Spain isn’t a huge country compared to the United States, China, or Russia. Still, there are a myriad of sites to see and activities to try. The country’s ideal sunny weather and an efficient public transportation system make it easier to visit the famous tourist landmarks and far-flung provinces. Planning a trip to Spain requires familiarity with the regions, their highlights, and how to get there.
For a 10-day itinerary, focusing in nearby locations is recommended, but travelers can tailor the activities and get to other distant regions. After all, the tourist attractions are scattered across the country, spanning from the northern coastal town of San Sebastian down to the stunning Moorish quarters at Andalucia.
In making a Spain travel plan, the first things to consider are budget, the number of travel days, and accessibility of destinations. Going to the remote locations is possible, but exploring the nearby cities provides an opportunity to understand Spanish culture and discover beautiful, well-tucked gems.
Here is a guide to a 10-Day Spain travel with estimated costs.
Planning a Trip to Spain: A 10-Day Itinerary for Travelers
Before your trip
Acquiring a Visa
Spain is part of the European Union. That’s why EU citizens and European Economic Area countries like Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland can gain visa-free travel. This means citizens only need a plane ticket to visit Spain and enjoy a short visit.
The Oceanian and American countries can also enjoy up to 90 days visa-free travel. Aside from tourism, U.S. citizens can also enter Spain for business purposes without a visa. Visitors only need to present a valid passport to enter the country.
Meanwhile, most Asian countries require a Schengen visa to enter Spain’s border. Singaporeans are exempted and can stay up to 90 days within the Schengen region, provided no employment is pursued.
Along with Singapore, Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Israel, Macau, United Arab Emirates, Brunei, and Timor Leste citizens can visit Spain without a Schengen visa.
For Taiwan passport holders, the visa-free regime applies to citizens with identity card numbers on passports. Macao citizens with Região Administrativa Especial de Macau passport can freely enter Spain and other Schengen regions. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport holders are only allowed to enter Spain without a visa.
Flights and Travel Insurance
Flights bound to Spain usually lands to Madrid, which is the capital city. International flights land at Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD), but there are also international flights to other major cities like Valencia, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, San Pablo, Malaga, and others.
To book flights, travelers can visit airline websites, including United Airlines, British Airways, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and others.
Third-party booking websites like Skyscanner, Cheap Flights, Expedia, and Momonda offer cheap flight packages to travelers. Visit these websites to browse through available budget-friendly flights. The cheapest ones are usually flights at dawn, overnight, and indirect flights, with a lot of connecting flights.
The cost of the flight is likely to reach hundreds of dollars, more or less $500 or more, depending on the seat, airline, and time of the year. The months of January and February are lean season. Therefore, plane ticket prices can go lower compared to July and August.
For individuals exempted for the tourist visa, travel insurance is not mandatory. However, tourists have a choice to purchase one from private companies to have peace of mind. Meanwhile, those who applied for a Schengen visa are required to have travel insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000.
Going Around Spain
Part of planning a trip to Spain is understanding the public transport system. Tourists have a number of options to reach the destinations. From city buses, long-distance and short-distance trains, taxis, ferries, and private cars, the travel across the country is easy and hassle-free.
Arriving at the airport, there are approximately five options to reach the city center in Madrid. Tourists can ride a bus, Metro, taxi, train, or hire a private vehicle. The latter requires an international driver’s license to drive around the country.
For taxis, the cost depends on the trip, but the cost is usually €30 or more. Uber, Lyft, and Grab are available in Spain. Therefore, tourists can use it to travel to different cities.
Famous Destinations to Visit
One of Spain’s cultural destinations is Barcelona, where Gaudí’s buildings like La Sagrada Familia can be found. The Catalonia region’s capital city is full of surprises, welcoming travelers with unique, towering monuments and historic buildings.
Barcelona is located 619 kilometers from Madrid, which can be reached via high-speed rail for less than three hours, bus for approximately six hours, private car within four to five hours, and via plane in less than two hours.
The capital city Madrid houses the largest Spanish art galleries, Royal palaces, Roman infrastructures, and the historic Plaza Mayor. The city is famous for a number of reasons, including the extensive variety of history, culinary experience, fashion, and vibrant communities.
Andalucia is famous for the Moorish towns and Roman ruins, boasting unique architecture and landmarks such as the Alcázar castle. It is a vast autonomous region comprising rolling hills, rivers, and the fantastic flamenco performances in Seville.
Spain’s third-largest city is Valencia, bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The port city is famous for the City of Arts and Sciences, Mercado Central, and the La Lonja de la Seda or the 15th-century Gothic mercantile exchange or civil building.
The city’s vibrant old town and cobblestone alleyways pave the way for tourists to experience a slice of the past. More than the cool, historic sites, Valencia is also popular for Valencian ceramics and the flavorful traditional paella.
Surrounded by green mountains and vintage districts, Bilbao rises above the tourist destinations in Spain because of its stunning modern architecture, stunning viewpoints, and nearby beaches. It is worth visiting to see the iconic Guggenheim Museum, Plaza Nueva, and Puente Zubizuri.
6. Balearic Islands
The enchanting large island in the Mediterranean Mallorca is known for its scenic coastline and the jaw-dropping backdrop of Serra de Tramuntana. The island showcases centuries-old Gothic Cathedral designed by architect Antoni Gaudí.
The La Almudaina royal palace is the equivalent of Alcázar, a fortified palace in Segovia. The landmark sits next to Palma Cathedral.
Where to Stay in Spain
The Spain travel plan wouldn’t be complete without the accommodation. Finding a cheap and decent hotel in Spain isn’t hard because there are a lot of establishments to choose from.
For a 10-day stay, travelers will spend the night in different places or cities. For Madrid, places like Sleep’n Atocha, La Posada del Dragón, and Hostal Persal are great options because of the strategic locations and fair daily rate.
Airbnb and hostels are also pretty popular among tourists, especially those who are on a tight budget. There are a number of properties to check out, including Barcelona Youth Hostel, The Nomad Hostel, Poshtel Bilbao, The Hat, Hostel Olé, and Hostel Fleming.
When traveling to Spain, travelers cannot miss out on the glorious feasts, not limited to tapas and paella. The Spanish cuisine has a lot to offer, from roast baby lamb, crackling skin, tortilla de patatas, to Iberian ham.
Each region offers a unique culinary experience. Taste the mind-blowing aged steaks, tomato-based soup Gazpacho, Spanish pasta Fideuà, melt-in-the-mouth slices of black pig ham, and a lot more.
For desserts, grab freshly fried churros at Chocolateria San Ginés, Madrid, for a thick cup of chocolate sauce and freshly brewed coffee.
Sample 10-Day Itinerary
With a 10-day trip, travelers can easily hop to Spain’s greatest cities, Seville, Barcelona, Madrid, and a side trip to Segovia.
Day 1: Arrive in Madrid. Visit The Prado, Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace of Madrid, and Barrio de las Letras. Watch the sunset at Templo de Debod.
Day 2: Explore Madrid neighborhoods. Experience the heart of the city visiting Malasaña, Mercado de la Cebada, and Rastro Flea Market. Cap the night off tasting the legendary churros at Chocolateria San Gines.
Day 3: Take a day trip to Toledo or Segovia. Visit Alcázar de Segovia and Santa Iglesia Cathedral Primada de Toledo.
Day 4: Hop on a train going to Seville. Check out Plaza de España, La Giralda, Catedral de Sevilla, and the Royal Alcázar of Seville. Before lights off, watch a flamenco performance at nearby bars.
Day 5: Transfer to Granada. Witness shows at Cueva de la Rocio and visit the Alhambra.
Day 6: Head to Andalucia. Roam around the whitewashed village of Mijas, and visit the UNESCO-listed Great Mosque of Córdoba. Cross the Puente Nuevo bridge and checkout Plaza de Toros.
Day 7: Enjoy sunbathing at Malaga Ancient Port Town. Visit Costa del Sol and try seafood paella.
Day 8: Visit Picasso Museum, the medieval Old Town, and stroll at the harbor. Catch the train going to Barcelona.
Day 9: Go to Barcelona. Visit the Barri Gothic, La Sagrada Familia, and Park Guell. For dinner, go on a tapas crawl.
Day 10: Return to Madrid. Buy souvenirs before catching a flight back home.
Travelers planning a trip to Spain can follow this itinerary and customize according to the destinations to visit. To save time, flights to Barcelona and Granada are available.