A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Spain vs. the USA for Resorts, Beaches, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit Spain or the United States of America?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Spain or the USA? 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.


Spain USA
Culture & History check
Resorts check
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling check
Beaches check
Skiing check
Hiking check
National Parks check
Wildlife check
Couples check
Backpackers check

Spain

Cordoba, Spain Cordoba, Spain

Spain is a friendly, diverse, and historic country. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for history and culture, nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

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.

United States of America

New York City New York City

The United States of America is a vast, diverse, and prosperous country. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include live music, food, water sports, and beaches.

As a large country, the USA offers a diverse number of experiences and activities for visitors. From huge cities to wide open national parks, it offers something for everyone. Travelers can find beaches, mountains, historical attractions, and plenty of open roads to explore.

Spain and USA: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Small towns
  • Great resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Easy public transportation
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for skiing
  • Not as many national parks
  • Less wildlife
  • Not so many mountains
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Popular beach
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Wildlife
  • Adventure!
  • Beautiful mountains
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Not as many small towns
  • Not as many resort options
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Public transit not as usable


New York City New York City

How is Spain different from the USA?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Spain and the USA. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Spain
USA

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Spain or The USA.

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.

See also Barcelona: The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide.

Many visitors head to The USA specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Almost every major city, and many smaller towns, offer multiple museums to explore. Washington DC is perhaps one of the best places to browse museums, as it has dozens, and many are free. This includes the famous Smithsonian museums on the national mall. Also, New York City offers some very famous museums such as the Guggenheim and the Met, as well as many others. Chicago, L.A., San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, and many other cities offer a wide range of art museums, historic museums, and cultural galleries where the public can learn and explore about any topic. Many cities also have family-friendly children's museums and science museums that are fun to explore, too.

NYC: The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.

Los Angeles: The city has an eclectic list of monuments and museums. Notable landmarks include the famous Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory, the Getty Center, and the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Chicago: Some of the most famous are the Art Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Notable landmarks include the famous Willis Tower - formerly the Sears Tower, Buckingham Fountain, and the iconic Cloud Gate (the bean).

San Francisco: The city's landmarks are as diverse as the people who live there. The most recognizable landmark is the famous Golden Gate Bridge, but visitors also enjoy seeing Alcatraz Island, the Legion of Honor, the Palace of Fine Arts, as well as the small but fascinating Cable Car Museum.

Boston: The city itself feels like a living museum. It is famous for Faneuil Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, the USS Constitution, as well as the many sites along the Freedom Trail. There are also many museums on the campuses of the world renowned universities in the city.

DC: The city has world class museums that are often free. The Smithsonian Museums are arguably some of the most impressive museums in the United States. The city also has a large collection of monuments that are dedicated to past presidents or historical events.

See also Cheap Tours and Things To Do in Charleston, South Carolina.


Is Spain or the USA Better for Culture, Arts, and History?

Spain
USA

Both Spain and The USA 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.

See also Barcelona: Activities, Tickets, and Things to Do, Things to Do in Madrid, and Cheap Tours and Activities in Granada, Spain.

The USA is a very nice destination to visit for history and culture, as it has some sights worth visiting. Most of the historical cities in the U.S. are found on the eastern side of the country, as this is where the oldest cities are located. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, and St. Augustine offer some of the most historic attractions in the U.S. However, history lovers can also find Native American history all over the country, especially in the southeast, mid-west, and in the Rocky Mountains.

See also 7 Free Things to do in San Diego.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Big City Activities?

Spain
USA

You'll find a similar number of big city activities in both Spain and The USA.

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 USA has amazing and huge cities with tons of activities and things to do. With major cities full of attractions such as New York, Chicago, L.A., Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, there's no shortage of urban activities, attractions, nightlife, restaurants, and culture. America is full of large cities with skyscrapers, museums, and urban activities, so it's easy to find a few that peak your interest and explore them for a few days each.

See also Things to do in Chicago, Things to Do in Manhattan in New York City, and Best Things to Do in San Francisco.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Small Towns and Villages?

Spain
USA

Spain generally has a wider variety of smaller towns and villages than The USA.

Since Spain offers plenty of small towns and villages with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. 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 USA is a very nice destination to see some small towns which are not to be missed. Plenty of small towns can be found across the United States with historical charm and a friendly vibe. Many of these small towns are in the mountains and offer scenic views, while others are near the beach or even outside of larger cities. The small towns of New England are especially popular because they have that typical American charm along with plenty of modern conveniences for visitors.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Theater?

Spain
USA

Both Spain and The USA 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 USA has a number of performance venues where you can see a variety of shows. New York City is the home of Broadway, after all, where world-class plays, musicals, and concerts debut at a number of famous and historic theaters. Many of these shows go on to tour the nation and visit the many theaters that can be found in almost any large or small city so that local audiences can see famous shows in their home towns. Furthermore, major cities such as Chicago, L.A., Las Vegas, and Boston have theater districts with multiple venues where visitors and locals alike can experience new and touring productions.

NYC: Visiting Broadway is a quintessential NYC experience. Whether you enjoy the theater or simply want to experience something new, seeing a Broadway show is a true bucket list activity.

Chicago: Theater is big here with many of the major Broadway productions visiting the city. There is also an endless list of smaller, local theaters to choose from.

Las Vegas: Long running shows along with traveling Broadway productions make the theater scene here diverse and entertaining.


Is Spain or the USA Better for Food?

Spain
USA

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Spain and The USA.

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.

See also Food and Dining in Madrid, Delicious Tapas Tours in Madrid, and The Best Cheap Food Tours in Madrid.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in The USA. Food in the United States can vary significantly by region. Many large cities have popular restaurant scenes with famous chefs and world-class food. Smaller towns, however, might only offer some common chain restaurants. Southern cuisine can be different than the recipes found in New England, as well as that from the west coast. Also, as America is a diverse nation, it's very easy to find cuisine from other cultures. Mexican food is very popular, and different regions of the U.S. offer their own version of it such as Tex-Mex. Generally, some of the most famous places for the best food include New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Chicago, and Las Vegas, although there are plenty of others.

NYC: The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, from local dives to Michelin star options. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.

Los Angeles: As a huge and diverse city, there is no shortage of amazing food options around town. Popular dishes include Cobb Salads, Mexican Tacos, and the French Dip Sandwich.

Chicago: While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.

San Francisco: There are local dives as well as five star restaurants, with everything in between. Popular local dining experiences include sourdough bread bowls and Dungeness Crab at Fisherman's Wharf, and dim sum in Chinatown.

Austin: There is amazing Texas barbecue, excellent Mexican food, and diverse food trucks.

DC: You can find restaurants from almost any cuisine here, so it's worth exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone.

New Orleans: It's the birthplace of bananas foster and popular for it's gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and red beans and rice.

Las Vegas: The city has become famous for it's all-you-can-eat buffets, which you'll find in almost every hotel along the strip. To fully experience the sin of gluttony, head for one of the more luxurious hotels, which have the more expensive, but also higher quality buffets. Celebrity chefs have also opened many five star restaurants around town that you must try.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Nightlife?

Spain
USA

Both Spain and The USA 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.

See also Barcelona Nightlife, The Best Nightlife in Madrid, and Party Hostels in Barcelona.

The USA has a large number of nightlife venues. Most cities and beach towns offer some sort of nightlife and bar scene, although some are better and more popular than others. New York, Chicago, L.A., Miami, Las Vegas, and New Orleans have some of the most famous nightlife scenes. And generally speaking, most larger cities have a central area of clubs, bars, pubs, theatres, and live music. At beach destinations, often the main boardwalk or town center will come alive at night with restaurants turning into a vibrant nightlife scene later on.

NYC: Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.

Los Angeles: The city's nightlife scene is as diverse as the city itself. There are glamorous clubs where you might spot a celebrity, as well as local dives with a more down-to-earth vibe. Some of the most famous clubs in the city include Academy, Avalon, and Boardner's.

Chicago: Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.

Austin: Head for Sixth Street for some of the most popular bars and clubs. Popular bars and clubs include the White Horse, the Rose Room, and Antone's Nightclub.

New Orleans: The nightlife scene is at its best during Mardi Gras. But year-round you'll find Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, spring breakers, and anyone who wants to enjoy a crazy time heads to New Orleans.

Las Vegas: From posh dance clubs to glitzy cocktail bars, its nightlife scene puts this city on the map. Many people forget to sleep here, whether they're gambling away their money, checking out a world class show, or partying in one of the many clubs.

Miami: From the posh nightlife clubs in South Beach, to the local salsa dancing venues in Little Havana, Miami is a city that thrives with energy.

Daytona: Spring break is when the parties are at their peak. For the most active nightlife head to A1A from Ormond-by-the-Sea to Ponce Inlet, Main and Beach Streets, and Seabreeze Boulevard, ONE DAYTONA and International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach, and Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach.

See also Party Hostels in Miami Beach and South Beach, Party Hostels in San Diego, California for Backpackers, Students, and Solo Travellers, and Party Hostels in Hawaii.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Resorts?

Spain
USA

Spain generally brings in more resort visitors than The USA.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Spain is a perfect choice. A holiday trip to Spain for many means a trip to one of the beach resorts along the southern coast, or in Ibiza or Majorca. Marbella, Cadiz, Valencia, Sitges, Alicante, and even Barcelona are all popular destinations with a variety of luxury hotels and resorts. Many are very family-friendly, and some are all-inclusive. Generically, the resorts offer terrific beaches and many are close to nearby towns, as well as some historical and cultural attractions. But no matter where you choose to go, the beach resorts in Spain are world-class and draw plenty of visitors every year. Also, keep in mind that Spain offers a handful of ski resorts open in the winter months, as well as some relaxing inland retreats outside of major cities and historical areas.

Almeria: Stretched along the coastline you'll find many high end resorts with pools and nice atmospheres. There are all inclusive resorts as well as family-friendly and romantic options to choose from.

Marbella: From luxury to family-friendly, this area has plenty of resorts to choose from. Popular resorts in the area include Marbella Club Hotel, Puente Romano Marbella, and Don Carlos Resort and Spa.

The USA has a handful of resorts to choose from. Along the coastal areas and at ski resorts, visitors can find plenty of resorts and large hotels with a long list of amenities. Some are for families, and some for couples, but most tend to be luxurious and relaxing.

Las Vegas: Along the strip you'll find world class resorts with casinos, shops, theaters, and all kinds of entertainment venues. Many resorts have a detailed décor that immerses you in an ambiance that unique from the world outside. Top rated resorts include the Bellagio, the Wynn, and Park MGM.

Miami: Known for it's luxury, you'll find many resorts in the area. Popular options include The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, Fontainebleau, and Carillon Miami.

Orlando: Disney World is famous for its many iconic resorts. Some of the most popular are the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Port Orleans Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort.

Fort Lauderdale: Luxury beachfront resorts are plentiful in the area. Several of the most impressive include the Ritz-Carlton, W Fort Lauderdale, and the Dalmar.

West Palm Beach: All of the major names are present including the Hilton, Marriott, and Four Seasons.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Spain
USA

There's scuba diving or snorkeling available in both Spain and The USA.

Spain has a few good snorkeling spots. While the southern coast of the mainland provides plenty of great dive spots with clear waters and a good selection of marine life, the crown jewels of diving are in the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands. Here you'll find even better opportunities to see marine wildlife in more ideal conditions. You can see barracuda, octopus, moray, a variety of large fish species, and more. Also, diving in the Canary islands can be done year-round, where as in the Mediterranean, only during the warmer months. If you're looking for a quicker trip, it's also possible to dive or snorkel off the Costa Brava coastline near Barcelona where a variety of interesting species can be found in the usually clear waters.

Marbella: There are more than 100 dive sights and endless snorkeling opportunities in the area. There are deep offshore reefs that you can explore as well as shallower wrecks and caves.

It's possible to go snorkeling in The USA. Scuba diving in the mainland U.S. is best in Florida, where the Florida Keys and other coastal areas offer clear waters with fairly good marine wildlife experiences. Southern California also offers some good diving experiences. Hawaii is probably the crown jewel of U.S. scuba diving, as the tropical Hawaiian islands are surrounded by clear waters, some of which are in protected marine areas.


Is Spain or the USA Better for Beaches?

Spain
USA

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Spain and The USA are good choices.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Spain. 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 USA is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. With multiple coastlines and a diverse array of beach areas, the United States offers plenty of amazing beach vacation opportunities. The east coast from Florida up to Maine is lined with both smaller towns and larger cities that offer beaches. Some are popular and active, while others are quiet and relaxed. Some of the more popular destinations include the beaches in Florida such as Fort Lauderdale and Daytona, Hilton Head and Myrtle in South Carolina, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Virginia Beach, Ocean City to Rehoboth in Maryland and Delaware, the Jersey Shore, Long Island, and Cape Code in Massachusetts. On the West Coast, you'll find gorgeous beaches from San Diego in Southern California all the way up through L.A. and the Bay Area. The coastlines of Oregon and Washington also have stunning beaches to visit. The gulf Coast from Florida to Texas experiences warmer weather almost all year, and attracts large crowds with blue water and white sandy beaches. Furthermore, Hawaii offers plenty of amazing beaches as the islands have a tropical climate.

Los Angeles: Ranging from beaches with stunning natural beauty to those with glamourous high energy, this city has a number of beaches to choose from. Some of the most popular are Santa Monica, Malibu, Huntington Beach, and Redondo Beach.

San Diego: The city has great beaches with tidal pools and interesting sea life at low tide. Popular beaches include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.

Fort Lauderdale: With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches, a fun boardwalk, and impressive views, the beaches here are among the best in the area.

Santa Barbara: The city is famous for its pristine, sandy beaches. Whether you want to enjoy world class surfing or enjoy a gentle ocean setting, Santa Barbara has options.

West Palm Beach: From bustling beaches with a boardwalk to quieter, more relaxing beaches surrounded by parkland, there are are number of options in the area.

Maui: The island has stunning beaches and more miles of swimmable beach than any of the other Hawaiian islands. One of the best swimming beaches is Kapalua Beach.

Oahu: From the energetic Waikiki Beach to the family-friendly Ko Olina, Oahu has some of the most famous beaches in the world.

See also The Best Things to do in Boca Raton.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Shopping?

Spain
USA

Both Spain and The USA 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 USA. New York City, Chicago, L.A., San Francisco, Miami, and Las Vegas are just a few of the popular cities with terrific shopping neighborhoods. Almost anything can be found in the U.S. from fashion trends to gifts, and from crafts to electronics. Many regions of the country specialize in their own styles and industries where visitors can buy unique, custom made items such as furniture, glassware, jewelry, or special cooking ingredients.

NYC: The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items.

Los Angeles: Famous for Rodeo Drive, there are many other shopping venues throughout the city. Other famous shopping areas include Robertson Blvd and the Grove.

Chicago: The most famous shopping area is Michigan Avenue and the famous Magnificent Mile.

San Francisco: The city has excellent shopping from local vendors to recognizable brands. Union Square, Embarcadero, Fillmore Street and Haight Street are some of the best neighborhoods for shopping.

Las Vegas: The city's shopping scene combines high end brands with a style that is uniquely Las Vegas. Many hotels have their own malls or shopping areas where you can by designer names or visit flagship stores.

Miami: The city has every high end brand you could want, along with diverse neighborhoods with local finds and unique purchases.

Charleston: The city is famous for its historic market in the center of town. Local goods, foods, and crafts are sold daily here. There are also many clothing and local shops throughout town.

Santa Barbara: The city is famous as a high end shopping destination. Head to State Street for a palm tree lined street with local boutiques.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Skiing?

Spain
USA

While Spain and The USA both offer snow skiing, overall The USA has more to offer.

The USA is a well-known ski destination which attracts visitors from far and wide. The ski resort areas in the Rocky Mountains offer some of the best skiing in the country. With ski towns such as Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Telluride, and more offering world-class skiing, this is a great region for ski-lovers. Another popular region in California where Lake Tahoe and other nearby resorts are very popular The Appalachian mountains don't offer the same quality of skiing, but they are very popular because of their affordability and accessibility to east coast cities.

Aspen: Near the town, there are 4 separate ski resorts. In town you'll find Aspen Mountain, which is known for it's black-diamond runs. Aspen Highlands, a couple miles away, has a mix of slopes and is less crowded. Buttermilk attracts many freestyle skiers and Aspen Snowmass is considered one of the best family-friendly ski areas.

Vail: This ski town has produced its share of Olympians. Vail is the third largest ski resort in the US and it has 31 lifts and 195 runs. There are five different bowls that offer beautiful views.

Breckenridge: The town is one of the most recognizable ski destinations in the world. It has diverse terrain that is good for all levels including beginners, intermediate, and expert skiers. The resort also has the tallest chairlift in North America.

Locals like to visit Spain to take advantage of their winter sports. 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.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Hiking?

Spain
USA

If you're looking to go hiking, Spain and The USA both have various trails.

People visit Spain specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. 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.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting The USA. The Rocky Mountains and the mountain ranges in California are some of the most popular spots for hiking, as they offer breathtaking views and hikes with a range of challenges. On the eastern side of the U.S. the Appalachian mountain range offers plenty of trails, including the famous Appalachian Trail which runs from Georgia to Maine, and is intertwined with many smaller trails which are perfect for day hikes. Alaska is also a hiker's dream, as much of the state is untouched wilderness with protected park areas. Even Hawaii offers various beautiful hikes through the interior of the tropical island ecosystems.

Los Angeles: In and around the city you'll find world class urban hiking with views of the mountains and the ocean. Some of the most well-known hikes include the Charlie Turner Trail to Mount Hollywood, Runyon Canyon, and the Sara Wan Trailhead at Corral Canyon.

San Francisco: The city's hikes take in the dramatic views of the bay and city. Just outside of town there are also countless hikes through the Redwoods and along the coastline. Popular hikes in the area include Lands End, Tomales Point Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore, and Muir Woods.

Santa Barbara: Just outside of town are countless hiking opportunities that offer spectacular ocean views. Popular hikes include Inspiration Point, San Ysidro Trail, and Cold Spring East Fork.

Yosemite: This park has many famous hikes that take you by Half Dome, near Yosemite Falls, and through breathtaking landscapes. Popular hikes in the area include Mist Trail to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall and Mirror Lake Trail.

Yellowstone: The park is huge, and there are countless hikes throughout. From short strolls to lengthy endeavors, there really is something for everyone.

Maui: There are many diverse hikes on the island that pass through different landscapes and ecosystems. Hikes range from easy to challenging and are of varying length.

Oahu: World famous hikes on the island include Diamond Head and Koko Crater Railroad Trailhead. There are hikes ranging from easy to challenging and views that will take your breath away.

See also Hiking Day Trips from Seattle on a Budget.


Is Spain or the USA Better for National Parks?

Spain
USA

The USA often provides a better experience visiting national parks than Spain.

The USA offers world class national parks for visitors. No other country compares to the United State when it comes to its national park system. With more than 85 million acres of land, and covering every state in the nation, the park system manages large national parks all the way down to small monuments, and also protected wildlife areas. Some of the most popular parks in the United States include Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Zion, the Everglades, and the national monuments in Washington D.C. With hundreds of park areas to visit that include a diverse number of landscapes from mountains to beaches, it's no surprise that they are so popular with visitors and locals alike.

Plenty of travelers enjoy the national parks of Spain. 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.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Wildlife Viewing?

Spain
USA

While Spain and The USA both have plenty of wilderness activities, overall The USA is considered to be better for travelers seeking wildlife.

The USA is a great destination for wildlife viewing and wilderness activities. Some areas of the United States are terrific spots to view and experience the local wildlife. Many of the national park areas in the mountainous regions of the country are full of animals, birds, and other native species. Native birds are also prevalent in many areas of Florida and other coastal regions, including the Everglades and the outer banks. Alaska and Hawaii are also great destinations for wildlife, as they each have unique ecosystems with large protected natural areas.

While Spain is not known for its wildlife and wilderness adventures, visitors can still find some fun outdoor experiences. Most notably, in some of the national parks and wilderness areas, visitors might catch a glimpse of wolves, ibex, deer, and the Eurasian brown bear. Wild boars are not uncommon either. Bird watching is also very popular, especially in Extremadura in western Spain where you can find a variety of unique and large species. Also, the Iberian Lynx can sometimes be spotted in Sierra de Andujar Natural Park in Andalusia.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Adventure Travel?

Spain
USA

Both Spain and The USA offer adventure travel opportunities for visitors.

Spain is an extremely popular destination for those interested in wildlife safaris and animal watching. 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.

Adventure travel experiences in The USA are quite popular with travelers. Many destinations offer exciting activities such as paragliding, ropes courses, ziplines, bungee jumping, watersports, and more. You'll often find these activities in the mountains, near national park areas, or at the beach. Prices can vary by location, but since the U.S. is so large, a wide range of activities and experiences can be found all over.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Visiting the Mountains?

Spain
USA

While Spain and The USA both have beautiful mountain areas, overall The USA is considered to be better for visitors.

The USA is famous for its beautiful and stunning mountain scenery. Multiple mountain ranges across the country provide ample space to explore, experience outdoor activities, hike, camp, visit national parks, and ski in the winter. The Rocky Mountains in the west, along with the ranges in California up to Washington are full of high peaks, ski resorts, national parks, and hiking trails. On the east coast, you'll find the much older Appalachian range. Here the mountains are covered in forest and are full of hiking and camping opportunities as well as adventure sports, small towns, ski resorts, and local culture.

See also The Best Things to do in the Poconos.Visiting the mountains in Spain is a very popular activity. 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.


Is Spain or the USA Better for Watersports?

Spain
USA

You can find a fairly equal amount of watersports in both Spain and The USA.

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 USA are quite popular with travelers. Up and down all of the coastal areas, it's easy to find plenty of aquatic activities such as boating, fishing, jet skis, wind surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and more. Many of these activities are even more prevalent in popular beach areas in Florida, Southern California, Hawaii, and Texas. Prices will vary by location, too.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Outdoor Activities?

Spain
USA

You can find a fairly equal amount of outdoor activities in both Spain and The USA.

Spain is an extremely popular destination for those interested in outdoor activities. 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 USA is a popular place to visit because of its outdoor activities. As it's a large and wide open country, plenty of outdoor activities can be found in the mountains, the coastal areas, and the great plains. Hiking and camping are popular all over, and other activities such as horseback riding, fishing, and biking are popular around park and wildlife areas, too. Swimming and beach activities are also common not just at the coast, but at lakes and rivers in the interior. For some of the most scenic outdoor spots with the most activities, visit the Rockies or the Appalachian mountains, the west coast, Alaska, or Hawaii.

See also 12 Unique Things to Do in Orlando, and A Southwest Itinerary.

Is Spain or the USA Better for a Road Trip?

Spain
USA

Both Spain and The USA offer plenty of great road trip opportunities.

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.

The USA is a very popular destination for those that love to take road trips. The concept of the great American road trip has been made famous by both television and travelers alike. With wide open spaces to explore and quality highways, anyone with a vehicle can head out to America's great destinations to visit the national parks, beaches, big cities, and mountains. Keep in mind that the distances between cities can be quite large, but road trippers can find plenty of small towns and interesting road-side attractions almost everywhere in the country. Several common road trip routes can be followed in the U.S. It's common for travelers to drive up or down the east coast or the west coast visiting major cities, national park areas, and the beautiful beaches. Another popular route is to visit the national parks in the southwest around Colorado, Utah, and southern California. Or, head from Chicago through the Dakotas and Montana towards Seattle. No matter what your destination, it's easy to rent a car or even a camper van and head out on the highway.

See also Southwest Itinerary.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Families?

Spain
USA

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Spain or The USA.

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 USA is one of the most popular family destinations. Almost every city in the U.S. has family-friendly activities such as amusement parks, museums, historical sites, and more. Most of the coastal areas offer great beaches, and plenty of mountain ranges full of outdoor activities are available as well. Kids will love the national parks and the city activities equally.

Los Angeles: With its many amusement parks, including nearby Disneyland, and its countless family friendly parks and playgrounds, there is no shortage of things to do with kids around the city.

San Antonio: The RiverWalk is a fun family-friendly area. There's also Six Flags, SeaWorld and the San Antonio Zoo as well as a number of museums and other amusement parks in the area.

San Diego: It has a number of kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more.

Orlando: Known as a theme park capital, here you'll find the iconic Disney World, as well as Universal Studios, SeaWorld and many more.

Panama City: This area has large sandy beaches, waterparks, amusement parks, and marine parks.

Hilton Head: This area is a popular family-friendly beach destination with a number of summer events for the whole family, peaceful beaches, and family friendly restaurants throughout.

Vail: With its world class skiing, rock climbing, ice skating, and ice cream, kids love this ski resort. The resort town has two terrain parks - Golden Peak and Avanti. Avanti is perfect for kids. It has small jumps, wide rails, and kid-friendly amenities. Golden Peak is designed for more advanced athletes. Vail also has nice beginner slopes that are great for kids.

Maui: It is one of the best of the Hawaiian islands to explore with kids. There's plenty of snorkeling, outdoor adventure sports, and hiking that are great for kids of all ages.

See also The Best Cocoa Beach Vacation Rentals for Families, Charleston AirBnB's for Families, and The Best Florida Keys Vacation Rentals and Airbnbs for Families.


Is Spain or the USA Better for Couples?

Spain
USA

With fun activities for couples, both Spain and The USA make for a good place to visit.

Spain makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. 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 USA makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Plenty of romantic destinations can be found at the beach, in the mountains, and in the big cities. New York, Charleston, New Orleans, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Hawaii are just a few of the famous romantic destinations which attract couples. Honeymoon resorts can also be found in the Rockies or on the beaches. Or, if you're looking for an isolated cabin in the woods to escape the city, those are easy to find, too.

Las Vegas: The city has become a mecca for weddings - whether impromptu or luxuriously planned out. With it's glamourous resorts and wide variety of entertainment options, couples can enjoy a fun-filled visit here.

Fort Lauderdale: Fine dining, beautiful beaches, and great shopping make for a great romantic getaway. Couples and honeymooners love relaxing at the beaches in Fort Lauderdale.

Charleston: This beautiful city is one of the most popular wedding destinations in America. It's a very romantic setting with beautiful hotels and bed and breakfasts that are perfect for couples on their honeymoon or looking for a romantic setting.

Santa Barbara: The town is a stunningly beautiful destination with beautiful beaches, excellent shopping, and nice resorts that make for a great honeymoon or romantic trip.

Vail: Couples who enjoy skiing and outdoor adventure will appreciate everything that this ski town has to offer. There are nice restaurants, beautiful gardens, and plenty of romantic activities to choose from.

Maui: Couples will enjoy the outdoor sports, excellent snorkeling and diving, and beautiful waterfalls that make for a romantic getaway.

Oahu: The island offers a beautiful and adventurous honeymoon destination that is perfect for anniversaries and other romantic getaways.

See also The Best Airbnb's in the Florida Keys for a Romantic Couple's Getaway, Romantic Things to do in Savannah, and The Best Romantic Cocoa Beach Condos for Couples on Airbnb.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Spain
USA

Both Spain and The USA 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.

See also The Best Hostels in Seville, Party Hostels in Barcelona, and Partying at Hostels in Madrid.

Plenty of backpackers visit The USA. Generally, the U.S. is a fairly expensive country, which can make traveling on a budget difficult in many areas. A lack of affordable public transit doesn't help either. However, many cities offer budget accommodation options and a variety of cheap dining options along with free or cheap activities. New York, Boston, and other New England cities tend to offer hostels for budget travelers, as does San Francisco, Austin, and Chicago. Free or cheap museums and attractions can also be found in most major cities. Out in the countryside, though, you'll need your own transportation, which can increase your travel costs.

Grand Canyon: Backpackers and budget travelers can take in one of America's most notable landmarks while camping at the large and affordable national park campground.

Yosemite: Campgrounds and back country trails make this area a backpacker's paradise.

Yellowstone: Backpackers will appreciate the campgrounds and affordable facilities that are found around the park. Reservations are recommended well in advance.

See also Staying Near Union Square in San Francisco's Hostels, New York City Hostels Near Times Square, and Hostels in New York City for Couples, Solo Travellers, & Groups.

Is Spain or the USA Better for Students?

Spain
USA

Spain and The USA 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.

See also Hostels in Bilbao, Spain for Groups, Students, or Solo Travellers.

Plenty of students visit The USA. As Universities can be found all over the country, it can be easy to fit right in with the student crowds in most major cities and smaller college towns. Almost every university has a neighborhood nearby with bars, nightlife, affordable dining options, and other related activities.

NYC: The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

Los Angeles: International students have long flocked to this for its major universities and diverse setting. Major universities in the area include UCLA, the University of Southern California, and the California Institute of Technology.

Chicago: The city has a large number of universities that bring in students from around the country and around the globe.

San Diego: With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego.

Boston: It is a city of students, with a number of world renowned universities located here including Harvard University, Boston College, and MIT.

DC: International students come from around the world to study, learn, intern, and work in the capital of the United States.

See also Party Hostels in San Diego, California for Backpackers, Students, and Solo Travellers, and Hostels in Washington DC for Solo Travellers, Students, and Backpackers.

Is Spain or the USA easier for Transportation?

Spain
USA

While The USA and Spain both offer transportation options, overall the system in Spain is considered to be better.

Spain has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the country. 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?

  • It's very easy and convenient to travel by train.
  • It's quite common to travel by bus.
  • Traveling on cruise ships and excursions is extremely popular.
  • It's quite common to get around if you join an organized tour.
  • Traveling by car is very common and fairly easy.
  • It's possible to travel by airplane.

The USA has some public transit options. Public transportation can be inconsistent, as some major cities offer good transit systems, while others offer nothing at all. Furthermore, if traveling long distances, traveling without a car is often very inconvenient. America is a country of highways and the wide open road, making it perfect for long road trips. However, if you need to travel by train or bus, you'll find a limited number of destinations, long rides, and high prices. Air travel is very common if you're planning to go any longer distances, too. Many foreign visitors end up renting a car or joining an organized tour.

Is it easy to travel around the United States of America?

  • It's possible, but usually challenging, to travel by train.
  • Travel by bus is possible.
  • It's possible to travel with an organized tour.
  • Traveling by car is extremely popular.
  • Traveling by airplane is very common and fairly easy.


Is Spain or the USA more Comfortable for a Trip?

Spain and The USA 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 USA is a very comfortable and luxurious destination with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and activities. Because the United States is a modern, wealthy, and developed country, almost everywhere will offer comfortable accommodation options, nice restaurants, and an extensive tourist infrastructure. High-end and mid-range hotels are everywhere for all types of travelers looking for comfort, luxury, or relaxing vacations.

Is Spain or the USA more Touristy?

Spain and The USA 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 USA is a destination which hosts plenty of visitors. Because the United States is such a large country, many areas can be very busy with tourists while other regions remain sparsely visited and more authentic. Some of the largest tourist destinations include the more famous cities such as New York, Orlando (Disney World), Las Vegas, San Francisco, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Many of the national parks can also get quite crowded, especially Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and others on the highly traveled southwestern loop of national parks. Furthermore, many beach areas can be very busy, especially in the summer. For a less touristy experience, it's possible to visit other cities and smaller towns which still offer scenic beauty and fun activities.

Barcelona, Spain Barcelona, Spain

Should I spend more time in the USA or Spain?

How long in Spain or the USA?

In either Spain or the United States of America, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. It's reasonable to spend a similar number of days in either one.

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 USA is 7-21 days.


  • How many days in Spain or the USA? Ideal Length of Stay
    Spain 7-21 
    USA 7-21

A weekend in Spain or the USA?

In Spain, you'll find theater, adventure travel, and national parks. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. 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 USA. Many travelers plan to spend time at the national parks on their trip. 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.

Five days in Spain or the USA?

Spain is a great place to explore. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, five days is probably not enough for all of it. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

The USA is a fun place to experience. In the USA, many people enjoy the shopping, museums, and theater that this destination offers. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Five days is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


A week in Spain or the USA?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Spain. In Spain, you'll find national parks, history and culture, and nightlife. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

In the USA, many people enjoy the museums, theater, and wildlife that this beautiful destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Two weeks in Spain or the USA?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Spain. In Spain, you'll find national parks, history and culture, and nightlife. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. Two weeks is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Spain has to offer.

In the USA, many people enjoy the museums, theater, and wildlife that this diverse destination offers. Plenty of people spend two weeks in the area when traveling. Visiting national parks can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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.

Las Vegas, Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada

Which country is cheaper, the USA or Spain?

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 USA is $225. 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 USA in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Spain $53
    USA $102
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Spain $106
    USA $204
Compare Hotels in Spain and the United States of America

Looking for a hotel in Spain or the United States of America? 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.

Hotels in Spain


Hotels in the United States of America


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Spain Hotel Prices and USA Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Spain $22
    USA $36
Typical Local Transportation prices in Spain

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Spain:


  • Taxi Ride
    $26
  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    $7.79
  • Airport Bus
    $4.99
  • Bus Ride
    $3.49
  • Taxi Ride
    $6.79
  • Bus Ride
    $1.25
  • Metro from Airport
    $2.90
  • 7 Trip Bus Pass
    $4.99
  • Metro
    $2.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Spain

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Spain:

  • From Corralejo: Round-Trip Ferry Transfer to Lobos Island: $17
  • Granada: Private Luxury Airport Transfer: $25
  • El Torcal de Antequera Hike with Transfer: $28
  • Antequera: Dolmens and El Torcal Tour with Transfer: $28
  • Lanzarote: Roundtrip Ferry Transfer to La Graciosa: $29
  • Barcelona: Private Transfer to/from Barcelona Airport (BCN): $30
  • Madrid Airport to City Private 1-Way or Round-Trip Transfer: $33
  • Costa del Sol: Private 1-Way Transfer to/from Malaga Airport: $33
  • Barcelona Airport: Shared Transfer to/from Costa Brava: $34
  • Almería Airport: Private Transfer To/From Almería: $36
  • Barcelona: Private Airport Transfer to/from Barcelona: $36
  • Málaga: Private Transfer to/from Málaga Airport (AGP): $37

Typical Local Transportation prices in the USA

Some typical examples of transportation costs in the USA are as follows:


  • Taxi to SFO
    $45
  • 2 Subway Passes
    $4.50
  • Rental Car for One Day
    $35
  • Rental Car for One Day
    $35
  • Parking
    $14
  • Rental Car for One Day
    $38
  • Taxi Ride
    $10
  • Rental Car
    $56
  • Rental Car for a Day
    $60
  • Full Tank of Gas
    $90
  • Whistle Stop Cafe (for 2)
    $50
  • Parking
    $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in the USA

Some specific examples of transportation prices in the USA:

  • Washington Reagan Airport Transfer to Baltimore & D. C.: $15
  • Las Vegas: McCarran Airport (LAS) Private Transfer: $43
  • Coconut Grove: Private Transfer to/from MIA Airport: $48
  • Miami: Private Miami International Airport (MIA) Transfer: $48
  • Oahu: Private Transfer to/from HNL International Airport: $49
  • Miami: Private Transfer to/from MIA Airport: $49
  • Sweetwater: Private Transfer to/from MIA Airport: $51
  • Miami & Key West: One-Way Transfer by Motor Coach Bus: $54
  • Shared Airport Transfer: Niagara Airport to Niagara Falls NY: $56
  • Philadelphia: Private Transfer to/from Airport (PHL): $66
  • Philadelphia: PHL Airport Private Transfer: $68
  • Boston: Boston Logan International Airport Private Transfer: $68

Is it cheaper to fly into Spain or Spain?

Prices for flights to both the USA 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Spain $32
    USA $46
Typical Food prices in Spain

Some typical examples of dining costs in Spain are as follows:


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    $4.14
  • Sandwich
    $1.70
  • Baguette & Horchata
    $3.79
  • Coffee
    $2.00
  • Lunch
    $14
  • Fiesta Paella
    $7.99
  • Soda
    $2.50
  • Sangria
    $2.50
  • Sandwich to go
    $3.00
  • Bocadillo & Drink
    $6.24
  • Lunch
    $9.48
  • Ice Cream
    $2.30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Spain

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

  • Seville: Flamenco Show with Optional Andalusian Dinner: $23
  • Jerez: Live Flamenco Show with Optional Dinner: $34
  • Seville: Paella Cooking Experience on a Rooftop Terrace: $48
  • Barcelona: Paella Cooking Experience + Boqueria Market Tour: $48
  • Flamenco Show at El Palacio Andaluz with Optional Dinner: $50
  • Madrid: Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $50
  • Madrid: Flamenco Workshop and Show with Dinner and Drinks: $51
  • Puerto del Carmen: Music Hall Tavern Comedy Drag Dinner Show: $55
  • Tenerife: Music Hall Tavern Comedy Drag Show Ticket & Dinner: $56
  • Madrid: Opera and Zarzuela Show and Dinner: $60
  • Seville: Spanish Cooking Class with Dinner: $62
  • Valencia: Flamenco Show with Dinner at La Bulería: $63

Typical Food prices in the USA

Some typical examples of dining costs in the USA are as follows:


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Lunch for Two at Epcot
    $29
  • Large Slurpee & 2 Hot Dogs
    $5.63
  • Buffet Breakfast for Two
    $53
  • Charcoal & Lighter Fluid
    $8.54
  • Casual Lunch (for 3)
    $27
  • Expresso & cookie at Pier 70
    $7.00
  • Cashews at Pike Place Market
    $6.00
  • Lunch for Two at Pike's Landing
    $63
  • Totem Inn Breakfast for Two
    $46
  • Jimmy John's Lunch (for 2)
    $11
  • Indian Food Dinner (family of 4)
    $81

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in the USA

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

  • New Orleans Lunch & Lesson: Cajun & Creole Cooking Class: $35
  • Orlando: Senor Frog's Dinner Package With Yard Glass: $37
  • Pike Place Market: Walking Food Tour: $46
  • Savannah: 2-Hour Southern Food Tour: $47
  • Cincinnati: Dinner Cruise on the Ohio River: $47
  • Boston North End Pizza Tour: $49
  • Philadelphia: Flavors of Philly Food Tour: $52
  • New Orleans: Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with Optional Dinner: $52
  • Philadelphia: Highlights of East Passyunk Food Tour: $54
  • Brooklyn: 3-Hour Williamsburg Bites Food Tour: $56
  • Savannah: Famous and Secret East Side Food Tour: $57
  • Savannah: 3-Hour First Squares Food Tour: $57

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Spain $22
    USA $43
Typical Entertainment prices in Spain

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Spain are as follows:


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    $42
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    $8.54
  • Snorkel
    $4.99
  • Flamenco Tour
    $16
  • Entrance to Cathedral
    $7.99
  • Garden Entrance Fee
    $5.99
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    $5.99
  • Entrance to Castillos
    $7.09
  • Concert
    $31
  • Cadiz Sightseeing Tour
    $15
  • Tower of Hercules
    $3.00
  • Valle de los Caídos Monument
    $5.99

Tours and Activities in Spain

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Spain are as follows:

  • Segovia Cathedral Entrance Ticket: $3.40
  • Madrid: Prado Museum Self-Guided Audio Tour App: $3.97
  • Malaga: Picasso’s Birthplace Museum Entrance Ticket: $4.53
  • Sacromonte Caves Museum Admission Ticket: $5.65
  • Bilbao: Guided Tour of the Arriaga Theater: $5.66
  • San Sebastian: Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Train: $5.66
  • Icod de los Vinos: Dragon Tree & Botanical Garden Ticket: $5.66
  • Tenerife: La Casa de Los Balcones Entrance Ticket: $5.66
  • Madrid: Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.67
  • Barcelona: Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.67
  • Tarragona: Cathedral Entry Ticket: $5.68
  • Valencia: Smartphone Self-Guided Audio Tour App: $5.70

Typical Entertainment prices in the USA

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in the USA are as follows:


  • Pub Crawl
    $10
  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • Uncle Pleasants Show
    $15
  • Spa Treatments
    $200
  • Lottery Ticket
    $5.00
  • Diving with Manta Rays for Two
    $162
  • Pirate Museum (for 2)
    $23
  • Hershey Chocolate World (for 3)
    $75
  • Six Flags (family of 4)
    $199
  • Horseback Riding Photos
    $22
  • White Water Rafting Photo
    $20
  • Ferry for Two
    $46

Tours and Activities in the USA

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for the USA are as follows:

  • Statue of Liberty: Self Guided Audio Walking Tour with App: $3.90
  • Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center Tour: $4.95
  • New York City: Self-Guided Smartphone Walking Tour: $5.57
  • San Francisco: Highlights Self-Guided Audio Tour with App: $5.57
  • Chicago: Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • New York City: Central Park Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Boston: Harborwalk and Tea Party Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.00
  • La Jolla: Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $6.00
  • Chicago: Millennium Park Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • NYC: Battery Park and Statue of Liberty Self-Guided Tour: $6.00
  • NYC: Wall Street Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • New York: Brooklyn Heights & DUMBO Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Spain $15
    USA $21
Typical Alcohol prices in Spain

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Spain:


  • Beer
    $4.99
  • A Sangria & a Beer
    $6.49
  • Bottle of Wine
    $4.99
  • Wine in Front of Cathedral
    $3.99
  • Beer
    $3.00
  • Bottle of Wine
    $1.65
  • Beer
    $1.20
  • Celebratory Shots
    $4.99
  • Beer
    $2.80
  • 1 Pint Beer
    $2.00
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    $13
  • Coffee
    $3.09

Sample the Local Flavors in Spain

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Spain:

  • Barcelona: Pub Crawl with Shots and Cocktail: $5.67
  • Barcelona: Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $9.08
  • Granbazán Winery: Guided Tour and Wine Tasting: $16
  • Rioja Alavesa: Wine Tasting in a Tradicional Winery: $17
  • Barcelona: Estrella Damm Old Brewery Tour with Tasting: $17
  • Valencia: Pub Crawl: $17
  • Lanzarote: Wine Tour and Tasting under the Volcano: $22
  • Córdoba: Local Wine Tasting Evening: $27
  • Barcelona Wine Tasting: Catalan and Spanish Wines: $34
  • Timanfaya National Park and La Geria Wine Tasting: $37
  • Valencia: Surprise Winery Visit with Wine Tasting: $40
  • Madrid: Wine Tasting Experience: $43

Typical Alcohol prices in the USA

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in the USA are as follows:


  • Camping
    $20
  • Evening at a Bar
    $32
  • Drinks at Camp Fire (for 2)
    $40
  • A Night of Shots
    $36
  • Beer
    $7.30

Sample the Local Flavors in the USA

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in the USA:

  • Baltimore: Sagamore Spirit Distillery & Whiskey Tasting Tour: $15
  • New Orleans: Haunted Pub Crawl: $20
  • Key West: Bone Island Haunted Pub Crawl: $25
  • San Antonio: Guided Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Nashville: Seeking Spirits Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • St. Augustine: Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Galveston: Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $30
  • Savannah: True Crime Pub Crawl: $30
  • Savannah: Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • New Orleans: Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Savannah: Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour: $30
  • New Orleans: Pub Crawl & Historical Chronicles Walking Tour: $30


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Spain and the USA, we can see that the United States of America is more expensive. And not only is Spain much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Spain is in Europe and the USA is in North America, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. 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 States of America would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in the United States of America than you might in Spain.

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Spain vs. USA Travel Comparison

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