Forget running with the bulls or having tomatoes pelted at you at La Tomatina; this Spain solo travel guide will show you how to make the most of a solo trip to this warm European country.
With a lively nightlife, decadent architecture, and slow pace of life, Spain is the place you want to go next as a solo traveler.
Brimming full of friendly locals, diverse landscape, and a culture that will inevitably sweep you off your feet, you’ll be hard-pressed to not fall in love with this sunny country.
If you’re still getting your solo travel legs under you, Spain offers a great mix of urban exploration and stunning natural scenery – allowing you to get a feel for what type of travel you prefer.
Spain is also really cheap compared to other European countries. It is easy to get around in terms of public transportation.
Spain is generally a safe space for people of all ethnicities – though there is some deep-rooted racism towards those of African descent, you’d face microaggressions rather than outright danger. This is more apparent in middle-aged to older generations rather than younger locals. Still, for every microaggression, there is an abundant number of positive experiences with locals, so don’t let this deter you from visiting. If you want more first-hand information about traveling within Spain as a Black traveler, then this article provides a lot more information.
Besides this, Spain is a great country that needs to be experienced at least once in your life. Below we’ve compiled the Ultimate Guide to Solo Travel in Spain.
When to Visit Spain
Spain is definitely one of Europe’s warmer countries, and you can usually expect a mild climate year-round. However, there is a widely agreed best time to visit Spain – Shoulder seasons.
Shoulder seasons are the months between the low tourist season and the high tourist season. For Spain, this in April/May for spring travel and September/Oct for fall travel.
These are considered the best time to visit Spain because you can dodge the summer heat and crowds while still being able to experience everything Spain has to offer at often lower pricing.
However, some travelers prefer summertime in Spain to any other time. If you’re rooting to spend most of your days on the beach and in crowded clubs, then the summer months of June to August are when you should be aiming for your vacation.
Best Destinations for Solo Travelers in Spain
Now that you’re convinced to visit Spain, it’s time to build an iconic itinerary that will allow you to experience every facet of Spain’s culture and landscape. From underrated cities to gorgeous beaches and everything in between, our top picks for Best Destinations for Solo Travelers in Spain are below.
Barcelona doesn’t top this list for Best Destination for Solo Travel in Spain because of an undoubtedly controversial opinion: Barcelona is overrated.
In Granada, you’ll find lively locals, authentic traditions, and historic architecture that carries the very soul of Spain. Romantic avenues, lush gardens, and a laid-back way of life will transport you into an entirely different world. You’ll find it hard to leave once you’ve embraced all that Granada offers.
If you want to experience Spain, which you dream about, then heading to Granada should be at the top of your destination list for this sunny county.
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is a picturesque city located in Spain’s northwest region of Galicia. With killer seafood in the old town and a stunningly intricate Baroque-designed cathedral, there is plenty to see, eat, and do while in Santiago de Compostela.
The city also has a remarkable history as the symbol of Christianity’s struggle in Spain. This famous pilgrimage site was destroyed during Muslim rule in the 10th century. Still, it was quickly rebuilt and stood as the endpoint for the Camino de Santiago Christian pilgrimage.
Playa de Rodas
Playa de Rodas is famed for being one of the best beaches in the world (as regarded by National Geographic). A pristine stretch of golden sand that stretches into the ocean, Playa de Rodas is part of the protected habitat of the Cies Islands in Galicia, Spain, that requires a permit to visit during certain parts of the year plays into how the beach is so clean.
Playa de La Concha
Shaped like a shell, Playa del La Concha is a large stretch of curved beach bordered by two lush mountains and the city of San Sebastian. This striking beach is gorgeous and often crowded with others looking to take in the warm Spanish sun. Play del La Concha is perfect for urban explorers looking to partake in Spain’s famous beach scene without straying too far.
Accommodation Tips for Spain
When it comes to accommodations as a solo traveler, people take three common routes – Hostels or Airbnb, or Hotels. The best accommodations for you are based on what you’re looking to get out of your travels and your budget.
Hostels are for backpackers on a shoestring budget and those looking to meet people and partake in some nightlife while traveling.
Airbnb’s are rooms or entire apartments you can rent out and are great for digital nomads and those looking for a temporary space to call home while traveling. This is in the mid-range budget. However, while in Spain, do keep in mind that many apartments don’t have elevators, so you may be required to bring up your luggage yourself, so having a backpack rather than a suitcase would make your life easier.
Hotels are for those looking for every comfort and luxury they can have while abroad and requires a much higher budget than the other options.
To truly experience the culture and lifestyle of your place, we recommend choosing Airbnb. This will put you more in tune with locals than other tourists, especially if you’re planning to stay for a while.
Safety Tips while Traveling in Spain
Spain is widely considered a safe destination for solo travelers and backpackers – even women traveling alone can feel comfortable doing so in Spain. Violent crime is few and far between; however, petty theft and pickpocketing can be a problem, especially in the urban centers of Madrid and Barcelona.
However, there are a few key things to do to stay safe while in Spain:
Be diligent at all times
A bit obvious, but this is vital to having a fun, safe time while in Spain. The biggest deterrent for pickpocketers is being aware of your surroundings and your things.
Carry your bag in front of you
This pairs with the above tip of being diligent – keep your bag in front of you so that you can see it and easily access it at all times. This is especially important while touring tourist sites, while on public transportation, or in a busy area.
When lost, look confident
This is an essential tip for any traveler – even if you’re hopelessly lost, look confident. If you look like you belong in that destination, you’re less likely to be targeted by scammers and pickpocketers. So put on an air of confidence, no matter where you are, and try not to dress like a run-of-the-mill tourist.
Only carry what you need
Only have what you think you’ll need for the day on hand. Don’t carry every banknote you have with you when you’re headed to the museum – only take the money you need for the day. This ensures that you don’t lose everything you have if you ever fall victim to a scam or robbery.
Basic Spanish Phrases to Know Before you go to Spain
Although Spain has a large population of people who can speak English, it’s best to know a few key phrases in Spanish before you go to Spain. These phrases will help you if you’re in an emergency. Still, it’s also essential as a conscientious traveler to attempt to learn key phrases in the language of the country you’re traveling to. Expecting everyone to speak English is privileged and blind to the possibilities that learning and interacting in another language provides you with.
Plus, locals are bound to be a lot more friendly if you at least try to speak their language respectfully.
Although the country has 4 ‘official’ dialects of Spanish spoken in different regions, the Castellano phrases below will prove helpful as Castellano is the main official language spoken in Spain.
Key Castellano Spanish Phrases
- Me llamo (yah-mo) [Insert name] – My name is [insert name]
- Vengo de [insert hometown] – I am from [insert hometown] (Tip: the V in Spanish is pronounced like a B, so Vengo sounds like bengo)
- Cuanto cuesta?/Cuanto vale? – How much is it?
- No hablo (ah-blo) español – I don’t speak Spanish
- Hablas Ingles? – Do you speak English?
- Donde esta el baño (ban-yo)/ Donde están los aseos? – Where is the bathroom?
- Donde puedo coger (co-hair) un taxi? – Where can I find a taxi?
- Me puedes ayudar, por favor? – Can you help me, please?
- Me gustaría – I would like…
- Como llego a [insert destination]? – How do I get to [insert destination]?
Convinced that you want to solo travel in Spain? Then head here for more need-to-know info on this stunning, diverse country.
Want to travel in Spain long-term while working remotely? If you have a good level of Spanish and are seeking remote employment opportunities, check out such job listings on Jooble.