Our daily expenses to explore two famous cities in Spain was USD58.44 / EUR52.04 per person per day. Our budget as always is USD50.00 so we were well over. We spent the whole of April 2019 in Spain, actually a little more: 31 days to be correct.
First, we walked the Camino Portuguese from the Portuguese/Spanish border (19 days). We posted our costs for the Camino separately, to avoid a distortion of the travel costs (one way or the other). The costs shared in this article cover the time we spent in Santiago de Compostela (after the Camino) and in Barcelona (12 days in total).
- The costs are based upon a couple travelling together.
- We did not travel as part of an organised tour group but as independent travellers.
- Not considered is the entry or exit transport into/out of the country.
- We are digital nomads so base ourselves in accommodation that has good Wi-Fi.
- Included in the overall daily costs (for the period of time we are in the country) are:
We sourced our accommodation through short-term rental accommodation platform, Airbnb, renting a private room with our own bathroom in our respective host’s home. Both, Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona are popular destinations. Sharing with hosts allows us to stay within budget while not compromising on certain comforts, such as our own bathroom and a kitchen where we can prepare meals. It also allows us to learn more about our destinations through conversations with our hosts.
|Accommodation Name||City||Type||Cost Per Room Per Night|
|Habitación tranquila y céntrica||Santiago de Compostela||Private double room with bathroom||EUR29.25|
|Plaza de Sants||Barcelona||Private double room with separate bathroom||EUR32.05|
In Santiago de Compostela, our accommodation was so close to the city centre, that we were able to walk everywhere. The one exception was taking the public bus to the airport (EUR3 per person).
In Barcelona, we could have taken public transport from the airport to our accommodation, but as we arrived just before midnight, we decided to take a taxi – BIG mistake. Apart from the cost (EUR30), our taxi ride experience was atrocious: the driver sped at 120km/h (where 80km/h are allowed) and dropped us 1km away from our accommodation (as he’d gone too far). At the time of our visit, Uber and Cabify were not allowed to operate in Barcelona due to pressure from the Taxi industry on the Catalan government.
Apart from one taxi, we used Barcelona’s excellent public transport system, which makes it super easy to get around. We purchased a T-10 card valid for 10 journeys on any metro, bus, tram or suburban train (not though for the metro trip to/from the airport). Easily purchased from the vending machines in the Metro stations, we were both able to use the same T-10 card at the same time. The 2019 price for one zone (covering all the areas we travelled to) was EUR10.20 (or EUR1.02 per person per trip, including up to 3 changes within 75 minutes).
Groceries and Dining
Our choice of accommodation in both Santiago and Barcelona meant that we were able to make our own breakfasts (muesli, yoghurt, fresh fruit and coffee) and cook hot meals every other day – something we had missed when we were walking the Camino Portuguese. When out and about, we alternated between eating out and having lunch packs we had made ourselves.
Santiago de Compostela
We ended our Camino Portuguese in Santiago de Compostela during Santa Semana (the week leading up to Easter). We did this on purpose, to experience the celebrations during this time of year, including the penance processions performed by the Catholic brotherhoods in the streets of Santiago (and all over Spain).
After the Camino, we were a little sore, so decided to pamper ourselves with a one hour massage (EUR35 per person). Besides, because we did not have the time to continue our Camino to Finisterre/Muxia, we joined a bus tour. The day trip included stops in the villages of Pontemaceira and Muros, the Cascada do Ezaro (the only river in Europe reaching the sea as a waterfall) and of course Finisterre and Muxia. We also visited the Pilgrimage Museum (EUR2.40 per adult).
Since I had never been to Barcelona and Sandra was returning after 20+ years, there were some more touristy activities on our list, including those requiring (at times significant) entrance fees:
- Casa Batlló
- Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
- Casa Bloc
- Barça Stadium Tour and Museum (Camp Nou)
- Park Güell
- Tibidabo Funicular.
And no, we didn’t go into the most famous tourist attraction in Barcelona – the Sagrada Familia. Not because we didn’t want to. We ran out of time and didn’t order tickets early enough. Even seasoned travelers like ourselves can’t always get it right.
While we paid for a few tourist attractions, we also visited quite a few free places, including:
Travel Costs Summary Table
|EUR per person per day|
|Total per person per day||EUR52.04|
Other Cost Summaries and Budgets
Other websites have calculated the costs as shown in the table below. We are unsure whether their data includes entry/exit cost. However, it is good to compare our actual versus their data.
|Name||Daily Amount Per Person||Travel Style|
|Budget Your Trip||EUR111||Mid-range|
|Nomadic Matt||EUR85 to EUR115||Mid-range|
|Lonely Planet||EUR80 to EUR175||Mid-range|
|Our Big Fat Travel Adventure||EUR58.18||Budget to Mid-range|
|The World Was Here First||EUR50 to EUR60||Budget to Mid-range|
|Ali’s Adventures||EUR50 to EUR60||Budget|
|Tour Radar’s Days to Come||EUR81.94||Mid-range|