Travel

The Ultimate Solo Travel Guide to Spain

Here are a few facts about the country:

With excellent infrastructure, year-round warmth, and a high number of tourists, travelling alone in Spain shouldn’t be tough. Spain is one of the world’s most visited nations, making it easy to meet like-minded solo travellers.

Although the official language of Spain is Castellano (the purest form), many provinces have their local languages, such as Catalan and Aranese in Catalonia, Basque in the Basque Country, Asturleonese in Asturleones and northwestern Castille and Leonese in Valencia, Aragonese in Aragon and Galician, which is the official language of Galicia and the autonomous region of Spain (Galicia).

Don’t be scared by the variety of dialects; most of them can be understood by speakers of Spanish, and English has widely spoken across Spain’s most famous tourist locations thanks to the influx of tourists and retirees who opt to spend their final years in the country. It is, nevertheless, recommended that you learn a little Spanish if you want to venture off the main path in Spain.

Spaniards are known for their friendliness and laid-back demeanour. In Spain, everything moves at a leisurely pace (at least by European standards). While most shops are closed from 2 AM to 5 PM during the siesta period, there’s one thing that Spaniards enjoy more than a late dinner: an extended lunch.

Keep in mind that topless sunbathing is permitted on most beaches, and nudist beaches are also common. As long as you don’t forget to cover up when you go shopping or to the grocery, you’ll be fine.

We’ve put together a list of intriguing facts about Spain and a list of activities you can only do in Spain if you’d like to learn more about this fascinating country.

Spain

Tips for using public transportation

When on a tight budget, public transportation is your saviour. Bus travel is the most cost-effective mode of transportation in Spain. If this is your intention, you may save money on all bus rides in Spain by using our Busbud discount code. Travelling by train is an option as well, but tickets can be pricey (particularly over large distances) without a pre-purchased ticket pass in advance (mind these are not cheap to get but if you travel frequently across the country, you might make it worth your money).

You can even fly between cities if you’re in a hurry. From my experience, the two cheapest airlines operating local flights around the country are Iberia and Ryanair.

When travelling alone, various modes of transportation can make you feel isolated, especially if the trip is vast. But this wouldn’t be a useful guide for solitary travellers in Spain if it didn’t include a fun detour. It’s the Bla Bla Car. Use this app in Spain and you’ll be able to identify drivers in your neighbourhood who are on their way to your destination.

You’ll save money, meet people, improve your Spanish, and gain a deeper understanding of the culture by doing this. The cost of taking a train from Madrid to Barcelona, for example, is approximately 40 euros. If you take into account the length of the trip, this is more expensive than renting a car and paying for gas along the way.

Finally, renting a car in Spain is a terrific alternative if you enjoy straying off the main path and driving on your own. Spain has a wide variety of picturesque routes, and renting a car is relatively affordable, especially if you utilise Auto Europe to compare the prices from all local vendors before booking. Here are a few more places to consider when making your travel plans:

A comprehensive road trip itinerary for northern Spain.

Spain

Recommendations for a quality hotel stay

Hostels in Spain are a terrific way to meet locals and other single travellers, as a general rule. For me, the majority of hostels are mixed bags. However, you may benefit from meeting other tourists by reading reviews and identifying hostels that conduct social events, such as parties, so that you can meet people from all over the world.

HostelWorld’s discount code can help you find the top hostels in Spain if you’re looking for a place to stay.

Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of hostels, you can utilise Booking.com instead (our booking.com discount code can get you up to 15 per cent off on all properties in Spain). It’s also worth considering Airbnb; people renting apartments are more likely to give you advice on non-touristy places to go, local eateries, and much more. The first booking you make with this promo code will save you $50!

Join online travel groups.

There are several Facebook groups and travel forums where you may find useful information about things to do, places to see, etc. if you’re travelling alone in Spain and don’t know anyone there.

When seeking more in-depth information from people who’ve visited and experienced Spain, I recommend joining several active Facebook groups, such as Expats in Spain, American expatriates in Spain, or the Travel Spain community on Meetup.com.

Please keep in mind that at the time of writing, these were the most active groups on the site, averaging more than 50 posts each day. Just to be on the safe side, check to see how active the group members are by doing a fast search on Facebook before joining any groups.

Consider reading our in-depth essay on racism in Spain if you’re an African-American or other ethnic minority heading to the country.

Try a social dining experience and dine like a local.

Travelling alone in Spain around lunchtime can be a bit nerve-wracking. In most cases, dining alone in a restaurant is nerve-wracking for most people. Eatwith is a great resource for meeting up together other lone travellers for lunch or dinner. From sophisticated dining options to rooftop dinners and cooking lessons, the platform has it all. Group cuisine excursions in Spain are also an option if you don’t have enough time to explore on your own.

Spain

Social etiquette

Most Europeans find Spaniards to be nicer than their counterparts elsewhere. They’re more expressive and louder than you’re used to, so don’t be afraid; it’s normal to be nervous around them.

Locals are known to be a bit prickly when engaging with visitors, so don’t be shocked if this happens to you. When making a point, folks may touch your hand or arm, and kissing on the cheek is a customary welcome. The fact that people express themselves in such a way doesn’t mean they have any ulterior motives; they’re simply being honest.

There’s no need to relax your guard with strangers just because they’re friendly. The best method to keep yourself safe when you’re around individuals you don’t know is to…

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