Discover Spain travel guide

Image of people at the crowded beach in San Sebastian, Spain

Spain is a beautiful country, boasting the Pyrenees Mountains and an expansive coastline along the western end of the Mediterranean Sea.

With the second largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, Spain’s relaxed lifestyle and unique culture, along with its famous fiestas and festivals attract many tourists every year.

Spain shares a border with Portugal, Morocco, Gibraltar, Andorra and France. Spain runs on Central European Standard Time (CET) which is 1 hour ahead of Universal Coordinated Time (UTC+1) during winter and 2 hours ahead during summer.

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Emergency Numbers Dial 112  
Main Ethnic Groups Spanish 86%  
Main Religion Catholic 67%
Minority Religious Groups 3-5%
 
Geographic Facts Capital and Largest City: Madrid (6.6 million)  

Spain is a country full of passionate and interesting people. Here you’ll find that eating, drinking and celebrating are the Spaniards’ principal way of spending time together.

  • The festival and family atmosphere means that it can be noisy even late at night. So if you want a
    quiet sleep make sure you bring ear plugs.
  • Spaniards don’t eat when you normally would. Dinner in Spain is usually eaten late, around 10 pm, so if you head out at 6 or 7 for dinner don’t be surprised if you’re eating alone.
  • If meeting someone for the first time, you should shake their hand — after you become friends hugging or kissing on the cheek is more acceptable.
  • Buenos dias = Good Morning
  • Gracias = Thank you
  • Por favor = Please
  • Hola = Hi
  • Mucho gusto = Nice to meet you
Image of a shopping street in the city center or Mijas, Spain

Best time to visit
The best time to visit Spain is in the Spring. The weather is very comfortable, with long warm days and cooler nights. Summer is also a popular time as the country comes alive with festivals.

Seasons
Climate and temperature varies across the country depending on the region, but on the whole, Spain is known best as a sun-drenched Mediterranean destination. Temperatures below are averages for Barcelona:

Icon of a sun
Summer
Jun to Aug 
23° / 29°
Icon of leaves
Fall
Sep to Nov 
16° / 22°
Icon of a snow flake
Winter
Dec to Feb 
9° / 16°
Icon of a flower
Spring
Mar to May 
14° / 19°
Transport

Spain is an easy country to travel around. Public transport includes high-speed rail, buses, flights and taxis, and good quality roads cover most of the country. Bigger cities like Madrid and Barcelona also have a great Metro system. On Sundays, you may need to plan some extra time to get around as the public transport system doesn’t run as often.
Image of a phone handset
Dialing code +34

 
Icon of a passport
Visas - A visa is not required for tourists up to 90 days.
Icon of languages chat bubbles
Language is Spanish.
 
Icon of money
Currency Euro
(CAD$1 = €0.66)
*average rate, 2018-2019.
Icon of a hand tipping
Tipping - It is not customary to
tip in most places.
Icon of a glass of beer
The drinking age in Spain is 18. Some regions still
allow 16-year-olds to purchase
beer and wine.
Icon of a steering wheel
Drive on the right side of the road.
 
Icon of an electrical socket
Electrical / Device:  230 V
Type C and F plug.

World records

  • The most yellow cards (cautions for bad behaviour) issued during a soccer World Cup is 14, during Spain’s 1 - 0 win over the Netherlands. Spain also holds the world record (along with Italy) for most wins of the Champions League with 12 wins.
  • La Tomatina holds the world record for the largest tomato fight where 20,000 people hit the streets and throw over 100,000 tonnes of tomatoes at each other.

National icons

The national icons are the Spanish Guitar, Cactus and Sombreros.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd. Photography, Vladimir Sazonov, Iakov Filimonov, Shutterstock.com
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