Where to stay in Spain
Both international and domestic tourism are huge in Spain, with tourism being the main industry of the country, so don’t be surprised by the vast range of accommodation available throughout Spain. Hotels in Spain usually offer media pensión or pensión completa (half-board or full-board) rates, differing in the amount of meals included. Large city hotels usually offer discounted weekend rates and most charge extra for parking, while bed and breakfasts and lodges in the countryside rarely do so. It is always advisable to book accommodation well in advance, particularly during festivals or at popular resorts on the coast from late spring to October. Most hotels in Spain offer Wi-Fi service, although mostly are charged based on an hourly rate.
Grading: Hotels are graded from 1 to 5 stars with some regional variations. Hotels of three stars and above must have bar/café service with breakfast available and many of these categories have full restaurants.
The twin staples of Spanish budget accommodation are the hostal (guest house) and pensión, providing private rooms with or without bathroom. They are usually run by families and may provide meals. Classification varies by region, but these accommodation options generally range from 1 to 2 stars. Prices can differ greatly depending on location (city or countryside).
There are over 1,000 campsites throughout the country, covering a wide quality and price range. They can fill fast in high season, towards the end of summer. Campsites can range from basic caravan camping equipped with shower and cooking facilities to well-equipped camping lodges that have bungalows and restaurants on site. In general, campsites in Spain are well-maintained and offer great shelter for budget travellers. Regulations demand that off-site camping is allowed only in isolated areas and permission from the local police and/or landowner is required.
Backpacker hostels: In major cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville, there's usually a wide choice of backpacker hostels on offer. Most of these hostels have dorm rooms that contain up to 12 people; prices are usually based on each dorm bed. Private rooms are sometimes available at an affordable price in these hostels. Some hostels provide lockers and bed sheets, while others don’t. Be sure to enquire or check online before booking.
Casa Rural accommodation: Rural houses scattered throughout the countryside in various regions of Spain are extremely popular with local tourists. Most of these countryside lodges offer comfortable accommodation in a beautiful natural setting, with breakfasts included. This is a good way to explore Spain’s backcountry and mingle with the locals. Standards are high and comfort is the priority in these accommodations. In general, you’ll need to drive to get to these rural houses.
Apartment hotels: In most beach towns and islands of Spain, self-catering apartment hotels are very popular. This type of lodging is usually comfortable, convenient and provides you with plenty of privacy and freedom. While meals are not included, you are free to use the kitchen facilities to prepare your own meals. Apartment hotels are excellent options if you’re spending over a week in the same location. They are usually spacious, with separate living and sleeping areas. They allow you to experience living like a local and at the same time, keep expenditure to a minimum.