Spain, the colorful and passionate country of Southern Europe is one of the most popular places for backpackers to travel around. With its vibrant and diverse cultures, laid-back vibe and stunning landscape, the country has a lot to offer.
Within this backpacking travel guide, you will find a complete 10 days itinerary for Spain, a list of recommended places to see, things to do and where to stay cheaply, all the while enjoying the vibrant cultures Spain and its different region, have to offer.
Looking for a complete travel guide and itinerary for Europe? 3 Month Itinerary for Europe.
Spain 10 Days Itinerary Map
Spain Travel Video
When to Visit Spain
Spain can be brutally hot, crowded and expensive during the mid-summer months so the best time to visit Spain is from April to May where the tourist season has yet peaked, good weather, less crowded, cheaper than June - July and best of all, it coincides with some cool festivals you can attend like Madrid's Bullfight (March - June) and Seville's April Fest (often hold in May, be sure to check the schedule of that year you plan to visit Spain).
Where to Stay in Spain
How to Get to Spain
First, you will have to get to Spain. There are many airlines that fly from the US directly to Spain such as American, Delta, Iberia or Air Europa. If you are from Asia, Emirates, Qatar or KLM are great options too.
How to Get Around Spain
Buses are easy and cheap to travel in around Spain. ALSA, Flixbus or if you are looking for a one-stop shop at finding buses, check out Omio.com to easily find and book a bus ticket online for your trip in Spain.
For big cities like Madrid and Barcelona, the metro system is really well-connected, although be aware that there are a lot of pickpockets around crowded stations in Madrid and Barcelona so be sure to watch your belonging when getting on/off the train. The train should cost around 2 - 3 EUR per trip.
For Seville, you can walk to all the tourist attractions in the city, no problem.
Same goes for Granada, but if you want to go hiking, you can also rely on the local bus system which is well-connected and easily accessible. Be sure to ask your hostel/hotel for information on which bus number to take to go somewhere. Once you know the bus number, you can check the bus schedule online here.
Traveling here, on average, will cost you more than traveling in most countries out there. You can expect to spend around 45 - 65 USD per day per person with food, accommodation and transportation.
Keep in mind that this is just a suggested daily budget based on my style of traveling, which is leaning more toward the budget side of things. If you want to stick to this budget, expect to sleep in dorms, eat out only a few times, and be comfortable using the cheapest and most convenient way of transportation, which often times involves walking.
Internet in Spain
There are several phone carrier you can choose from such as Movistar, Orange or Vodafone. I chose Orange and bought a sim card with 3 GB data for 7 EUR which is plenty for 10 days. The coverage is well-covered in all the places I recommended in this itinerary. You can also either top-up at the shops or supermarkets with a label "recargas" or you can do it yourself online.
For more information on Spain sim card: Spain Prepaid Data SIM Card.
If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip to Spain, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for a travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure.
10 Days Itinerary for Spain
Madrid (2 Nights)
Madrid is a great place to begin your journey in Spain and get the hang of the different culture and norms they have here, more so on their ridiculously late lunch and dinner time (3 PM and 10 PM - 12 AM respectively).
One your first day, I would recommend you go on a free walking tour around the most famous tourist attractions in Madrid. That way, you wouldn't miss anything as you will have only one full day here.
Places that are worth seeing, which should be included in the free walking tour organized by MADride are the Puerta del Sol square, Royal Palace of Madrid and Plaza Mayor.
If you want to try something unique, you can visit the oldest restaurant in the world, Sobrino de Botín which has been operating for more than 250 years. It is expensive but it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If you want to explore the nightlife of Madrid, MADRide do also organize a pub crawl which will take you to all the cool nightlife venue around the city in one night so you are getting a glimpse of the Madrid nightlife all in one day.
Looking for a complete travel guide to Madrid? 7 Awesome Things To Do In Madrid.
Seville (2 Nights)
From Madrid, you can take a direct bus to Seville which should take around 6 - 7 hours. After you arrive, settle in your hostel/hotel and go out for a nice evening walk along the river in Triana and have a nice delicious and affordable tapas at Las Golondrinas 2 for dinner.
One of the most beautiful architecture in Seville that you must not miss is the Plaza de Espana, a gigantic red-brick palace located Maria Luisa Park. Its architecture blew my mind away with all its intricate detail. You can spend hours here, just walking around the palace and observe the little stunning detail put into the design of every corner of Plaza de Espana.
Oh, and this was also a place they shot Star Wars Episode 2: The Attack of the Clones in a sequence where Anakin and Padmé arrive on Naboo. Just a little fun fact about the place 😊.
Maria Luisa Park is also a great place to walk around on your way back to the city center after visiting Plaza de Espana as it is nearby.
The first thing you see when you arrive in Seville is the massive Gothic-style cathedral, the Catedral de Sevilla. It is the third-largest cathedral in the world, and a must-visit when you are in Seville.
Be sure to also drop by Alcázar of Seville just south of Catedral de Sevilla. It's a royal palace with several collection of stunning architecture worth seeing and you can also stroll around the beautiful park inside the palace.
Looking for a complete travel guide to Seville? 5 Best Things To Do In Seville.
Granada (3 Nights)
Granada is definitely my favorite city out of all Spain. It has a lot of outdoor things to do like hiking trails and viewpoints all the while, you can find cheap tapas and beers very easily within the city but best of all, it's the location of the famous Alhambra Fortress.
The Alhambra Fortress is a must-visit when in Granada but one thing to note is that, they limit the number of entry each day so be sure to book a ticket and a time slot to Alhambra Fortress in advanced (14 - 17 EUR).
You can spend almost an entire day, just walking around the fortress, exploring all the beautiful gardens and observing all the intricate detail of the architecture of each structure that you won't see anywhere else.
Another great thing to do is to go on a free cave walking tour in the afternoon that will take you to the sunset viewpoint up at Sacromonte where you will be able to get a panoramic view of Granada and the surrounding mountain range.
The tour will take you to a cave area behind the Sacromonte hill where you will be able to see the locals still using caves as their shelters while the guide explains where they came from and tell a backstory of how it came to be. Highly recommended!
The next day, I would recommend you go and hike the Waterfall Trail (Los Cahorros de Monachil) which can be access via a local bus from Granada to Monachil where you can walk along the river to the trailhead and hike through waterfalls and suspension bridges. It's a fun and easy micro adventure you can do from Granada.
Looking for a complete travel guide to Granada? 7 Incredible Things to Do in Granada.
Barcelona (3 Nights)
Last but not least, we travel to Catalonia and ended our journey in Spain with a unique touch of Catalonian culture.
First and foremost, go up the Park Güell hill in the morning to get an unbeatable panoramic view of Barcelona where you can also spot the famous forever-under-construction La Sagrada Familia cathedral where you will be visiting in the evening.
On your way down, be sure to stop by Gaudí's house museum and get that iconic picture of one of Gaudí's best works.
Gaudí's and his weird (in a good way!) mind can be seen scattered throughout the city such as Casa Milà and the Dragon's Scales Roof of Casa Batlló so be sure to walk by there when you are in Barcelona.
Another good district to spend your day walking around is the Gothic Quarter landmarked by the Cathedral of Barcelona, its beautiful Roman-era buildings and all the antique narrow street you can explore. There is also the oldest restaurant (Can Culleretes) in Barcelona you can try as well.
At the end of the day, visit the La Sagrada Familia. Why did I leave this at the end? Because the cathedral is best seen in the evening when the light is best and not too bright.
This cathedral, I can say, is the most beautiful cathedral I have seen so far. The intricate detail of the interior and how it manipulates lights blew my mind away. The entry to witness such astounding man-made structure is worth every single EUR spent to get in. Be sure to book the ticket and time slot in advanced as they limit the number of entry to the cathedral.
Photos by Mike McBey
The next day, I recommend you go on a day trip and visit the Montserrat Monastery, a monastery located photogenically at the top of a rocky mountain range only 1.5 hours away from Barcelona by train. You will have to get to Plaça Espanya train station and take the R5 Manresa line to Aeri de Montserrat and from there, get a cable car up to the top and spend a few hours walking around the area.
You can buy all these tickets including the return ticket in a bundle for 22 EUR each at the Plaça Espanya.
Looking for a complete travel guide to Barcelona? One Day in Barcelona.
And there you have it, 10 days itinerary for Spain. Are you excited to travel to Spain? If you are and have a question, please do not hesitate to let me know in the comments below.
Further Reading for Spain
I hope you found this guide helpful in your trip planning. If you want to read more about Spain, I have written a few more travel guides, all listed here:
- Are you traveling to Spain as part of a bigger Europe trip? Be sure to check out my 3 months itinerary for Europe from Portugal all the way to Sweden.
- Madrid is a great place to start your journey in Spain. Here’s a travel guide on things to do in Madrid to get you started.
- Seville is home to one of my favorite piece of architecture in Spain, the Plaza Espana. If you are heading to Seville, be sure to check out our travel guide on things to do in Seville.
- Granada is also another great city to visit. The city is full of culture, cheap tapas, and the beautiful Alhambra fortress waiting for you to explore. Check out my travel guide on top 7 things to do in Granada.
- Barcelona is in its own league when it comes to culture and unique architecture from the rest of Spain. Here’s a complete one day itinerary on things to do in Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia.
- Not convinced by my words? Here are 23 photos that will inspire you to visit Spain.
- You can also watch my Spain travel video here: "Spain to Leave Spain" travel video.
- To see all articles about Spain, visit Spain Travel Guide page .
- Looking for a place to go after Spain? How about France or Portugal? Visit our France travel guide page and Portugal travel guide page for more.
- Looking for more travel guides for the Europe? You can find more on my Europe Travel Guide page.
- Or if you want something more specific to the region, visit our Southern Europe Travel Guide page.
- For more of my travel guides like this, visit my Destinations page.
The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by BucketListly where we will follow our founder, Pete Rojwongsuriya around the world as he singlehandedly travel alone and experience different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.
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