How much does it cost to travel to and through Spain?
From 17th May to 29th June 2017 I spent my days sunning myself in Southern Spain and exploring 3 beautiful Andalusian cities. This post will reveal my small itinerary and how much it cost me. Enjoy!
THE WHOLE TRIP: €386 + €56 flight
- FLY Edinburgh to Malaga – €56 (with baggage)
- Nerja – 7 nights
- Malaga – 1 night
- Cordoba – 2 nights
- Sevilla – 2 nights
- BUS Sevilla to Faro (Portugal)
Aside from my week in Nerja, I needed far longer in each of the wonderful cities. Unfortunately, I had time restraints and needed to be in Portugal for the 29th so I had to cut my Spanish summer short. But it was very sweet.
Check out posts about each place if you’re interested as this letter will focus on costs and budgeting.
Nerja was my holiday. It wasn’t really part of my ‘backpacking trip’ and I spent money as if it were my holiday – unashamedly so. It’s a wonderful seaside paradise with a lot to offer and I would thoroughly recommend a visit. As a place to go on holiday I would recommend finding self catered accommodation because there are restaurants in abundance and you can wish your days away on the sparkling coast.
Thanks to my wonderful auntie and uncle, I had free accommodation for the week which took a massive chunk out of the budget. However, because of a mix up, we actually had to quickly find other accommodation for the first couple of nights – so it turns out I can tell you about prices of accommodation.
- Easy Nerja Guesthouse – €25 per night for a double room
- Hostelworld link
For a week that would set you back only €150, or €75 each if you’re splitting costs. There are tonnes of other hostels/guesthouses in the area so it makes a great holiday destination.
For me, accommodation cost my €40 in Nerja (as we has another night at a different place)
Transport – €18
Nerja is accessed from Malaga via a coach for around €8. Once you’re in Nerja you won’t need transport to get around as it’s small. You should definitely take a trip to Frigliana on the bus which is only €1!
Eating out – €90
As I mentioned, we indulged a bit. We ate out most lunchtimes because it was the easiest and nicest thing to do on our long beach days. Lunch (or dinner) was typically around €30 for the two of us, which would normally include a main and starter/desert and a drink.
Groceries – €30
We ate in most evenings and every breakfast, normally simple things like cereal, fruit, sandwiches, salads etc and the supermarket food is very reasonable. It only cost me around €4 a day!
Extras – €22
Things like ice creams, postcards and the odd cocktail all add up! But not that much because it was cheap and I only spent a few euros a day on things like this.
Total – €200
Could’ve done it cheaper but hey – it was my holiday!!
Malaga – Cordoba – Sevilla
I only spent 5 nights between these 3 stunning cities – that deserve 3 nights each. Nevertheless I loved exploring each of them and I saw a lot.
Accommodation – €83
- MALAGA – Patio 19 – €14 dorm bed
- Hostelworld link
- Lovely central and authentic hostel which offers free breakfast on their patio.
- CORDOBA – Funky Cordoba – €14.50 dorm bed (x2)
- Hostelworld link
- Slightly run-down hostel but is in a great location with very helpful staff.
- SEVILLA – Sevilla In Backpackers – $20 dorm bed (x2)
- Hostelworld link
- Really liked this hostel, very cool vibe. Perfect location (round the corner from the cathedral and tonnes of tapas bars.
Transport – €32
It cost me €4.50 to get to Malaga from Nerja and whilst in Malaga I used the bus once to get from the station to the hostel, which was around €1.50. It’s a manageable city to get around, but if I had longer I may have used the transport system more to get elsewhere.
TIP: The bus to/from Malaga airport is around €3.
The 2 hour bus from Malaga to Cordoba was €12. I then took a local bus to my hostel (because it felt like 100 degrees and I couldn’t manage the 15 minute walk at this point in time) which was 1.30. It’s cheap to take buses but also small enough to walk around the city of Cordoba.
TIP: I was in Cordoba at the time of their big festival and it was so busy. Buses were crammed full and I had to wait around an hour just to get on one. Would’ve walked if I’d known.
The bus from Cordoba to Sevilla was also €12 which I felt was very reasonable. I didn’t take any other transport whilst in Sevilla (but did take a bus to Portugal which will be included in Portugal spending!).
TIP: Buses in Spain are better than trains. They cover more routes and are of a good quality. It’s also possible to get to other countries easier via buses whereas with trains you typically have to go via the capital (ie. Spain to Portugal – the only train line is Madrid to Lisbon).
TIP: I took to taking my buses late afternoon so that I would get most of the day in the 1st city before travelling to the 2nd city and arriving before sunset. Then I would just check in to my hostel and get food, sleep and be ready for a full day in the city.
Food – €43
I mainly ate food that I bought from the supermarket whilst in Spain because I had limited time exploring and wanted to make most of. I did, however, try out some tapas with people I’d met at the hostels and also indulged a bit in Cordoba’s festival on churros – how can you not?!
TIP: Generally tapas dishes range from €2-€4 per dish and I would normally eat 3 or 4 for a meal. Some bars do a drink and dish deal for cheap. You’ll have to ask a local to find the best ones!
Activities – €28
I didn’t hold back on attractions but also spend a large proportion of my time doing free things and wandering the streets of the cities. I found attractions to be very cheap, especially with student discount! Here’s the things I did and how much they set me back:
- Walking tour €5
- Walking tour €5
- Tower at the Mezquita €2
- Museum (can’t remember the name) €1.25
- Palace €2.25
- Gallery in Plaza del Potro €2.25
- Walk up the Torre del Oro €1.50
- Alcazar €2
- Parasol €3
- Cathedral €4
TIP: Use student discount!!
TOTAL – €186
This averages out at around €37 per day for 5 days. It’s much higher than I would’ve liked but it’s because I moved more often than usual – I would prefer to move every 3 or 4 days. Travel costs then work out far lower. Still, I was happy with what I spend and thoroughly enjoyed my 5 days.
TIP: Travelling slowly works out much cheaper as the big transport costs between places occurs less frequently. Also, you can normally make the same supermarket shop last for 2 or 3 days, thus it costs less over a longer period of time.
So there you have it – 12 nights in Andalucía for €386.
I hope this has been a helpful cost guide!
PS. I’ve now (12/03/18) written a post about my travel budgeting formula, which you can read here: How to calculate a travel budget (and other tips)
TIP: The way I calculate a budget before I go somewhere is simply by searching accommodation costs and doubling the average for a daily budget, and then depending on frequency of movement, adding on a little for transport costs.
Eg. Average accommodation cost = 83/5 = €16.60
Multiply by 2 = €33 per day or €165 for 5
I actually spent €186 – only €21 over (€4 per day) which is the extra transport costs I add on.