The cost of walking the Camino de Santiago

Jan 24, 2022

In addition to the cost of the material that you will take on the Camino de Santiago, such as your footwear, a backpack, or the most appropriate clothing according to the time of year, it is important that you get an idea of the budget that you must set to the Camino de Santiago for each day.

To help you, we have prepared this post in which we have taken into account the common expenses of pilgrims, in terms of accommodation, meals, transportation, etc.

This will make it easier for you to know the amount of money you will need to reach the end of the Camino enjoying each day to the fullest.

What expenses will I have on the Camino de Santiago?

There are several main aspects to take into account when you are going to do the Camino de Santiago that will take your daily budget.

Transportation to the starting point

The first expense you must take into account is related to the form of transport that will take you to the starting point of the Camino. In the same way you will have to think about the return home from Santiago de Compostela.

There are many pilgrims who choose to travel directly to Santiago, since it is a city well connected with the rest of Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, etc. From these places, for example, you will have direct low cost flights to the Galician capital, which are around 30 or 80 euros, depending on the time of year and how far in advance you book your tickets.

Once in Compostela you will have transport options both by train and by bus to the favorite starting points of pilgrims, such as Sarria, Tui, León, etc. To reach these towns, you can ask at the pilgrim service center or at the bus and train station, where they will inform you of schedules and prices. In this case, you can count on between 12 and 30 euros for the train, for example, from Santiago to Sarria or León.

An alternative is to contact a specialized agency about the transport possibilities they can offer you. This is usually the preferred option for many pilgrims, since in addition to not worrying about transportation to focus on other aspects of their trip, it allows them to meet other people in the same situation right from the beginning of the experience.

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Daily meals

During your experience, you will have at least three meals a day, and you must count with this costs. In many accommodations you may already have the breakfast option included: a coffee or infusion, fruit, pastries, toasts, or even more can be at your disposal in the best case.

At mid-morning it is also highly recommended to make a stop to recover by drinking liquids, nuts, coffee or tea, and a piece of fruit. We advise you not to have too much in order to complete the rest of the stage without complications, but you should have a drink before lunchtime, since you will be on the path all morning.

Your lunch is surely the one you spend the most money on, since it is the main meal and the one that will help you recover after finishing your daily stage. Luckily, you will find many establishments where you will find a “pilgrim’s menu”, which you can have by presenting your credential. This will cost you between 10 or 12 euros, although you can allocate more budget to this meal if you feel like treating yourself.

Remember that at dinner you have to eat something again before going to bed. Here you can opt for a simple dish that is not too heavy for you to rest: you will easily find it for between 6 or 9 euros.

The price of the accommodation

The budget allocated to your accommodation during the Camino de Santiago will vary enormously depending on the type of stay you choose. Most pilgrims choose to spend the night in hostels, both public and private, while others prefer to enjoy more privacy and resort to hotels and pensions.

The cheapest option to spend the night will always be the public and parish hostels. The latter only ask for a small voluntary donation, while the former cost between 5 and 7 euros. The drawback of these two options, as you can imagine, is that these types of hostels are in high demand and, as they do not allow reservations, it is more difficult to get a place (especially if you are traveling in a group).

What you can turn to is the private hostels, which are increasingly numerous on the different Caminos. This type of accommodation has a slightly higher price (which has also increased in the last year), but even so it is cheaper than hotels and pensions and has many services such as Wi-Fi, breakfast included in many cases, lockers, washers and dryers, etc. The cost of private hostels? Between 12 and 20 euros.

Extra and unforeseen expenses

In addition to food and accommodation, it is advisable that you think about the unforeseen events that you may encounter along the Camino.

For example, you may need to make a small visit to a pharmacy if you start to have discomfort of some kind or if you need to add material to your own first-aid kit. You may also need more warm clothes, extra food, etc.

You will also find places that you will want to visit in some of the stages that you travel, such as museums for which you may need to pay admission, or souvenirs that you want to take home.

These types of things fall into the category of extra expenses that you must have for the Camino de Santiago. No matter how prepared you are, something will always come up that you may need or on which you want to spend extra money: the amount you are willing to spend in this case depends on you.

How can I reduce the budget for the Camino de Santiago?

Taking into account the expenses mentioned above, your budget for the Camino de Santiago should not exceed 40-60 euros per day as a general rule.

If you want to further reduce this amount, you can try following some of the following tips:

Make your own meals

Even if you have restaurants and bars where you can eat, it will always be cheaper for you to go to a supermarket to buy bread, cold cuts, etc. and make yourself a sandwich for the next day’s stage or for dinner.

Get up early to get to public and parish shelters

In the different stages and if you rest in hostels, you will see that there are pilgrims who wake up very early at each stage of the Camino. Be one of them if you want to arrive before the rest at the end of each stage, and thus opt for a place in a public or parish hostel: it will always be much better priced than any private hostel.

Prepare your kit with everything you need

It may (and is very likely) that inconveniences you did not expect arise, but carrying in your backpack everything essential to prevent blisters, chafing, and other typical ailments of the Camino will save you visits to the pharmacy, or even sessions of physiotherapy without which you cannot continue your journey.

Find out about the most interesting points of each stage

If you want to allocate part of your budget to visit museums and other points of interest, find out before each stage which sites may interest you so as not to waste time or money on those that are not. You will easily find the information you need and thus you will live the Camino de Santiago in your own way.

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