Spain

The country where the European culture meets and blends with the Arab world, Spain will mesmerize you with its ancient history, art, and architecture.
Not by chance, Spain is the second most popular tourist destination in the world! Spain is among the sunniest countries in Europe and is incredibly biodiverse. Six mountain chains, the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and even a desert! Spain will satisfy everybody through its sixteen national parks! The country is also an amazing destination for history lovers. Cities such as Alhambra and Cádiz are full of historic sites and by visiting them you will be able to learn how the Arab culture has influenced this beautiful country. Spain is also home to some of the most famous architects and painters in the world and here you will be able to spend your days wandering through some of Gaudí’s best works of art! If you’re still not convinced, let me just mention the culinary tradition! From paella to churros and the amazing selection of wines. You don’t even need a Visa to enter the country! So, what are you waiting for? Book your ticket!
Spain
Church of San Juan Bautista, Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Madrid
Panoramic aerial view of Gran Via, main shopping street in Madrid, capital of Spain, Europe.Panoramic aerial view of Gran Via, main shopping street in Madrid, capital of Spain, Europe.

Spain is located in West Europe and specifically in the Iberian peninsula. The capital, Madrid, is situated in the center of the country while the second biggest city, Barcelona, is located on the Mediterranean coast on the East side of Spain. Other interesting but less known cities include Setenil de las Bodegas and Cádiz. The country is mainly mountainous and it hosts six different mountain chains. In the North of Spain, you will find green and wet zones while in the South the landscape gets dryer and arid. Spain is also the only country in Europe with a desert, called the Tabernas desert in Andalusia. The country is home to sixteen national parks and has great biodiversity. Here you will find canyons, caves, and even the popular Rio Tinto, a river famous for its colors ranging from yellow to red. 

Ibiza is an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the east coast of Spain. It is the third-largest of the Balearic Islands.

 

There are three main climates in Spain. The coastline on the Mediterranean Sea is obviously characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Inland, the winters get colder, especially on the mountain ranges where you can expect heavy snow during the cold winters, however, summers are still pleasurably warm and dry. Here you can expect precipitations during the spring and autumn months. The North of the country, facing the Atlantic Sea, has a totally different climate. Here winters are snowy and rainy and summers are cool. For this reason, make sure to check the weather of each of the locations that you will be visiting during your trip as the climate varies a lot depending on the area. 

Traditional Paella Valenciana is a great dish to share with family and friends!

 

Every area of Spain has its own culinary specialties, so make sure to try the local cuisine wherever you’re going! Eating in Spain is not as easy as in many other countries, as here there is a whole process that must be followed during the day. You normally have breakfast with churros to then move to the aperitivo, a quick snack before lunchtime. After lunch, Spanish people don’t run back to work but keep talking at the table in what they call the sobremesa. You then have a merienda, a quick snack in the afternoon, followed by the final dinner. For sure, everyone will agree that paella is the national dish of the country. If you want to try the original recipe make sure to go to Valencia! Paella is a rice dish cooked with several veggies and either rabbit or chicken. Gazpacho, a cold tomato soup made up by blending raw vegetables, is also popular and perfect during the warm summer days! Spain is the second biggest producer of wine in the world and the first olive oil producer, so make sure to try both these products when visiting!

Gipsy flamenco dancer couple from Spain with red rose and Spanish backcomb pineta

 

In Spain presentation matters! You will hardly see people wearing sports clothes outside of the gym or yoga pants. Usually, Spanish people tend to be presentable on all occasions. This doesn’t mean that you will have to wear a suit and a tie every day, but bring nice clothes with you such as a shirt and a good pair of jeans. For girls, a nice colorful dress is always a win! 

If you’re visiting Spain during the winter months, obviously depending on the area, instead of bringing with you a heavy coat, opt for layers of clothes such as a t-shirt coupled with a wool sweater and a light jacket. In this way, it will be easier to adapt to the weather changes. A portable umbrella will be your best friend from autumn to spring! If you’re visiting during the summer don’t forget a pair of sunglasses and lots of suncream.

Spain Currency
National flag of Spain and Euro currency

The official currency in Spain is the Euro. Prices tend to be cheaper than other countries in West Europe, but still quite expensive. An Airbnb for two people in Madrid will cost you around 50 to 60€ while a night in a hostel dormitory will be around 20€. Obviously, Madrid is among the most expensive cities in the country, along with Barcelona, so you can expect to pay less in smaller villages. A day of public transportation will be around 22€ and obviously traveling by taxi will cost you way more. For food, you will spend around 32€ during a normal day.

Espanol Language
A chalkboard with the question hablas espanol? do you speak Spanish? written in Spanish, a pot with pencils and the flag of Spain, on a wooden desk

Obviously, Spanish, and in particular Castellano, is the official language of Spain. This is one of the most spoken languages in the world with more than 500 million people speaking it on a daily basis. However, there are three extra co-official languages: Catalan, Galician and Basque. Unlike what many believe, Spanish people are not so good with English. Even though in the most popular cities and tourist sites you will be able to communicate, the majority of the population neither speak nor understand the English language. Especially if you’re traveling to small villages you will have to learn a bit of Spanish in order to be able to communicate. Downloading apps such as Google Translator on your phone will help you a lot! 

Cordoba, Spain view of the Roman Bridge and Mosque-Cathedral on the Guadalquivir River.

Spain is the third-highest-ranked country for the number of UNESCO world heritage sites in the world. If you love history, you cannot miss the wonderful city of Alhambra or the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. The Arab tradition is particularly strong in Spain, given the close proximity with North Africa, and its influence can be still seen in the architecture as well as in the Spanish language. Obviously, art is another pillar of the country and if you’re visiting Barcelona you cannot miss the wonderful creations of Antoni Gaudí, such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. But Spain is home to many other artists known worldwide such as Picasso, Goya, and Dalí. The most popular sport is obviously football and even though not many people are aware of this Spain also has a great roller hockey team!

Spain Passport & Visa
Detail of a Spanish passport. Documentation for travelers

Spain is part of the Schengen area and therefore you won’t need a Visa to enter the country. You will be able to stay in any country in the Schengen area for 90 days in a period of 180 days without applying for a Visa. However, you may be required to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss passengers. In addition, your passport may be stamped on entry or exit and you may be required to demonstrate that you both have enough money for the trip and a return ticket. Lastly, make sure to check your passport as you need a validity of six months on the day of entry.

 

Spain has two official associated plug types: type C and type F. The former is characterized by two round pins while the latter has two round pins plus two earth clips. Spain operates on a standard frequency of 50Hz and 230V supply voltage.  

Why travel to Spain?
Spain
Church of San Juan Bautista, Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Location and Geography
Madrid
Panoramic aerial view of Gran Via, main shopping street in Madrid, capital of Spain, Europe.Panoramic aerial view of Gran Via, main shopping street in Madrid, capital of Spain, Europe.

Spain is located in West Europe and specifically in the Iberian peninsula. The capital, Madrid, is situated in the center of the country while the second biggest city, Barcelona, is located on the Mediterranean coast on the East side of Spain. Other interesting but less known cities include Setenil de las Bodegas and Cádiz. The country is mainly mountainous and it hosts six different mountain chains. In the North of Spain, you will find green and wet zones while in the South the landscape gets dryer and arid. Spain is also the only country in Europe with a desert, called the Tabernas desert in Andalusia. The country is home to sixteen national parks and has great biodiversity. Here you will find canyons, caves, and even the popular Rio Tinto, a river famous for its colors ranging from yellow to red. 

Climate and weather
Ibiza is an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the east coast of Spain. It is the third-largest of the Balearic Islands.

 

There are three main climates in Spain. The coastline on the Mediterranean Sea is obviously characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Inland, the winters get colder, especially on the mountain ranges where you can expect heavy snow during the cold winters, however, summers are still pleasurably warm and dry. Here you can expect precipitations during the spring and autumn months. The North of the country, facing the Atlantic Sea, has a totally different climate. Here winters are snowy and rainy and summers are cool. For this reason, make sure to check the weather of each of the locations that you will be visiting during your trip as the climate varies a lot depending on the area. 

Cuisine
Traditional Paella Valenciana is a great dish to share with family and friends!

 

Every area of Spain has its own culinary specialties, so make sure to try the local cuisine wherever you’re going! Eating in Spain is not as easy as in many other countries, as here there is a whole process that must be followed during the day. You normally have breakfast with churros to then move to the aperitivo, a quick snack before lunchtime. After lunch, Spanish people don’t run back to work but keep talking at the table in what they call the sobremesa. You then have a merienda, a quick snack in the afternoon, followed by the final dinner. For sure, everyone will agree that paella is the national dish of the country. If you want to try the original recipe make sure to go to Valencia! Paella is a rice dish cooked with several veggies and either rabbit or chicken. Gazpacho, a cold tomato soup made up by blending raw vegetables, is also popular and perfect during the warm summer days! Spain is the second biggest producer of wine in the world and the first olive oil producer, so make sure to try both these products when visiting!

Clothing and Dress
Gipsy flamenco dancer couple from Spain with red rose and Spanish backcomb pineta

 

In Spain presentation matters! You will hardly see people wearing sports clothes outside of the gym or yoga pants. Usually, Spanish people tend to be presentable on all occasions. This doesn’t mean that you will have to wear a suit and a tie every day, but bring nice clothes with you such as a shirt and a good pair of jeans. For girls, a nice colorful dress is always a win! 

If you’re visiting Spain during the winter months, obviously depending on the area, instead of bringing with you a heavy coat, opt for layers of clothes such as a t-shirt coupled with a wool sweater and a light jacket. In this way, it will be easier to adapt to the weather changes. A portable umbrella will be your best friend from autumn to spring! If you’re visiting during the summer don’t forget a pair of sunglasses and lots of suncream.

Currency
Spain Currency
National flag of Spain and Euro currency

The official currency in Spain is the Euro. Prices tend to be cheaper than other countries in West Europe, but still quite expensive. An Airbnb for two people in Madrid will cost you around 50 to 60€ while a night in a hostel dormitory will be around 20€. Obviously, Madrid is among the most expensive cities in the country, along with Barcelona, so you can expect to pay less in smaller villages. A day of public transportation will be around 22€ and obviously traveling by taxi will cost you way more. For food, you will spend around 32€ during a normal day.

Language
Espanol Language
A chalkboard with the question hablas espanol? do you speak Spanish? written in Spanish, a pot with pencils and the flag of Spain, on a wooden desk

Obviously, Spanish, and in particular Castellano, is the official language of Spain. This is one of the most spoken languages in the world with more than 500 million people speaking it on a daily basis. However, there are three extra co-official languages: Catalan, Galician and Basque. Unlike what many believe, Spanish people are not so good with English. Even though in the most popular cities and tourist sites you will be able to communicate, the majority of the population neither speak nor understand the English language. Especially if you’re traveling to small villages you will have to learn a bit of Spanish in order to be able to communicate. Downloading apps such as Google Translator on your phone will help you a lot! 

Culture
Cordoba, Spain view of the Roman Bridge and Mosque-Cathedral on the Guadalquivir River.

Spain is the third-highest-ranked country for the number of UNESCO world heritage sites in the world. If you love history, you cannot miss the wonderful city of Alhambra or the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. The Arab tradition is particularly strong in Spain, given the close proximity with North Africa, and its influence can be still seen in the architecture as well as in the Spanish language. Obviously, art is another pillar of the country and if you’re visiting Barcelona you cannot miss the wonderful creations of Antoni Gaudí, such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. But Spain is home to many other artists known worldwide such as Picasso, Goya, and Dalí. The most popular sport is obviously football and even though not many people are aware of this Spain also has a great roller hockey team!

Passport & Visa
Spain Passport & Visa
Detail of a Spanish passport. Documentation for travelers

Spain is part of the Schengen area and therefore you won’t need a Visa to enter the country. You will be able to stay in any country in the Schengen area for 90 days in a period of 180 days without applying for a Visa. However, you may be required to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss passengers. In addition, your passport may be stamped on entry or exit and you may be required to demonstrate that you both have enough money for the trip and a return ticket. Lastly, make sure to check your passport as you need a validity of six months on the day of entry.

 

Electricity & Plugs

Spain has two official associated plug types: type C and type F. The former is characterized by two round pins while the latter has two round pins plus two earth clips. Spain operates on a standard frequency of 50Hz and 230V supply voltage.  

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The difference in rate for a room-only hotel in Barcelona and one that includes breakfast seems to range from a minimum of £15 to over £40 per person per night. I would prefer to book a room only and go out into the city for breakfast. What are the breakfast choices in Barcelona?

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