Solo Travel in Spain
Spain is such a vibrant country to visit with so many top destinations in Spain to see. If you are traveling to Spain solo for the first time, below is our guide to Solo Travel in Spain. Discover the best places in Spain for solo travel, the best things to see in Spain as a solo, where to stay and how to get around Spain, and the best tours in Spain for solos. Just click on the relevant section or read through the whole article to plan your trip.
N.b. By booking through this page for your Spain vacation, you are helping to improve the lives of vulnerable girls about the globe. Thanks for helping.
- About Spain
- Tours in Spain
- Accommodation in Spain
- Solo Female-Friendly Accommodation in Spain
- How Long Do I Need?
- Travel Guide For Spain
- Packing List For Spain
- Traveling Around Spain
- From The Airport
- Travelling Onwards
- How To Be a Conscious Traveller in Spain
- Plan a Trip To Spain
- Map of Spain
- Related Posts
Solo Travel in Spain
Travelling solo in Spain is relatively easy. The country has a good transportation system and with many Brits deciding to chase the winter sun you won’t be short of company on the Costa del Sol. You won't ever be alone in Spain as you'll meet other travellers in Spain if you visit cities such as Barcelona, Seville and Madrid.
The official language is Castellano, the purest form of Spanish but several provinces have their own language like Basque and Catalan and many dialects particularly in southern Spain are spoken.
If you’re unsure where to go in Spain to meet others, you’ll find plenty of tourists on the Costa del Sol. Due to the huge number of tourists and expats who have chosen to spend their old age in Spain, English is widely understood. It’s not really one of the Spanish places for culture but to ease yourself gently into the country, especially if you don’t know any Spanish, the Costa del Sol is a good Spain escape to begin with. Head away from the touristy areas such as Benidorm and Alicante and you do need to know the basics of the language although some of the Spanish residents may speak English.
Spaniards are friendly and laid-back people. Between the hours of 2pm and 5pm it’s siesta time and everything except big supermarkets and shops in shopping malls close down. However, the many Chinese and Indian-run bargain shops stay open all day, every day including bank holidays, so you will never be without the essentials. Be prepared that everything moves at a slow pace. The favourite word is ‘mañana’ – tomorrow.
Spain is known for its festivals so there is always plenty of opportunity to mingle with others. Spanish men can be known to flirt so don’t be surprised if you hear the word “guapa” (meaning beautiful) being directed at you.
Topless sunbathing is allowed on the beach and there are even nudist beaches if you prefer no tan lines. Just remember to cover up when you’re walking in town as shops and supermarkets won’t allow people wearing swimsuits in.
Is it safe to travel to Spain alone? There is petty crime such as pickpocketing in the cities so keep an eye on your belongings if you are travelling to Barcelona etc. Beware of fake goods. Any design handbag you see at a fraction of the cost is fake and your money could be funding criminal activities.
Spain is a wonderful country to explore independently but if you are unsure of the best places to go in Spain, and the best things to do in Spain, you may prefer to visit on a group tour of Spain for your Spain vacations instead.
Spain has so many areas to visit from vibrant cities with a Spanish flair to traditional Spanish villages. Known for their siestas and fiestas, the locals know how to have a good time and enjoy lazy afternoons and long evenings. With a good year-round temperature they have an outdoors culture with families, couples and groups gathering in the streets to catch up long after the sun has gone down.
The country is most famously known for the Camino de Santiago, a series of pilgrim routes which stretch from France to Portugal and Spain. Solo female travel on the Camino to meet others following the same route. But this isn’t the only spiritual place in Spain.
The Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat sits high on a rocky mountain where the statue of the Black Madonna graces the basilica. Many flock here to see the statue, the patron saint of Catalonia, and hike in the nature park.
The country is made up of 17 regions, each one with different provinces. One of the most well-known being Andalucia, home to the Costa de Sol and mass tourism developments. But the Costa del Sol isn’t just a place for catching some sun.
Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is a Spanish gem founded by the Romans. Seville was an important port of the Spanish Empire and is home to Real Alcazar de Sevilla, one of the most popular things to do in Seville. This royal palace is one of the oldest in Europe. Andalusia was also the birthplace of the famous painter, Pablo Picasso who was born in Malaga, a Spanish city rich in history.
Once a Roman town, Malaga was then ruled by the Arabs and houses the Alcazaba, an 11th century palace once used by the city’s governing Muslims. Then there’s Tarifa which is perfect for those who like the waves. Discover things to do in Malaga.
If you're unsure where to visit in Spain for rich history, the World Heritage Site of Granada has some of the best examples of Islamic architecture that you’ll find in Spain, and is one of the beautiful places in the country. The Alhambra is a Moorish palace and a stunning Medieval complex of palaces, courtyards and fountains fit for a queen. It is also said to be the birthplace of flamenco, and is one of the best places to visit in Spain to watch a flamenco show and see traditional flamenco dancing.
There are numerous national parks in Spain but the most popular and the country’s largest is Sierra Nevada National Park. See this natural unspoiled beauty area is doable on a day trip from Granada.
Catalonia is a popular region in northern Spain, most famous for its capital city – Barcelona, one of the best cities in Spain for solo travel, and more recently for its decision to be independent from Spain. This fascinating city has so much to offer that you should definitely take a Barcelona trip. You could easily spend a whole week there and still only have scratched the surface. Discover things to do in Barcelona here.
Barcelona is the city of amazing architecture and a living masterpiece of Gaudi, Dali and Miro. You don’t even have to make an effort to find their works as they are everywhere. Barcelona is home to the Sagrada Familia, one of the top things to do in Spain. With unique architecture, numerous beaches and endless sightseeing, it’s easy to see why Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in the world but there is more to Catalonia than this cosmopolitan city.
It also has the Costa Brava, one of the most unspoilt stretches of coast in Spain. If you’re a beach babe, this is the place to enjoy Blue Flag beaches with Tossa de Mar one of the favourites.
Tip – If you are staying in Barcelona for a few nights, consider purchasing the Barcelona Pass. It gives free entry to more than 20 top Barcelona attractions as well as fast track entry and unlimited travel. * Buy the Barcelona Pass here
It may not have the beautiful beaches of Barcelona but what Madrid does have is an authentic Spain experience. As the capital of Spain, Madrid is one of the best cities in Spain to visit. It is bursting with culture, architecture, and art. The highest capital city in Europe (at 650 metres above sea level), Madrid was rebuilt after the Spanish civil war and has a mix of buildings old and new, making it a beautiful city to visit.
Known for its art, museums and historical plazas, Madrid is also becoming a trendy place to visit with new gastro bars and cafes constantly popping up. There are plenty of things to do in Madrid and once you’ve visited the capital, the museums and El Retiro Park, lose yourself in the beautiful Sierra de Guadarrama mountains.
Head east on your solo Spain trip and you’ll find Valencia, the capital of the region with the same name. Located in the southwest on the Mediterranean, Valencia is an important port town with a mix of history and futuristic science buildings. It's one of the top cities to visit in Spain, and there are plenty of things to do in Valencia for solos.
Take part in the famous Fallas festival or just meander around the cobbled streets of the old town before exploring the dry river bed which is now the city’s much loved park. Alicante is another popular destination within this region.
The Basque Region
Head to the Iberian Peninsula, for the coastal city of San Sebastián, known for its picturesque bay. It’s the place to come for a Michelin-Star restaurant, or a traditional pintxos bar. Explore the cobblestones of the old town, cycle along the banks of the River Urumea, sunbathe at La Concha beach – the city’s iconic symbol, go surfing or enjoy an evening an a concert in the park, or al-fresco in one of the many bars and restaurants. There’s a reason that this gorgeous city was voted the European City of Culture in 2016.
Also located in the Basque county is Bilbao, a port city in the north, where you can also feast on pintxos (small tapas) at one of the pintxos bars. One of the tourist attractions here is the Guggenheim Museum, built along the riverside. The museum houses both modern and contemporary art by artist, Frank Gehry, but you don’t even need to go inside it to admire its futuristic architectural style. Other sites to see are the Cathedral, Archaeological Museum and Plaza Nueva.
If you do make it north, the Basque region is cooler than the rest of the Spain but with temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius in the summer, it’s definitely worth a visit. From the Basque Country you can take a boat across the Bay of Biscay from Bilbao to England.
Other Places To Visit in Spain
Aragon is in the north. Visit its capital, Zaragoza for historical buildings, its famous suspension bridge and the river Ebro for a panorama of the city. Or Nerja for caves and the Balcony of Europe where you can see Africa on a clear day. There are plenty of water activities to do in Spain. Tarifa is considered one of the best places for kite surfing, one of the adventurous things to do in Spain
Murcia is a gateway to the south and has beautiful art deco buildings and plenty of art and culture to keep you occupied. Wine lovers will appreciate the region of La Rioja with more wine bodegas than you can visit in one stay. If you prefer seafood with your wine, the Celtic land of Galicia serves up a good prawn or two.
Although Pamplona is synonymous with the Running of the Bulls, one of the unique things to do in Spain (which we don't recommend), this region called Navarra has plenty of outdoor sports within the Pyrenees to get your adrenalin going.
Asturias is a very natural region of lush beauty, or head to Cantabria for cave paintings from a bygone era. Admire cathedrals in the Roman city of Segovia in Castilla y León or spot a windmill in Castilla La Mancha. Merida is another Roman city with some of the most impressive ruins in the country.
And then there are the islands. Easily accessible from Barcelona by boat or plane are the Balearic Islands – Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza. Known as the party island, if you visit Ibiza during May to October expect to experience a hedonistic side of Spain.
Visit the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca and the fabulous beaches of Cala Ratjada or Andrax, or hope across to Mallorca to see Valdemosa, the monastery where Chopin and George Sand spent time.
The Canary Islands are also part of Spain but are further afield near the coast of Africa. If you are needing some winter sun these islands have year-round sunshine. Choose from Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa.
Whether you want to throw tomatoes at strangers in one of the festivals, sample cava in a vineyard, or walk along a world-famous pilgrimage, solo female travel Spain for culture, adventures and plenty of stories to tell, no matter where you choose to visit.
Tours in Spain
G Adventures Spain – Spain travel to Spain and it is easy to navigate your way around which is good news if you want to do independent travel. But if you prefer to sample a festival or walk the famous Camino de Santiago with some company, sustainable companies such as G Adventures offer some of the best Spain tours from a 4 day La Tomatina Festival to a 15 day Classic Spain tour. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them for solos.
Most tours have an average of 12 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.
Intrepid Travel Spain is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over 50% of people who book their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more than G Adventures. Their tours to Spain range from an 8 day North Spain Discovery to a 24 day Spain, Portugal and Morocco tour seeing the best of Spain. Read our Intrepid Travel Reviews
With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender on your tour to Spain or you can pay extra for your own room.
The following day tour companies have been recommended by solo female travellers.
Barcelona Slow Travel – Offers guided tours of Spain and authentic and sustainable experiences in the Catalonia region. Meet others whilst learning how to cook traditional tapas (one of the fun things in Spain to do). Hike Montserrat mountain, or cycle through vineyards instead. The tour guides are so nice they will make you feel as though you are a long-lost friend.
Valencia Explorers – Taking a walking tour is a great way to see this city. You’ll learn about the gargoyles and try some samples at the local market. Miguel, the tour guide is really informative.
CanaryRide – If you love motorbikes and either want to hire your own or be a passenger on the back of a motorbike then Canary Ride is ideal. Operating in the Canary Islands, you will get taken on the best routes around the islands and be able to witness spectacular landscapes.
Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated Spain activities and top things to see in Spain. Choose from a guided tour of the Alhambra, priority access to the Sagrada Familia, or an excursion to the Caminito del Rey from Malaga. There are several to choose from including day trips and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. * Check all tours and prices here
Accommodation in Spain
Different regions of Spain have their own traditional style such as posadas in historic towns, or haciendas – originally used as farms, most commonly known in the area of Andalusia. Then there are the campsites if you prefer somewhere more budget and out in nature.
You’ll find plenty of hostels in the major cities. These are a great way to meet others if you are backpacking in Spain alone. Head to the beach areas for a room in a resort if you are planning a beach location.
Expect to carry your luggage up a few flights of stairs if you are staying in an old building within an old area of town. Maybe you prefer to stay somewhere rural in your own villa near a vineyard? Or a tourist apartment such as holiday lettings Spain which you can rent by the week or even month if you are planning on staying a while.
Whatever accommodation you need there are plenty of choices including villas in Spain, and international hotels in Spain. Airbnb Spain is huge so if a hotel is out of your budget opt to stay with a local instead. Save $20 off your first stay when you book through this link.
For vacations in Spain where you can just lay in the sun and enjoy your accommodation without having to travel around and tour Spain independently, Expedia offers Spain tour packages which include flights, accommodation and car hire. * Check all Expedia Spain Packages
Below are our recommended solo female-friendly accommodation as recommended by our Girls about the Globe community. We have only included a few cities upon this page so to see all of our solo female-friendly accommodation click here.
There are countless hostels in Barcelona but this one is one of the better ones. Close enough to La Rambla and near the edgy streets of Raval, it’s situated in a great location to be able to walk to the main sites. What I love about this place is the communal bar area, lounge and courtyard which is ideal to meet others if you are solo.
They serve good food too. They also have female-only dorm rooms from 6 beds to 16 beds, or you can choose a bed in a mixed 4 dorm instead. Prices start from £16 per night for a bed in a 16 bed dorm.
This hostel is great for a late check in. It has a 24 hour reception and is close to a metro station which is ideal when you first arrive in the city. You’ll find restaurants and bars nearby so you don’t have to go far to grab a bite to eat.
As well as organising weekly events the hostel can also arrange tours for you. Choose from a 6 to 12 bed dormitory or a 6 bed female-only dorm with private bathroom. Prices start from £16 for a 12 bed dorm with shared bathroom.
Named the same as the Quart Medieval Tower, this modern hostel is only 5 minutes walk from the old town. The hostel has private rooms with a shared bathroom and 6-10 bed dorm rooms. Bunk beds have their own curtains. You can also pay extra for a buffet breakfast.
The bathrooms are shared by guys and girls so you’ll need to feel comfortable with it being mixed. Reception isn’t open 24 hours so contact them if you have a late check in. Prices from £9 for a bed in a 10 bed mixed dorm.
How Long Do I Need?
When you are holidaying alone in Spain, there are so many places to see in Spain that just visiting one or two regions is a more favourable idea then trying to see so many. If you start from the north, in 14 days you can see Galicia, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia, Murcia, Granada and Malaga. If you have extra time, fly across to one of the Balearics to add an island to your itinerary.
In one week you could see Barcelona and Madrid. Each city in itself needs at least 3 days without including the many side trips that you can do.
Travel Guide For Spain
If you are planning on traveling to Spain alone for the first time, our Girl about the Globe Guide to Spain is written by solo females for solo females.
We have chosen the best destinations in Spain for women travelling solo, included all of our favourite must-sees, restaurants, bars, and recommended accommodation for you to stay in, and added a few solo and local tips too. We know that not every woman travels the same so we’ve split this guide into different types of solos.
Find out how to escape the crowds, the best places to interact with the locals, where to go for the best view and what to do in the evenings. Follow our 7-14 day itinerary for a recommended route and discover how to plan a trip to Spain, one solo footprint at a time. * Find out more about our Spain guide book here
* If you prefer Lonely Planet or Rough Guides click here for all Spain guide books.
Packing List For Spain
If you’re unsure what to pack for your Spain solo travel, we have created a guide of our favourite solo travel products to help you decide what to pack. One of our must-have travel products for Spain is a money belt. We’re not saying that you will get pickpocketed but it’s always best to be preventive rather than reactive and money belts are a good way of hiding your money.
If you are planning on travelling to Spanish cities then it’s a good idea not to have your purse on display. Find out why we love this money belt and click on the link to discover all of our favourite travel products:
If you are visiting cities known for pickpockets you can store your cards and money in a money belt. They are easy to disguise and wearing a money belt under your jeans is a great way of avoiding pickpockets. For solo female travel in Spain they are ideal and this one has a softer material than the cheaper ones which have a tendency to sweat with your body heat. You can hand wash it too. * Check prices on Amazon
Travelling Around Spain
How to travel around Spain by train – Spain has a good infrastructure and travelling in Spain by train is easy but it can be a bit costly. If you have limited time then a high speed train can be the best way to travel in Spain or choose a slower more scenic one that is cheaper if you are watching your budget. If you are planning on travelling to neighbouring countries, it may be worth investing in one of the Interrail train travel rail passes.
Flying across the country is a good option if are planning to see more than one region in a short space of time. For trips to Spain, airports such as Girona are hubs for low-cost airlines but you can pretty much get a cheap flight from Barcelona (less than an hour away) or Madrid. Vueling offers internal flights at reasonable prices.
How to travel in Spain by bus – Bus transportation in Spain allows you to travel all around the country. For backpackers it is the best way to travel Spain as the buses are cheaper than the train but they do take longer. Some of the smaller bus stations can be a bit confusing with a lack of bus times shown so you have to ask when you buy your ticket at the counter which bus stop to wait at.
Instead of taking the public transport in Spain, Flixbus is a cheap bus service which operate in Spain as well as other places in Europe. It is the best way to get around Spain if you’re on a budget, and the cheapest way to travel from Madrid to Barcelona. Click here for the buses
If you are touring Spain on your own it's easy to hire a rental car and navigate your way around to do your own day trips in the places that you choose. One day car rental starts from €70 a day.
From The Airport
Madrid – Both Terminal T2 and Terminal T4 have Metro stations which run to the Nuevos Ministerios Metro station in the centre of Madrid from 6am in the morning until 2am. Tickets cost 5 Euros. To take a taxi, head to the taxi rank outside of the airport terminal.
Taxis cost at least 30 Euros and take approximately 20 minutes. An express bus runs 24 hours a day to Atocha RENFE and takes 40 minutes.
Barcelona – There is a metro which runs through both terminal 1 and terminal 2. The R2 train runs from terminal 2 to Sants Estacio and takes 25 minutes (look for the Renfe sign). A ticket into the city will cost €5 one way for the train ticket or you can buy a 24/48/72 hour card and take the metro instead.
The Aerobus is available from terminal 1 and 2 and runs to Placa Catalunya. It costs €5.75 for a single ticket. Taxis are available but they are the most expensive option costing approx €30 for the 30 minute journey.
Seville – From Seville airport it takes 30 minutes to get into the city by bus. A single ticket will cost you €4. There is also the option of a taxi which is quicker and will cost at least €20.
Feel more confident on your Spain solo trip with someone waiting for you at the airport when you pre-book a transfer with Hoppa, a reliable and safe service for solo females.
Travelling Onwards (check visas before you travel)
When you are traveling Spain, you can practically get all over Europe from Spain with the trains and bus services. Renfe is the national train system which will take you to the major cities. Interrail offer a Spain pass but you can just buy your own train journeys separately if you need them. Hiring a car will get you to places off the beaten track and give you more freedom and flexibility.
Flixbus offers an Interflix ticket – 5 cities for less than €99 so you can travel from Madrid to Paris, for example from just €39. They make traveling in Spain and onwards easy for those of us on a budget.
Busabout are a sociable hop on hop off bus service where you can meet others and travel through Spain as part of your bus pass. If you are going to Spain alone, they are a great for keeping your independence and also travelling with others that you meet on the bus.
Where can I go from here?
Paris – 2 hours 15 mins
Lisbon – 1 hour 30 mins
Tangier – 1 hour 30 mins
* All flying from Madrid
How To Be a Conscious Traveller in Spain
Here’s how to be a conscious traveller in Spain. Help put your tourism dollar back into rural communities. Look at walking holidays in Spain in other lesser-known areas instead of just the Camino de Santiago, and consider community-based projects and tours to help rural tourism.
Although the majority of bull rings in the country lay dormant or have been converted into shopping centres and outdoor music venues (in Barcelona, for example), bull fighting is still one of the traditional activities in Spain. Avoid any bull fights and Pamplona, which is famous for the ‘Running of the Bulls.’ Not taking part in the festival shows your support.
You’ll find public water fountains throughout Spain which you can use to refill your water bottle. Most tap water is okay to drink too but check with your accommodation first if you’re unsure. If you’re heading to a Spanish beach, check that it has a blue flag, which means the beach has been cleaned and benefits swimmers and marine life.
- Can I drink the water? Not everywhere in the country. Check with your accommodation before you drink the tap water or take your own water filter with you.
- Is tipping expected? It isn't expected but if you do experience good service you can leave a 10% tip (Spain isn’t known for its great customer service).
- Fixed price or barter? Fixed price in shops but you can try your bartering skills in any of the markets.
- Any ATMS? Yes.
- Which side of the road do they drive? The right-hand side.
- Good for vegetarians? Meat is part of the culture but there are lots of restaurants catering for vegetarians, vegans.
- Any Seven Wonders of the World? No.
Plan a Trip to Spain
If you are planning a trip to Spain, below are useful facts and websites such as visa and vaccinations required, and local costs and airlines that fly there to help you plan your vacation in Spain.
Budget – £50 a day
Capital – Madrid
Population – 47 million
Language Spoken – Spanish as well as regional languages such as Catalan or Valencian.
Do I Need a Visa? From 2022 travellers from outside of Europe will need to apply for EITAS online application to allow stays of up to 3 months.
Flying time to Spain from UK – 2 hours
Best Time to Go – June, July
Dial 112 for emergency services
Weather in Spain – Below is an annual weather chart for Spain
Did you know? Bull fights have gone out of fashion in Spain. In fact, in some provinces the bloody sport has been banned. The question was what to do with the old bullrings. Two brilliant solutions are to be found in Barcelona where the bullring has been converted into a high tech ultra cool shopping mall. The solution in Tarazona near Zaragoza was to convert the bull ring into flats, each of which, naturally, has at least one half circular wall.
Lingo – Useful Spanish Phrases
Issues in the Country
Due to high rising housing costs, anti-tourist protests have been taking part in Spain. Barcelona, San Sebastian, Bilbao and the island of Mallorca have all held protests at both the changing faces of their cities and the fact that they can no longer afford to live there. As locals they are being priced out of their cities due to tourism. Read more here…
EcoTara Canary Islands Eco-Villa Retreat
Casa Olea in Andalucia
Volunteer with Esperanca in Barcelona and hand out food to the homeless on weekend evenings.
From dog rescues to teaching English, find a volunteering placement through Go Overseas.
Take part in the famous Las Fallas Festival in Valencia; one of the fun things to do in Spain.
Experience a traditional calcotada from January to March, a must do in Spain if you are here during these months.
Mind Body & Soul
D-toxd is a retreat for your body, mind and life. Located 30 minutes from Benidorm, the closest villages are Lliber and Benissa. They have 4 unique personalised programs. Retreats last 7 days and cover fitness, weight loss, detox and relaxation, all in an amazing setting.
These retreats are high-end but you get to stay in your own ensuite room with world class vegetarian food. All of the retreats are alcohol-free and they don’t just offer yoga retreats either. You can choose from a pure juice retreat, a yoga and raw health retreat, a season cleanse, or even a change of life retreat.
This bed and breakfast in Valencia offers morning meditations, yoga and pilates. Situated in the historical centre near la Plaza de la Virgen this restored Victorian mansion is a great mindful escape.
Enjoy wellness at this eco resort and ancient baths. Immerse yourself within steam baths, the thousand jets or float in a salt bath instead. Each of the rooms are decorated with 100% natural and ecological materials.
Map of Spain
- Solo Travel in Europe
- Solo Travel in Barcelona
- Solo Travel in Madrid
- Solo Travel in Malaga
- Solo Travel in Seville
- Solo Travel in Granada
- Things To Do in Benidorm
- Must See Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona
- Solo Travel in Gran Canaria
- Solo Travel in La Palma, Canaries
- Barcelona Tourism & How To Be a Conscious Traveller
Inka Piegsa-Quischotte is a contributor to many travel magazines and websites. She is also the owner of Glamour Granny Travels as well as the author of a guide book for solo travellers to Galicia/Spain and a literary guide to Istanbul.
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