This week we’re in sunny Spain bringing you the best tips, tricks and steals for an affordable holiday in Spain. We’ll show you how to save money in 5 of the country's best budget-friendly cities. So you can afford to spend your holiday budget on the stuff that really matters i.e another jug of sangria Get ready for #savystays!
UniversityRooms Golden Rules for #savystays
1. Book ahead - although last minute deals can be found on everything from hotels to travel and attractions, the safer and cheaper bet is to book well in advance. This also covers you if you have to cancel.
2. Stay in UniversityRooms- Great value B&B or self-catering in university residences in 120 cities. You don't have to be a student to benefit from these amazing prices - anyone can book!
3. Walk! Instead of spending your money on expensive taxis, grab a map and explore the city on foot, it’s more interesting, healthy and by far the cheaper option.
4. Look out for hidden fees - i.e are you paying for water at your restaurant? Are taxis more expensive after dark? Hidden fees like these can really add up so always make sure you’re aware of what you're paying for!
5. Barter! (where you can)- we are not saying go into the most expensive shop you see and try whittle down the price of their most expensive handbag, but in most markets, street food stalls and some small shops it is completely acceptable to haggle. Be confident and don't be afraid to walk away!
“How much is..?” >>>> “ Cuánto es...?”
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares is a university city in central Spain, just 22 miles northeast of Spain’s Capital, Madrid. Locally, the city is just known as Alcalá, a popular name for cities throughout Spain. Best known as the home to the University of Alcalá, which has buildings dating back to the 16th century, the city's historical centre is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
What to do:
There is a variety of historical attractions in the town which you can see absolutely free of charge. There is a number of churches, convents and university buildings, such as College of San Ildefonso, dating back 400 years. The city is the birthplace of Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes and many of the attractions and events around the city play homage to the cities famous resident. All visits to Alcalá should include a trip to Corral de Comedias, an ancient outdoor theatre that still hosts impressive flamenco performances to this day. Nearby is the capital city, Madrid and you can get a train there from as little as €3.65- Bargain!
Where to eat:
Fancy a treat? Then pay a visit to the Clarissa nuns on San Diego square. The enclosed religious order are renowned for their candied almonds, ‘almendras garrapiñadas’ which are the perfect little snack if you’ve got a sweet tooth! Alcalá has a wonderful range of affordable tapas resturants, La Seda is very popular with local residents. Casa Angel has also found popularity for its high quality service and budget-friendly priced traditional spanish food.
Where to stay:
Perfectly located in the heart of the city, Universityrooms.com offers accommodation are the ideal base for exploring this stunning City. Self-catering accommodation is a great affordable alternative to a B&B or hotel providing you with more budget flexibility. Rooms are available in Alcalá de Henares from just 25€ ! Look for accommodation in Alcalá de Henares here
Valencia is a bustling city on Spain's south-east coast. The vibrant city has a fascinating historic past said to be home to the holy grail. As well as its colourful past its also known for being a lively modern city with futuristic architecture.
What to do
Valencia has everything from castles to the futuristic ‘City of Arts and Sciences’ buildings which house cinemas, an opera house and yearly sporting events. Valencia has a super cool market, Mercado Central, the perfect place to mooch about or try some delicious food if you’re hungry. If you wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city then you’re in luck, Valencia has several sandy beaches which are largely undeveloped and are the perfect place to chill or just top up your tan- for free of course!
Where to eat
For a charming, cheap and authentically local restaurant try El Forn del Carmen, this rustic restaurant has nothing but good reviews. Ideal for those on a budget as tapas portions are huge without the huge price tag and importantly the staff are honest with their recommendations.
Where to stay:
UniversityRooms in Valencia are not just for students; they are a great option for the budget-conscious visitor to this Spanish city! These rooms are a comfortable and cost effective alternative to staying in a cheap hostel or a hotel in Valenica. B&B or self-catering rooms are available and are located close to the city centre, and a stone's throw from the fantastic attractions the area is famous for. Look at our Valencia locations here
Barcelona is Spain's super vibrant, energetic coastal city. The sun is nearly always shining and there is always something to do here no matter what your budget is.
What to do:
Barcelona is perfect for students looking for a cheap summer break. There’s so much to do and the nightlife is always on top form. Famous for its incredible buildings by architect Antoni Gaudí, making it one of the world’s most Instagram-able cities, mooch around on a self-guided walking tour and see the sights of the city absolutely free of charge. Barcelona beach is completely free and is one of the best city beaches in the world. On the first Sunday of every month museums across the city are open for free, so soak up some culture without the price tag.
Where to eat:
Barcelona is a centre for world-class dining and drinking, with hundreds of traditional tapas bars. Food here is really innovative, exciting and most importantly affordable! Take, ‘The Fish & Chips Shop’ for instance, budget friendly fish which is a million miles away from the traditional english version- think battered hake, sweet potato fries and homemade chutney- delicious!
Where to stay:
UniversityRooms in Barcelona offer convenient and cheap accommodation to students & non-students visiting the city, there is something for everyone with rooms ranging from within an old convent in the Gothic Quarter of the city to modern B&B rooms next to the Labyrinth Park. Rooms are available from just 17€ a night (long stay) ! Look for rooms in Barcelona here
Granda is a fantastic city in southern Spain with a rich historical heritage. The city is proud of its moorish heritage which is apparent in everything from its architecture to its local traditions.
What to do
The UNESCO world Heritage site, Alhambra, the palace of Granada is a must for any of the city’s visitors- buy tickets in advance so you dont miss out. Make sure you take time to mooch around Plaza Nueva, the central square in Granada filled with boutique shops, ice creameries and cafe’s, the perfect place to stop and watch the world go by. Take a trip to the ‘Gypsy Caves’ in the Sacromonte District a traditional Roma neighbourhood in the east of the city where there are 150 homes built into the surrounding mountains.
Where to eat
Ordering drinks in Granada often comes with a free plate of tapas, and a good generous portion too - the perfect lunchtime snack to take advantage of! Cacho & Pepe is an affordable restaurant in central Granada. With cool, decor and delicious meals and it's renowned for its reputation as a place for excellent 'cheap eats'
Where to stay
UniversityRooms in Granada, Spain are not just for students; they are a great accommodation option for all visitors. Budget-friendly accomodation allow you to visit this historic city in Andalucia and stay in Granada’s university residences and Colegios Mayores - a convenient alternative to a cheap hotel or hostel. With self catering and B&B options, there is something to suit everyone, and rooms are available from just €13 a night! Look at our Granada Residences here…
Spain’s Costa del Sol is popular for a reason and it’s capital, Malaga is certainly no exception. The southernmost large city in Europe, it is sensationally hot with beautiful sandy beaches that go on for miles and miles. The cities combination of stylish restaurants, quirky museums and chic boutique make it the go-to destination for a beach holiday in southern Spain.
What to do:
The number one thing to do in Malaga is to lounge about on one of the cities beautiful beaches which are free, so spend as much time as you want soaking up the sun in the knowledge it won't cost you a penny! There are lots of historical places to visit in the city, and most of them have a hefty entrance fee, to avoid this problem check the websites for details as most attractions are free to enter at least one day a week or provide good discounts for pensioners and students.
What to eat:
Being a popular tourists destination its easy to get caught out and spend lots of money in Malaga, the key is to think like a local and head to local bars and restuarants in the city. La Recova is a popular restaurant which specialises in affordable meals, loved by locals and tourists alike.
Where to stay:
UniversityRooms in Malaga are not just for students; they are a great option for the budget-conscious visitor to this Spanish city in Andalucia! These rooms are a comfortable and cost effective alternative to staying in a cheap hostel or a hotel in Malaga. B&B orself-catering rooms are available and are located close to the city centre, and a stone's throw from the fantastic beaches the area is famous for. Look at our Malaga locations here
Not just for students! B&B & Self-catering accommodation in university residences is a great alternative to a cheap hotel or hostel and a unique backstage pass to cities all over spain.
There is something for everyone as options include rooms in historic university residences to modern and simplistic buildings. Look at our Spanish Accommodation here.