After returning from our honeymoon in Spain, we had one question more than all others: just how much did it cost? Well, we are not afraid to let the world know that we spent just about $5,885 for our 15-day luxury honeymoon in Spain, or about $392/day. While that number is high, as Spain is known for being relatively inexpensive for the budget traveler, keep in mind the fact that we went all out in nearly every aspect of the honeymoon with little regard to prices. Spain was actually our chosen destination for this very reason as we’d much rather spend more money in a cheaper destination doing everything we wanted to rather than skimping in a more expensive destination just to get by within a manageable budget.
But like all things on this site, we kept a record of our spending. Yes, even on our honeymoon we still worked to log every penny spent to give you a complete idea on what it would be like to travel the way we do. Of course, as this trip was our honeymoon and is the opposite of what most people consider for budget or long-term travel, we’ll do our best to highlight the reasons why our number was significantly higher than what should be required.
The Breakdown of a Europe Honeymoon
The following are the major categories of spending we had while on our trip to Spain. Keep in mind that all total expenses represent the sum for the two of us.
Plane Tickets – $2,030 or $135/day
13 Nights Hotel – $1,450 or $97/day
Food – $1,117 or $74/day
Train Tickets – $592 or $39/day
Sight Seeing – $394 or $26/day
Souvenirs – $152 or $10/day
Daily Transportation – $150 or $10/day
Total – $5,885 or $392/day
We mentioned it once before and we’ll say it again here – $5,885 is way higher than a normal couple would have to spend in Spain for two weeks. But for a honeymoon, we went in higher style than we are accustomed to due to the nature of the trip. When else would we be on a honeymoon, after all?
Spain Travel Costs When Splurging
The following is a breakdown of each category listed above with more detailed descriptions of what spending when into each cost and ways for the budget traveler to make their own number lower.
Plane Tickets: From a first look at this list, the plane ticket was once again the most expensive category by far; even eclipsing 13 nights in very nice hotels by almost 50%. We were most disappointed in this category on the whole as plane tickets were hovering around $750 up to two days before our departure for our honeymoon. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that overnight the prices went up over $250, because that is exactly what happened. We waited until almost the last possible second to book in hopes of prices coming down, and the cheapest flight we were able to secure was just over $1,000 per person in economy class.
- For the budget traveler, try looking at flights outside of the summer months if you want to save a few hundred dollars as prices literally sky rocket at the beginning of the summer season. Otherwise consider opening a rewards credit card and use the bonus miles for free travel.
Hotel Nights: The price we paid for hotels in Spain were all over the map. In Madrid and Barcelona we paid between $70 and $75 per night for private rooms in a budget hotel / hostel. These rooms were actually rather high for what you got, primarily because of their amazing locations in Sol and Barri Gothic respectively. In Sevilla we spent approximately $140/night for a room at Hotel Amadeus, just a few minutes walking from the central Cathedral. In Granada we went all out for two nights at one of the best rated hotels in the city, Carmen de la Alcubilla del Caracol, located right next to the Alhambra at $200/night. To give you an idea on this place, of which we will have a review in the future, a well known movie star was checking out the same morning as us.
- For the budget traveler, you should be able to get private rooms for two for less than $60/night in every city we visited and even cheaper if looking at shared rooms in a hostel.
Food: All-in-all, $74/day for food for two people is not that bad. That is to say, for two people who actively seek out the top rated restaurants in the city and drink several glasses of wine or cava with every single meal. Since it was our honeymoon, we broke one of our major travel rules on alcohol and ended up consuming more glasses and bottles of wine than we could count. Between that and eating out at top rated restaurants, the price goes up to considerably high amounts. The interesting thing about this category is the differences from city-to-city. In Madrid and Sevilla, for example, some of the best tapas bars in the city offered 5 to 6 tapas plus a couple glasses of wine for less than 25 Euro. Compare that to Barcelona and we had spent around 50-70 Euro for a comparable meal. Likewise, Southern cities in Spain are more than happy to give a free tapa for every round of drinks that are ordered, yet we did not receive a single free tapa throughout our whole time in Barcelona where we drank the most!
- For the budget traveler, there are many great restaurants in all cities that could serve two for under 25 Euro total with drinks and in Madrid do not skip the Churros con Chocolate!
- As a special splurge, be sure to try out La Oliva in Granada (Check out our Granada restaurant review, here.) The 17-course meals was our favorite eating experience in Spain.
Train Tickets: The only splurging on Spanish train tickets we did was staying in a private cabin on our overnight train from Granada to Barcelona. But by booking this ticket well in advance on Renfe, we actually got the whole room for less than $200 (~55% discount). If you compare that with the price of an extra hotel night in either city, flying from Granada to Barcelona, and the corresponding taxi fare, we came out ahead. For slightly less than $600 we were able to travel from Madrid to Sevilla, Sevilla to Granada, Granada to Barcelona on an overnight train plus day-trips with return to Toledo, Segovia, Cordoba, and Montserrat. These prices are in-line with what we would expect for rail travel within Western Europe so short of taking a bus with longer transit times, it may be hard to decrease these costs. (To book your rail tickets with Rail Europe, click here.)
Sight Seeing: Much like train travel, there is little you can do to minimize your spending on sight seeing short of not sight seeing at all! That 8 Euro church will still be 8 Euro no matter what, unless you have a student ID card or are seniors. Those who do carry student ID cards (or are under 26 in many spots) are able to get a modest discount of about 20-30% off. The only outliers to this statement are in the museums of Madrid where students can enter entirely free! Since I still have my old student ID from grad school and Angie is an actual student, we were able to enjoy the perks of free entry into several of Madrid’s best museums without spending a penny.
- For the budget traveler, the only way to minimize your cost in this category is to visit certain museums on select days of the week when entry is free for all visitors. But as a couple who passed the line for the Picasso Museum in Barcelona on the free night, we can assure you it was an incredibly long line we did not want to stand in and were happy to have paid the entry fee to avoid.
- For those who want more, be sure to take one of the many Madrid day trips that are available or check out many recommendations of what to see in Barcelona in our posts!
Souvenirs: For $150, we got quite a haul of souvenirs. Not only did we get our shot glass and obligatory display piece (a Sangria pitcher for about 12 Euro), we are also starting our Christmas tree ornament collection with a tiny Flamenco dancer. The bulk of our purchases in this category went to buying liquid souvenirs: expensive olive oil, unique vinegars, and two bottles of Pedro Ximenez sherry that would cost nearly four times as much at home as they did in Granada. When it was all said and done, we ended up with two bottles of alcohol, 4 bottles of olive oil, and 3 bottles of vinegar for just over $100. We would never buy these if traveling long-term just for fear of breaking during shipment, but a honeymoon was the perfect time to do so.
Daily Transportation: We like to walk, so we minimized our spending in this category as best as possible. Madrid and Barcelona offer decent discounts for those who buy a 10 pack of tickets on the metro, something we used quite a bit in the large cities. Still, as we were on our honeymoon and wanted to maximize our sightseeing time, we cannot say that we didn’t hop into the occasional taxi when feeling lazy; another thing we do not do in more expensive countries when we travel long-term.
For those looking to have a similar trip to Spain but are not wanting to splurge on luxurious items like we did on our honeymoon, a cheaper trip altogether will be your reward. In doing a quick numbers check based on our above breakdown, we easily identified at least $1,000 in spending that could easily be knocked out just by staying in less expensive hotels and not splurging for as many expensive meals as we did. This number could be increased even more as you begin to scrutinize more spending throughout the trip, something we failed to do even once while on our honeymoon.
Have a question about our spending while on our two week honeymoon in Spain? If so, comment below! We’ll answer any and all questions regarding the financials of our honeymoon, so do not be ashamed to ask that burning question! We’ve still got many great posts left from our time in Spain and will be mixing it up with topics from the three dozen other countries we have been to from around the world, so stick around for more great posts here on Living the Dream!
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