Which country is cheaper, the UK or Spain?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Spain and the UK can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
|Museums & Attractions|
|Culture & History|
|Scuba Diving & Snorkeling|
Spain is a diverse, historic, and proud country. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include food, scuba diving and snorkeling, water sports, and beaches.
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 United Kingdom is a traditional, prosperous, and beautiful country. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, theater, history and culture, and nightlife.
The United Kingdom, also commonly referred to as Great Britain, offers visitors a diverse set of experiences and attractions throughout the large cities, small town, and countryside. Consisting of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, travelers can explore a deep and rich history and culture along with modern attractions and beautiful, diverse landscapes. From cities such as London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, it's easy to get out into the smaller towns and countryside to explore the mountains, coastline, and agricultural regions of this island nation.
Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Spain and the UK. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
While you'll find a number of sights and museums in both Spain and The UK, those in The UK are generally more well known.
With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, The UK has many famous sights for visitors. Visitors will find some terrific museums not just in London, but all over the country. For starters, the British Museum is world famous, but York also has the Railway Museum. The smaller town of Bath has its Baths, and you'll find plenty of art galleries all over such as Kelvingrove in Glasgow or the McManus in Dundee.
London: The city has so many iconic sights that we can't list them all, but some of the most famous include the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the British Museum. You can fill many days exploring the treasures found at each of the venues.
Edinburgh: The most famous sights include the Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the National Museum of Scotland. There are also kid-friendly museums like Camera Obscura.
Bath: The main draw to Bath is the rich history and most sights are focused on the area's spa city past. The Roman Baths are a highlight of a trip to the city, but other not to be missed places include Bath Abbey, the Royal Crescent, and Pulteney Bridge.
Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Spain. 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.
Seville: This elegant city is filled with historic buildings and world famous architecture. From the iconic Catedral de Sevilla to the Real Alcázar and Plaza de España, there is an endless supply of world class sights around town.
Cordoba: The city is filled with monuments that reflect its past. The Great Mosque (La Mezquita) is one of the most iconic sights. You can also visit Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, Palacio de Viana, and Puente Romano.
Granada: Many visitors head to Granada specifically to visit the famed Alhambra. The palace and fortress complex will not disappoint. The gardens are beautifully maintained and the palace is filled with intricate details. It's easy to spend hours wandering around. In addition to The Alhambra, the Granada Cathedral is also impressive to visit. If you have kids or extra time to fill, head to Parque de las Ciencias, which is the city's Science Park.
Santiago de Compostela: The iconic Cathedral of Santiago has long attracted pilgrims and travelers from around Europe and the world. The spectacular sight includes a museum and the crypt and tomb of Saint James. Another interesting sight in town is the former hostel for pilgrims, the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos. Also make sure you visit Plaza del Obradoiro and the Galician Center of Contemporary Art.
While both cultures have their own history and culture, generally The UK offers more of this on a visit than Spain
For those interested in history, art, and culture, The UK is not to be missed. Thousands of years of history is on display all over the U.K. With historical destinations such as London, Stonehenge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, numerous castles, and historical small towns, history lovers will find plenty to do here.
Spain is a terrific destination to visit for history, arts, and culture, as it has many sights worth visiting. 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.
You'll find a similar number of great big city activities in both Spain and The UK.
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.
The UK has large cities with plenty of activites for visitors as well. London is the first name that comes to mind when thinking of large cities in Great Britain, and rightly so as this huge global city attracts visitors from everywhere because of its history, museums, theatre, nightlife, food, and monuments. After London, the U.K. has many large cities with their own atmosphere and cultural experiences to offer. Liverpool, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast all have terrific attractions, nightlife, and cuisine for visitors.
Spain offers more villages and small towns to explore than The UK.
Spain also offers a huge number of beautiful small towns with plenty of sights and activities. 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 UK is a great destination to visit small towns and villages just waiting to be explored. Some of the most popular and scenic small towns in England include St. Ives, Bath, Castle Combe, Bibury, and Shaftesbury. And in Scotland, don't miss Tobermory, Anstruther, Linlithgow, St. Andrews, and others. In Wales, you'll find beautiful scenery in Tenby, Solva, Rhossili, and others. Outside of Belfast in Northern Ireland, you'll find small town charm in Bangor, Kilkeel, and Portstewart. All of these towns across the nation offer that traditional quaintness that visitors seek from a typical town in the countryside. You'll find pubs, historic architecture, the occasional ruins of castles and churches, farms, and more.
With more venues to choose from, The UK is more regarded as a theater destination.
Visitors will find world class theater shows, plays, and musicals in The UK that are not to be missed. The London theatre scene is world famous, and when visiting, seeing a show is a must. But venture further into the rest of the country for even more. Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of Shakespeare, after all. You'll find even more theatre experiences in Manchester, Edinburgh, Brighton, Cardiff, and more.
London: The West End theater district is where you'll find the most popular musicals. Famous theaters include Apollo Theatre, Palace Theatre, and Piccadilly Theatre. There are often Wednesday matinees that are a bit cheaper than the evening shows. You may also be able to get discounted last minute tickets if you're visiting during the less touristy times.
Stratford-Upon-Avon: Shakespeare enthusiasts must check out a Shakespeare play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. There are often tickets available the day of for a reduced price.
With some theater and performance venues, you might want to see a show in Spain. 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.
There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Spain and The UK.
Spain has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. 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. There are amazing markets where you can grab a meal or snack. There are also many high quality restaurants around town where you're guaranteed a good meal. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.
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. Many restaurants also have tapas that can be shared. Restaurants in the old town are charming and delicious, but out by the beaches the quality isn't as good.
San Sebastian: It is a famed culinary capital of not just Spain, but the entire world. The city has many Michelin-starred restaurants where you can experience modern or traditional recipes prepared by world class chefs. There are also pintxo bars, food markets, and gourmet food shops, that sell local ingredients and dishes. Much of the cuisine includes seafood, but you'll also find a local twist on traditional tapas. Dining is a true experience in this town.
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.
With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, The UK makes for a great culinary experience. In the last few decades, the food scene in Great Britain has taken off as world-class chefs have opened restaurants featuring menus from all corners of the globe. When visiting the U.K., you'll be pleasantly surprised by the quality and creativity of the food. That being said, traditional British food itself is not particularly famous. Fish and Chips, meat pies, black pudding, bangers and mash, and "toad in the hole" (sausage in batter) tend to be first on people's lists of interesting foods to try when visiting. But they are not the final say in modern British cuisine anymore.
York: Meat pies, fudge, and fish and chips are just some of the culinary experiences you'll find here. The Shambles Market has vendors that sell a wide variety of cuisines. There are also food trucks throughout town that offer affordable and delicious meal options.
Both Spain and The UK have great vibes after the sun sets.
Spain has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. 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.
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.
Marbella: European tourists flock to the town for its beaches and resorts. The town has a glamorous nightlife scene with exclusive clubs and ritzy cocktail bars, particularly in Puerto Banus and along the Golden Mile.
The people in The UK know how to have a good time. London is one of the most popular cities in the world for nightlife. From bars and clubs to theatre shows, the activity in the city is always pulsing. Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, and other large cities also have plenty of nightlife options, too, with active nightclubs, varied music scenes, and theatre productions.
London: Some of the best neighborhoods for nightlife are Camden, West End, Soho, and Shoreditch. There are many festivals, concerts, and shows worth checking out and the nightlife scene is diverse enough that there really is something for everyone.
Glasgow: The city has some of the best nightlife in the entire country. There are clubs, bars, techno warehouses and more. Some of the best clubs include Sub Club, The Berkeley Suite, and The Garage.
See also London's Party Hostels.
Spain is considered to be a more popular beach destination than The UK.
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.
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 UK is a good spot to see the beach. The southern coastline of Britain has a variety of beach areas, some with wide sandy beaches lined with restaurants, boardwalk shops, and other fun activities. While the water is generally cold, the summer months are still quite popular. Some of the more visited spots include St. Ives, Brighton, Newquay, Bournemouth, and West Wittering. This is just a few, and many more areas are favorites with locals, too.
While Spain and The UK are both popular shopping destinations, overall The UK is considered to be better.
Many visitors explore the shopping areas in The UK. London offers plenty of shopping experiences all over the city, and has various neighborhoods with different styles, trends, and vibes. Other large cities also have their own shopping districts where locals and travelers alike can find anything they want from clothes to gifts to locals artisan crafts.
London: With so much iconic shopping around town, it's hard to decide where to go. Head to Oxford Street, Regent Street, or Piccadilly Circus for a quintessential British shopping experience.
Spain is a great destination for 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.
Both Spain and The UK have great Christmas markets during the holiday season.
During the holidays, visitors often browse through the Christmas markets in Spain. Despite weather that's warmer than most of Europe, this country still has strong Christmas traditions and therefore the major cities showcase decorations in public places along with Christmas festivals, markets, and shows during the holiday season. Malaga is on the southern coast, but still boats some terrific lights and decorations for the holidays. Madrid and Barcelona also have festivals and large public displays of lights along with some outdoor markets and performances. Seville, Granada, Bilbao, and other cities do the same. So, if you're in Spain for the holidays, don't miss the festivities.
The UK is a good spot to see some Christmas markets. Visitors over the holidays can find Christmas markets in London, Bath, Bournemouth, Cardiff, and Edinburgh, among others. In addition to shopping, many of these markets offer fun activities, ice skating, shows, Santa encounters, and delicious holiday cuisine.
London: The city has many Christmas markets. There is Winter Wonderland Christmas market, Southbank Centre Winter Market, and Selfridges Christmas Market, among many others.
While The UK and Spain both offer snow skiing, overall Spain has more to offer.
While in the area, visitors like to go to Spain for snow skiing. For many, it's surprising to hear that the interior mountains of Spain have a variety of ski areas. While they are not as high-quality as those in the Alps, they are still good and offer plenty of runs, and usually at a much lower price. Some of the best include Formigal and Candanchu in the Pyrenees, Pradollano near Granada in the Sierra Nevada range, and San Isidro near Leon. If you're in the area in the winter months, they are worth a visit.
While skiing is available in The UK, for many travelers it is not the primary purpose of their visit. Aberdeenshire in Scotland offers a handful of ski resorts such as Glenshee and Lecht. Also nearby you'll find Cairngorm mountain and Glencoe. A few more ski resort areas can be found in Cumbria, and a few more around the mountainous areas of central Britain. However, the skiing at these resorts does not compare to those in mainland Europe, but they are still fun for the locals or anyone who wants to make a short and quick trip for some downhill runs.
While The UK 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.
Santiago de Compostela: This small city is the culmination point for the famed Camino de Santiago. The 780 kilometer route is followed by pilgrims and travelers who seek enlightenment or adventure. Hikers travel both independently or as part of organized tours.
Tenerife: The island's volcanic landscapes mean that there are dramatic and breathtaking hikes throughout the island. Some of the best hikes are found in the Anaga Rural Park, Teide National Park, and the Teno Mountains.
You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around The UK. Hiking and "walks" are very popular ways to experience and explore the beautiful landscapes of the U.K., as a number of long routes weave their way through the countryside and along the coastline. It's quite popular to do a multi-day walk with stopovers in quaint towns, especially as many of these walks are on routes with easy elevation and clearly defined paths with good signs. Some of the more popular routes include the Hadrian’s Wall Path, The Cleveland Way, Norfolk Coast Path, and Cotswold Way. If it's more strenuous mountain hiking that you're after, definitely visit one of the national park areas such as Cairngorms, Peak District, Lake District, or Snowdonia, as they all offer mountain trails with gorgeous scenery.
Isle of Skye: Hikes on the island range from family-friendly to some of the most challenging in Scotland. The setting is dramatic and beautiful and the hikes are a varied as the landscape. Some of the most popular hikes include the Fairy Pools, the Old Man of Storr, Neist Point Lighthouse, and the Quiraing.
Snowdonia National Park: There are approximately 1,500 miles of walking paths and hiking trails in the area. You can hike to waterfalls, along beaches, or to the top of Mt. Snowden. Aber Falls is a popular trail or you could explore lakes and try to see wild ponies along the Llyn Idwal Trail. For a particularly strenuous and adventurous trail, head to Glyder Fawr or The Snowdon Horseshoe Circular Walk.
Outer Hebrides: The islands offer some of the area's best hiking. You'll pass by stunning beaches, see unique wildlife, and enjoy a remote and tranquil setting. Follow the Hebridean Way, which covers the full length of the archipelago. It spans 156 miles and goes through 10 islands with 2 ferry trips.
Lake District National Park: There's a huge selection of hikes to choose from in the area, ranging from easy strolls to more strenuous climbs. The park offers some of the best hiking in the country and you can spend days exploring. Some of the favorite hikes in the area include Scafell Pike, Helvellyn, and Catbells.
Spain usually beats out The UK for its wide range of 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 UK is a good destination to visit the national parks. A few of the most popular national parks in the U.K. include Snowdonia, Peak District, Lake District, Cairngorms, and Loch Lamond. Most of these parks offer beautiful mountain scenery, rivers, camping, lakes, and outdoor experiences for the whole family.
Spain generally offers more adventure travel options for travelers than The UK.
The adventure travel 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.
The UK is a good destination for those who seek adventure travel experiences, as there are a few options to explore. Some of the more popular areas to participate in adventure sports are in the more wilderness regions and national parks of the nation. Zip lines, rock climbing, kayaking, paragliding, river rafting, and canyoning are all popular in the mountainous areas. Surfing is sometimes found along the coast, too.
While The UK and Spain both have beautiful mountain areas, overall Spain is considered to be better for visitors.
Spain has some beautiful mountain areas that attract visitors. The Pyrenees are the largest mountain chain in the country, making a divide between Spain and France. Here you'll find epic views, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, mountain biking, ski resorts, and more. Elsewhere in Spain you can find plenty of other mountains, as the inland is quite varied. The Sierra Nevada mountains in the south are some of the most beautiful, and are also easily accessible. Across northern Andalusia, you can find even more mountains north of Seville and Cordoba, with several national parks and wilderness areas. In all of these places you'll find natural beauty, wildlife, horseback riding, hiking, camping, and even paragliding. And don't miss the Canary Islands, where you'll find even more great activities. Tenerife is the largest island and offers gorgeous mountain views, native wildlife, and an exotic, tropical atmosphere. Spain absolutely has some gorgeous mountains worth visiting.
The UK is a good destination to visit the mountains, as there are some fun activities. Many of the national parks in Britain offer gorgeous mountain scenery with hiking, horseback riding, adventure sports, camping, and more. Snowdonia, Peak District, Lake District, Cairngorms, and other parks have plenty of mountain adventures waiting for visitors. Also, the northern areas of Scotland are rugged and mountainous. The Hebrides for example, offer amazing natural landscapes where the mountains meet the sea to the north.
While The UK and Spain both have plenty of watersports, overall Spain is considered to be better for travelers seeking these activities.
The watersports in Spain attract many visitors. 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.
The UK is a good destination to participate in watersports, as there are some fun activities. Surfing is popular in some areas of the coastline such as Cornwall and in Snowdonia National Park. It's also possible to find a few river rafting outfitters around the country, too. Kayaking, fishing, and boating are all quite popular along the shore, too.
While The UK 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 UK has some outdoor activities that attract visitors. Outdoor activities in Great Britain include hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, adventure sports, camping, and more. It's easy and accessible to get out into nature here from the big cities, and a diverse array of activities can be found.
Spain and The UK both have plenty of great places to explore on a road trip.
Taking a road trip through Spain is very good way to see the countryside and smaller destinations. 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.
See also Andalusia Road Trip.
The UK is an extremely popular destination for those that want to take a road trip. The roads in the U.K. are great, and with plenty of small villages, national park areas, seaside destinations, and historical sites, a road trip is a great way to see the country.
Both Spain and The UK are great to visit with kids.
Spain is an extremely popular country to visit for families. 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.
Tenerife: The island has many great waterparks for kids, with one of the best being Siam Park. Other family-friendly destinations include Aqualand, Loro Parque, Jungle Park, and Monkey Park. There are whale watching trips, outdoor adventures, and kid-friendly beaches as well.
See also The Ultimate Guide to Madrid.
With a huge array of activities for kids, The UK is very family-friendly. From the big cities to the countryside, if you're traveling with kids you'll find something great to do. London has family-friendly museums and attractions such as science museums, the Tower of London, and amusement parks. Plenty of beach resort areas are found along the coastline, too, such as in Blackpool, Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, or Paignton. Head north to Snowdonia for hiking and watersports, or to Scotland for the lakes, historic railways, and castles. Kids of all ages, and parents also will love if.
London: Whether you do a Harry Potter Tour, take a ride on the London Eye, or enjoy afternoon tea, there are plenty of activities for kids around town. The Harry Potter Studio Tour is fun for everyone, but should be booked well in advance as it sells out. Theatre enthusiasts will enjoy catching a musical in West End and sampling dim sum or a hot pot in Chinatown. There are often Wednesday matinee showings that are perfect for kids with early bedtimes.
York: The city does an amazing job bringing history to life in a way that kids will enjoy. The JORVIK Viking Centre transports visitors back in time and introduces them to a fully immersive viking experience. The York Dungeon is great for older kids as long as they don't scare easily. Actors and special effects offer a terrifying and entertaining visit through a York dungeon. Harry Potter fans will enjoy exploring the potion shops and broomstick stores along the iconic Shambles, which is said to be an inspiration for J.K. Rowling's Diagon Alley.
Spain offers a wider variety of romantic activities for couples than The UK.
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 UK is a nice destination for couples. Plenty of destinations in Great Britain are great for couples. London for starters has many nice hotels, restaurants, and romantic spots around town. Or, head to the countryside of Scotland or Wales for castles, beautiful natural scenery, lakes, and more. If you're looking for an active trip, check out some of the national park or wilderness areas such as Lake District, Snowdonia, or Cairngorms. Also, many of the beach destinations have nice resort areas for couples, too.
London: With every type of entertainment that you can imagine, this city is the ultimate couple's getaway. There are world class musicals, evening concerts, and restaurants of every style, cuisine, and budget. It's easy for couples to fill days in this vibrant city.
Bath: With its beautiful architecture and fascinating history, this city is perfect for couples. Take a canal cruise or wander through the scenic areas to enjoy a romantic trip.
Snowdonia National Park: Explore the beautiful outdoor scenery by taking one of the many hikes in the park. There are many diverse walking routes or you can head to the top of Mt. Snowden. There are also waterfalls and castles that couples can explore.
Spain and The UK are both great destinations for backpackers.
Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Spain. 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.
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. Backpackers will also appreciate the young vibe and late night party venues that keep the city fun and entertaining.
Malaga: From an endless supply of hostels to plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers, this is a very backpacker friendly area.
Backpackers come from all over to visit The UK. The overall price of travel in the U.K. can be quite high, so backpackers and budget travelers will need to plan ahead to find affordable accommodations and entertainment options. London in particular offers plenty of hostels and budget accommodation options, but they are still priced higher than in many other cities. Smaller cities, towns, and destinations in the countryside can usually be more affordable. Prices aside, the overall amenities and infrastructure for budget travelers and backpackers are everywhere and very frequent. It's easy to find lower-priced options everywhere, along with plenty of free and cheap activities, so don't let the overall costs dissuade you from visiting.
London: Although the city is very expensive, it has tons of hostels, affordable restaurant options, and great public transit. There's a huge backpacker network here and it's easy to meet other travelers. The nightlife scene is also second to none.
Edinburgh: The city has some good hostels and an active nightlife, so it's not hard to find other travelers to hang out with. It's a well visited city with many areas that attracted younger travelers or students.
Lake District National Park: There are plenty of camping options throughout the park with a range of hookup facilities to meet everyone's needs. Waterfront campsites are also available.
While Spain and The UK are both good for students, overall The UK is genreally more popular.
The UK is a very popular country for students. Students will find not only a huge number of universities in the U.K., but also a large support network on top of affordable travel opportunities. Many of the major universities around the country are in locations with fun activities, vibrant nightlife, and affordable sights and attractions.
London: The city has a number of universities and is a popular study abroad destination. It's also a very diverse city, so international students will feel right at home.
Birmingham: With world class academic institutions and a very diverse and international population, this is a popular place for international students to study.
Oxford: At its heart, Oxford is a college town and students are at the heart of the city and its culture.
Cambridge: The town is home to more than 25,000 students who come from 140 different countries. This is one of the most iconic university towns in the world, and there's really no better place for students to visit or reside.
St. Andrews: At its heart, this is a university town with a long standing history in teaching. You'll find the town's population doubles when students are in town.
Spain is popular with 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. It's also a lively city, but do expect the price tag to be higher than other Spanish cities.
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.
Seville: It's a top destination for international students who appreciate the many great educational institutions, beautiful year-round weather, and many festivals and evening activities.
Cordoba: It's a top study abroad destination for international students. The university is excellent and the city is easy to navigate. It's a cultural city with a great student-friendly atmosphere.
Visitors will be able to get around equally well in both Spain and The UK.
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 UK is top-notch. Public transit in the cities, combined with the national railway system makes it very easy for travelers to move around the country without their own car. London as well as other major cities are also hubs for airlines with connections abroad. Also, as an island nation, a huge number of ferry services connect Britain to Ireland as well as mainland Europe. The smaller islands just offshore are also connected by regular ferry routes, too.
Is it easy to travel around the United Kingdom?
Spain and The UK are both modern and comfortable places to visit.
Spain is a very comfortable and luxurious destination with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and activities. 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.
Generally, The UK is considered to be a comfortable and luxurious place to visit. Whether you're traveling on a budget or looking for higher-end luxurious accommodations, Great Britain offers a high-standard of living and travel for visitors. As a modern, affluent nation, tourists will find comfortable amenities at any price point along with an extensive network of transportation to get around the country. Nice restaurants, delicious food, and an abundant supply of professional tour operators and entertainment venues make a trip to the U.K. very easy, convenient, and comfortable.
Spain and The UK are both quite touristy, seeing a large number of visitors every year.
Spain is a destination which hosts plenty of visitors. 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.
Palma de Mallorca:
Santiago de Compostela:
The UK sees a large number of visitors. London, Edinburgh, various castles, seaside resorts, and some of the national parks can be heavily touristy, especially in the peak summer months. Some of the smaller popular cities and towns for visitors also include Stratford upon Avon, Bath, Cambridge, Inverness, Stonehenge, and more. Despite the number of tourists, these destinations are still very manageable if you're on a trip and wish to see everything. It's also quite easy to avoid the crowds by escaping the larger cities or travel during non-peak seasons.
Spain and the United Kingdom both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Spain than the United Kingdom because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 7-21 days is a good amount of time for Spain, and 5-14 days is enough time in the United Kingdom.
Families should spend more time in Spain than the United Kingdom. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Spain, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Spain than the United Kingdom. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Spain that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Spain than the United Kingdom if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Spain.
Spain is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in the UK. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Spain. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. With so much to do, five days is probably not enough time to see everything. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
The UK is a fun place to experience. In the UK, many people enjoy the nightlife, live music, and food that this destination offers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.
Many travelers enjoy the adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture when visiting the friendly destination of Spain. This country offers a variety of activities to choose from. It's also known for its adventure travel activities. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.
In the UK, many people enjoy the live music, food, and hiking that this historic destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.
Many travelers enjoy the adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture when visiting the proud destination of Spain. This country offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you have two weeks, this is a great place to go. With all of its activities, you can easily fill two weeks here.
In the UK, many people enjoy the live music, food, and hiking that this prosperous destination offers. Plenty of people spend two weeks in the area when traveling. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. This would be the perfect place to spend two weeks, as it has just the right amount of activities.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Spain is €150, while the average daily cost in the UK is €178. 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 UK in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Spain or the United Kingdom? 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:
Also for Spain, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in the UK:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in the UK:
Prices for flights to both the UK 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.
For Spain, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
For Spain, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in the UK:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in the UK.
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Spain's activities, tours, and tickets:
For Spain, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Here are a few typical costs in the UK for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in the UK 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:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in the UK:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in the UK:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Spain and the UK, we can see that the United Kingdom 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 United Kingdom would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in the United Kingdom than you might in Spain.
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