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Spain is a favorite travel destination in Europe. A land of siestas, flamenco, and laid back living, Spain offers history, culture, and a host of great experiences as well as stunning landscapes — and backpacking lets you take it all in. Whether you walk, take a bus, or ride the rails, this is what you need to know about backpacking through Spain.

Average Costs

Not including your flight to the country, travelling in Spain costs between  €35 and €40 per day. Plan for the higher end of that range when you spend time in larger cities. Hostels cost roughly $15 in more rural areas and about $25 in urban areas. Reserve $15 for each meal.

Transportation

Travel options range from $2 for a local bus trip to $20 for regional trains and overnight buses. The cost of travelling between cities varies depending on distance and the popularity of the route. Depending on your ticket, you may be able to get off at stops between destinations.

Trip Length

Plan on about two days for each place you want to include in your Spain itinerary. You may only need one day or afternoon for some places, while you may want to allow three to four days for larger cities, like Madrid.

Where to Visit

Image via Flickr by Alaskan Dude

Spain is a very diverse country. Cities like Madrid have all the metropolitan airs and amenities you would expect, from Real Madrid soccer matches to the Prado Museum. Barcelona is also bustling. Go for a walk down Las Ramblas or visit the architecture of Gaudi. In contrast, the northern countryside is home to Basque Country and Granada is filled with Moorish influences. There are also port towns like Valencia and islands like Ibiza and the Canary Islands.

Activities

Most of the museums and attractions in Spain charge an admission fee, usually between $3 and $15, so plan accordingly. Activities like diving cost more, averaging $50. However, if you are trying to save money, remember that it is free to tour Spanish architecture, visit local galleries, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.

Ways to Save Money

One of the easiest ways to save money while backpacking through Spain is to eat a big lunch. Most restaurants offer an inexpensive menu of the day for around $9. Also, if you are going to a few different paid attractions in a city, pick up a city pass. You often get free transportation, reduced admission, and the inside scoop on local activities.

Don’t-Miss Attractions

The first is a drink called Calimoxto. It is usually made from cola and wine, and is served everywhere. Next, plan to attend the botellon in whatever town you find yourself. Between dinner and midnight, Spanish locals congregate in the public squares where they drink calimoxto out of plastic cups and socialise.

Backpacking through Spain is just as much about seeing the sites as it is about experiencing the culture. That said, no matter where you go in Spain, backpackers will always find ways to entertain themselves.

Infographic: Etihad’s Ten Things to Try Before Leaving Madrid

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