Being Amazed in Spain on A Budget

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Spain, Spain Sandbox, Uncategorized | 26 comments

Spain was my first European adventure since moving to Asia in 2001. Traveling on a budget in South East Asia is not a hardship. You can do a lot of great things on the cheap. The more I researched Spain the more nervous I became regarding finances. I took a deep breath and plunged in anyway, and YES I was amazed at all the great things I experienced without breaking the bank!

1. Olives and Wine; not necessarily in that order! I’m not sure when I realized that olives grow on trees. Growing up in Canada the only olives I knew were the ones that came out of a jar. I think my love affair with fresh olives began on my first trip to Europe many many years ago. I was in heaven when I realized that a dish of fresh olives almost always came with delicious red wine, at 3 or 4 Euros a glass; sometimes even 2 Euros.

I want to grab one and eat it!

Delicious Fresh Spanish Olives


O La La … Look at the great legs on this smooth, dry, 3 Euros a glass Spanish wine.

Wine and Tapas at Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid, Spain


2. Pomp and Ceremony

Spain is not without it’s share of pomp and ceremony. The Solemn Changing of the Guard happens at noon the first Wednesday of every month. Beautiful horses, carriages, and military bands entertain spectators, and admission is free!

Pomp and Ceremony at the Royal Palace in Madrid


3. Museums, Museums and more Museums

I mentioned in my last post that I am a museum junky. I spent a lot of time in Madrid’s museums and by careful planning was able to visit many of them for free. I visited the Prado four times, but only paid once!

Madrid's Prado Museum


4. Inspiring Views and Architecture

Impossible to get enough of either, and they are FREE!

Beautiful Seville…

A View of Seville, Spain

The shot above was taken atop this gorgeous tower…The Giralda…

Seville's Giralda Tower


Have you been to Spain? What amazed you?



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  1. We were in Spain a couple of years ago but only visited Madrid and Segovia. We were amazed at how friendly the people were. It was wonderful to see how fast people gave up seats for the elderly and moms at subways. Loved the architecture and all the food. We visited the Prado and Reina Sofia for free too. It was great! Love the pictures especially your Seville one.

    • Mary…yes, the people are amazing. I also visited the Reina Sofia for free, and plan to do a post on this.

  2. This would make me homesick if I weren’t here…

    • Laughing here……you are a lucky lady 🙂

  3. The Alhambra is what amazed me, but WOW! I love that olive picture. Looks like they’re dripping all over my screen.

    • Yes, I loved the Alhambra as well. It deserves a post of its own… in the works 🙂

  4. A great series of tips for budget travelling in this one, Nancie. I haven’t been to Spain yet, but what you’ve been showing us in your recent posts makes it look like a very attractive destination.

    • Andrew, you should go. My favorite European country has always been Italy, but now that I’ve been to Spain again…love them both!

  5. Olives, wine and cheese. Throw in some bread and tomatoes and I’m pretty sure I could live on this. I don’t know how healthy I’d be though.

    • You are probably right about the health thing, but… 🙂

  6. I haven’t been to Spain, but your posts have made me want to go more than ever! (And I loved your comment about olives – I totally relate to it!)

    • I loved every moment, Cindy. Olives, yep, I want to buy an olive farm!!

  7. Thanks for the tips! I am heading to Barcelona in just three weeks and I couldn’t be more excited 🙂

  8. Nancie – Thanks for sharing! This gave me the impetus to share my blog entry titled, “Duende & the Dance of Life” detailing the intricacies of flamenco live from Sevilla!

    • I’m glad you liked the post, Meg. I’ll drop by. I loved the flamenco performance I saw in Sevilla, and can’t wait to go back and see more.

  9. Ahh, you’ve made me miss Spain so much! Great post. My favorite thing to do in Madrid, though, was going to Museo Del Jamon and have some great 1 EURO tapas with great beer. I would go there at least twice a day daily!

  10. Been heaps in Spain. One thing that surprised me the first time was all the gorgeous shoes! Good prices, too 🙂

  11. Only been to Spain once as a teenager with my family on a beach vacation Would so love to back and pair the views from your pictures above with some of that red wine and a boatload of tapas 🙂

  12. That is GORGEOUS! Thanks for linking up! I hope you do again this week!!


  13. Have never been to Spain, but I can safely say that you can find some pomp in Dublin. I think they have a changing of the guard there as well,but not with as much solemn pomp as one would find in London.

  14. I spent a month traveling around Spain and loved it. I was amazed by how affordable things were (especially compared to other parts of Western Europe) – things like tapas, cheap (and tasty) wine, shoes and all sorts of random things were less expensive (or even free in the case of tapas in the south of Spain) than I would have expected.

  15. I also fell in love with Spain especially with the tapas and accompanying wine! The unoaked whites are amazing!

  16. I love olives and wine! Can’t go wrong with that. Views and architecture are also great, especially if you are into photography. I need to visit Spain again 🙂

  17. Daaamn that looks amazing…and I keep hearing about how affordable Spain is lately…I guess it’s time to go?

    • Hi Candice…Spain is amazing and definitely one of the cheaper countries in Europe. I would say…Time to go! 🙂

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