Daily Travel Costs in Spain on a Shoestring Budget
US$50 | 45 Euros
Spain is cheap by Western European standards and considerably cheaper than neighbouring France while it is roughly the same as its neighbour to the West, Portugal. There is a good deal of regional variation though with the Southern part of the country certainly the cheapest, particularly Andalusia. Prices are a bit higher in Barcelona and Madrid than in the smaller towns but not considerably so and the same is true of some of the more tourist-orientated resorts, which line the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and Costa Brava.
Backpacker accommodation is plentiful and pretty good value but it is a good idea to book in advance during peak times and certainly national holidays and festivals of which there are many. Eating and drinking out is cheap if you are a bit savvy and head away from the tourist areas but a night out anywhere can still set you back close to our suggested Spain backpacking budget of 45 Euros with entry to clubs alone typically 10-20 Euros including a drink or perhaps two. On the plus side, drinking in squares and parks is generally tolerated and you can get a litre of beer for little over a Euro in the supermarkets.
Getting around Spain is fairly straight forward with plenty of budget flights around the country for longer trips and an excellent if quite expensive high-speed rail network that links the main cities. On a shoestring budget though you are probably best to stick to the inter-city buses which are almost always the cheapest way to get from A to B.
See where Spain ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.
More Comfortable Spain Backpacker Budget
US$65 | 60 Euros
If partying is likely to be a big part of your trip or you are restricted on time and want to fit a lot in then you might want to consider stretching out to a 60 Euro daily budget. This will allow you to go out regularly and perhaps take the odd flight or train for those longer trips.
Sample Prices in Spain
Flight from Madrid to Barcelona (1 hour) – €35 + baggage fees (more at weekends)
Bus from Sevilla to Granada (3 hours) – €23 with Alsa
Meal in an inexpensive restaurant – €8-10
‘Jarra’ (large beer) in a Cerveceria Montaditos – €1.50
Dorm bed in Barcelona – from €15/night
Dorm bed in Madrid – from €12/night
Budget private Double or Twin Room – from €25/night (more during peak times)
Entrance fee for Granada’s Alhambra – €14
Compare that to the cost of travel in Italy.
Currency – Euros
£1 = €1.16
US$1 = €0.95
(All exchange rates are correct as of January 2017)
In Barcelona, stay at Factory Gardens, a good value hostel close to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia.
Read our full guide to seeing Barcelona on a budget.
street art in Madrid, Spain
Share your Travel Costs!
If you’ve been to Spain recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉
This article was published in June 2016. Exchange rates were updated in January 2017.