Which country is cheaper, the Netherlands or Spain?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Spain or the Netherlands? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which country has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
|Museums & Attractions|
|Scuba Diving & Snorkeling|
Spain is a diverse, historic, and proud country. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. And you can't forget about the national parks, history and culture, nightlife, and food.
From the popular coastlines to the rugged interior, Spain is full of history, natural beauty, vibrant people, amazing cities, unique cuisines, and gorgeous views. While Madrid is the capital, it's by no means the main attraction of a country full of beaches, ancient castles, and cultural diversity. Barcelona is the hub of the Catalan region with its own unique culture, and the southern areas have a deep historic relationship with Moorish culture, too. Visitors will also find epic hikes, world-class food, vineyards and wineries, epic nightlife, famous art, natural wildlife, multiple coastlines, cultural dances and music, friendly smiles, and affordable prices.
The Netherlands is a historic, beautiful, and progressive country. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include theater, history and culture, nightlife, and food.
The relatively small country of the Netherlands is densely populated and is host to world-class cities, amazing history, and plenty of cultural attractions. Also commonly referred to as Holland, much of this country's land has been reclaimed by the sea and is crisscrossed by canals and man-made waterways historically used for shipping and trade. Today, the Netherlands is a modern, diverse, and developed nation that still offers plenty of historic and cultural charm with beautiful old buildings, windmills, farmland, cheese shops, and bike paths. Amsterdam is the most popular city for visitors, as it contains famous museums and historic architecture along canals and streets filled with bicycles. Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht also have museums, history, and culture to explore, even though they see less tourists than Amsterdam.
Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Spain and the Netherlands. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Spain or The Netherlands.
Spain offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The major cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Granada, and others all have world-class museums that cover a variety of topics from history to art to science. Many of them are also family-friendly. In Barcelona, don't miss the Picasso museum dedicated to the famous artist. Casa Batllo is one of Gaudi's famous buildings and worth a tour along with Casa Vicens, too. MNAC is a great place to learn about the local Catalan art and history. And the Joan Miro museum is dedicated to the work and life of this famous artist. In Madrid, you can find plenty of historical places such as the Royal Palace and the National Archaeology Museum. If it's art you seek, make sure to visit the Prado, the Queen Sofia Arts Center, or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, all of which have world-class art from Spain and Europe. In Valencia, kids will love the Oceanografic aquarium and the Bioparc zoo. In Seville, the Real Alcazar has fascinating architecture. and the Flemenco museum showcases Spain's most famous dance. This is just a small sample, as you'll find even more museums in Bilbao, Malaga, Granada, and other cities around the country, too.
Barcelona: Architecture and history all contribute to the city's impressive sights and museums. Famous landmarks include the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Casa Milà, and the Palace of Catalan Music.
Cadiz: As the oldest city in Europe, there are countless historic sights and monuments to see. Some of the most interesting historic sights include Catedral Nueva, the Arcos de los Blancos, Torre Tavira, and Museo de Cádiz.
Travelers visit The Netherlands from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. With art, culture, history, science, nature, and more, this country has a large number of must-see museums that should be on everyone's itinerary. Amsterdam offers a number of famous art museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. Also here you'll find the famous Anne Frank house, dedicated to the young girl that hid with her family in the attic during the Holocaust. Even more art museums, historic and modern, are found in the major cities such as the Mauritshuis, Escher in Het Paleis, the Groninger Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum and Rembrandt Museum in Amsterdam. If you're looking for some family-friendly activities, check out the Naturalis in Leiden (a natural science museum), the NEMO Science museum in Amsterdam, the Railway Museum in Utrecht, the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, and the Open Air Museum of Arnhem. Also, many of the castles around the country have been turned into museums for exploration and historic purposes.
Both Spain and The Netherlands offer similar levels of history and culture when visiting.
Spain has many famous historic and cultural sights and attractions worth visiting, and is one of the main reasons why poeple come here. The blending of cultures in this region of Europe along with the accessibility of historic sights and cultural traditions make this country an obvious place to visit for history lovers. A long period of Spain's history was influenced by the Moors from the south, and you can see it in the architecture, art, cuisine, and music. Furthermore, the Catalan region in the east has it's own cultural differences. The Roman empire also left its mark, as did visitors from the rest of Europe and northern Africa. Some of the best historic places to see in Spain include the Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada, the huge cathedrals of Seville, Barcelona, and Madrid, El Escorial palace outside of Madrid, Montserrat Monastery near Barcelona, amongst others. Some of the best historical sites are actually the smaller castles and fortresses that are left from the long conflict between the Spanish and Moors that dot the countryside in the southern regions. Furthermore, Spain has made unique contributions of music, theater, and culture to the world stage. Flamenco dancing and Paso Double are just two of the musical art forms that are worth seeing on a smaller, intimate stage during a visit. And don't miss the world-class cuisine, too.
The Netherlands is a terrific destination to visit for history, arts, and culture, as it has many sights worth visiting. With cities dating back thousands of years, a large collection of art and history museums, numerous historic sites such as castles, windmills, forts, and cathedrals, and historic architecture everywhere you look, it's no surprise that people visit the Netherlands for its deep history and unique culture. Historic cities such as Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, Arnhem, and many others provide that quintessential Dutch vibe with historic buildings lining beautiful canals. You'll also find old castles and forts along with world-class art museums. Don't miss the Van Gogh museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. Also, make sure you add the historic Open Air Museum of Arnhem to your list, as well as the Mauritshuis in the Hague. Just north of Amsterdam you can find the Zaanse Schans, a town with historic windmills along the river that showcases the life and history of this water-borne nation. No matter what your interests may be, you'll find something for everyone in this culturally rich country. Even if history isn't your passion, you can't miss the beauty in it.
See also Free Things to do in Amsterdam.
You'll find a similar number of big city activities in both Spain and The Netherlands.
As Spain has many big cities, visitors will find plenty to do. Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities and most popular places to visit. Both have world-class museums, historical attractions, cathedrals, parks, shopping, restaurants and cafes, markets, and unique culture. Some of the other cities in Spain should not be overlooked either, as they also offer plenty of big city activities, museums, and culture. Valencia, Seville, Alicante, and Cadiz are also large and full of terrific activities.
Since The Netherlands has large cities, you'll find plenty of things to do. Amsterdam is a very popular destination for travelers coming to Europe because it offers historic architecture, world-class art museums, boat trips along the scenic canals, the infamous red light district, and more. Rotterdam and The Hague also offer plenty of big city activities such as museums, theater productions, and great cuisine. While Amsterdam is often included in many traveler's European tours, the other cities in the Netherlands get overlooked despite their terrific attractions.
You'll find a similar number of small towns and villages to explore in both Spain and The Netherlands.
Because Spain offers so many small towns with a variety of charming activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. A few of the most popular small towns to visit include Ronda with its dramatic cliffs, Besalu and it's bridge and castle-like gate, Cudillero on the northern coast, and Morella with its castle. All around Spain visitors can find small towns that once contained fortified cities, fishing villages, monasteries, and more. Bunol, near Valencia, is the location of the famous annual tomato fight. And Pamplona is home to the running of the bulls every year. Benasque in the Pyrenees sits in a valley and offers plenty of outdoor activities. And don't miss the famous hanging houses of Cuenca. Frigiliana is full of white-washed Andalucian houses, along with other nearby towns worth visiting. Every region of Spain offers something unique and special, so make sure you add some of these places to your itinerary.
The Netherlands is a great destination to visit small towns and villages just waiting to be explored. If you seek small towns with plenty of charm and history, Holland offers plenty of them. Many towns and smaller cities here have a historic vibe with canals, windmills, local agricultural products, museums, and more. Gouda, Leiden, Arnhem, Haarlem, Naarden, Edam, and Giethoorn are just some of the places worth visiting. They offer local cuisine, cute cobblestone lanes, historic churches, and friendly people.
Both Spain and The Netherlands offer theater options for visitors.
Spain offers a number of shows and performances. In Madrid, you can see plays and musicals at the Theatro Real Theatre and from the National Classical Theatre Company or the National Drama Centre. The Spanish National Ballet and the National Dance Company provide terrific opportunities to see world-class dance productions. Also, you can see Flamenco shows at small, intimate venues around Madrid and other cities, too. For example, in Barcelona you should try to catch a Flemenco show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes which is one of the best venues in the country. Also in Barcelona, the Gran Teatre del Liceu is a large historic venue with a gorgeous interior that hosts a variety of productions. And don't miss the Palace of Catalan Music where you can listed to music from the region. Many other cities host terrific theater productions from the local culture as well as touring shows.
The Netherlands has a number of performance venues where you can see a variety of shows. Amsterdam has a vibrant theater scene with a huge number of venues such as the International Theater, Royal Theater Caree, DeLaMar Theater, and even De Kleine Komedie which is one of the oldest theaters and puts on a variety of comedy acts. Other cities such as Rotterdam, the Hague, Utrecht, and Leiden have terrific theater and musical venues with plays, concerts, comedy, and kid-friendly productions.
There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Spain and The Netherlands.
Dining out in Spain is an experience not to be missed. Tapas are perhaps the most famous Spanish culinary export. These small sharable dishes started as something to snack on while drinking, and have transformed into a style of meal all their own. Typical tapas dishes include potatoes, sausages, stewed meats, calamari, olives, cheese, and more. But tapas are not the only local foods you should try. Chirizo is a special type of smoked sausage, and jamón Iberico is a smoked ham with tons of flavor. Calamares (rings of squid) are also popular around the costal areas, and are cooked with a variety methods. Anchovies and other seafood are popular, too. Paella is also famous. The name comes from the wide pan that the rice dish is served in, usually with seafood or meat and a variety of spices for flavoring. Finally, while in Spain, taste the local olives, bread, cheese, and fruit as they are all usually fresh and delicious.
Madrid: The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.
Barcelona: With easy access to fresh produce, there are many food markets around town. You'll also find great fresh local dishes at the many restaurants. Make sure you try the paella, croquettes, and Jamon Iberico.
Valencia: The city is famous as the birthplace of paella, which is one of Spain's most famous dishes. Beyond the paella, there are a number of other amazing traditional dishes. Fideuà is similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice. All i pebre is an eel and potato dish and clóchinas are tiny local mussels. For dessert make sure you try the flan de calabaza, which is pumpkin flavored.
Almeria: The food is focused on local, fresh ingredients with many traditional recipes that have been passed down for centuries. Popular dishes change with the seasons because they rely so heavily on local produce. Particularly during the winter months you'll find hearty stews like patatas en ajopollo and gurullos con conejo, which is prepared with rabbit. Sardines are also popular year round.
There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around The Netherlands. Traditional Dutch foods often include fried snacks such as krokets, small pancakes known as Poffertjes, fried fish, and world-famous cheeses. Furthermore, plenty of terrific restaurants serving a variety of European and global cuisine can be found across the country, especially in the larger cities. Food here tends to be fresh, and the dining and restaurant scene is very active.
Both Spain and The Netherlands are comparable when it comes to partying.
Spain offers plenty to do in the evening. Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, Malaga, Valencia, and many other beach resort towns all have active nightlife scenes, each with their own personality. Barcelona is very popular with all types of bars and dance clubs for locals and travelers alike. Sidecar, Opium, and Pacha are some of the most popular places, and many more can be found in Raval, El Born, and the Gothic Quarter. In Madrid, check out Kapital, Barbara Ann, or Ochoymedio. Along the coast, the nightlife varies from family-friendly restaurants and theaters to more active dance clubs, pubs, and bars for singles and younger couples.
Madrid: Many tourists and international students hang out in the Huertas area, while Malasaña has a bohemian, hipster vibe with small clubs that play indie music. Chueca is a fun area that's known for being gay-friendly with many good bars. Finally, you'll find that the area around Avenida de Brasil is where famous DJs often perform.
Barcelona: The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.
Valencia: Dinner starts late, so you can expect the nightlife to pick up even later. During the summer there are all night terrace parties and year round you'll find nightclubs filled from evening to dawn. If all night raves aren't really your thing, you'll also find plenty of local bars where you can hang out with friends in a more relaxed setting. The nightlife scene really is varied enough that there's something for everyone.
Malaga: The city has some of the most active nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of opportunities to party in Malaga and you'll find the most vibrant nightlife in the Centro Historico.
Palma de Mallorca: Head to Magaluf and Palma for the most popular places.
The Netherlands has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. Amsterdam is a haven for nightlife, as it attracts a large number of visitors looking for entertainment. The red light district is full of bars and nightclubs, as are other areas of the city. You can also find theater productions and fine dining experiences, too. Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Leiden, and other cities also offer plenty of nightlife options with a wide array of bars, cafes, clubs, and theaters.
Amsterdam: The city has some of the best nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of bars, dance clubs, and other activities that you can enjoy throughout the night.
See also Party Hostels in Amsterdam.
Spain is considered to be a more popular beach destination than The Netherlands.
The beaches in Spain are among the best in the world. The beaches in Spain are world-class, popular, and extensive. With a huge stretch of coastline on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, as well as famous islands such as Ibiza and Mallorca. The coastline of Andalusia and Valencia are perhaps the most visited, as tourists from all of Europe, and all of the world, come here for holiday beach vacations in Spain. Good food, sunny warm weather, wide sandy beaches, and family-friendly amenities are found up and down the coast. Some areas are more party-oriented, while others offer a calm, relaxing vibe, or family-friendly activities. Some of the best and most popular beach destinations in southern Spain include Tossa de Mar in Costa Brava, Puerto Banus near Marbella, Bogatell in Barcelona, Almunecar in Costa Tropical, and the beaches of Cadiz, amongst others. You can't go wrong with any of them.
Barcelona: The city features long sandy beaches where you can soak up the Mediterranean sun right in the heart of town. Popular beaches include Bogatell Beach, Barceloneta Beach, and Nova Icària.
Valencia: The city is surrounded by some of the best beaches in Spain. They're accessible but still largely undeveloped. They also have long stretches of sand and although they can get crowded during the summer months, they still have plenty of space. La Malvarrosa Beach is one of the most popular because of its proximity to the city. El Saler Beach is further out and popular with the locals and Port Saplaya is a colorful area with shopping and beaches.
Palma de Mallorca: The island is lined with sandy beaches and rocky coves, which have contributed to it becoming one of Europe's most popular beach destinations.
Almeria: Outside of town you'll find kilometers of stunning coastline and beaches. There are pristine natural beaches that still feel undiscovered with beautiful long stretches of sand. One of the biggest resort areas is Roquetas de Mar.
Marbella: The area boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. They are hubs of activity with lots of energy, and there are more than 18 miles of sandy beach in the area. Popular options include Guadalmina Beach, San Pedro de Alcántara Beach, and Nueva Andalucía Beach.
The Netherlands is a good spot to see the beach. While the weather is a bit cold most of the year, the beaches still attract a decent crowd. With wide stretches of sand, plenty of hotels, and many with easy accessibility by public transit, a trip to the beach here is quite fun and easy if the weather is good. One of the most popular beaches is Scheveningen, right near The Hague, where you can find a boardwalk and other beach activities. Surfing, the Pier, a Ferris Wheel, and plenty of great restaurants make this a fun day trip. Zandvoort aan Zee is the closest beach to Amsterdam where you'll find a good stretch of sand with dunes in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. Bloemendaal aan Zee is another very scenic beach with natural areas as well as cafes and restaurants. Egmond aan Zee is a gorgeous beach near an old fishing village with a lighthouse, and is worth the trip. Plenty of other beaches are also easy to reach, including the Hoek of Holland near Rotterdam and the barrier islands in the north.
Both Spain and The Netherlands are good shopping destinations.
Many visitors go to Spain to go shopping. In Barcelona, visitors can find plenty of great areas with fashion boutiques, local arts and crafts, and souvenirs. Check out Portal De L'Angel in the Gothic Quarter, Paseo de Gràcia with its high-end stores, Avenida Diagonal for its diversity of shops, and the famous Boqueria Market where you'll find fresh food and other surprises. In Madrid, don't miss Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Calle de Fuencarral, or the historic El Rastro flea market where you can find plenty of hidden gems. Elsewhere in Spain, most beach resort areas have shopping streets, and the larger towns such as Valencia, Malaga, and Marbella have multiple shopping neighborhoods. In Granada and Seville, it's also possible to find those special local arts and craft shops for the perfect gift or souvenir.
Madrid: Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.
Barcelona: Head to Portal De L’Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.
Marbella: This area attracts vacationers from around Europe and the shopping is some of the best in Europe.
Shopping is a popular activity when visiting The Netherlands. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague are all full of shops where visitors can find everything from fashion to gifts to local arts and crafts. And each of these cities are large enough that different neighborhoods offer a variety of personalities each with their own shopping vibe. Some of the historic areas tend to cater to tourists and sell gifts and crafts, while the fashion neighborhoods and malls offer the latest trends in local boutique shops. Art galleries are also quite common, as are chain clothing stores, tourist shops, and cheese shops, but there's something for everyone. Even smaller cities that attract tourists will offer good deals, trendy boutiques, and local crafts. Look for some interesting finds in Utrecht, Amersfoort, Leiden, Den Bosch, Haarlem or other smaller cities.
While The Netherlands and Spain both have hiking trails, overall Spain is more well-known.
Known for its hiking, Spain draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. The Camino de Santiago is Spain's most famous hiking route. Also known as the Way of St. James, this historic 500 mile-long pilgrimage route stretches across the entire width of Spain and also has numerous secondary paths. Hikers come from around the world to trek the entire length or just a small portion of the trail which ends at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in the northwest. Additionally, you'll find plenty of other hiking opportunities in the Pyrenees mountains, the various national parks, or even in the Canary islands or Mallorca. Also, the Caminito del Rey has amazing trails along cliffs near Malaga. From Barcelona, it's easy to reach the base of Montserrat, where you can hike up to the monastery instead of taking the cable car, or hike on the higher up trails as well. Sierra Nevada national park, near Granada, also offers plenty of hiking trails that are close to a major city. And in the Costa Brava region up the coast from Barcelona, even more gorgeous trails have great views of the landscapes and Mediterranean Sea. Generally, no matter where you visit in this country, you can find some great trails.
The Netherlands has hiking trails for those that seek them out. Despite its smaller size and lack of mountains, plenty of beautiful hiking routes are found all over the country. With a variety of national parks and wildlife areas, many of these trails are easily accessible to the major cities. Some are found along the coastline where you'll hike among sand dunes and along the shore. Others are inland in the forest and follow rivers or canals with the occasional castle or historic ruins mixed in to the itinerary. So, if you're looking to get out of the city for some fresh air, a day hiking is a good option.
Both Spain and The Netherlands are good destinations for visiting national parks.
Many visitors go to Spain to see the national parks. With sixteen national parks and a variety of other natural parks and wilderness protection areas, visitors are offered a diverse set of natural destinations to explore. Some are in the mountains, some at the coast, and others are found in unique ecosystems. Some of the most popular include Cabañeros in the mountains of Toledo, Guadarrama near Madrid, and Illas Atlánticas de Galicia near A Coruna on the northern coast. Several national parks are found on the Canary Islands and make the trip there even more interesting if you have the time. In many of Spain's national parks, you'll find hiking, camping, horseback riding, adventure sports, and beautiful views.
The Netherlands is a good destination to visit the national parks. The 21 national parks are spread across the nation and serve to protect wildlife and cultural areas. Many of the parks are quite small compared to what other countries offer, but they are still beautiful and significant for what they provide. Some of the most popular include Weerribben-Wieden, De Biesbosch, and Zuid-Kennemerland.
Overall, Spain is considered to offer more adventure travel options and experiences to visitors.
The safari options in Spain attract many visitors. From the mountains to the coastline, visitors can experience bungee jumping, mountain biking, paragliding, zip-lines, ropes courses, rock climbing, canyoning, whitewater rafting, and more. The coast also offers surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, scuba diving, and boating. It's possible to find these activities all around the country, usually in the countryside not far from major cities.
While The Netherlands is not known for its adventure side, visitors can still find some exciting experiences. Although it's a small country, visitors can still find adventurous activities along the coast and in some of the natural areas. The beaches offer kite surfing and wind surfing opportunities. Also, plenty of travelers like to go kayaking or canoeing on the many canals and waterways. Zip-lining and ropes courses can be found around the country, such as the Euromast in Rotterdam. Also, almost every city has a rock climbing gym. And if you're really interested in climbing, check out the tallest climbing wall ever built in Groningen.
You can find a fairly equal amount of watersports in both Spain and The Netherlands.
Spain is an extremely popular destination for those interested in watersports. With a huge length of coastline both on the southern Mediterranean shore and the northern Atlantic shore, water sports in all forms can be found here. Surfing is very popular on both coasts, as wake boarding, kite surfing, and wind surfing. It's also easy to rent kayaks or canoes both on the coastline or in the rivers and lakes of the interior. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular along the coast, as well as in the Canary Islands and around Ibiza and Majorca. The beaches and clear waters of these island paradises attract plenty of water bound tourists for a good reason. If you're interested in doing more at the beach than just laying on the sand, Spain is the place for you.
Watersports and aquatic activities in The Netherlands are quite popular with travelers. With a fairly lengthy coastline, you'll find plenty of opportunities here for kite surfing, wind surfing, and normal surfing depending on the weather. Boating is very popular given the large number of rivers and canals in the Netherlands. Kayaking and Canoeing should be on anyone's itinerary whether you're in a city or out in the countryside. A large number of lakes dot the landscape, too, with opportunities for swimming, water skiing, boating, fishing, and more.
While The Netherlands and Spain both have plenty of outdoor activities, overall Spain is considered to be better for travelers seeking outdoor adventures.
The outdoor activities and experiences of Spain attract many visitors. Popular outdoor activities here include camping, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and more. Canyoning is popular, especially in the Pyrenees. The Sierra de Guara is one of the most popular spots for this, located outside of Zaragoza. Or, try rock climbing in Andalucía where you'll find a variety of spots not far from Malaga, Cordoba, and Granada. For those looking for a hike, trails are everywhere and not just in the national parks. Of course, there's always the famous Camino de Santiago if you're looking for an adventure.
The Netherlands is a good destination to visit the outdoors, as there are some fun activities. A number of hiking trails, biking paths, and running trails can be found almost everywhere in the country. Boating, kayaking and canoeing are popular almost everywhere, too. Most cities and towns have kayak rentals if you're interested. The beaches are also popular spots for outdoor activities such as swimming, camping, and hiking. And with a variety of national parks and wilderness areas that are all easily accessible via public transit from the nearest city, the Netherlands makes it easy to get out and enjoy nature.
Generally Spain is better for road trips, as it offers more possibilities.
Spain is a very popular destination for those that love to take road trips. The roads in Spain are efficient, quick, and well-maintained, making it easy to get around. If you don't have a car, it's also easy and often affordable to rent or hire one at the airport upon arrival. Many visitors take a road trip along the coastlines. The northern coastline in particular is very scenic with epic views and small towns The southern coastline is lined with beaches, more small towns, and larger cities. The Catalan coast north of Barcelona is especially beautiful with small towns, cliffs along the sea, and historical sites. The interior shouldn't be missed either, as you'll find national parks, castles and fortresses, and beautiful cities such as Granada, Ronda, Seville, and Toledo. And since Spain is not too large, the drives won't be too long between destinations.
The Netherlands has a few possibilities for a road trip for those that seek them out. Getting around by car is not difficult since the distances to drive are fairly short. On a road trip you can see the many small towns of the countryside, the agricultural regions, historic windmills, old castles and forts, and more. Also, a trip up and down the coastline is quite easy and very scenic, too.
Kids will enjoy a visit to either Spain or The Netherlands.
As it has a large number of activities for kids, Spain is a very family-friendly destination. Beach vacations are one of the first things that come to mind for a family holiday or vacation to Spain. The Mediterranean coast has multiple beach resort towns such as those in Valencia or around Malaga and Marbella. Even Costa Brava and the areas around Barcelona are popular beach spots, too. But don't assume that the beaches are the only thing to see for families, as the big cities and mountains have plenty of activities as well. Madrid has kids tours of the Prado museum, the Mercado de San Miguel, a great zoo, the Warner Brothers Park, a railway museum, and a fantastic natural sciences museum. Barcelona offers the CosmoCaixa science museum, Montjuic and it's fun gondolas, the chocolate museum, a terrific aquarium, and plenty of interesting architecture. Kids also love all of the old castles and fortresses that dot the countryside, especially the Alhambra, the Castillo de Peñíscola, and the Royal Palace of Olite. Furthermore, plenty of cities have a mix of cultural and historical sites combined with modern family attractions such as amusement parks, water parks, and natural park areas. The mountains also have national parks with wide open spaces which are great for family hikes, bike rides, camping, and road trips. You can't go wrong with a family trip to Spain, as there's just so much to do.
See also The Ultimate Guide to Madrid.
The Netherlands is a very family-friendly destination. Plenty of family-friendly activities can be found in the cities and countryside, such as amusement parks, the beach, historical attractions, biking, boating, and more. Numerous amusement parks are located throughout the country. Also, most of the cities have family-friendly museums such as the NEMO Science Museum or the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, the Natural Science Museum in Leiden, the Railway Museum in Utrecht, or the Open Air Museum in Arnhem. Several zoos are also found throughout the country. And of course, don't forget about LegoLand and the Sea Life center in Scheveningen.
Spain offers a wider variety of romantic activities for couples than The Netherlands.
Spain has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. In addition to the historical centers of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Valencia which contain plenty of romantic attractions, couples and honeymooners also love Majorca and Ibiza for it's epic beaches, the southern coast of Spain for the beach resorts, and Costa Brava for its charming small towns with fantastic cuisine. Honeymooners could stay in one spot for a week, or spend their entire trip touring the highlights. Or, if you're just looking for a quick weekend getaway, any of the major cities or smaller towns offers plenty of charming activities. Andalucía is a popular destination because it combines the beaches with historic towns, mountain retreats, and fantastic food. The Asturias region on the northern coast is popular for many of the same reasons. No matter where you visit, it's easy to combine all of the best features of Spain into one terrific and romantic trip.
Marbella: The area has luxury resorts, nice beaches, water sports, golf, and water activities that are perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.
See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Female Travellers, & Couples in Madrid, Hostels & Campgrounds in Ibiza for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Groups, and Hostels in Pamplona for Backpackers, Solo Travellers, and Couples.
The Netherlands is not the best destination for a couple to visit. Amsterdam is the most popular city to visit, and contains plenty of historic and charming hotels and B&B's which couples find to be very romantic. Elsewhere in the country, similar accommodations can be found that make for a terrific couple's getaway as you can enjoy romantic restaurants, outdoor cafes, scenic boat rides, and cultural activities.
Both Spain and The Netherlands are popular destinations for backpackers.
Spain is a very popular country for backpackers and budget travelers. Affordable prices, easy transportation, and a wide array of budget accommodation make this country extremely popular for backpackers and budget travelers. Barcelona, Madrid, the costal cities, and small towns all have plenty of hostels, pensions, and guest houses. Barcelona is also known for its nightlife, attracting younger travelers on a budget, and plenty of places cater to them with low-cost accommodations with a party vibe. Also, a huge number of museums and cultural attractions have low-cost or free entry tickets, or provide discounts for anyone under 25. Affordable food is also found everywhere, whether at local restaurants, street vendors, or markets. Transportation is also easy, cheap, and efficient, and serves the entire country. Overall, prices in most spots in Spain tend to be a little more affordable than in the rest of Europe.
Madrid: The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.
Barcelona: There are many hostels around town, each with its own personality. Many of the hostels also organize activities or dinners for guests so it's easy to meet other travelers.
Malaga: From an endless supply of hostels to plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers, this is a very backpacker friendly area.
The Netherlands is very popular with the backpacker crowd. With a large number of somewhat affordable hostels, cheap transportation, affordable food options, and low cost attractions, most major cities in the Netherlands are popular with backpackers and budget traveler. Keep in mind that travel costs here are fairly high, though. So, while hostels are less expensive than hotels, they are still not cheap. But with plenty of options and a party atmosphere, Amsterdam especially is very popular with the backpacker and budget-travel crowd.
Amsterdam: With it's party-hard personality and countless low price hostels, this city attracts its share of backpackers. Do note that many of the hostels aren't focused on quality, so make sure you understand what you're paying for. It may be worth booking a slightly more expensive room in a hotel.
Spain and The Netherlands are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.
Spain is a good country to visit for students. Other than Barcelona and Madrid, the most popular cities for students include Granada, Seville, Valencia, and Bilbao. Here, you'll find large universities surrounded by student-friendly neighborhoods. Nightlife, bars, affordable restaurants, and fun activities can be found in all of these cities which cater to budget travelers and locals alike. Spain is a popular destination overall for study-abroad students and younger travelers.
Madrid: With several great universities, this city is popular with international and study abroad students. The city also has a diverse population and an active nightlife that appeals to students.
Barcelona: This is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find international students from around the world. It's a beautiful city with plenty to see and do.
Valencia: The city is young and vibrant with a lot of culture and beautiful neighborhoods. It's also well connected to the rest of Spain with a convenient central train station.
Plenty of students visit The Netherlands. With large universities in the major cities and a great infrastructure for younger budget travelers, students will find plenty of opportunities to explore the country and meet up with others. Many of the university areas of the major cities offer extensive nightlife scenes and affordable activities. Utrecht has one of the largest in the nation, as as such the city has a young and vibrant vibe. Amsterdam, Leiden, and Groningen also have large student populations and the accompanying atmosphere for student life, too.
The Hague: This is a very popular study abroad destination so you'll find plenty of international students living here. It's an internationally oriented city so everyone feels right at home.
Both Spain and The Netherlands offer a very good transportation system.
Spain has a great public transit system. High speed trains as well as local trains take visitors and residents around all of the cities in Spain fairly quickly. Once in a city, the local transit systems are excellent at reaching most places quickly. And if you choose to drive, you'll find a quality and efficient highway system, too. Buses can fill in the spots where trains don't go, and sometimes buses are a cheaper alternative to trains or flights between cities as well. The most popular airport connections are found in Madrid and Barcelona.
Is it easy to travel around Spain?
Public transit in The Netherlands is top-notch. As a relatively small country with a high population density, getting around in the Netherlands feels like traveling around a city instead of a country. The national train system operates routes on a regular schedule so that you can find a train anywhere at least every hour if not more frequently. And when you're in a city, the bus and tram systems are fantastic, efficient, affordable, and frequent. You won't need a car as a visitor, but if you choose to hire one, you'll find high-quality roads, too. Finally, many of the islands in the north are accessible with public ferries running on frequent schedules. As you probably know, much of the infrastructure in the Netherlands is built around bicycles, so don't be afraid to grab some fietsen and make your way around town on the dedicated bike lanes. It's common to rent bikes at the station if you arrive in a different city by train or bus, or bike rentals are available at many shops around the cities, too. Overall, the transit system in the Netherlands is amazing.
Is it easy to travel around the Netherlands?
Spain and The Netherlands are both modern and comfortable places to visit.
Spain is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. Luxury beach vacations and historical attractions in famous cities usually come to mind when people think of Spain. Rightly so, because this country is modern and offers a wide array of comfortable modes of travel and vacationing. It's easy to find budget-friendly accommodation, but even at the lowest prices, guests can still expect to find modern and comfortable amenities. The roads, trains, and public transit are also clean, safe, and can get visitors anywhere. The tourist infrastructure here is extensive, and anyone can travel comfortably here no matter their budget or price range.
The Netherlands is a very comfortable and luxurious destination with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and activities. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and other cities in the country all offer high-end, luxurious accommodations, fine dining restaurants, and extensive tour options for anyone wishing to travel in style. Even if you don't want to spend large amounts of money, this country is very modern with a high standard of living, and that is reflected in the mid-range and budget hotels, too. It's hard to find an uncomfortable place here, as the tourist infrastructure is vast and thorough.
Spain and The Netherlands are both quite touristy, seeing a large number of visitors every year.
Spain is very touristy. While Madrid and Barcelona are the most popular cities to visit, the beach resort areas in Andalucía and Valencia can also get touristy, especially in the busy summer months. Additionally, other cities such as Toledo, the towns in Catalonia, Granada, and Seville attract many visitors. The summer months are the most busy, and you can expect larger crowds in these destinations as well as at major tourist sites. In some places, entrance queues for museums or attractions can get quite long. The most popular places to visit in Madrid include the Prado museum, the Royal Palace, the Crystal Palace in Retiro park, and sometimes the football museum at the Real Madrid football stadium. In Barcelona, you can expect crowds at the Sagrada Família cathedral, Park Güell, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc at night when it's lit up, and in the streets of the Gothic Quarter. Despite the crowds, it's never too chaotic or unmanageable, and Spain is absolutely worth the trip in any case.
The Netherlands is a destination which hosts plenty of visitors. Amsterdam in particular is extremely popular with tourists, and many parts of the city can be quite crowded most of the year. From the red light district to the museums and boat tours on the canals, it's often hard to avoid tourists here. On the other hand, other cities in the Netherlands enjoy significantly less visitors and offer similar cultural and historic activities without the crowds. It's quite easy to get around by train, so take the time to visit another city or two during your trip to avoid the crowds.
Both Spain and the Netherlands have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Spain than the Netherlands.
The ideal length of time for a trip to Spain is 7-21 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to the Netherlands is 3-7 days.
The destination of Spain offers beaches, hiking, and mountains. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in the Netherlands. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.
Spain is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. This country offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, five days is probably not enough for all of it.
The Netherlands is a fun place to experience. In the Netherlands, many people enjoy the food, water sports, and shopping that this destination offers. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.
The gorgeous country of Spain offers mountains, shopping, and museums. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for one week. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.
In the Netherlands, many people enjoy the water sports, shopping, and museums that this vibrant destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.
The gorgeous country of Spain offers mountains, shopping, and museums. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for two weeks. Two weeks is often enough time to do most activities.
You'll find water sports, shopping, and museums around the beautiful destination of the Netherlands. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people find that two weeks is more than enough time to see everything.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Spain is €119, while the average daily cost in the Netherlands is €139. 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 country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Spain and the Netherlands in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Spain or the Netherlands? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.
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Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Spain:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Spain:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in the Netherlands:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in the Netherlands:
Prices for flights to both the Netherlands and Spain 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.
Some typical examples of dining costs in Spain are as follows:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Spain.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in the Netherlands:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in the Netherlands.
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Spain are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Spain are as follows:
Here are a few typical costs in the Netherlands for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in the Netherlands for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Spain:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Spain:
Also in the Netherlands, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Spain and the Netherlands, we can see that the Netherlands is more expensive. And not only is Spain much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Spain would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Spain 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 the Netherlands would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in the Netherlands than you might in Spain.
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