A blue sign with a yellow shell and arrow next to the dust road on the Camino route
Camino de Santiago

The cost of walking the Camino de Santiago – a detailed breakdown

There is no set Camino budget, the cost depends on you. You can walk the Camino de Santiago on less than 20 Euro a day or spend over 50 Euro per day. I’ve had days when I spent 16 Euro as well as 50-Euro days as well on the same Camino. It all depends on how much you can spend, how much comfort you need, etc. In this post, I’m discussing what you can get on 20, 30, and 40+ Euro per person per day on the Camino, give a detailed breakdown of my Camino budget, and give some money-saving tips. 

It’s important to remember that the cost may vary depending on the chosen Camino some routes work out cheaper than the others. We’ve walked 7 different Camino de Santiago routes and we did notice the difference especially in accommodation prices. I’m going to compare these seven routes and explain why some of them were more expensive to walk.

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Walking the Camino with 20, 30 and 40+ Euro per day

I’m giving an overview of what you can afford to walk the Camino on these budgets, it doesn’t mean you have to stick and stay only at public albergues if you have 20 Euro per day it just shows that most of the time it’ll be your best accommodation option. Accommodation and food are the main expenses on the Camino. Laundry and luggage delivery service are two other expenses many pilgrims have but both are optional. You can do hand-washing and carry your own backpack. Some days you might have some extra expenses such as museum entrance fees, etc.

The video that I filmed on the Camino Frances that shows what exactly you can get on the Camino if you have 20, 30 and 40+ Euro per person per day

If your budget is 20 Euro per person per day

  • Accommodation – public albergues, between 6 and 8 Euro
  • Food – grocery shopping – 8-12 Euro

If your budget is 30 Euro per person per day

  • Accommodation – private albergues, 10-12 Euro.
  • Food – Menu del Día – 10-12 Euro; breakfast – 2-3 Euro; grocery shopping – 5-8 Euro.

If you can spend 40+ Euro per person per day

  • Accommodation – a private room in a hotel, from 15 Euro per person (if you’re two people sharing a double room), from 25 for a single room.
  • Food – Menu del Día – 10-12 Euro; breakfast – 2-3 Euro; dinner – 12-15 Euro.

Extras

  • Laundry – 2-3 Euro per load for washing, 2-3 Euro per load for drying.
  • Luggage delivery service – 4-5 Euro per backpack per stage.

I’m going to elaborate on each topic below comparing different options.

An info graphic showing the cost of walking the Camino de Santiago
A simple breakdown of what one can get on the Camino spending 20, 30 and 40 Euro a day

The cost of accommodation on the Camino de Santiago

Your accommodation options on the Camino are quite diverse (especially on the popular Camino routes) from public and private albergues to hostels and hotels/guesthouses. Albergues are special hostels for pilgrims.

Public (municipal) albergues

It is the cheapest accommodation option on the Camino. They’re run by municipalities and are exclusively for pilgrims walking or cycling the Camino. You need a Credential (a pilgrim’s passport) with stamps to be able to stay at public albergues. The average price is between 5 and 8 Euros per person per bed. Public albergues are usually quite big with one or two rooms with several bunk-beds and shared facilities (showers, toilets, a kitchen). On more popular Camino routes like the Camino Francés or the Camino Portuguese from Porto, you can plan your itinerary the way that you stay almost every night at a public albergue and pay 5-7 Euro per bed. Less busy routes have fewer public albergues from time to time you’ll have no option but to stay at private albergues.

Private albergues

The second cheapest accommodation on the Camino. Private albergues belong to a person or a company anybody can stay there but most of the guests are usually pilgrims. They cost 10-12 Euro per bed. Private albergues usually have better facilities and are quite a bit smaller than public albergues. Some private albergues have private rooms as well. Sometimes you can find albergues (usually private) for donation. How much to pay depends on you. We usually leave as much as we would pay for a public albergue or more if we really like the place. There are more private than public albergues on the Camino, you’ll be able to find one at the end of every day. 

Hotels/guesthouses (pensions)

These are the most expensive and comfortable accommodation options on the Camino. Prices for a private room start at 25 Euro for a single room and 30 Euro for a double room. Staying at hotels every night especially on longer Camino routes might be quite tough on your budget but I’d definitely recommend having a private room every once in a while. It’s so nice to have a good rest and some privacy. We usually stay in private at least once a week or even more often if we can find a well-priced private room.

Comparing public and private albergues and hotels

FeaturesPublic alberguesPrivate alberguesHotels
Price5-8 Euro10-14 Eurofrom 25 Euro
Only for pilgrimsyesnono
Need a Credential to stayyesnono
Can be bookednoyesyes
Can stay more than 1 nightnoyesyes
Allow luggage deliverynoyesyes
Accept credit cardsnousuallyusually
Comparing different accommodation options on the Camino de Santiago

The cost of food on the Camino

Grocery shopping and cooking

The cheapest way is to buy food at supermarkets/shops and cook for yourself. Most albergues have a communal kitchen that pilgrims can use. Some kitchens are well-equipped and have all you need for cooking, some are very basic. My advice always before you go shopping is to check out the kitchen.

Most of the places along the Camino routes have at least a small grocery store where you can get bread, pasta, cheese, yogurt, fruit, and vegetables. Bigger towns and cities have supermarkets where you can get pretty much anything including takeaway meals that are cheaper than eating at restaurants. We usually spend between 8 and 14 Euro for grocery shopping for two people. Depending on what you buy and for how many meals I’d recommend budgeting 6-10 Euro per person per day to buy enough food for 2 meals.

Breakfast

The Spanish are not very big on breakfast, most of them just drink a cup of coffee with a small pastry. Many cafes on the Camino offer breakfasts that usually include a cup of coffee, a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice and a sandwich or a pastry. A breakfast like that costs between 2 and 3 Euro. On very busy and touristy parts of some Caminos, you can find an English (eggs & bacon) or an American (sausages, eggs, cereal, etc.) breakfast as well one of these costs 8 to 10 Euro.

Menu del Día or a Pilgrim’s Menu

Menú del Día or a set meal that includes a starter, a main, a drink (wine, beer, water, soda), bread, and dessert or coffee is a very popular lunch option everywhere in Spain not only on the Camino. A typical menu costs between 10 and 12 Euro. The quality of the menu varies. I’ve had some amazing menus and some poor meals on the Camino. Usually, in cities and busy towns, menus have more options and are of better quality. The worst menus I had at albergues-restaurants in the middle of nowhere when after finishing your menu you are almost as hungry as before.

If you’re on a special diet e.g. vegetarian or vegan in small towns/villages it might be difficult to find a suitable menu. In cities and bigger towns, it’s not a problem many restaurants have vegetarian/vegan menu options. 

Dinner

The most expensive meal on the Camino. We never go out for dinner on the Camino only in Santiago de Compostela after finishing the walk but we do go out to drink a glass of wine or beer and to eat a couple of tapas/pintxos. Dinner at a restaurant with a glass of wine will cost you between 14 and 18 Euro per person depending on the place and chosen menu.

For a beer or a glass of wine at the bar, you’ll pay an average of 2 Euro it may include a simple tapa. Many bars in Asturias and Galicia offer a free tapa with every drink you order. It might be a small portion of tortilla, peanuts, a small cheese or ham sandwich, etc. Make sure to try typical Galician dishes Pulpo a la Feira (cooked octopus) and Pimientos de Padrón (fried green peppers) both are great with beer. In Santiago de Compostela there are a couple of amazing tapas bars in Rúa de Franco and Rúa da Raiña streets.

In the Basque Country, Cantabria and Navarra, they serve pintxos, a more sophisticated version of tapas. Pintxos don’t come with your drink, you have to pay extra for them. A pintxo costs 2-3 Euro and it’s usually absolutely delicious stuff. If you happen to walk one of the routes through Northern Spain e.g. the French Camino or the Northern Way make sure to try pintxos in San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Bilbao, or Pamplona.  

If you’re planning to go out for a drink more or less regularly add 30-50 Euro (depending on how long you’re going to walk) to your entire Camino budget. 

Extra expenses on the Camino

Luggage delivery service on the Camino

The service is available on all major Camino de Santiago routes. The more popular the route is the more companies offer backpack delivery service. An average price is 5 Euro per backpack per stage; it might vary depending on the distance, route popularity, etc. You can use the service for the entire Camino or only for selective stages e.g. the roughest ones that involve walking long-distances or many ascents and descents. You can decide whether you need it or not on the way. Try to walk with your backpack and if it’s too heavy or too difficult you can always start using the delivery service. It’s important to remember that most public albergues don’t allow luggage delivery which means you’ll have to stay at private albergues or hotels.

Laundry

It is one of our main extra expenses on any Camino. We do machine washing more or less twice a week. Many albergues (both public and private) have self-service washing machines and dryers that work with coins. The machines are usually quite big; you can share one load between 3 or 4 people. It’s 2-3 Euro per load for washing and about the same for drying. If it’s a sunny day we hang our clothes outside, if it’s rainy and cold we use a dryer. Sometimes it’s free but you have to buy detergent. Many people get away without it by doing hand washing most albergues have washing basins and drying lines.

Entrance fees

Walking is the main activity on the Camino. Usually, you’re too tired after a full day of walking to do any sightseeing but some places are just can’t be missed. Like the Cathedral of León on the Camino Francés or the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao on the Camino del Norte. I’d suggest budgeting 20-30 Euro extra for entrance fees and tickets.

Transport expenses

You’re probably not going to use any on the Camino itself but you’ll have to get to the starting point of your route and back home from Santiago de Compostela. If you’re coming from Europe your transport expenses won’t be very high if you buy your plane tickets a couple of months in advance. You can use one of the budget airlines to get to Madrid or Barcelona and from there catch a local flight, bus, or train to your final destination. The same with getting back to your country from Santiago, you can take local transport to Madrid, Porto, etc. and from there fly back home. If you come from overseas e.g. US, Australia, Canada, etc. your international flight will be one of your biggest expenses. I’d add 60-70 Euro to your budget for local transport expenses

Different Camino routes start at different places, some of them are easy to reach like Lisbon or Porto, the beginning of the Portuguese Way, some require more time like Oviedo, the beginning of the Original Way, or Irún, the starting point of the Northern Camino. Here is the average cost of getting to the starting points of the major Camino de Santiago routes.

The cost of getting to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (Camino Francés)

RouteBusTrainFlight
Madrid – Pamplonafrom 23€from 30€from 40€
Barcelona – Pamplonafrom 28€from 30€
Paris – Bayonnefrom 23€from 39€from 27€
  • Bus Pamplona – St.Jean-Pied-de-Port – 22 Euro
  • Train Bayonne – St.Jean-Pied-de-Port – 10 Euro

In total to get to St.Jean will work out between 35 and 50 Euro depending how and from where you’re coming from.

The cost of getting to Irún (Camino del Norte)

RouteBusTrainFlight
Madrid – Irúnfrom 40€from 65€from 60€
Barcelona – Irúnfrom 40€from 75€from 40€

The cost of getting to Oviedo (Camino Primitivo)

RouteBusTrainFlight
Madrid – Oviedofrom 40€

The cost of transport from Santiago de Compostela

RouteBusTrainFlight
Santiago – Madridfrom 50€from 40€from 25€
Santiago – Barcelonafrom 60€from 20€
Santiago – Portofrom 30€

There are direct flights with budget airlines from Santiago to the UK, Switzerland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, etc. If you buy your ticket a couple of months in advance you can get a really good deal e.g. a flight to the UK for 20 Euro.

Travel insurance

An important thing to have if you’re going to travel abroad and planning to do some outdoor activities. Walking the Camino is not a high-risk venture but it’s always recommended to have travel insurance that can cover your medical expenses (in case you need any), gear loss, or trip cancellation. Note, if you have a European Health Insurance card you don’t need any extra medical insurance for Spain or Portugal. The cost of travel insurance varies depending on the company, the policy, a person’s age, etc. The average price range is between 10US$ and 20US$ per person per week for a standard plan. If you don’t have a travel insurance company yet we can recommend using our partner World Nomads.

My detailed budget breakdown for the Camino Francés

The French Way is the most popular Camino route. Walking it I wrote down everything I spent. I didn’t try to do it the cheapest way; if I felt like staying in private I did, if I wanted to eat a menu or to go out for a drink I went. The cost is for 33 days; 31 days of walking, 1 day in St.Jean-Pied-de-Port, and 1 day in Santiago de Compostela.

In total, I spent 1235 Euro in 33 days or 37 Euro per day. It includes accommodation, food, all extra expenses, bus tickets from Barcelona to St.Jean-Pied-de-Port, and a train ticket from Santiago to Madrid.

How much did I spend?

A colorful 6-slices pie-chart with Alya's expenses on the Camino Frances
A pie chart showing my expenses on the Camino Frances

Accommodation500 Euro or 15 Euro per day average. I stayed 10 nights at public albergues, 14 nights at private albergues, and 9 nights in private rooms including one night at a spa hotel in Astorga. If you don’t stay in hotels and stick to albergues (public and private) your average accommodation cost will be below 10 Euro per day.

Eating out – 327 Euro or 10 Euro per day average. I didn’t eat Menú del Día every day but stopped for breakfast quite often. This includes going out for tapas in Logroño and Santiago de Compostela. If you cook for yourself or eat takeaways from supermarkets you can completely exclude eating out from your budget.

Grocery shopping – 214 Euro or 6,5 Euro per day average. If you don’t eat out and mostly make your own food your grocery budget will be more, between 350 and 400 Euro.

Drinks (coffee, wine, beer) – 68 Euro or 2 Euro per day average. I stopped every day for coffee and sometimes went out for a glass of wine or a beer. If you don’t stop for coffee it’ll save you about 40 Euro.

Transport81 Euro. 50 Euro to get from Barcelona to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port; bus Barcelona – Pamplona, 28 Euro, and bus Pamplona – St.Jean, 22 Euro. A train ticket Santiago de Compostela – Madrid, 31 Euro.

Extras (entrance fee, laundry, etc.) – 45 Euro or 1,4 Euro per day average.

I didn’t use luggage transfer service but if you’re going to use it add 5 Euro to your daily budget. For 31 walking days, it’ll be 155 Euro extra.

How much to budget for buying new gear?

For walking the Camino you don’t need any special gear. There are two important items that have to be comfortable; shoes and a backpack. These two you’re going to use every day walking for hours. I’d definitely recommend investing in both. You don’t need heavy hiking boots for walking the Camino unless you’re planning to walk it in winter. A pair of light hiking shoes. As for your pack, a 35-40l backpack should be enough if your stuff doesn’t fit in it means you’re trying to pack too much.

An average cost of the essential Camino gear

Essential gearAverage price
40l backpack150 US$
Hiking shoes100 US$
Merino wool socks20 US$ for 3 pairs
Quick-dry towel9 US$
Light sleeping bag25 US$
Water bottle15 US$
Headlamp15 US$
Hiking clothes (pants, T-shirts, a rain jacket, a cap)150 US$
Total484 US$

This is the list of essential items one will need on the Camino. The given examples are for women, men’s gear costs more or less the same.

More details on what to pack for the Camino for different seasons for men and women you can find in our Camino de Santiago packing list post.

Comparing the cost of different Camino routes

As I mentioned above up to now we’ve walked seven Caminos: Camino Francés, Camino Portuguese from Lisbon, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino Inglés, Camino Finisterre-Muxía, and Via de la Plata. Basically, we’ve done all the major routes in Spain and Portugal. Portugal overall is a bit cheaper than Spain; things like transport (local trains), hotels, and eating out. 

The routes that can be relatively easily done on 20 Euro per person per day.

  • Camino Francés
  • Camino Portuguese from Porto
  • Camino Primitivo
  • Camino Finisterre-Muxía
  • Camino Inglés

It doesn’t mean you can’t walk other routes on 20 Euro per day but it’ll be more difficult due to the higher cost of accommodation and/or lack of public albergues.

Camino Francés, Camino Portuguese, and Camino Primitivo

The most popular Camino routes are the cheapest ones because they have more infrastructure for pilgrims; many municipal and private albergues, special pilgrim’s menus at restaurants, etc. The Camino Frances, the Portuguese Camino from Porto (both the Central and the Coastal Route), and the Camino Primitivo have public albergues pretty much at the end of every stage. You can plan your walk the way you stay 90% of the time at public albergues which means you’ll pay as little as 5-7 Euro per night on average. The French route has the most accommodation options 

Vía de la Plata & Portuguese Camino from Lisbon

On less popular Camino routes like the Silver Route or the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon, accommodation is more expensive. On the Via de la Plata all public albergues cost 10 Euro which is 3-5 Euro more than on the Camino Frances. On the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon, there are few public albergues every other night we stayed at a guesthouse or a private albergues. On the other hand, eating out on these routes was less expensive.

Camino Finisterre-Muxía and Camino Inglés

Both routes are very short, 3-5 days even if you stay at hotels all the time it won’t ruin your budget. Both the Camino Finisterre and the English Way have enough public albergues and many private albergues you’ll definitely be able to walk it for 20 Euro a day. The only problem on both routes there are not many supermarkets but most of the towns have at least a small grocery store.

Camino del Norte

The Camino del Norte (the first half of it) was our most expensive route. The part of the route through Asturias and Galicia was more or less the same as other Camino routes. Northern Spain (the Basque Country and Cantabria) is overall more expensive than the rest of the country. Accommodation is significantly more expensive in the popular touristy cities such as San Sebastian and some small coastal towns in the Basque Country. There are public albergues in the Basque Country but many of them are open only during the peak season (July and August), the rest of the year pilgrims stay in hostels or hotels. Eating out is more expensive in Northern Spain if you want to walk the Camino del Norte on a tight budget you’ll have to make your own food.

To buy groceries costs more or less the same across Spain and Portugal. The only difference is that at a small grocery store everything costs more than in a big supermarket.

Camino de Santiago money saving tips

First of all, always make sure to have some cash with you. Public albergues and some private albergues don’t accept credit cards. No need to carry a lot of cash just enough to pay accommodation, food, etc. for a couple of days. On most routes, you’ll get an ATM every day. We usually draw 300 Euro at once and when we have less than 40 Euro we draw again. Most hotels, supermarkets, grocery stores, and restaurants accept cards.

Tip 1. Eating out every day add quite a bit to the cost if you want to save money cooking your own food is the way to go.

Tip 2. Book your international flight a couple of months in advance many airlines have special prices for early booking. Find out which airlines fly to your destination (Spain, Portugal, France depending on the Camino route) and subscribe to their newsletter to make sure you won’t miss their special offers. Use sites like Skyscanner to search for the cheapest flights. Book your local flights in advance as well. Many budget airlines often have great early booking deals, you can get a flight for 20-30 Euro.

Tip 3. From our experience, it’s cheaper to walk the Camino if you’re two or more people. A double or a triple room works out cheaper per person than a single room. If you’re going to walk along you can always team up with another pilgrim and rent a twin room (with two single beds) it’ll be cheaper than paying for a single private room. In many places, you can find an apartment for rent that can accommodate 2-4 people if you’re a group walking together you can always rent one. These apartments often have a well-equipped kitchen, a washing machine, etc.

Tip 4. Cooking together is another way to save money if you’re several people cooking together you can split the cost of the shopping. Whatever you buy it’s usually too much for one person anyway and you end up leaving half of it in the kitchen.

Camino planning resources

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