Spain, famous for its beaches and culture, is a top vacation spot for those looking for a fun yet budget-friendly getaway. But lately, things like hotel prices have gone up, with a noticeable 11% rise in March 2023 compared to last year.
Even with these price jumps, you can still have an affordable trip to Spain with some smart planning. Simple steps like choosing cheaper places to stay, enjoying free stuff like tapas, and using cost-effective transport can help you save money.
Finding Affordable Stays
Looking for affordable places to stay in Spain? Hostels are a top pick. They’re cost-effective and offer a chance to meet other travelers. To find the best deals, check out sites like Hostelworld or Kayak.
If you prefer a more home-like vibe, guesthouses or “pensiones” are perfect. They’re often run by local families and can be found on platforms like VRBO, Airbnb, or Booking.com.
If you’re after basic comforts without a hefty price, budget hotels are your best bet. Websites like Kayak and Momondo can help you find these within your budget. For those planning longer stays or group trips, renting apartments from Airbnb or Vrbo can save you more.
Feeling adventurous? Try camping in Spain. There are awesome campsites out there, and Eurocampings can help you find the right one. Or, if you’re up for a unique experience, house sitting through TrustedHousesitters might get you a free stay and a taste of local life.
Grabbing Deals On-the-Go
For those who make last-minute plans, keep an eye on Lastminute.com or Hotels Combined for surprise discounts. But don’t just grab a deal; ensure the place is well-located and has good reviews.
No matter where you stay, remember to check its distance from transportation and attractions. And always, always read reviews. It’s the key to a budget-friendly yet awesome Spanish trip!
Scoring Low-Cost Flights
When looking for cheap flights, being flexible with your dates can make a big difference. Try flying on weekdays or during less popular times of the year. some websites allow you to experiment with dates to find the least expensive choices.
Use sites like Skyscanner, Expedia, and Google Flights to see different flight prices. They gather info from many airlines to show you the top deals. Setting up alerts on these sites can notify you when prices drop. Also, don’t only look at big airports. Sometimes, smaller airports have better deals, so it’s worth comparing.
Smart Booking Tips
Booking your flight early usually means better prices. However, keep an eye out for surprise last-minute offers. If you’re okay with fewer luxuries, think about flying with budget airlines like Ryanair or EasyJet. They might have tighter rules about luggage or less onboard services, but your wallet will thank you.
Flights with layovers can be cheaper than non-stop flights. If you go this route, ensure the layover isn’t too long and you have time for your connecting flight. When you’re searching for flights, use private browsing or clear your cookies. This stops airlines from raising prices if they see you searching a lot.
For the best flight deals, join airline newsletters or set up fare alerts. Airlines often give special offers to their subscribers. When you find a good flight deal, double-check things like baggage charges to make sure it’s really a good value. And always compare flight deals on different websites to make sure you’re getting the absolute best price.
Starting Your Journey Right
Airport travel can be pricey if you’re not on your toes. Think about taking buses or trains instead of hailing a taxi. If you’re driving yourself, look for cheaper parking spots outside the airport – but book ahead to save the most.
Airport snacks can cost a ton. So, pack some food and save some cash. And before you stuff your suitcase, check your airline’s baggage fees to skip unexpected charges. Also, a reusable water bottle can be a lifesaver; fill it up after security instead of buying pricey ones.
Keep a tab on your spending, even in duty-free. Stay within your limits to dodge unexpected expenses or customs issues. And if you’re thinking of exchanging cash at the airport – maybe think twice; you can often get a better deal elsewhere.
Touching Down Smartly
Once you land, see if your hotel offers a lift from the airport. It might save you a bit. And swap out international roaming by getting a local SIM card; it’s usually cheaper. Before you set foot there, have a basic idea about local transportation options and their prices.
Shared rides or airport shuttles can be kinder to your pocket than solo trips. If you’re hungry, wait until you’re out of the airport to grab a bite; city food spots might be more affordable. And for cash, city ATMs or your card might be better than the airport ones which can be expensive.
Having Foods on budget
Lunch and Special Menus:
Restaurants providing “Menu del Dia” or the “Menu of the Day” are common in Spain. This is a set meal that includes multiple courses, usually a starter, main dish, dessert, and sometimes even a drink, all for one price. Found mainly at lunch, it’s a great deal for travelers.
For dinner seekers, some places offer “Menu del Noche” or Evening Menu, giving you a multi-course meal for a good price, often cheaper than ordering separate dishes.
Tapas and Shared Plates:
Embrace the culture of tapas, which are small shareable dishes. Not only do they let you try a range of foods, but they’re also wallet-friendly. Some restaurants even have special tapas deals, letting you pick a mix at a discount. And if you’re with friends, consider sharing larger meals. Portions in Spain can be big, so it’s a fun way to enjoy different dishes while also saving.
Location and Deals Matter:
Steer clear of restaurants next to big tourist spots. They often upcharge. Instead, wander a bit further and find local hangouts – better food at nicer prices. Spain has its own big food chains like La Surena and 100 Montaditos.
Some of them run deals where you buy one plate and get another free on certain days. It’s fantastic value. For those on the move, street food stalls and local markets offer delicious options at budget-friendly prices.
Make smart food choices
While exploring Spain, do what locals do. The main meal is usually during lunch, and restaurants often have pocket-friendly lunch deals. It’s the perfect time to eat out. Stopping by daily markets can be both an experience and a budget-saver.
They’re packed with fresh items, perfect for a picnic or if you’re cooking for yourself. And when you drink, go local. Spanish local beverages, whether it’s wine or beer, tend to be cheaper and tasty.
Smart Shopping and Drinking Tips for an Affordable Spain Travel
Dive into local markets for fresh ingredients. They’re perfect for picnics or if you’re staying somewhere with cooking facilities. At lunch, which is the traditional main meal in Spain, many restaurants offer budget-friendly menus. So, it’s the best time to enjoy a hearty meal without spending much.
When it comes to drinks, go for local brands. Wines, beers, or local drinks are usually cheap and good. And for a quick bite or snack, street food stalls and local food markets have delicious, cost-effective options.
Free Tapas with Your Drink
Spain is renowned for its tapas culture, making it a haven for food lovers on a budget. But here’s a fun fact: in many Spanish towns, when you order a drink, you get free tapas! Granada, Salamanca, and Segovia are famous for this treat.
Just get yourself a regular-priced beer or wine, and voila, you’re served complimentary bites, from classics like patatas bravas to regional delicacies. It’s an affordable and delightful way for tourists to taste a range of Spanish dishes.
Stay Hydrated for Free
Starting April 2022, Spanish restaurants and bars have to provide free tap water. So, why pay for fancy bottled water when there’s hardly any difference? If you’re dining with family or a group, drinks can add up.
Choosing tap water, especially with kids around, keeps everyone hydrated without inflating the bill. Plus, it’s a healthier choice. You’ll be amazed how much money you save at the end of your trip just by choosing tap water.
Check out places to eat and save money
Eating out in Spain is about more than just saving cash; it’s a journey into the rich Spanish culture and cuisine. Take chances, venture out, and try new dishes. Roam around different areas to discover lesser-known spots that serve fantastic food without the hefty price tag.
Travel Cheaply in Spain
Spain has great public transport like buses and trains, often cheaper than taxis. Many cities are perfect for walking, helping you discover hidden places while saving money. If you like nature, think about renting a bike. It’s an eco-friendly and affordable way to see parks and beautiful places.
Free Walks in Spain
Want to see Spain’s famous places? There are free walking tours in cities like Barcelona. Local guides lead these tours, which you can join without paying. Some work on a tip system. If you enjoyed the tour, it’s kind to give a tip, but it’s up to you.
Save on Local Travel
Spain has a big network of buses and metros that are wallet-friendly. If you’re staying longer, look into travel cards that offer unlimited rides for a certain time. In smaller places, consider sharing a ride to save money.
Walking or biking is also a great way to explore, especially in pedestrian-friendly towns. With a bit of planning, you can see Spain’s beauty without spending too much.
Affordable Bus and Train Travel
Spain provides wonderful public transport choices, including bus and train passes, that help you explore the nation affordably and conveniently. From the bustling cities to serene coastal towns, there’s a mode of transportation suitable for every traveler. Spain’s public transit systems, notably buses and trains, assure a smooth, budget-friendly journey across its beautiful landscapes.
Explore with Renfe Trains
Renfe, or “Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles,” is Spain’s national railway company, ensuring an efficient way to traverse the country. It operates various types of trains, from the local “Cercanias” to the rapid “AVE” trains, which zoom through major cities like Madrid and Barcelona at up to 320 km/h. The introduction of the AVE system in 1992 changed Spanish travel, presenting a strong rival to flights.
Convenient Train Travel in Spain
Taking a train, mainly with Renfe, is a great way to see Spain. It covers both big cities and hidden spots. You can use the fast AVE trains for major cities or the cheaper local trains for other areas. There’s a choice for every traveler and price range.
Budget Options and Practicality in Train Travel
Spanish trains have different prices. AVE tickets can be expensive, but they’re cheaper if booked early. For better deals, check out AVLO, OUIGO, and IRYO, especially if you book ahead or during off-peak times. Use the Renfe website or app to buy tickets easily. You can also buy them at stations from counters or machines.
Accessibility and Ease with Spain’s Rail System
The convenience of train travel in Spain also can’t be overstated. Most cities and sizable towns host well-situated train stations, with some even being striking architectural entities themselves. Stations like Madrid’s Atocha and Barcelona’s Sants are among the biggest and most bustling, providing numerous facilities and connecting to additional local transit. With over 2,000 stations across Spain, it’s a widely accessible and comfortable travel option for exploring various regions without exceeding your budget.
Free Tours in Spain
Did you know there are companies in Spain that offer free tours? For travelers on a tight budget, it’s a terrific opportunity to experience prominent cities like Barcelona and Madrid. These field trips might be smaller than those that you pay for, but with the aid of professional local guides, they nevertheless offer you a fair sense of Spain’s sightseers.
Top Companies for Free Tours
In Spain, well-known tour groups like FreeTours, Guru Walks, and Runner Bean Tours have these free, tip-based tours. They set specific times in the week for these tours, letting travelers see and learn without paying upfront. It’s a hassle-free way to pick a last-minute tour.
Tipping: It’s Up to You
While there’s no booking cost for these tours, if you really enjoyed it, you can tip the guide at the end. It’s a nice way to say thanks for their hard work and knowledge. But don’t worry, if you choose not to tip, that’s okay too – there’s no pressure.
Budget-friendly Museum Visits in Spain
Fancy visiting famous museums in Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville without paying? You’re in luck! Museums like El Prado in Madrid let you in for free on Sundays from 5 pm to 7 pm. And the Reina Sofia Museum, also in Madrid, is free to visit during certain evening hours and Sunday afternoons. Perfect for art lovers saving pennies.
More Freebies: Museums and Palaces
There’s more. Barcelona’s Picasso Museum doesn’t charge on the first Sunday every month. In Malaga? Their Picasso Museum is free after 4 pm on Sundays. If palaces are more your thing, Seville’s Alcazar Palace has a free entry hour on Mondays. There’s loads of history and art up for grabs without spending.
Discover Spain’s Beauty for Free
Spain is brimming with free stuff to see and do. Admire the outside of Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia, or catch the enchanting light show at the Alhambra Palace. Fancy a walk? Madrid’s Retiro Park is a must-visit. Plus, throughout the year, Spain’s vibrant festivals add free fun to your trip.
Enjoy Spain’s Outdoors without a Fee
Stroll Barcelona’s bustling La Rambla or check out Madrid’s ancient Temple of Debod without spending a dime. In Valencia, the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences is a sight to behold and is free to admire from outside. Also, every day, you can visit the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral’s main nave for free.
Free Fun Awaits in Spain
Spain proves great experiences don’t need a big budget. Whether you’re checking out Barcelona’s stunning buildings or diving into Madrid’s history, free adventures are everywhere.
Experience Spain’s Festive Spirit
All year round, cities and tiny villages across Spain come alive with colorful festivals. Best part? Joining the celebrations won’t cost you a thing. Spain’s rich tapestry of free activities ensures every visitor goes home with special memories, all without breaking the bank.wandering through historical streets, Spain proves that you can enjoy memorable experiences without spending a dime.
Spain is a famous tourist destination because to its breathtaking scenery, delectable cuisine, pristine beaches, and vibrant towns. You may travel here without breaking the bank. We’ve traveled there and found ways to save money.
Want to enjoy Spain without spending too much? They have cheap places to stay and free treats like tapas. Let us help you get the most from your trip without spending a lot. Planning a trip to Spain? We have money-saving suggestions. From where to stay to what to eat, our suggestions will help you have a memorable yet cheap trip.