FITA helps you find
service providers for:

Translation Services

flag Spain Spain: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Please visit
Diplomatic Representations
Visit the Spanish Ministry of External Affairs website
IATA Travel Center

Return to top

Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

It is recommended to use taxis (plenty, well signposted and affordable). It is necessary to have sufficient knowledge of the city beforehand to use the mass transport. The cities usually have a very good bus network.
Maps of Urban Networks
Madrid metro map
Barcelona metro map
Barcelona transport map
Valencia transport map

Return to top

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Madrid - Barajas (MAD) 13 km / 8 miles EUR 17-23 / 20-30 min EUR 1.10 EUR 2 Available
Barcelona - El Prat (BCN) 13 km / 8 miles EUR 13-50 / 25-35 min EUR 2.80 / 30-40 min EUR 2.40 Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Apart from the high-speed lines, it is better to avoid rail transport since it is slow and often behind schedule. Domestic airline services are aplenty but crowded and flight departure delays are frequent. The bus transit network is dense, reliable and affordable.
Rail Companies
RENFE (Entire Spanish territory)
FEVE (North of the country and Murcia)
ADIF (entire Spanish territory)
FGC (Catalonia)
FGV (Valencia)
Euskotren (Basque Country)

Return to top


Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Iberia Major yes Yes
Air Europa Major yes Yes
Spanair low cost yes Yes
Vueling low cost yes Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Return to top

Traveling By Yourself

The road network is excellent. The major cities are served by turnpikes (AP - autopistas de peaje) or free expressways (A-autovías). The police is very strict about respecting speed limits. Fines are very high and foreigners must pay immediately in cash. Impounding for wrong parking is systematic. It is compulsory to have a fluorescent vest inside the car (and not in the trunk) and also two hazard warning triangles.
Road Maps
Road network map
Find an Itinerary
Guia Repsol
Via Michelin

Return to top


Different Forms of Tourism

There are many prehistoric sites (the Altamira caves). The eight centuries of Muslim invasion have left traces (the Alhambra). A number of castles, palaces, and medieval cities (Toledo).
Spain is a country with strong Catholic culture, but also Muslim and Jewish culture, since these 3 religions have coexisted (Toledo).
Various sites registered in the world heritage sites of UNESCO.
Various museums to visit: Visit Greece.
Folklore and traditions present during the fairs or the various festivals.
A number of theatre and dance festivals, concerts, bullfights, etc. especially during summer.
Many natural and national parks
Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela
Numerous churches, monasteries, convents, mosques and synagogues to visit.
A number of spas the tradition of which dates back to the Greek, Roman and Arab occupations.
With a vast Mediterranean coast without tides and sunshine, Spain is a paradise for "sunshine and beach" tourism. In the North, the Atlantic coast, often steeper, is especially suitable for water sports.
Winter Sports
Spain has around thirty winter sports resorts spread across the Pyrenees and the different mountain ranges of this mountainous country. The most popular is Baqueira-Beret in the Aran Valley (Catalonia), the southernmost is near Grenada.
Outdoor Activities
Golf , big and small game hunting, river and sea fishing, sailing, scuba diving, horseback tourismparagliding, hang-gliding, rafting.
Theme parks: Port Aventura, Terra Mitica, Isla Magica.
Many water parks.
All the big Spanish cities offer significant options: presence of outlets of all the major Spanish and international brands (especially Madrid and Barcelona). Large shops El Corte Ingles, business centers, etc. Various products and artistic souvenirs can be bought during the fairs or markets.
Tourism Organizations
Ministry of Culture
National office of Tourism in Spain
Spanish association of countryside tourism

Return to top

Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
No mandatory vaccination required for international travel. There is no specific health risk.
International Hospitals
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Information pages of the World Health Organization
Information pages of the Ministry of Health
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
Interior Department (study on crime in Spain)
The Current Travel Warnings of the American State Department
Travel Advisory from the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry

Emergency Numbers

Fire Department 080
Guardia Civil (Regional police) 062
National Police 091
Civilian welfare (including medical emergencies) 112
Medical emergencies (in Catalonia) 061

Return to top

Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Madrid (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer)
Summer Time Period
Summer time from March to October.

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Spain has a varied climate depending on the regions. It is mostly oceanic climate in the north, Mediterranean not to say dry climate in the south and a continental climate in the rest of the country. The seasons are more distinct in the heart of the country. Average temperatures in Madrid are 8°C in January and 27°C in June and in Barcelona 9°C in January and 20°C in June. The best time to visit Spain is from mid-May to mid-October.
For Further Information
Spanish meteorology agency

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



Return to top


Food Specialties
Traditional Spanish cuisine has a country base with distinct regional specialties.

Fried squids, gazpacho and tapas.

Caldereta: Lamb stew: Shepherd's dish. It is an adaptable dish allowing all types of local ingredients like wine, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, red and green peppers and garlic to be added. In the old recipes of Extremadure, the cooking juice is thickened with dried bread-crumbs, lamb liver and almonds, mixed up with a meat stock to make a sort of dough.

Paëlla: typical saffron rice-based Spanish dish accompanied with seafood and meat or poultry.

Churros: In Spain, the churros are part of the popular tradition. The dough is generally molded in a decorating tube with a star-shaped nozzle to make arm-length strips. Once they are fried, they are stacked and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon in cascade. They are eaten with hot and thick chocolate (Spain has obtained a waiver from the EU to be able to continue making chocolate containing a thickening agent).
The quality of the numerous Spanish wines is constantly improving.
The main labels of quality are: Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, Toro, Ribeiro, Rias Baixas, Albarino, etc. Catalogne prepares large quantities of a Champagne method sparkling wine labeled « cava ». The Andalusian cherries are known for their variety: fino, oloroso, amontillado, manzanilla, Pedro Ximenez. There are special spirits: anisette, Pacharan and fruit liqueur. Asturias produce cider and Pays Basque du Txacoli (white wine).
Dietary Restrictions
 Rabbit, horse meat and snails are eaten only in some regions of Spain. It is rare to eat raw shellfish.

Return to top


Domestic Currency
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The easiest is to directly withdraw money from the ATMs. There are many of them easily accessible in the airports, downtown and in all areas. 
Possible Means of Payment
All credit cards are easily accepted in the hotels, restaurants (except the very small ones and the bars) and businesses, except American Express. Taxis which accept credit card payment are rare. It is not possible to pay by checks other than certified checks. The Spanish have the habit of paying by cash; it is common to see people with wads of bills. If you want to pay by credit card, you will be asked to show an identity card.

Return to top


Official Language
Castilian (Spanish)
Other Languages Spoken
Some regions use their regional language for conducting business (Euskera, Catalan, Galician, Valencian). Other minor regional languages can be used: Bable, Aragonese, Aranese, Extremaduran.
Business Language
English is rarely used but it is developing.
Getting Some Knowledge
Use the travlang website.
Free Translation Tools : Translation from Spanish to English, German, French or Italian as well as to Euskera, Catalan or Galician.
Eurodicautom : Translation into various European languages

Return to top

Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
Ruralgest,,, Vacaciones-España, Rentalia
Ministry of Tourism
To Find an Apartment
Real estate agencies (in Spanish)
En Alquiler
Foto Casa
To Find a Job (in Spanish)
CBJobs España

Return to top

Any Comments About This Content? Report It to Us.


Learn more about Travel in Spain on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

© Export Entreprises SA, All Rights Reserved.
Last Updates: January 2015