Travel and budgeting go hand-in-hand.
When on an extended trip, it is important to really think about what “extras” you are going to indulge in. From tickets to tours, admission fees and more, there are tons of things that tempt you to spend your hard earned dollars on the road. You can’t say yes to every single one.
But how do you know what is worth the your travel dollar? When it comes to Spain, I kept track of all the tourist attractions we spent money on, and happy to say, I think we did well.
Here are the five attractions that we paid for in Spain:
If you are going to spend money on anything in Spain, invest in a walking tour. There are “free” tours in every major city and they are the best way to get acclimated with the city, while simultaneously receiving a history lesson. We used two different companies during our time in Spain: Pancho Tours and SANDEMAN’s New Europe, and were happy with both. On average the tours were about 2.5 hours long and we left €15 for the two of us. If we really enjoyed the tour, and the guide went above and beyond the call of duty, we left an extra €5.
Worth it? Yes. With your newfound knowledge, exploring the city is instantly easier.
When in Spain, one must see a flamenco show; it would be silly not to. We saw one in Seville, and were very impressed with our choice. We chose the Casa de la Guitarra, which dates back to the 18th century and is the first guitar museum in Spain. The Guitar House offers an intimate setting and produces an excellent and authentic one hour show. We were witness to a variety of different types of flamenco and paid €36 for the two of us.
Worth it? Yes. You don’t need to spend this much (if any), but we were interested in an authentic understanding of the different styles, which they offer here. An intimate show might not be what you are looking for, so do some research to find out what show caters to your interests. Either way, be sure to see one!
Alcázar of Seville
The Alcázar of Seville is truly an amazing place. Set right in the middle of the city and across from the cathedral, this royal palace was originally built by Moorish Kings. It is the oldest palace still in use in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are taking a trip to Seville I would highly recommend paying the €9 per person to tour the grounds. However, if you are planning to go to the Alhambra in Granada during your Spanish tour, and are tight on funds, skip the Alcázar and just do the Alhambra. Or, if your itinerary allows it, the Alcázar is free on Mondays from 6pm-7pm in the summer, and 4pm-5pm in the winter.
Worth it? Maybe. Like I said previously, if you are going to the Alhambra, skipping the Alcázar would be okay. Otherwise – two thumbs up.
I talked about my experience at the Alhambra here and am so thankful that we had the ability to enter into this marvellous place. The Alhambra truly took my breath away, and I am still in awe of the magnitude and complexity of the palace grounds. This is the number one tourist attraction in all of Spain, and when you are there is it easy to see why. Parts of the Alhambra date as far back as 889 and the architecture and history runs through Moorish emperors, Islamic sultans and Spanish royalty. The palace is magnificent, and you can spend hours exploring the grounds, it is worth every penny (€15.40 for a General Admission tickets, taxes included) to witness this piece of history.
Worth it? Yes. You will never forget this amazing piece of history.
I was determined to see the interior of this cathedral on this trip. I had previously been to the Sagrada Familia in 2010, but had only witnessed the mega-church from the outside. In my prior post, which you can find here, I talked a little about the church and how you can obtain tickets. We made the decision to buy tickets that included a lift to the top of the Nativity Tower (€19 per person). We figured, if we’re already there, we might-as-well see everything we can. It was the most expensive admission on our trip to Spain, but was definitely worth it to see Gaudi’s masterpiece from the inside and be a part of history in the making.
Worth it? Yes. I wasn’t overly impressed with the views from the tower, so I would recommend saving a few bucks and just doing the interior of the cathedral.
One of the best pieces of advice is that there are plenty of places that offer free admission on certain days of the week or certain times of day. Therefore, if you do a little research and are flexible, you can see alot for little to no money spent!
For example, Time Out: Barcelona Museums
How do you keep your budget in check when there are so many amazing things to see!? Share your tips!