In almost any town in Spain, you can find a pension, which is a small hotel, usually with a boutique feel and often at a low cost. Coastal areas offer more luxury accommodations and hotels there are higher priced. Advance reservation is required for most of the larger hotels, but if you have not made reservations, find the cathedral or main square in a small town and you are sure to find a pensiones nearby. Rates are usually displayed in the reception area.
Bed and breakfasts are also available, usually allowing you to rent a room in a large home with a. rate that includes breakfast. Private rooms are also available, sometimes above a bar or restaurant. Look for signs that say “habitaciones” or “camas” for rooms that are very reasonable but basic.
If you are traveling on a strict budget, look for fondas, marked with an (F), which often have a restaurant or dining room or casas de huespedes, marked with a (CH), which are old-fashioned guesthouses. You may also see “pensiones” marked with a (P) that are similar to hostels in other countries. You can expect a basic room with a washbasin but not much else. Some rooms may not have heat or windows.
Hostales are not actually hostels but are budget hotels that offer rooms that are mostly functional and often have private bathrooms, heat and air conditioning.
If you are looking for a luxury stay, consider a paradores that are often converted castles or monasteries that are now available as lodging. There are some paradores that are modern buildings but constructed to appear as if they are ancient.
American citizens can enter Spain without a visa for stays up to three months. You may need to provide proof of a return ticket and proof of funds. You must have a valid passport that will be valid for up to three months after your stay, although the U.S. Embassy recommends a passport that will be valid for at least six months beyond your stay.