Should you visit La Rioja or Catalonia?
Should I visit La Rioja or Catalonia? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
La Rioja is an area in northern Spain located in the Iberia peninsula. It is not as commonly known as some of the bigger cities, but it is a great place to visit. The area has more than 500 wineries, and though the area may not be well known as a tourist location, the name is often recognizable for its quality wine. La Rioja is full of natural beauty and Spanish culture. Because it is not as touristy as some of the larger areas of Spain, you are more likely to get a more genuine idea of real Spanish life and culture by visiting this region. The La Rioja area is nestled between cities like Burgos, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona and Zaragoza, so you are never far from the more popular northern cities.
Catalonia is a famous autonomous community in Spain. It is situated in the northeastern part of the country and consists of four provinces. The provinces consist of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. Barcelona is not only the capital of Catalonia, but is also the biggest city in the region. Because Barcelona is such a large city and Catalonia’s long history of international trade, the area is a very popular tourist destination. Another reason for Catalonia’s success is its temperate climate. Two other reasons that make Catalonia different from other areas in Spain are, people speak Catalan, Spanish and Aranese, and its climate has both beaches and mountain ranges.
Which city is cheaper, Catalonia or La Rioja?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in La Rioja is €97, while the average daily cost in Catalonia is €132. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for La Rioja and Catalonia in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about €90 in La Rioja For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Catalonia, €150 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Catalonia, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is €75, such as in a hostel.
Food in La Rioja costs travelers about €35 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
The average traveler spends about €35 per day in Catalonia for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
La Rioja €35
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Catalonia
For Catalonia, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Lloret de Mar: Medieval Show with Dinner:
Barcelona: Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals:
To get around in La Rioja, the average visitor spends €17 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Catalonia than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend €18 on transportation in Catalonia on average per day.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Catalonia
Also for Catalonia, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Costa Brava: Water World Aquatic Park & Optional Transfer:
Barcelona: Private Airport Transfer to/from Barcelona:
Barcelona (BCN) Airport from/to Cruise Port Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into La Rioja or Catalonia?
Prices for flights to both Catalonia and La Rioja change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
In La Rioja, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average €19 per person, per day.
Sightseeing expenses in Catalonia, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of €26 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in Catalonia
For Catalonia, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Amposta: MónNatura Delta de l'Ebre Entrance Ticket:
Barcelona 3-Hour Segway Tour with Sagrada Familia:
Barcelona 4-Hour Private Sports Tour: Camp Nou:
Barcelona Full Moon Cruise:
Barcelona Gaudí Sightseeing Tour from Costa Brava:
Barcelona Zoo Tickets:
Barcelona and Sitges: Full-Day Private Yacht Tour with Lunch:
Barcelona for Kids: Dragons, Giants and Kings Tour:
Barcelona: 2-Hour Private Sailing Boat Cruise:
Barcelona: 2-Hour Sailing Experience with Refreshments:
Barcelona: 2-Hour Segway Group Tour by Night:
Barcelona: 2-Hour Segway Tour:
Typically, people visiting La Rioja spend on average €14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Catalonia spend on average €16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Sample the Local Flavors in Catalonia
Also in Catalonia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Barcelona: Estrella Damm Old Brewery Tour with Tasting:
Barcelona Wine Tasting: Catalan and Spanish Wines:
Barcelona: Authentic Wine Tastings on the Terrace:
Alt Penedès: Penedès Classic Group Bike Wine Tour:
Barcelona: Private Pinxto and Wine Tasting Tour with a Local:
Penedès: Full-Day Guided E-Bike Wine Tour with Brunch:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between La Rioja and Catalonia, we can see that Catalonia is more expensive. And not only is La Rioja much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to La Rioja would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in La Rioja and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Catalonia would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Catalonia than you might in La Rioja.
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