Country Info Pages

Spain

POPULATION

As of 2016, the estimated population of Spain is 46.56 million.

LOCAL TIME

The time zone on the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 1 hour in winter and + 2 hours in summer. On the Canary Islands, it is GMT, or GMT + 1 hour in summer, i.e. always 1 hour less than the time on the mainland and in the Balearics.

Spain changes its time between summer and winter for daylight saving. This means that the last weekend in October the clocks go back 1 hour (at 3am it is 2am) and the last weekend in March they go forward 1 hour (at 2am it is 3am).

LANGUAGE

Spanish is the official language in the entire national territory. However, other languages coexist with Spanish in certain regions of Spain. These are: Catalan in Catalonia, Galician in Galicia, Euskera/Basque in the Basque Country, Valencian in the Valencia Region and a particular variety of Catalan spoken on the Balearic Islands.

RELIGION

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution, although the majority of the population is Catholic. Other religions also practised in Spain include Islam, Judaism, Protestantism, and Hinduism, all of which have places where to conduct their rituals.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

The documentation required to travel to Spain varies according to the country of origin.

If you are a citizen of a EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein, you will need a valid passport or ID card. Additionally, in the case of a minor travelling with an ID document, this must be accompanied by written permission from the parents.

If you come from another country:

The maximum stay in Spain is 90 days.
There are a number of countries whose citizens are required to have a valid current visa in order to enter Spain. You can consult them on this list. Citizens of these countries can also travel to Spain if they have a residence permit or a long-term visa issued by another country in the European Union (with the exception of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus), Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.

Citizens of all other countries must be in possession of documents which justify the object and the conditions of their stay, and be in possession of sufficient economic resources for their maintenance throughout the period they are intending to remain in Spain. The documents they are required to present will vary according to the motive of the trip. You can consult them in the “Foreign Affairs” section of the Ministry of Internal Affairs website.

It is advisable to take out travel insurance for your trip.

Given that conditions may vary, we suggest you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.

CURRENCY

The currency in Spain is the euro, the same as in other European Union countries.

The euro is divided into 100 cents.

• There are eight different coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros.

• There are seven different bank notes, for the following amounts: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.

On the following page you will find information about types of exchanges that may be useful for planning your trip:
European Central Bank

 

Is tipping mandatory?

No; in every single establishment in Spain, service is included with the price of the meal or drink. However, tipping is a common practice at bars and restaurants, hotels, and taxis, depending on the total price for the service, and on the generosity of the client. It is usually around five to ten percent of the total price.

ELECTRICAL CURRENT

Electricity supply in Spain is AC 220 Volts, 50 Hertz. Sockets meet European regulations and use the round pin system. However, most hotels have adaptors for different plugs. Make sure that the electrical appliances you are going to use (computers, mobile phone chargers, shavers…) work at this voltage.

WEATHER

Spain has a predominantly warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and winters with balanced temperatures. Here you can enjoy more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. It is no surprise, then, that this is one of the warmest parts of Europe.

When talking of weather, special mention should be made of the Canary Islands. Their special location, facing the coast of Africa, gives them a benign climate with mild temperatures (22ºC year-round average on the coasts), with only small temperature differences between day and night, whatever the season.

Nevertheless, variety is the main characteristic of the climate here, due to Spain’s immense geographical diversity.

So that if you travel to the north, to the Cantabrian coast, you will find a mild climate with high rainfall. Winters are mild and in summer temperatures rarely exceed 25ºC.

However, in the higher parts of the country, the climate is harsher and it is common to see snow from the beginning of winter to the end of spring. This is the case of the Pyrenees, the mountains of Sierra Nevada, the Central and Iberian ranges, and the Cantabrian Mountains, amongst others.

water

Drinking water supply is guaranteed throughout Spain. We have stringent control systems that guarantee water quality. Nevertheless, in some Mediterranean coastal areas consumption of bottled water is widespread.

ATTIRE

In Spain, people dress differently according to the season, the place they are going to, and the circumstances. In the coast, because of the mild climate, it is usually not necessary to pack warm clothes; while in the interior, you should dress according to the season. In the interior of Spain, temperatures vary greatly from one season to the next, with very cold winters, and really hot summers. Spanish people don't dress up too much to go out, although of course, it depends on where you are going. 

IATAN  Travel Insurance

 

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