Andalucia, Spain on a Backpacking Budget

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Located in the south of Spain, Andalucia has a deeply layered history dating back to the Bronze Age. Roman ruins, Moorish palaces, traditional Pueblos Blancos (small white stone villages), and boisterous flamenco guitars all combine to make a visitor believe they are on an incredible journey into the past. Andalucia is also host to extensive swaths of natural beauty. From rugged coastlines to yellow beaches, vast parched valleys peaked with stony mountains to fields of sunflowers and abundant groves of wild olive and orange trees, mother nature thrives in the arid sun stroked climate.

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We recently spent three weeks traveling around Adalucia, choosing to skip the touristic and over-built Costa del Sol. Instead we visited the towns of Cadiz, Ronda, Tarifa, and the region’s capital of Sevilla. Though we didn’t make it to one of the largest attractions in the region, the Alhambra in Granada, we immersed ourselves in the rich culture, history, landmarks, and life in what is the most populous and the second largest region of Spain.

Travel Tips and Budget Advice

Accommodations in Andalucia vary but the typical price of a dorm bed ranges between €14.00 and €18.00 ($19.04 – $24.48). When in Sevilla we tried out a few Pensions (one star hotels, essentially) and hostels before settling on a mid priced hostel that turned out to be one of the best we had ever stayed in.

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Cadiz, which may very well be the oldest human settlement in Europe depending on who you ask, was the cheapest town to sleep and eat in. In contrast we found Tarifa to be the most expensive of all the towns we visited. If you are traveling with a few people Airbnb is worth looking into, while Workaway and Couchsurfing remain the best options for solo budget travel in Europe.

Eating out in the region was a bit of a luxury. While traditional tapas were relatively inexpensive per dish they were also not very filling and we found them to be highly lacking in vegetarian options.  A full blown meal starts at €8.00 ($10.88) and rises steeply depending on quality and location. As with most European destinations it is advisable to stay somewhere that has a full kitchen within which you can cook most your own meals to keep costs down and to accommodate a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Have a look at our price list below for a better idea of what groceries, accommodations, drinks, transportation, and activities cost in the region.

Exchange Rate on 8/1/14 €1.00 to $1.36

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So, after all is said and calculated, what is the minimum daily expense for travel on a budget in Andalucia?

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If you cook most of your meals and don’t go too crazy drinking and partying late into the night you can certainly travel the region starting at roughly €28.00 ($38.08) a day. This is pretty much the bare minimum unless you are Couchsurfing or using a program like Workaway to offset the cost of hotels/hostels. If you want a day laden with sight seeing, visiting historic locations, and eating fine foods you will be spending a minimum of €50.00 ($68.00) , provided you are staying in a dorm. If you want more extravagant accommodations increase your budget accordingly.

Want to book accommodations in Andalucia, Spain? We recommend using the following sites:

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Budget Accommodations

  • Oasis Hostel – Sevilla €18.00 ($24.48) dorm bed
  • Casa Caracol – Cadiz €18.00 ($24.48) dorm bed
  • Hostal da Vinci – Sevilla €43.00 ($58.48) private room across from the cathedral
  • Pension Nuevo Pino – Sevilla €19.00 (25.84) private room
  • Hostal Tarifa – €60.00 (81.60) private hotel room

Budget Eating Out

  • Spanish Tortilla Sandwich – €2.00 ($2.72)
  • Slice of Pizza – €1.50 ($2.04) in Cadiz
  • Slice of Pizza – €2.50 ($3.40) in Sevilla
  • Chilimosa in Tarifa – Falafel Plate with Hummus, Salad, and Pita – €5.50 ($7.48)
  • Chilimosa in Tarifa – Seitan Kabab Wrap – €5.50 ($7.48)
  • Tapas in Sevilla – €2.20 ($2.90) and up
  • Tapas in Cadiz – €2.50 ($3.40) and up
  • Tapas in Tarifa – €3.00 ($4.08) and up
  • Menu del Dia – about €10.00 ($13.60) (three course lunch)

Drinks

  • Sangria at a Bar – €3.00 – €5.00
  • Large Beer from the Store – €1.50
  • Bottle of Spanish Wine from the Grocery Store – €1.22 and up
  • 6 Pack of Beer from the Store – €2.50

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Budget Groceries

  • Baguette – €1.00 ($1.36)
  • Pot of Jam – €1.65 ($2.24)
  • Large Red Bell Pepper – €0.87 ($1.18)
  • Tortas Aceite (crispy Spanish pastry) – €1.44 ($1.96)
  • Small can of Jalapenos – €1.34 ($1.82)
  • Package of Flour Tortillas (10 ct) – €1.10 ($1.50)
  • Cucumber – €0.20 ($0.27)
  • Zucchini – €0.20 ($0.27)
  • Medium Tomato – €0.18 ($0.24)
  • Can of Pinto Beans – €0.79 ($1.07)
  • Tub of Hummus – €1.49 ($2.02)
  • Large Onion – €0.99 ($1.35)
  • 2 Gala Apples – €0.75 ($1.02)
  • Medium Stalk of Broccoli – €0.67 ($0.91)
  • 1 Head of Garlic – €0.34 ($0.46)
  • 1/4 lb Cherries – €0.63 ($0.86)
  • Small bag of Peanuts – €0.79 ($1.07)
  • 2 Bananas – €0.29 ($0.39)
  • Small Jar of Dried Spicy Peppers – €0.95 ($1.58)
  • 5 Medium Carrots – €0.49 ($0.67)
  • Small Jar of Gerkins – €1.19 ($1.62)
  • Box of Popcorn (6 bags) – €1.46 ($1.99)

Activities

  • Alhambra in Grenada – General Admission €14.00 ($19.04)
  • Real Alcazar in Sevilla – General Admission €9.50 ($12.92)
  • Sevilla Cathedral – €8.00 ($10.88)

Budget Transportation

  • Bus from El Gastor to Cadiz – €12.60 ($17.14)
  • Train from Barcelona to Ronda – €87.30 ($118.73)
  • Bus from Tarifa to Sevilla – €20.05 ($27.27)
  • Bus from Ronda to Cruce el Gastor – €3.24 ($27.27)
  • Bus from Cadiz to Tarifa – €9.91 ($13.48)

Expenses for activities you might want to partake in should not be factored into your daily budget. This becomes overly complicated. An easier way of going about things is to calculate your minimum daily expense and then set aside all left over funds you care to spend into an “activities” pool. Thus on a day when we went to a museum or had a few extra drinks in the evening we did not consider ourselves over budget even though we spent a bit more, we just subtracted it out of the “activities” pool.

You need to remember to set aside some money for things like bus transportation in between towns. Andalucia has a very convenient system of Inter-City buses, and those should be your main method of budget transport around the region.

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Disclaimer – We have included a few handy little affiliate links in case any of our readers want to book accommodations. We receive a small commission for any sales made, without any additional cost to you, our dear reader.


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