This page outlines the estimated cost of travel in Spain in 2023. We have included suggested shoestring and more comfortable Spain backpacking budgets for a trip around a country that is home to iconic cities such as Barcelona and some of Europe’s best beaches. We also have some typical prices further down to give you an idea of how much things cost.
Spain Cost of Travel in 2023
Shoestring Backpacker Budget
- 50 Euros per Day
Spain is cheap by Western European standards and better value when compared to our United Kingdom backpacking budget for example, while it is perhaps a fraction more expensive than its neighbour to the west, Portugal.
There is a good deal of regional variation though with the southern part of the country and regions such as Andalusia and Murcia typically the cheapest (although there are isolated expensive towns in those places too). Prices are a bit higher in Barcelona and Madrid than in most of the smaller cities and the same is largely true of some of the more upmarket 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 the peak of the summer tourist season (August) or during national holidays and festivals, of which there are many.
Eating and drinking out is cheap enough if you are a bit savvy and head away from the tourist areas and more expensive bars and restaurants. However a night out anywhere can still easily set you back close to our suggested daily Spain backpacking budget of 50 Euros per day, certainly if you end up in a club where entry alone can come to around 10-20 Euros, although it usually includes a drink. On the plus side, drinking in squares, parks and beaches is generally tolerated and you can get a litre of beer or cheap plastic bottle of Sangria for less than a couple of Euros in the supermarkets.
More Comfortable Spain Backpacking Budget
- 70 Euros per Day
If you’re not big into partying, it’ll be easier to stick to the shoestring budget. However there are many factors that will determine the actual cost of your trip in Spain, with accommodation costs significantly less during quieter periods of the year such as January and February in most destinations.
If you come in the busy summer period, or want to do trips to one of Spain’s many islands, increasing your budget to around 70 Euros per day may be a sensible plan. Getting around Spain is fairly straightforward with plenty of budget flights to islands such as Mallorca, Ibiza, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, but costs can still mount once you factor in baggage fees.
On the mainland, there is an excellent if quite expensive high-speed rail network that links the main cities. On a shoestring budget you are probably going to need to stick to the inter-city buses which are almost always the cheapest way to travel around Spain, although you can travel faster and more comfortably by train. Book in advance via Renfe or Ouigo to get the best fares.
How much are things in Spain?
|Flight from Madrid to Palma de Mallorca (1 hour 15 minutes)||From €20 (plus baggage fees)|
|High-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona (2 hours 45 minutes)||€15-80 (varies by day/time)|
|Meal in a local restaurant||€10-14|
|Local beer in bar/restaurant||€2-3|
|Dorm bed in a hostel||From €10|
|Budget private room||From €25|
|A visit to Granada’s Alhambra||€19|
|Travel insurance for backpacking Spain||From $42 per 4 week period with SafetyWing (18-39 year olds).|
As mentioned above, prices for beds, trains and planes really do go up and down considerably depending on the time of year. Consider backpacking around Spain in May, June, September or October if you want warm weather as well as reasonable prices as July and particularly August are really busy on the coasts. Away from the peak of summer, Spain is relatively affordable and generally works out cheaper when compared to the cost of travel in Italy for example.
One way to cut travel costs in Spain is to work and travel. Worldpackers is a platform which allows travellers to search for work exchanges which can be both a rewarding thing to do and also a great way to cut your travel costs. At the time of writing, there are 273 opportunities for these kinds of exchanges in Spain. These vary from hostel work to teaching and camp roles in some stunning locations. Be sure to use our Worldpackers promo if you opt to register!
Currency – Euros
£1 = €1.12
US$1 = €0.94
These exchange rates are correct as of February 2023. Contactless payment is very popular in Spain so you may find it better to pay by card for things, particularly if you have a debit card that is good for travel.
This Spain backpacking budget was last updated in February 2023.