Almost all the major museums in Barcelona offer free admission once a month - almost always on a Sunday and often the first Sunday of each month.
A little research and planning means visitors can save a small fortune while seeing some of the best laid-out museums I've seen anywhere.
I imagine you'd be best asking at the tourist info.
I was in Seville in Andalucía and took a walking and bike tour with a company called Really Discover. For €20-25 a person you not only get to know about the history and culture of the city, but they use the time with you to recommend the great, cheap tapas bars; flamenco shows which don't cost an arm and a leg and are more authentic; monuments that have free entry at certain times, etc etc... A really good investment.
Cute as a button, Altiplano Tipis is a quaint luxury tipi camping site near to the town of Baza that we found while travelling around Andalusia.
The three tipis situated in the courtyard were like a picture postcard, brightly coloured yellows and blues against a backdrop of the whitewashed cave house of the friendly owners, Louise and Andrew. The tipis were very comfortable and had a homely feel with coloured rugs on the floor and we even had our own private shower room, which made a nice change from our previous camping experiences!
Louise, the owner, put on a delicious spread every morning for breakfast including stewed fruits, home-made jams, bread and cheeses. The location was very peaceful, with only the sounds of the birds and bees and from the pool we could see the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the distance. A very relaxing place to have a glass of cava while watching the sunset. For €36 a night for two people including breakfast, this makes a great option for those on a budget or for those looking for something a little bit different.
Canada SoSal,18800 Baza, Spain
Phone: +34 664835417
Nearest airports: Granada and Almeria
Valencia is perfect for budget travellers - most of the best sights and most impressive buildings are free to poke around, so you can conduct your own architectural tour, with plenty left over for some paella!
Start at Valencia Cathedral, a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles (with the 'Holy Grail' tucked inside!), and then head to the Palau de la Generalitat, a Gothic palace used by the local government, with elaborately tiled floors and frescoed walls.
Other must-see sights include La Lonja, a grand Late Gothic hall filled with grisly gargoyles and other grotesqueries, and the Colegio del Patriarca, a 16th century seminary adorned with religious frescoes.
Valencia Cathedral, Plaza de la Reina,
Palau de la Generalitat, www.gencat.cat/generalitat/eng/guia/palau/index.htm
La Lonja, Plaza de la Virgen, Valencia
Colegio del Patriarca, Nave 1, Valencia 46002
Fabulous location on Cartagena's only beach. Good mix of workers, businessmen and tourists. Fish, paellas and seafood. Closed Mondays.
Take the road to the Commercial Port, turn left after the tunnel and go under the road. Tel 968 12 24 35
Looking for something free to do? Valencia has several large public parks and gardens which are great places for a quiet stroll or a scenic picnic.
The pretty Jardin Botanico is home to 7,000 species of shrubs and trees, and the Italian-style Monforte Gardens are filled with marble statues and beautiful flowerbeds. The Jardines de Rio Turia was once a river, but is now a strip of gardens, sports fields and playground, with a world-class concert hall smack bang in the middle.
Monforte Gardens, Plaza de la Legión Española, Valencia, V 46010 Spain
Botanic Gardens, Calle Quart 80, Valencia 46008
Jardines de Rio Turia, Antiguo cauce del Turia
Forget forking out for the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, this cathedral is free to visit and is just as much of an architectural jumble.
Work started on the cathedral in 1262, resulting in a building that ranges from Romanesque to Gothic, so it's a fascinating place to wander around. Take a trip up the Miguelete Bell Tower, a city landmark, or check out the a cup believed to be the Holy Grail.
These aren't the most scenic beaches in Spain; two former fisherman’s districts transformed in the 1960s into a slightly ugly urban sprawl - but there's still plenty of sand, a promenade of palm trees and the deep blue sea.
There are still a few traditional houses tucked along the mile-long esplanade, and the Paseo de Neptuno is a great place to pick up some cheap Paella.
For a quieter beach a little further afield, try Saler.
Take the tram from Pont de Fusta (opposite Torres de Serranos in Barrio del Carmen).
The Museo De Bellas Artes is a great free museum. Tucked away in the 19th century suburbs of the city, it costs nothing to gawp at 2,000 paintings by artists such as Goya, Velazquez and several other important Valencian artists from the 14th-19th centuries.
The building itself, a former seminary built between 1683 and 1744, is also pretty spectacular.
Calle de San Pío X 9
46017 Valencia, Spain
+34 963 870 300
This is a great little tapas bar/restaurant within a cool walled garden perched at the top of the hill in the Albaicin in Granada. It is quite difficult to find, tucked away in a little side street, but is well worth it if you can find it.
Fantastic tapas free with every drink and eating off the menu looked pretty good as well.
C/horno de hoyo
958 27 51 56
Valencia manages to be both super chic and cheap, with a glut of boutique hostels and budget accommodation in the city center.
But the ABC B&B is no backpacker's crash pad; me and my partner stayed in this small bed and breakfast run by a young couple, and the rooms are minimalist and super modern - all whitewashed brick walls, futuristic furniture and plasma TV screens on the wall. There was even a mini Apple Mac in our room!
Despite the super-cool exterior, the owners have just returned from travelling as a couple, and so offer a load of homely extras perfect for a budget romantic break, like breakfast in bed and a bottle of Cava in your room. The original building is also a beautiful old apartment with huge balconies overlooking the city.
It can be difficult to find somewhere cheap and romantic, but the ABC more than delivered. There are only a couple of rooms, so it's easy to get to know the other guests, and you're just around the corner from one of the main squares.
Calle del Taquígrafo Martí 10, Valencia, Spain 46005
Good at any Carrefour store in Spain, the card allows discounts on certain items. It is especially valuable when purchasing petrol. Complete the on-line application a couple of weeks prior to your arrival - use where you'll be residing in Spain as your address - ask the landlord or hotelier to hold your mail.
OR apply in person at a store's customer service desk.
Online application: https://www.carrefour.es/clubcarrefour/usuario/alta.asp#
Tired of internet cafe costs or poaching a wi-fi signal? Become a member of the Barcelona library and have free access to computers and wi-fi. Membership is free. Complete the online application; choose the library nearest to your stay; pick up your card when you arrive.
application at: gw24-vtls.diba.es/vtls/catalan/requests/carnet.html
home page: www.bcn.es/icub/biblioteques/
It is a tapas bar, where they have the biggest selection of tapas I have ever seen. They also have "pintxos" - slice of French bread with a topping. They have "tablas" which is a wooden plate filled with smoked meats or fish, all freshly prepared. But the best bit if you just want a drink is that they have cava for 1.20€ a glass which includes a free canape with it. They also do this with different wines everyday and you can try wine from a different region everyday. Cheers!
It is right in the middle of the old part in Benidorm in the area where all the basque restaurants are, Ask for La Cava and people will know.
We find generally inland Spain is a lot cheaper than the coast. Most of these towns rely on agriculture rather than tourism. Towns such as Arcos de la Frontera, Montefrio, Alhama de Granada and Antequera. The price of food and drink reflect this lack of commercialism. Many of the tapas bars and restaurants have a 'menu del dia' (menu of the day) - typically costing between €7 - €10 for 3 courses, salad, bread and often a drink is included. It helps to have rudimentary Spanish or a good phrase book as 'menu del dia' is not usually written down but read to you by the waiter/waitress. It is most definitely a worthwhile experience as what you are getting is 'real Spain' - the food that the locals are eating at the price the locals are paying. Also every time you buy a glass of wine or a beer a small plate of tapas is included free. A glass of wine or beer generally costs €1 - €1.50 inland compared to triple that on the coast.
I can rightly claim the "hombre más baratas en Madrid" crown after surviving a weekend on €38.
The Madrid Metro – the Orient Express compared to the London Underground – runs from the airport to city for a paltry €2. Visit the Parque del Retiro and explore the Crystal Palace art installations, monuments including the beautiful but sinister El Angel Caído, go boating by Alfonso XII's grandiose statue, then watch free street performers and puppeteers. Sip your sangria and toast the Madrid teleférico's 40th anniversary at the terminal bar: the skyline's not as exciting as Barcelona but it's relaxing and cheap.
Window-shop the Gran Via and continue to Plaza de España, Teatro Real, Palacio Real and Plaza Mayor for some classic Spanish architecture. Don't miss the El Rastro fleamarket on Sundays: calling it a flea market is a disservice to the sprawling city of stalls filled with delicious food and exotic crafts. It covers several blocks and gets very crowded so mind your valuables.
Madrid's gloriously rowdy tapas bars were out of my budget so I made do with the supermercado for flavoursome food. Ubiquitous Carrefour City and Express stores stock tasty Iberico ham, chorizo and other Spanish treats at unbeatable prices.
From horrific realisation to splendid sunny weekend of exploration, Madrid is perfect for a Spanish holiday on the cheap.
Metro - €2 one way from airport to central city, daypass tickets available. www.metromadrid.es/en/viaja_en_metro/tarifas/billetes/contenido07.html
Teleférico - €5.10 round trip, Paseo del Pintor Rosales, nearest metro Arguelles. www.teleferico.com/tarifas
El Rastro - start at Puerta de Toledo metro from 10am on Sundays. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Rastro
Parque del Retiro (and other locations) - madridspain.ca/attractions/retiropark.html
Carrefour store finder (use Google translate) - www.carrefour.es/
I am recommending a way to find Budget Accommodation in Spain.
The economy in Spain has been hit very hard and now one in six Spanish are unemployed. The result of this is that many Spanish have had to move back in with their parents in order to save costs.
This means that this summer there are a lot more properties available on the rental market.
How does this benefit you? Property owners need to rent their properties out in order to pay their mortgage. Consequently now is a great time to book a self-catering apartment or villa in Alicante or on the Costa Blanca.
Villa and apartment owners advertise their weekly rate, but they would rather take a reduced rate than not fill their apartment or villa at all.
So if you know where you would like to stay in Alicante or on the Costa Blanca then I recommend contacting the property owners directly and negotiating with them.
There are several ways to contact the owners directly. A number of owners now advertise on www.ebay.co.uk. Another website is www.ownersdirect.co.uk which lists a huge number of properties for rent in Spain and allows you to contact the apartment or villa owner directly so that you can negotiate with them.
It's beautiful beaches are just incredible. I visited one slightly off the beaten track in a place called Jandia. The beach was called Playa Matorral and had everything you could wish for, quiet at one end and watersports too.
When we were there in June we got a cheap flight with Thomas Cook then a seven-day car rental for less than £100.
A truly spectacular holiday.
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