pay for accommodation, budgeting for food and dining out, and the cost of visiting tourist attractions.
How Much Does it Cost to Get to Spain?
Before you head on a trip to Spain, this is the first question you’ll need to answer. Travelling by plane, train, or automobile won't cost the same. However, it’s never been easier to get to Spain on a budget. There are plenty of good transport links between Spain and the UK.
There are plenty of low-cost airlines offering cheap travel to Spain. You can get trips to top Spanish cities like Madrid, Seville, Malaga, Barcelona, and many others. Generally, airfare can cost as little as £50. Of course, you can expect to see prices increase during the high season.
You can also take the train to Spain. This isn’t the cheapest way to travel abroad, though, as it can cost you several hundred pounds. That said, if you spend time exploring booking sites and price comparison sites, you can sometimes get cheap train tickets.
There are also bus companies like Eurolines and Flixbus that can take you to Spain on a budget. The buses tend to be the cheapest options available. However, the journey will take far longer than it would on the plane!
If you like a chat, you may want to travel using a car share option.
How Much Do Hotels Cost in Spain?
Once you’re in Spain, you need to find the best hotel for your stay. Some people prefer to stay in a large hotel with all the services whereas others may be happy with a shared room.
Of course, not everyone can afford these types of hotel. A hotel room could cost anywhere between €100 and €250 for the night. The price range is so big because of all the different types of services that could be offered.
When it comes to hotels, you don’t have to stay in big hotels. You can find cheaper hotels for between €40 and €80 for a double room. However, you mightn’t get to stay in the heart of Madrid or get all the services.
Like elsewhere in Europe, you can find big hotel chains in Spain. For example, Ibis Hotels offer rooms for between €30 and €150. While these aren’t typically Spanish hotels, you can get cheap rooms in good locations.
Backpackers or those travelling on a budget can get private rooms for a similar price to hotels or beds in a dormitory for much less. Of course, staying in a hostel is an experience in itself and is a great way to meet travellers like yourself. This is especially true if you're travelling on your own and are looking for others to explore the city with.
The Cost of Eating in Spain
Eating in Spain isn’t always cheaper than eating in the UK. If you want to eat in restaurants, you can pay somewhere between €13 and €25 on average. This cost will add up if you eat in restaurants every day.
You can also eat fast-food for between €6 and €8. You can find all the regular chains as well as other fast-food places. That said, with so much good food and reasonably priced restaurants, it'd be a shame to regularly eat in McDonald's!
Don’t forget to try the Spanish specialities. For example, a decent paella can cost between €10 and €15 per person. Make sure you keep in mind that paella is usually for multiple people. A full Spanish omelette (tortilla) can be found for around €7 or €8.
Don’t forget to get tapas, either! These small dishes can be a snack or part of a full meal and cost between €2 and €4 each. Whether it’s meat, fish, or vegetables, there’s something for everyone.
When it comes to drinks, small beers cost between €1.50 and €3 and you can find mixed drinks for €5.
If you don’t feel like eating out or your budget won’t allow it, you can always self-cater and make food in a kitchen in a youth hostel or an Airbnb.
How Much Does Transport in Spain Cost?
Accommodation, food, and transport are the three main parts of a travel budget. You mightn’t spend much on transport if you’re staying in the city centre as you can always travel on foot. You just have to walk from A to B, after all.
For those who’d like to take a metro or bus, you can pay around €2 per trip. If you’re staying in a place for a while, you’ll probably want to get a weekly or monthly ticket. Make sure you research the different tickets available where you’ll be staying.
Travelling in Spain doesn’t mean that you have to stay in just one city. Travelling within the country is quite reasonably priced as well. You can get buses between cities for around €30 or the train for around €50.
If you want to drive around Spain, you should know that petrol costs around €1.25 per litre.
How Much Does Shopping Cost in Spain?
Spain is great for shopping since it tends to be cheaper than in the UK.
There's also much less tax on cigarettes, for example. This is why many smokers tend to bring back as many cigarettes as they can.
Clothes can cost up to a third less than they do in the UK. There are even chain stores charging less than they do in the UK. You could get dresses in chain stores for between €20 and €40. However, prices are getting closer to one another.
Check out Spanish markets for cheap products. You can even haggle with some market stall owners. When it comes to souvenirs, you may want to avoid touristy stores, especially those in the little side streets. These tend to be more expensive than elsewhere. You’ll probably want to go to markets and get something like a good bottle of olive oil.
How Much Do Attractions Cost in Spain?
Some tourists only want to do free things like going to the beach or having a walk around. You can save a lot of money travelling like this.
On the other hand, some people will want to see all the different attractions, visit museums, and learn a lot about Spain. If you’re 25 or under, you can get discounts or free entry to certain museums and art galleries. Similarly, you can also get discounts for students or seniors.
A lot of museums are either free on the first Sunday of the month or free every Sunday afternoon. Check when there's free entry or discounted entry and you could save a lot of money!
So How Much Should You Spend on Going to Spain?
The budget of each traveller will vary depending on where they go and what they do. A backpacker won’t spend the same amount as someone looking at cruises or exclusive beaches. However, everyone can save a bit of money on travel.
On average, someone travelling alone spends an average of €75 per day. You can bring this number down if you do CouchSurfing, staying a people’s houses for free.
If you travel as a couple, you’ll spend less for rooms as you can share. This tends to bring the price down to €65 per person per day.
That said, some can spend up to €250 per day whereas others can live off €40 per day. You can find plenty of money saving tips on budget travel sites. Even if you're really frugal, you can travel the world without breaking the bank and Spain is a great destination for sightseeing on a budget.