Located in the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe. Spain boasts one of the most diverse cultures and landscapes in Europe. The country has gorgeous beaches, delicious cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and distinct artistic culture. The people of Spain are very social and love to share conversation over tapas and drinks.
Basic Things to Know When Planning a Trip to Spain
The official language of Spain is Spanish. Catalan (or Valencian) is spoken by 19% of Spaniards. In regions such as Barcelona, you’ll likely hear a mix of Catalan and Spanish spoken. English is the most spoken second language in Spain and spoken by many locals in heavily touristed areas.
When to Visit
The best months to visit Spain are April, May, June, September, and October. The weather is great during these months and it’s not overridden with tourists.
Currency & Payment
The Euro is the official currency of Spain. Credit cards are widely accepted as payment and ATM’s are available all over the country for cash withdrawal.
The best way to travel long-distance in Spain is via its high-speed train (or AVE). Inner-city travel is possible in bigger cities such as Barcelona and Madrid via Metro, taxi or bus. If you take a taxi, always make sure the driver turns the meter on as soon as the ride begins so that they can’t price gauge you.
What to Pack for a Trip to Spain
Here’s a list of what to pack for Spain, in addition to what you would already plan to bring:
Power Adaptor: Italy uses plug types C and F and operates on 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Refillable Water Bottle: There are drinking water fountains available throughout the big cities. You can use these to refill your water bottle while you site-see.
Comfortable Shoes: You’ll likely walk a lot during your trip, especially in big cities, so don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes!
Things to Do in Spain
Here’s a list of things to be sure to do while visiting Spain.
Visit Madrid: Spend time in Madrid and see some of the world-famous works of art that are preserved here in their vast collection of art museums – including the Prado museum.
Go to Barcelona: Barcelona is a city full of vibrance and culture. The city offers a wide variety of sites to see, so you’ll likely want to spend a lot of time here. It’s famous for its Gaudí architecture—which is worth a trip in and of itself. The city also has tons of incredible restaurants, a plethora of museums, beaches lining its shores, and a booming nightlife.
Experience a Flamenco Show: Flamenco is the traditional dance of Spain and it’s possible to see a show in most major cities.
Drink Rioja in La Rioja: Spanish wines are some of the best in the world. Many of them come from the wine region; La Rioja.
Indulge in traditional foods & drinks: Spain is known for many excellent foods and drinks such as tapas, sangria, jamon, paella, and vermouth. Enjoy as much of this as you can during your trip!
Spend time in Mallorca: Located in Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, Mallorca is known for beach resorts, sheltered coves, limestone mountains, and Roman + Moorish remains.
Check out Costa Brava: Costa Brava is a coastal region about 60km away from Barcelona. It’s full of awesome beaches, great restaurants, and really cool rock formations.
Visit Seville: The city of Seville is famous worldwide for its culture, monuments, traditions, and artistic heritage. The flamenco also got its start here.
Discover Toledo: Toledo is the capital of ancient Spain. Often dubbed the “city of three cultures” because of its historical influences from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish culture.
Conquer the Caminito del Rey hike: Dubbed as Spain’s most challenging hike, the Caminto del Rey is located in Malaga, Spain. You’ll find yourself hiking 100 meters high on a sheer cliff face.
Fast Facts About Spain
Here are some facts about Spain that you may not have already known:
- Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil.
- In Spain, it’s typical to eat lunch between 1pm – 3pm and dinner at around 10pm.
- The official name of Spain is, “Kingdom of Spain”
- The world’s oldest operating restaurant, Sobrino de Botín, is located in Madrid, Spain.
- Spain has the highest concentration of bars in all of Europe.
- There are 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain.
- The bull is the national animal of Spain.
- Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world (the first is Chinese)
- Many world-famous artists come from Spain…including Dali, Picasso, Gaudi, and Goya.
- Spain is the third-largest wine producer in the world after France and Italy.
Budget Suggestions for a Trip to Spain
Here’s a look at how much it would cost you to visit Spain. The prices in Italy vary – for example; if you visit a small town instead of a big city than you’d likely pay less. The season that you visit also has an influence. This estimate is based on what it would cost to visit Barcelona and should only be used to give a basic idea of what you may spend.
$15 - $30/Night (Hostel Dorm)
$35 - $90/Night
(Private Room in Hostel, Budget Hotel, or AirBNB)
$90 - $250/Night
There are more high-end hotel price points than what's listed here, if you're looking for a more lavish stay.
$3 - $10/pp/meal
$10 - $25/pp/meal
$25 - $100+/pp/meal
Tapas are cheap and can be ordered to satisfy your hunger at a low cost. The cost of high-end meals can scale higher than what's listed here.
$1 - $5
(Domestic Beers, Sangrias & Wines)
$6 - $12
(Imported Drinks & Cocktails)
Spanish wine is cheap & incredible. Imported drinks usually come from surrounding European countries.
$2.40/each way (Bus or Metro)
$2.50 (base rate) + $1.50/kilometer (Public Taxi)
$15 - $25/hr
(Private Taxi Organized in Advance)
The cost of a private driver varies pending the company. Rates converted from Euro to USD and are subject to change pending currency variations.