Spain is a renowned tourist destination for a plethora of reasons: its stunningly well-preserved architecture and historical landmarks, Mediterranean atmosphere, diverse landscape, tasty food, and passionate culture. Situated on the Iberian Peninsula, vacationers can consider spending time in Barcelona – where landmarks like the Casa Milà and Sagrada Família await – or Madrid, to explore the Royal Palace of Madrid and other attractions.
Further south, Valencia boasts sunny beaches along the Turia River, while Granada offers stunning mountain views. No matter where you go in Spain, you're sure to find something that catches your interest.
So what do you need to know before you pack your bags? We take a look.
Wherever you decide to travel in Spain, you'll need to be familiar with the local currency and payment methods. The official currency of Spain is the Euro, and most businesses will only accept payment in Euros, even in bigger cities. Many places will take cards, but it's always a good idea to have some cash on hand in case you need to take a taxi or make a purchase from a small vendor who doesn't accept card payments.
When it comes to paying by card, you'll need to use a chip-and-PIN card, or contactless – signature-based transactions are not widely used in Spain. If you're not sure whether your card will work, it's always best to ask your bank before you travel. Alternatively, you can consider getting a specific travel money card that you can top up from your normal bank account.
Spain is a large country with a wide range of climate types. In general, the southern coast has a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The inland plateau has a more continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. And the northwest corner of the country has a maritime climate, with cooler temperatures and more rainfall.
Make sure that you check the weather forecast for your chosen location before you go, and remember that things can change – it’s always worth packing a coat and sun cream.
Spain has an excellent infrastructure for transport, with a well-developed network of roads, railways, and airports. Public transportation in Spain is reliable, making it a great option for getting around – the tickets are very cheap, thanks to a government subsidy. In addition, many cities offer free or discounted public transportation for seniors and students.
Spanish trains are comfortable and efficient, and high-speed AVE trains offer fast service between major cities. Bus travel is also popular in Spain, with both long-distance and local services available. If you’d rather stick to your hire car, the country's roads are generally in good condition. However, traffic can be heavy in urban areas, so it's important to plan your route ahead of time.
A big part of every holiday is getting to try some local delicacies – and Spain has plenty to offer. From paella and tapas to sangria and churros, there’s plenty to delight your palate. Make sure to check out some reviews for restaurants before you go, to ensure you don’t miss out on any must-visit spots. But don’t be tied into a rigorous schedule – some of the best food can be found at local markets and hidden, family-run restaurants.
You’re sure to have an amazing time on your Spanish holiday, and want to return in the years to come. By being prepared, you can ensure that you get the most out of your trip, and can simply relax and enjoy once you land on Spanish soil.
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