Spain Free & Easy Guide – Part 2

by Danny Lee

Edificio Metrópolis Madrid by  Carlos Velayos on Flickr https://flic.kr/p/rCM2DR

Hotels in Spain’s major cities are not cheap – especially those situated near the city center or major train station are priced above €180. So, one of the biggest challenge for my free and easy trip to Spain was to find cheap hotels in Barcelona, Madrid and Seville.

Cheap hotels in Spain

In this Part 2 of the Spain Free and Easy Guide, I will show you tips on where to stay and how to move around so that you can save money and stretch your budget.

Cheap Hotels in Spain

The alternative to paying for expensive hotel room is to look for short-term apartment rental. I stayed 3 nights with my friends in an apartment near Barcelona beach for €30 a room a night. There were free Wifi, a small kitchen and even a washing machine for my laundry. The only inconvenience was having to share the bathroom.

Short-term apartment rental

Many apartment owners in Barcelona or Madrid rent out their additional bedrooms or even the whole apartment to tourists! You could get lucky with very cheap rates in superb location when using their services. Price ranged from €25 to €90 per night.

Tip #5: One way to get cheap accommodations is to use the following website to choose the location and compare prices:
Airbnb
BudgetPlaces.com
Roomorama

Barcelona, here I come - Booking.com

 

In Barcelona especially at La Rambla area, there are also many accommodations called Hostals. Noticed it is “Hostal” but not “Hostel” which is a grade higher than the usual student hostels. They usually come with attached bathroom and bath towels but breakfasts are not provided. Many of these hostels have websites and you can book rooms online.

Another website which I used extensively to look for affordable hotels in Spain and other part of Europe is Booking.com.

Tip #6: Find a room that comes with free Wifi. You’ll never know when you need to do some last minute research or check-in your flight. Some hotels charge €10 or more per day for internet access. So do factor this cost in when you book your accommodation.

Rail Europe - The one-stop shop for train travel

Europe Rail Pass

Rail Europe Pass is a must-have if you plan to visit two or more cities in Spain. Do note that buying inter-city rail tickets when you are in Spain will cost you a lot more than getting the Europe Rail Pass before you leave your country.

My wife’s friends did not purchase the rail pass in Singapore were shocked to find out that a return ticket between Barcelona and Madrid costs about €240!

Tip #7: Dynasty Travel has a specialized department dealing with Rail Europe Pass. Show them your itinerary and you will be get professional advice on how to commute from one place to another. Though it comes with an admin fee of SGD8 for each train seat reservation, it ensures you a hassle free travel.

Before I traveled to Spain, I went to Dynasty Travel to purchase an Euro Rail Pass at SGD350 for 3 days usage. I actually had a savings of SGD70!

Taxi in Barcelona, Spain by Fabio Sola Penna via https://www.flickr.com/photos/solapenna/5928811591/

No Taxi unless it’s an Emergency

Tip #8: Do not take a taxi in Spain unless it’s really the last resort! I had the most expensive taxi ride ever in my life when I took taxi back to my hotel on a Sunday night (after 10pm).

It costed me €40 for a 15 mins ride!

When I complained to the taxi driver, he explained that the taxi fare is doubled on a Sunday night after 10pm.

Wise move is to stick to Barcelona’s metro lines which are pretty extensive and they have stops at most of tourist locations. The only issue is you may have to walk 15-20 minutes to your hotel if it is not so near the train station.

 

  • Joy

    Hi, you stated in your article that you bought the Euro rail pass in Spain for S$350. However, i checked the eurail website. If i bought it online, and converted to SGD, it is actually cheaper by about S$70. So should i buy online, or through a travel agent?

    • Hi Joy,
      It is possible that you can get a better deal buying Euro rail pass online and you need not pay the processing fee (S$8 per leg) to the travel agent. As it was the first time I bought Euro Pass and my travelling route was a bit complicated, I decided to buy from Dynasty Travel (who has a professional team) to guide me in choosing the right connecting trains. Any mistake could be costly.

  • Soo Hui

    Hi Danny, which apartment did you stay in Barcelona? was it easy to get around for sight seeing etc?

    • Hi Soo Hui,
      We stayed in two different apartments in Barcelona and I would recommend B&B Mucho Gusto Barcelona which I booked through Booking.com
      It is only 400m away from Glòries Metro Station and very near Glories Shopping centre which you can get bread, ham, olive for easy meals.

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