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How to plan a trip to Spain

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Natasha Weiss

There is a limit to the number of days you can take off during the year – which is why you have to plan them almost by the second. If you’re ready to pack your suitcase but still can’t figure out where you’d like to end up, Spain is a perfect option. 

For those who want to relax and party, but also for lovers of culture, architecture, and cuisine, we’ve put together some information on how to plan a trip to Spain. From getting a visa to the cost of airline tickets, accommodation, and transportation – we cover everything. Let’s dive in!

Spain – a must-see destination for every traveler

What is the appeal of Spanish resorts? Great beaches, clean sea, and good service. Independent travel in Spain allows you to get acquainted with the cities that have played a unique role in the history of mankind and are amazing creations of great architects.

During a visit to this country, tourists get an unforgettable experience of beautiful landscapes, colorful national holidays, festivals, and delicious Spanish cuisine. With proper planning of expenses, an independent trip to Spain is quite budget-friendly.


As Spain does not have a specific tourist visa, tourists need a Schengen visa to enter Spain for tourism purposes. The Schengen visa allows visitors to stay in Spain and other countries in the zone for up to 90 days. It is not difficult to obtain it on your own, since Spain is loyal to independent tourists and travelers with tour packages.

Documents to be gathered are standard: questionnaire, hotel and ticket reservations, insurance, financial and economic guarantees, etc.

Keep in mind it takes 4-6 days to get a visa. In the peak tourist season, the time increases up to 10 days.

Ticket prices

To find cheap tickers, your best option is to look on Skyscanner – there you will find a comparison of prices for all airlines. 

When planning an independent trip to Spain in 2022, you should note that in addition to direct flights to Spanish resorts, there are flights with connections to major European cities. As a rule, they are a bit more affordable. Usually, you can save money by booking tickets in advance – at least 2-3 months before your trip. Watch out for sales and promotions – they frequently happen throughout the year. 

When is the best time to travel?

The choice of the season for a trip to Spain depends on your goals. From mid-December to the end of April, the country is visited by fans of skiing and other winter sports. Winters in Spain are very mild, but the ski resorts get a lot of snow.

Early spring delights travelers with  colorful festivals and blooming almonds. May is usually when tourists begin to visit resorts in Costa Brava and other coastal areas of the country. The peak of the beach season is in the summer months. In fact, the greatest rush of tourists is observed in July and August.

A great time for vacationing in Spain is the first half of autumn. In addition to beach holidays, historical sightseeing tours are popular too. The beach season typically ends in October, and there are significantly fewer vacationers on the coast.

Where to book a hotel in Spain?

When traveling to Spain, it is not difficult to book comfortable hotels or rent a room or an apartment in the private sector. At seaside resorts, accommodation prices depend on the distance from the sea. Hotels and hostels on the first line are more expensive. Prices also vary depending on the season. In the cold months, they are 30-70% lower than in summer.

Here are the approximate starting prices for hotels and apartments in the most popular Spanish resorts in summer 2022.






Lloret de Mar


Hotel 1-2*

70 EUR

50 EUR

60 EUR

60 EUR

60 EUR

Hotel 3*

95 EUR

85 EUR

80 EUR

95 EUR

95 EUR


95 EUR

85 USD

85 EUR

105 EUR

115 EUR


Hotels should be booked in advance, as during the high season, it becomes trickier to find good options that won’t break your bank.

Transportation Prices

How should you get around Spain? Most tourists prefer to rent a car for sightseeing. Depending on the class of car, a day of rental costs from 20 to 120 euros. A week can cost up to 300 euros. Renting a motorcycle is cheaper. Another option is to get a bike. For 2 hours it costs only around 6 euros, and for a day – 15 euros.

When traveling in Spain, it can be convenient to use public transport as well. In Barcelona, a trip on the subway or bus costs 2.15 euros, and a single ticket for 10 trips – 10 euros. Those who want to save a little money can buy a one-day pass for 8.4 euros.

In addition, you can always hop on double-decker tourist buses in Barcelona. Their ticket for one day costs 23 euros, and for two days – 30 euros. The routes of these buses are laid out through the main attractions. Tourists can get off at the right stop, see the place of their interest, and after a while, change to any passing bus to continue their journey through the city.

Cabs, however, are quite expensive in Spain. For a trip from the airport to the center of Barcelona, you will pay 25-30 euros, and the car will cover the distance in less than half an hour. Airport transfers can be pre-booked online on the service KiwiTaxi. 

Tourists often use intercity buses. A trip from Madrid to Barcelona, depending on the class of the bus, costs from 32 to 40 euros, and from Madrid to Malaga – 25 euros.

Another option for traveling around the country is domestic airlines. A ticket from Barcelona to Ibiza costs €35, to Tenerife €55, and to Malaga €70.

What should you see?

Spain has a rich and fascinating history. This land has been ruled by the Romans, Catholics, Islams, Almoravids, Nasridians, and Sephardim. Almost every corner of Spain has preserved monuments of different eras. Not only that – the country includes a lot of beautiful parks and nature reserves.

During your travel to Spain, it is convenient to combine beach holidays with sightseeing. Many tourists like to visit major Spanish cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia, where there are plenty of great museums and monuments. 

Popular among vacationers are trips to Girona, Cordoba, Seville, Segovia, Cuenca, Toledo, Zaragoza, Burgos, Granada and Barcelona. Those interested in religion can visit the monasteries of Escorial, Sacromonte, Montserrat, San Juan de la Peña, San Esteban, and other Christian sanctuaries in Spain. 

Prefer to be close to nature? Here are Spain’s most popular natural attractions among travelers:

  • Maspalomas dunes
  • Fuente De
  • Teide volcano
  • Marimurtra Botanical Garden
  • Palmitos Park
  • Picasso Museum & Gothic
  • Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park
  • Cape San Juan de Gastelugache
  • Loro Parque Zoo in Tenerife
  • La Rioja Vineyard Valley
  • Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

If you need help planning your travel itinerary, you’ll find the perfect guide here.

Useful tips to keep in mind

Before traveling around Spain, it is a good idea to learn about the mentality of the locals, national traditions, and the characteristics of the tourist infrastructure. To make your trip a success, consider the following recommendations.

  • It is better to bring Euros rather than dollars to Spain. This allows you to save on currency exchange.
  • When choosing a hotel or an apartment, pay attention to its location. Check if there are public transport stops and stores nearby, as well as what the crime rate is in the area. 
  • Spaniards do not like to rush, so do not expect quick service in cafes and restaurants.
  • The country has excellent public transport and a clear navigation system, so it is easy to plan your own routes in Spain.
  • If you plan to visit several museums and attractions in one city, get a discount tourist card. Such cards are sold in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Tarragona, Malaga, Cordoba, Granada, Salamanca, and other Spanish cities. With them, you can save money on public transport, ticket prices for museums and attractions, and get discounts in stores and restaurants.

If you are confused about how to plan a trip to Spain, we hope these tips will help.

With all this in mind, the most important thing to remember is to be present and enjoy the moment, and what better place to do that than Spain. 

Spain’s coastal towns and the Canary Islands are the perfect choices for a romantic getaway with your partner or a holiday with the whole family. The lively coastal resorts really do offer something for everyone. 

Here you can relax in comfortable hotels by well-maintained beaches, admire the stunning natural scenery that is unique to Spain, or simply enjoy the wonderful atmosphere in the colorful towns.

The country is also famous for its lively nightlife in clubs, bars, and restaurants, which appeals especially to young people. Meanwhile, the wide range of water attractions and theme parks will provide plenty of fun moments for the youngest travelers.

Natasha Weiss

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