- Take advantage of one of the cheapest national rail networks in Europe, run by RENFE. To cut costs further, buy a tourist card — available only to foreigners — which offers discounts over a fixed period, or look out for “Blue Days” to secure discounts up to 50 percent. Those under 26 may buy a Tarjeta Explorereail pass for unlimited travel on most regional trains. In the south, the Expresso Al Andalus tourist train leaves Seville weekly and stops at Cordoba, Granada and Malaga, among others, taking a lot of the planning out of touring. Buses are a thrifty option for areas not on the rail network, with overnight buses between cities the cheapest mode of public transport. Eurolines, for example, serves more than 20 destinations nationally.
- Although post-Euro Spain is no longer the dining pushover it once was, backpackers still can eat reasonably cheaply, sampling some legendary cuisine along the way, from the seafood dishes of Basque country to the sausages and stews of Catalonia. The craftiest way to satiate the appetite without spending a fortune is to take advantage of the free tapas many bars serve with drinks from the early evening onward. Choose the right spot and you can enjoy some outstanding delicacies that put nuts and pretzels to shame. Otherwise, dining at lunch rather than dinner is kindest on the wallet, especially if you go for the house menu of the day and favor family-run eateries over restaurants near major tourist sites.