A Travel Price Comparison for Spain Santiago de Compostela vs. Bilbao for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Santiago de Compostela or Bilbao?

Should I visit Santiago de Compostela or Bilbao? 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.

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is the capital city of northwest Spain's Galicia region. Its famous cathedral marks the culmination of the Way of Saint James pilgrimage route, and is the alleged burial site of the apostle himself. The pilgrimage route begins in the Pyrenees, 500 miles away, though travelers can decide to join the journey at certain points in between, depending on how far they want to walk and how much they want to see.

Bilbao

The industrial city of Bilbao is located on a port of the Nervión River in northern Spain, an important location of Basque country. While the downtown is filled with skyscrapers and innovative architecture, it sits between a river and mountains of natural allure. A city of hard-workers to the core, Bilbao displays remnants of its industrial past, though in more recent years it has transformed into a center for art. It is now a popular location for visitors looking to experience art galleries and museums.

Which city is cheaper, Bilbao or Santiago de Compostela?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Santiago de Compostela is €73, while the average daily cost in Bilbao is €110. 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 Santiago de Compostela and Bilbao in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around €30. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Santiago de Compostela the cost is €60 on average.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about €114 for a double occupancy room in Bilbao.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santiago de Compostela 30
    Bilbao 57
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santiago de Compostela 60
    Bilbao 114

Food

Food in Santiago de Compostela costs travelers about €16 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.

On average, meal and food prices in Bilbao cost around €37 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around €15.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Santiago de Compostela 16
    Bilbao 37
Typical Food prices in Santiago de Compostela

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Santiago de Compostela:


  • Raspberries
    3.50
  • Ice Cream
    2.00
  • Cookie
    1.00
  • Kebab
    7.25
  • Dinner & Tapas (for 2)
    28
  • Tuna Empanada
    3.50
  • Fruit Shake
    3.50
  • Crepe
    4.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santiago de Compostela

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Santiago de Compostela.

  • Santiago Market and Food Tour: $75
  • Dinner Tapas Tour of Santiago: $93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bilbao

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bilbao.

  • The authentic Bilbao food tour: $96

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Santiago de Compostela is €30 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

The average price of local transportation around Bilbao is €21 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santiago de Compostela 30
    Bilbao 21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santiago de Compostela

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santiago de Compostela:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Santiago de Compostela Airport to City Center by Minivan: $78
  • Departure Private Transfer Santiago de Compostela to SCQ Airport by Business Car: $60
  • Porto Private Transfer to or from Santiago de Compostela: $129
  • Private Airport Transfer: Compostela to Santiago De Compostela Airport (SCQ): $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: Santiago De Compostela Airport (SCQ) to Compostela: $27
  • Private Premium Transfer from Santiago de Compostela to Lisbon + 2h Sightseeing: $450
  • Private Transfer From/To Santiago de Compostela Airport: $53
  • Santiago de Compostela Airport Arrival Private Transfer to City Center: $60
  • Santiago de Compostela Departure Private Transfer to SCQ Airport in 6 Seater Van: $78
  • Santiago de Compostela Private Arrival Transfer: $71
  • Santiago de Compostela Private Departure Transfer: $71
  • Santiago de Compostela Private Transfer from SCQ Airport to City centre: $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bilbao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bilbao:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Business Car Bilbao airport BIO to Bilbao City: $47
  • Arrival Private Transfer Business Car Bilbao airport BIO to San Sebastian City: $181
  • Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Van Bilbao airport BIO to Bilbao City: $67
  • Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Van Bilbao airport BIO to San Sebastian City: $213
  • Bilbao Airport Private Arrival Transfer: $48
  • Bilbao Airport Private Departure Transfer: $48
  • Bilbao Airport Transfers : Bilbao City to Bilbao Airport BIO in Business Car: $54
  • Bilbao Airport Transfers : Bilbao City to Bilbao Airport BIO in Luxury Car: $76
  • Bilbao Airport Transfers : Bilbao City to Bilbao Airport BIO in Luxury Van: $75
  • Bilbao Private Departure Transfer: $87
  • Bilbao Private Transfer from Bilbao city centre to Bilbao Airport: $67
  • Departure Private Transfer Business Car Bilbao City to Bilbao airport BIO: $47

Is it cheaper to fly into Santiago de Compostela or Bilbao?

Prices for flights to both Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela 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.





Entertainment

Santiago de Compostela's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €31 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Bilbao's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €23 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santiago de Compostela 31
    Bilbao 23

Tours and Activities in Santiago de Compostela

Here are a few actual costs in Santiago de Compostela for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Old Town of Santiago de Compostela Walking Tour: $1.24
  • Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and Museum Guided Tour: $23
  • Walking Tour with a Local Guide: $38
  • Full-Day Finisterre & Muxia Guided Tour from Santiago: $41
  • Finisterre, Muxía and Coast of Death: Full-Day Cultural Tour: $41
  • Full-day Rias Baixas Guided Tour from Santiago: $56
  • Santiago de Compostela Old Town Private Walking Tour: $57
  • Ribeira Sacra Full Day Guided Tour from Santiago: $75
  • Santiago de Compostela Wine, Food, History & Nature Experience.: $87
  • Gourmet Lunch Tour of Santiago: $106
  • Rías Baixas Private Tour from Santiago de Compostela: $149
  • Private Santiago de Compostela Tour with Ticket to Cathedral: $149

Tours and Activities in Bilbao

Here are a few actual costs in Bilbao for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Portugalete, Getxo, & Santurtzi Panoramic Boat Tour: $7.10
  • personalized guided tour with a local: $50
  • Basque Coast Tour: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo and Gernika: $75
  • Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo and Gernika Guided Tour with Hotel Pickup: $81
  • Santoña and Santander Guided Tour with Hotel Pick up from Bilbao: $83
  • Biarritz, Saint Jean de Luz, Hondarribia and San Sebastian Full Day Tour: $87
  • Full-day San Sebastian tour from Bilbao: $89
  • Guided Pintxos Tour: $108
  • Basque Country Full Day Tour from Bilbao: $112
  • Getxo and Bizkaia bridge small group tour: $124
  • Tour Bilbao in a Vintage VW "Beetle": $185
  • Guggenheim Museum Personalized & Private Tour with Official Guide: $198

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Santiago de Compostela may vary from person to person, on average a person spends €18 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Bilbao may vary from person to person, on average a person spends €17 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santiago de Compostela 18
    Bilbao 17
Typical Alcohol prices in Santiago de Compostela

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Santiago de Compostela from other travelers:


  • 1 Pint Beer
    2.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Santiago de Compostela

Also in Santiago de Compostela, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Albariño Private Wine Tour from Santiago de Compostela: $351

Sample the Local Flavors in Bilbao

Also in Bilbao, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • La Rioja and Vitoria Wine Tour with Winery Visit: $87
  • Cantabric Sea Experience: Food & Wine Tasting: $199
  • La Rioja Wine Tour with Two Winery Visits with Wine Tasting from Bilbao: $243
  • Architectural Rioja Wine Tour from Bilbao: $287
  • San Sebastian & The Basque Wine Region with Lunch and Wine Tasting (From Bilbao): $305
  • Essential Rioja Private Wine Tour from Bilbao: $311
  • La Rioja Wine Tour with Gourmet lunch from Bilbao: $383


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Santiago de Compostela and Bilbao, we can see that Bilbao is more expensive. And not only is Santiago de Compostela much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Santiago de Compostela would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Santiago de Compostela 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 Bilbao would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bilbao than you might in Santiago de Compostela.

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Santiago de Compostela vs. Bilbao Travel Comparison

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