Have you wondered how much does it cost to go to Spain? Sangria, beaches, tapas, and architecture are just a few things that come to mind when people think of Spain, though it’s so much more. Spain is one of the top travel destinations in the world and is often a bucket list destination for many. Visiting the country is a must, and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest a two-week itinerary in Spain. This will give you plenty of time to explore the country at a reasonable pace. Please note that this guide is based on the costs for a single person, so if you are going as a couple, you will need to double this estimate (except for accommodation).
Keep in mind this guide is for mainland Spain and not the Canary Islands.
|Food and drink||$630|
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency. Note that I’m just giving you an average estimate to work with. You could easily spend less if you want to see Spain on a budget. However, you could also spend much more if you’re a luxury traveller.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a generous welcome bonus that’s often worth more than $900 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, and it comes with airport lounge access.
Spain has a couple of major international airports that you can fly into: Barcelona and Madrid. There’s no real advantage or disadvantage to choosing one over the other, so I recommend choosing based on your chosen itinerary and costs. Some people choose to fly into one major city and out of another, e.g. Barcelona and Madrid, since it’ll save them a little bit of money on backtracking.
Spain is technically a year-round destination, though most people will choose to visit from Spring to fall as winter can be dreary. Unsurprisingly, summer and holidays (such as Christmas and Easter) see the highest prices in airfare, so if you can, try to book around these peak times to save on cost.
The average cost of a roundtrip flight from North America to Spain will be around $600.
As a popular holiday destination, Spain has plenty of accommodation options for all budgets. There are many great hostels for solo travellers looking to meet people or backpackers and high-end five-star luxury properties. That being said, prices will also vary depending on where you are visiting in Spain. For example, accommodation in Barcelona will be more expensive than in comparison to accommodation in smaller towns in the countryside.
I’m using the estimate of $150 per night in this article based on pricing for mid-range hotels in Spain’s larger, more popular cities. That said, you can easily increase or decrease this part of the budget, depending on where you’re staying.
Looking for some recommendations? Consider the following:
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $300 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus.
Canadians should consider the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, which gives you up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s enough points for a few free nights at some hotels, which could easily have a value of over $500.
Getting around Spain is pretty easy. Some people rent a car and drive around the country since it’s a great way to explore and allows for a lot of freedom. It’s something to consider if you are comfortable driving abroad.
However, most people choose to rely on trains and public transit, which I’m using in this estimate. Like many other European countries, Spain has a good train and bus network that makes it easy to get to the main destinations. Spain’s national train network is called RENFE, but there is also a high-speed train called AVE (Alta Velocidad), which is better for longer journeys. Booking online in advance is recommended as some trains require seat reservations, and it will save you money by booking early. The Eurail Pass is accepted in Spain.
For those who are really on a tight budget, you can use the bus network. It’s much slower than trains but also cheaper. Buses are also more convenient for reaching smaller, rural destinations if you want to get off the main tourist trail.
Pricing on local transport in Spain will vary depending on how much you plan to move around and the route you plan to take. If you plan on travelling a lot by train, consider getting the RENFE Spain Pass. There are options for 4-10 journeys and a 6-journey pass which is currently 275 euros. Once in the cities, you can use the city buses/metro or your feet to get around.
Spain has so much to see and do that it’s easy to spend all your money on attractions. Unfortunately, for most of that, it’s not realistic, so you will want to do some advanced planning to ensure that you hit the highlights and the things you are most interested in. It’s strongly advised that you buy tickets online in advance since you get a discount and you get to skip the lines.
In Barcelona, the top attractions include:
Madrid also has some great attractions you’ll want to check out, including the Royal Palace, but many people use the city as a base to do day trips such as:
If you are big into museums and attractions, I recommend getting City passes where applicable. The upfront cost seems pricey, but when you break it down, you get a great deal.
Another great way to see cities on a budget is to consider taking a walking tour. Many cities offer ‘free’ tours where you leave a tip (around 10 euros) at the end, which is a good way to get your bearings when you first arrive and learn a little about the history as well.
You might also want to consider doing hop-on-hop-off tours in the larger cities. It’s a great way to get around and see the sites. You can often get just a one-day pass or a pass that’s good for a few days, so you can make the most of it.
Food and drink
One of the highlights of a trip to Spain is the food and drink. You’ll want to try everything from fresh seafood to famous Iberico ham, tapas, sangria, and wines. Of course, this can get pretty expensive, but there are a few ways to help cut food costs.
The first and most obvious tip is to avoid eating in busy tourist areas. Try to find smaller spots in more local areas for better prices (and, quite honestly, better food). You can always find recommendations online or ask at your accommodation for local suggestions.
Another idea is to get simple food for breakfast and lunch, then splurge on dinner (or splurge on lunch and go basic for dinner). There are tons of markets, small sandwich shops, and cafes where you can get a bite to eat for under 10 euros.
Tapas (small dishes) are also worth taking advantage of. Portions are pretty generous. In some bars, you get free tapas with your beer and wine.
With that in mind, here’s what you can expect to pay for daily meals in Spain:
- Breakfast – $7
- Lunch – $13
- Dinner – $25
That costs $45 a day, but remember, this is an average price. I don’t expect you actually to go to restaurants every day, so you’ll likely spend less. That said, there will be times when you splurge at a restaurant which is why you want to have a rough number to work with.
Insider tip: Spaniards eat lunch and dinner much later than North Americans, so try to keep to the local schedule so you can have a more authentic Spain experience.
Whether you consider yourself a shopaholic or not, having a little extra in your budget for random spending is always a good idea. This could be for souvenirs, taxi rides, or maybe even a glass of sangria on a patio one afternoon.
Although buying Iberico ham may be tempting, don’t forget that your home country may have laws about bringing food back home.
I recommend allocating an extra $100 to your budget for random spending purposes.
Spain trip cost
So, how much does it cost to go to Spain? Based on my estimate, a two-week vacation in Spain will cost you about US $4,440. If you don’t want to travel around the country, you can read my cost guide to Barcelona.
Spain is a great travel destination and, for savvy travellers, can actually be a very affordable place for a vacation in Europe. Plus, you can use my tips and tricks listed throughout this article to help stretch your dollar even further. Other destinations also worth considering include Croatia, Italy, Austria, Germany, Cyprus, Malta and France.
Is Spain expensive to visit?
The cost of travel in Spain varies depending on where you are visiting. Many expats lists include Spain as a ‘cheap’ European destination for retirement, which can be true in smaller towns. However, large cities like Barcelona and Madrid are pretty on par cost-wise with other large European cities. If you are worried about Spain trip costs, consider basing yourself in the smaller cities and visiting the more expensive spots as day trips.
Is Spain cheap to visit?
This depends on your travel style. If you want to stay in one of the resorts and party during a busy time of year like New Year’s Eve, then yes, it can be pricey. However, if you are willing to get away from the main areas, visit during the shoulder season, and stay in more budget accommodation, then Spain can be a very affordable destination.
What is the best time to visit Spain?
If you want to avoid the big crowds and have nice but not too hot weather, I recommend visiting April in Spring (April/May) or early autumn (September/October). Be mindful of visiting during Easter if you go during Spring. There are plenty of celebrations around the country for Semana Santa, the Holy Week before Easter, but it also means that many things shut down for tourists, which means it can be very quiet. The same can be said for Christmas and Kings Day.
June, July, and August can be great for beach weather, but you may find the climate too hot for exploring. This time of year tends to be peak season in Europe, meaning it may be more expensive. The winter months of November, December, January, and February don’t have as much sunshine and are cooler with a winter chill.
What should I see in Spain?
Barcelona and Madrid tend to be the two most popular cities in Spain. Barcelona has incredible architecture (especially Gaudi’s work) that is worth checking out. One of Spain’s best-known sites is The Alhambra in Granada. Of course, Spain is also a popular beach destination( both mainland and the islands) and soccer (or football if you are European). If you are a big fan of the sport, you may want to try to catch a game during your visit.
How many days should I spend in Spain?
Spain is a large country, especially if you add in the Balearic islands or Canary Islands like Mallorca and Menorca. For most tourists, it’s impossible to see it all, which is why I suggest a two-week itinerary. It will allow you to see the major cities and add in any festivals, parades, or carnivals you may want to experience.
Where are the best beaches in Spain?
Spain has no shortage of beaches. Try the Costa del Sol region for some of the best.
Is Spain dangerous for tourists?
Spain isn’t any more dangerous than most other European destinations but, as always, be careful and keep an eye on your belongings. Barcelona in particular, is notorious for thieves and pickpockets. The area and restaurants around La Rambla are considered one of the worst spots for this, so be extra cautious while exploring here