Everything you need to know about spending money in Spain


Travelling to Spain feels like stepping into a vibrant painting where every stroke is filled with colours, aromas, and sounds. 

Picture yourself savouring tapas under the golden sun, dancing flamenco in bustling plazas, or getting lost in the charming narrow streets of Spain’s old towns. 

Whether you’re exploring the historic streets of Madrid, basking in the sun on the beaches of Costa del Sol, or savoring tapas in Barcelona, knowing how to handle your travel money efficiently is crucial for a smooth, relaxing Spanish trip.

In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about spending money in España. 

What is the currency used in Spain?


Spain uses the Euro (€), which is the official currency for 19 of the 27 countries that make up the European Union

Adopted in 2002, the Euro is one of the world’s most widely circulated currencies. 

The Euro’s introduction simplified travel and trade across Europe, replacing the old Spanish ‘Peseta’. 

Banknotes are available in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500, while coins come in 1,2,5,10 and 50 cents, as well as €1 and €2. 

How to get Euros whilst you’re in Spain


A lot of people worry if they haven’t exchanged their currency into Euros before their trip to Spain, but fear not! Waiting until you arrive in Spain for your trip and exchanging your money can provide you with a better exchange rate, than doing the same action in your home country.

If you’re still unsure, then load your Spanish holiday budget onto a prepaid travel card before you leave, this will help ease your worries, and as we’ll see below, help avoid high ATM fees

Other ways to get Euros whilst you’re in Spain include: 

ATMs


Spain has a wide network of ATMs, known locally as “cajeros automáticos,” available in cities, towns, and even small villages. 

Using an ATM is a convenient way to withdraw Euros directly from your bank account - or travel money card.

Make sure to check with your bank about international withdrawal fees and inform them of your travel plans to avoid any security blocks, if you choose to use them for your spending in Spain. 

Currency exchange offices


You will find currency exchange offices, or “casas de cambio,” in airports, city centers, and tourist areas. 

While convenient, they often charge higher fees and offer less favourable exchange rates compared to local ATMs and banks.

Credit and Debit cards


Credit and debit cards are widely accepted throughout Spain, especially in larger cities and tourist destinations. 

You may find that Visa and MasterCards are more commonly accepted than American Express cards.

Picture of coast line in Spain with people on the beach

Can you use your contactless card in Spain?


Contactless payments are widely accepted and increasingly popular in Spain, providing a convenient and secure method for transactions.

Any major credit and debit cards equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology can be used for contactless payments at a variety of establishments, including restaurants, shops, and public transportation. 

Mobile payment solutions such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are also commonly supported, allowing you to pay with your phone or watch. 

Like in the UK, transactions under €50 don’t typically require a PIN, making small purchases quick and effortless. However, for added security, larger transactions may still require a PIN or biometric authentication. 

So, what is the best way to spend your travel money in Spain?


Using a combination of ways to spend your travel money in Spain is your best option. A prepaid travel money card will allow you to avoid the high fees charged by your traditional bank for ATM withdrawals whilst also providing a quick solution for smaller item purchases alongside cash.

For bigger transactions in Spain, like emergencies, utilising a travel credit card could also be a viable option, but make sure to research all on offer to get the best deal for you and your Spanish travels.

Top tips for managing your money in Spain


Keep Small Change


While cards are widely accepted across Spain, having some cash on hand is essential for smaller purchases, especially in rural areas or at local markets. Small businesses, cafes, and taxis might prefer or even require cash for low-value transactions.
 

Be Mindful of Surprise Fees


When withdrawing money from ATMs, be aware of potential fees. 

Some ATMs might charge a usage fee, and your home bank might also impose a foreign transaction fee. 

It’s a good idea to withdraw larger amounts less frequently to minimize these fees or load your holiday money onto a prepaid travel card to limit them. 

Dynamic Currency Conversion


When using your card, you might be offered the option to pay in your home currency instead of euros. 

This is known as Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). It’s usually better to decline this option and pay in euros to avoid unfavorable exchange rates and additional fees.

Stay Secure


Be cautious when using ATMs, especially in crowded or tourist-heavy areas. 

Cover the keypad when entering your PIN, and avoid using machines that appear to have been tampered with. 

It’s also wise to carry a backup card in case of loss or theft. Additionally, we advise that you don’t carry large amounts of cash with you, as this will likely make you a target for pickpocketing. 

People walking down Spanish street

Spending your money in Spain: A quick summary


As outlined in this guide, the best way of spending money in Spain involves a combination of cash and digital payment methods such as credit or travel money cards. 

The official currency, the Euro, is easily obtained via ATMs, which offer competitive exchange rates compared to airport, or local currency exchange offices. 

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, and contactless payments are particularly popular, allowing for quick and secure transactions with cards or mobile payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Whilst small establishments and rural areas may prefer cash, most urban areas and tourist spots are well-equipped for digital and card payments.

Travel money in Spain, made easy, with EasyFX


At EasyFX, we specialise in everything foreign exchange and help thousands of customers with their money across the world.

Holidaymakers and travellers can avoid high international fees with our prepaid travel money card which can cater to 13 different currencies in various popular destinations worldwide.

We have an Excellent' Trustpilot rating from thousands of happy customer reviews who trust us with their money.

EasyFX is regulated and authorised by the FCA, FSMA, and FINTRAC, giving you peace of mind that your funds are kept safe in segregated client accounts, at all times.

For further information about our travel money card service, or to transfer money to or from Spain, please contact us today for a free transfer quote. 


These are the best ways to spend your money in Spain
Learn about the different and best ways to spend your money whilst in Spain with our tips and guidance.
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Need to send money to Spain? We can help.

At EasyFX, our goal is to make international money transfers affordable, smooth, and easy, for everyone. Whether a small transfer or large transaction to Spain, we can cater to all types through our money transfer app, or our expert brokers, who are ready to find you the best exchange rate available, saving you money.

If you'd like to receive a free transfer quote, please contact our team today!

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This is the best way to spend money in Spain (top tips!)
Explore the various and best options to spend your money whilst in Spain. We look at tips to manage your money, how to get Euros in Spain, and much more.
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4 minute read

Need to send money to Spain? We can help.

At EasyFX, our goal is to make international money transfers affordable, smooth, and easy, for everyone. Whether a small transfer or large transaction to Spain, we can cater to all types through our money transfer app, or our expert brokers, who are ready to find you the best exchange rate available, saving you money.

If you'd like to receive a free transfer quote, please contact our team today!

Get a free transfer quote
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