What is the local currency in Spain?
The currency of Spain is the Euro (EUR.) One Euro is 1.12 GBP (as of July 9 2020).
Do I tip in Spain?
In Spain, tipping is accepted and appreciated for exceptional service. However, on most occasions, a ‘round-up’ to the nearest Euro will suffice.
Caxton conducted a study on Tipping etiquette, results for Spain show that usually a tip is included in the bill when at a restaurant or cafe, but if the service exceeds expectations - an additional 10% is welcomed. Tipping is not expected when in bars, but again greatly appreciated if the service is excellent.
View our tipping guide for more advice on tipping abroad.
Using cash in Spain
When travelling, our experts would recommend always bringing a small amount of cash with you on every trip, for initial taxi transfers or hotel deposits etc. The rest of your travel money should be put onto a Caxton multi-currency card, for safe and secure spending.
Cash is no longer king in Spain (even more so after COVID-19,) and almost all establishments accept credit/debit cards.
Most international banks and money outlets now charge a fee for using ATM machines, as do most card providers. Taking a travel pre-paid card and a credit card is recommended as Caxton does not charge for international ATM use regardless of sum or number of times, (but check with your card provider about charges.)
We would recommend still bringing your bank card on your trip as a backup option. However, if you decide to take your bank card, we recommend telling your bank before you go so the transaction isn’t identified as fraudulent, but be prepared for fees and high exchange rates.
All major cards are accepted widely in Spain at key tourist hubs.
The price of food and drink in Spain
As a rough guideline, we’ve put together a list of the costs of spending an average day in Spain:
Domestic beer = €1.99
One-way ticket on local transport = €1.50 for single zones (A, B, C, D) or €2.90 return
Meal, inexpensive restaurant = €11 per person
Bottle of wine (mid-range) = €4.50-6.00
Bottle of water = €0.56
What happens if I have my wallet stolen whilst in Spain?
Spain is known to be a safe country with friendly and helpful people, but this shouldn’t stop you from being smart whilst you travel. If the majority of your cash is on a prepaid card, this will be automatically protected. However, in case the worse happens, here are the list of major debit/credit card ‘lost and stolen’ numbers:
HSBC/First Direct - +44 1442 422929
Natwest - +44 1268 500 813
Lloyds - +44 1702 278270
Barclays - +442476842099
Santander - +44 1908 237 963
The cost of tourist attractions in Spain
Many of the most famous attractions in Spain are free to see, as the country is blessed with beautiful architectural spots of beauty. Some examples of Spain's most popular tourist attractions are:
La Sagrada Familia: A normal ticket to get in to the basilica is €14.80, however, if you're travelling as a family or group of 4+, you can get group discount prices of approx €45.00 with queue jump.
Alhambra Palace and Gardens: it costs €14 for general admission into the Alhambra, which is the most popular entrance and the most complete, as it includes access to the Nasrid Palaces, Generalife and Alcazaba.
The Royal Palace, Madrid: The basic entrance fee is €10 with group discounts available. Guides cost just €4 and an audio-guide is €3.
Alcazar of Segovia: Entrance prices vary from €2.50 to €8.50 depending on the areas you wish to visit, the full tour though is highly recommended.
What can I do with spare currency in Spain?
Whilst in Spain, you may as well spend any remaining Euro, if only small amount, on some traditional Spain souvenirs, such as:
- Flamenco Dress
- Spanish Wine
History of the Euro
- The Euro came into existence on 1 January 1999 - though it had been a goal of the European Union since the 1960s. Notes and coins didn’t begin circulation until 2002.
- Today the euro is the sole currency of 19 EU member states, with the original dozen being joined by: Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia. These countries constitute the "eurozone".
- The rise of the Euro in its short lifespan is remarkable with it now being the second-largest reserve currency as well as the second-most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.
Alternatively, if castanets isn’t your thing, you can use Caxton’s buy back guarantee to get rid of any unused Euro. By doing this you ensure that if the exchange rate moves against you, you won't lose out.