Planning your budget is a crucial part of your Camino journey. In this article, I’m going to do a Camino de Santiago cost breakdown, and talk about the main aspects when it comes to budget. And yeah, don’t think that Camino must be super expensive – it totally depends on you. For instance, you can save a lot of money on accommodation by sleeping in a tent (if you’re walking during the summer months), and conscious eating. My first Camino walk didn’t break the 1,000 USD mark.
Quite a big part of your overall spending will be flight tickets, especially if you are not from Europe.
It’s really quite hard to know how much will you spend on that, but I think, still, it won’t be too high as France is a very easily reachable country and all kinds of low-fare airlines have flights there.
Camino de Santiago, or most popular route, Camino Frances starts in France, in Saint Jean Pied de Port, so I definitely advise you to fly to France, not Spain as getting to a small village in France from Spain can get difficult. As far as I know, there are daily busses from Pamplona to Saint Jean Pied de Port, but it may cause you a lot of stress and additional nonsense before you even start your walk. Find out what is the most popular Camino and how to pick the right one for your journey.
So from the airport, you have to go to Saint Jean Pied de Port by bus. The closest big airport to Saint Jean Pied de Port is Bordeaux which is 235km from Saint Jean Pied de Port or Biarritz Airport which is smaller but is just 52 km from Saint Jean Pied de Port.
So for the trip from your airport to your starting point you shouldn’t spend more than 40 euros. It will get higher if you fly to Paris or Madrid/Barcelona (Spain).
As you know, the most popular place to sleep in Camino de Santiago is albergues (here is a complete guide to Albergues in Camino de Santiago). There are private albergues (which are more expensive) and public albergues (which are cheaper) and even some free albergues (I do not really recommend to sleep there).
So the prices of albergues vary from 5 to 12 euros (12 euros is quite high, you may find higher, but it is not usual).
So we can take a simple average of 8.5 euros a day, multiply it by 30 (if you walk all Camino in 30 days) and we get a total of 255 euros for the whole month. That is pretty cheap. You may pay higher prices for your rent back home.
Of course, if you decide to sleep in hotels or pensions, this price may double, triple, or even more. But if you decide to be the real pilgrim and sleep in albergues, you shouldn’t spend more than 255 euros for the whole month.
You will see many places which offer three-course dinner for pilgrims, which includes a starter, main course and a dessert for 10-12 euros. I really encourage doing that, because you rest for one hour, have a nice full meal and can enjoy your later hike with no rush.
As well, you may enjoy local espresso each day which costs 1.2-1.5 euros a cup.
You may buy all your food in shops and prepare it in albergues, eat it whenever you stop, there’s really no need to go to restaurants each day. And the food in Spain is quite cheap, it’s really not expensive. If you come from a Western country, it will definitely be cheaper.
Some pilgrims do not ever go to restaurants, they prepare all their food in albergues and there’s no problem with that. I did it on my first Camino. No restaurants (except one time in a small village with no shops) at all.
Depending on what food you like, you can get along with 10-15 euros a day pretty good. If you like pasta, yogurts; you have no problem to buy cheaper products; you don’t need too expensive meat or chocolates, you won’t be spending too much.
So let’s take the average again: 12.5 euros multiply by 30 and we get a total of 375 euros.
If you add coffee each day, you can add 40 euros to this, if you eat dinner in restaurants each day, you can add 300 euros to this and so on. It really depends on you. But let’s stay on the basics here, 375 euros.
Actually, if you do not want to spend money on anything else, there’s no need to do that.
You have a bed every day, you have food every day and that’s it.
Spain is not an expensive country, so if you wish, you may visit some museums (I visited the chocolate museum in Astorga which cost me 2 euros at that time), galleries (I visited one in Santiago de Compostela, but it was free), etc.
It really depends on you. Of course, you may need to buy medicines, maybe new clothes, maybe a new backpack or shoes, you never know, so to have some extra money is really a good idea.
But if you are not a needy person, you do not really need to spend more.
Before Camino de Santiago – Investing in proper equipment
Of course, before your trip, we must include all the other stuff you have to buy before this trip. You may have most of the stuff, or you may have none of it. I am talking about hiking shoes, backpacks, hiking poles, clothes, and so on.
I would strongly suggest not overspend when buying gear for Camino de Santiago.
First thing is that Spain does not really offer you a harsh environment so you do not need a very high-end product. People in shops will definitely try to convince you that you need specific hiking boots that are awesome in low temperatures and have very high endurance in bad weather, but you do not really need that.
There are hiking boots which cost 600 euros or more, but that’s not the case here. Because especially in Spain, too high-end stuff can be a disadvantage while hiking in high temperatures on a flat surface.
To sum up, I think you shouldn’t spend more than 150 euros on any item you are going to buy: hiking boots, backpack, clothes, etc.
Keep it simple.
So let’s sum up, accommodation can cost you around 255 euros, food around 375 euros. We get a total of 630 euros for the whole month.
Pretty affordable, yeah?
Of course, you have to add flight tickets, bus tickets, additional stuff you buy before this trip, and do not forget to have some extra money. I don’t think it’s clever to go there when having 630 euros and not a cent more. Many things can happen.
So I hope that helped you to calculate your budget and Buen Camino!