Spain is the land of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso both cubist genius. The Latin fire of Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar. Antonio Gaudi and the miraculous cathedral Sagrada Familia. Writer Umberto Eco and the beautiful operatic tenor Placido Domingo.
Writer Mario Vargas Llosa and tennis legend Rafael Nadal. The imagination of Georges Louis Borge and Seve Ballesteros. The soul of guitarist Andres Segovia. The taste of Paella, Sangria and sweetness of Seville Oranges.
These are some of the things you will remember or observe in Spain. Of course your own list will be interesting and we would love to read it. But on a practical note, we have listed some information below, to help you relax and enjoy your tour.
Attractions – Spain
Spain is a country of passion, fire, fantastic imagination and style. In Madrid the ornate Palacio Real is the official residence of the King of Spain, used for state ceremonies. The Running of the Bulls in Navarra Pamplona stampedes through the streets each year. The San Fermín festival runs from the 6th to the 14th of July.
La Concha in San Sebastian is one of the best city beaches in Europe, let alone Spain. You can enjoy it is for surfing, or a walk along the promenade. Check out its good restaurants or enjoy the beautiful views from the beach. The Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the best preserved Roman monuments in Spain.
Cuenca is a medieval city, built on the sides of steep mountains. Its many hanging houses are built right to the cliff edge, making Cuenca one of the most striking towns in Spain. It is one of many gems in the province of Castilla La Mancha. Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and the most popular party destination in Europe.
The Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Antoni Gaudí. A Catalan architect, he worked on this project for 40 years until his death in 1926. The construction of the basilica began in 1882 continues today.
The Alhambra is part fortress, is part palace and part garden. It is on a plateau overlooking the city of Granada in southern Spain. The Mezquita of Cordoba is a fascinating building, famous for the forest of pillars and arches inside its main hall. The startling Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is futuristic in shape. Frank Gehry used blocks of limestone and undulating sheets of titanium, to turn the notion of modern architecture on its head.
Regions – Spain
In Spain the regions are Basque, Albacete and Alicante. Almería, Oviedo, Ávila and Badajoz. Balearic Islands, Barcelona, Biscay and Burgos. Cáceres, Cádiz, Cantabria and Castellón. Ciudad Real, Córdoba, San Sebastián and Girona. Granada, Guadalajara, Huelva and Huesca.
Jaén, Logroño, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and León. Lleida, Lugo, Madrid and Malaga. Murcia, Pamplona, Ourense, and Palencia. Pontevedra, Salamanca and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Segovia, Seville, Soria and Tarragona. Teruel, Toledo and Valencia. Valladolid, Zamora and Zaragoza.
VISA – Spain
Coming from the United States you don’t need a visa to enter Spain. As a visitor you can stay six months without any restrictions.
Currency – Spain
The currency is the Euro generally the only accepted currency, except in rare circumstances. In most places you can also pay with Visa or MasterCard. Check in advance in relation to American Express. 1 US Dollar is equivalent to approximately .90 euro and 100 cent is one Euro.
Weather – Spain
Spain has a reputation for been mild in winter and very warm in summer. In Spain temperatures vary greatly. Winters are cold with snow, usually around -0 to 5 degrees in winter. Some summer months the country experiences very warm temperatures, particularly around Seville.
Temperatures can reach 35- 40 degrees, but like most central European countries you get thunders storms. The wettest months are in Autumn and Winter
Language – Spain
In Spain the main language is Spanish Castilian and you can also hear Catalan and Galician spoken.
Food – Spain
There is a multicultural society in Spain and the restaurants, especially in the large cities reflect this. African German, French, as well as Italian, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine can be found everywhere.
However, The Spain still love their traditional Spanish recipes. Paella, Tortilla Español and of course Tapas feature on the menus in pubs and restaurants. Spanish breakfast is also a staple part of the diet and served in hotels as the standard breakfast. This consists of coffee with tostada, pan con tomate, tortilla or bocadillo. (See Dictionary below).
Drink – Spain
Once you have reached the legal age for drinking alcohol, that is 16 years, you can wander into one of the many pubs. Typically you will find that each pub or restaurant sells larger, Wine, Cava and Sangria.
A friendly barman will be happily inform you of the differences between them. You are usually never more than five minutes away from a pub or restaurant in Spain. They serve a mixture of traditional and international food dishes.
Most pubs close at 11 or 11.30pm. With regards to non-alcoholic drinks, Coffee is still the cup of the day. American influences such as Starbucks are now to be found in most large cities and towns.
Electricity and Phone
In Spain there are one of the two European standard electricl socket types. The “Type F”, Spanish style Schuko and the “Type C” Europlug. Almost all sockets are Schuko, while the Europlug socket may be found. It may be cheaper using your cell phone, to buy a local number to use for the duration of your stay. Your hotel or guesthouse receptionist can advise you on this. If you are only staying for a short period and planning on using mostly WiFi, then your current sim card will suit best.
Dictionary – Spain
We have listed a few common differences in language between Spanish and the U.S English.
Baño = restroom. Ascensor = elevator. Bote de basura= Trashcan. Saltador = Jumper.
Teléfono móvil = cellphone. Gasolina = gas. Cajuela = trunk. Guardarropa = Closet. Pantalones = pants.
Food – Spain
Chorizo = a pork sausage that comes smoked and unsmoked flavoured with smoked paprika and garlic. It’s savoury salty and undeniably mouth watering.
Tortilla Española = Spanish Omelette is one of the most popular dishes throughout Spain. It is made with eggs, onions, or potatoes and will sometimes include chorizo, peppers or ham.
Patatas Bravas = among the most popular tapas dishes in all of Spain. Its consists of fried potatoes doused in a tangy spicy sauce. Some Patatas Bravas include a creamy sauce that varies from city to city.
Paella = a typical dish you will find when studying abroad in Spain. A rice dish usually prepared in a big pot over an open fire. Its served with a variety of vegetables, meat, chicken or fish. While the dish originated in Catalonia, Paella is now prepared all over Spain. Each cook makes Paella differently, so it’s good to try it at different restaurants.
Chips = Papas fritas | Courgette = Calabacín