In Andalusía, the best things in life are (almost) free
Life is good in Spain’s sunny south, where you can go to almost any bar and fill up on cañas (half-pours of fizzy yellow beer) and carb-y tapas like croquettes and patatas bravas for less than 10 euros. In Granada, some spots still offer botanas (portions of food get larger with each round of drinks you order), so if you play your cards right, dinner is basically free. When all else fails, you can always spike a 2-liter of Coke with rum and join the local teens in a botellón (technically illegal street parties) down at the plaza.
But even highbrow culture is everywhere, and often free. Take a self-guided walking tour of historic architecture, wander into museums admission-free, or stumble on government-sponsored concerts and fairs (yay, socialism!). A hostel bed can be had for around $25/night, tickets to a bullfight run as little as 10 euros, and while you can easily pay $50 for a flamenco show in Madrid or Barcelona, the art form actually originates in the south, where you can catch some of the world’s best dancers, singers, and musicians performing for tips in dimly lit underground peñas.