Spain

The country was once a great global empire. With its colonial power, it stood strong among many countries and made territories in many parts of the world. But, Spain's might of the olden days is now transformed to a country with unhurried and relaxed environment ever welcoming travelers of different purposes into the country.

Known for its great sandy beaches, Spain is waiting to be discovered more through its ice-capped mountains, green lands, arid zones, and its historical cities' narrow streets and grand display of art and architecture as part of its culture and traditions. Its varied landscapes contributes to the extreme climate conditions and is greatly influenced by the Mediterranean sea that borders the country from south to the east.

More fun and enjoyment will be experienced with Pamplona's thronged “running with the bulls” or you can dance along with the famous Spaniard's flamenco guitar performance on the side streets. Being a country dominated by Roman Catholics, fiesta celebrations are often anywhere in the country with many merrymaking activities to enjoy with.

Not to forget, the country offers travelers with variety of great cuisines full of aroma and mouth savoring tastes.

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Country Description

  • Country Description

    Country Description

    Spain is the second largest country in Europe, next to France, which is located in an area known as the Iberian Peninsula. This island is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the south to the east, Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Bay of Bisca...
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Passport and Visa

  • Passport and Visa

    Passport and Visa

    Passport is required for tourist and/or business stays of up to 90 days. South Africans who will travel to Spain should apply for a Schengen visa in advance. Countries coming from Schengen areas can travel to Spain easier through a schengen visa. ...
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Geography and Climate

  • Seasons in Spain

    Seasons in Spain

    WINTER: Dec to mid-March Though cold, winter in Madrid is usually quite dry, and for those not looking for sun-tanning weather it can be a very refreshing time of the year to visit the city. It occasionally snows in the center, but it rarely acc...
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  • Geography and Climate

    Geography and Climate

    Spain is mainly influenced by the Mediterranean climate in most areas so it can be extremely hot during summer and it can get very cold during winter. Rainfall occurs irregularly during spring and autumn and heavy snowfalls are common in winter. G...
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Health and Safety

  • Life in Spain-  Health and Safety

    Life in Spain- Health and Safety

    What to expect Health * There is no problem drinking the tap water in Spain. * Despite all the meat scares that have been rushing around Europe over the last few years, Spain's meat quality remains very good. * Organic products are very hard t...
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  • Medical Facilities

    Medical Facilities

    Medical care in Spain is outstanding. A number of hospitals and clinic centers provide interpreters for tourists and many of the doctors and nurses speak in English. However, one might have to travel to another area to look for medical facilities ...
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  • Vaccinations

    Vaccinations

    There is no specific vaccination requirements fro travelers to Spain. It is however advisable for young travelers to undergo immunization before traveling to Spain. Below are recommended vaccinations for travelers to Spain. measles, mumps, rubella...
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  • Crime

    Crime

    Although the rate of crime in Spain is moderately low, a high incident of street crime is prevalent, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching which occur frequently in many large Spanish cities, especially Madrid and Barcelona. Be vigilant at all t...
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  • Insurance

    Insurance

    When in Spain, consider getting an insurance. It is however, important to know the kind of insurance that you need during your stay and the available insurance in Spain. Health Insurance There are 2 types of health insurance in Spain: the medical...
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Studying

  • Studying in Spain

    Studying in Spain

    Spain is a popular destination among student travelers who want to learn a language or pursue an international degree. Below are important information for foreign students who want to study in Spain. 1. Spain has a nine month academic period. Scho...
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Interning

  •  Interning in Spain

    Interning in Spain

    Internships in Spain usually starts after students finish their studies. Spanish universities do not have internships. Currently, however, some Spanish companies are comfortable in having students do an internship at their companies. These interna...
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Volunteering

  • Volunteering in Spain

    Volunteering in Spain

    Volunteering in Spain is a great opportunity to get to know the local people and help in various social and community projects. Volunteers will be exposed to the Spanish culture and at the same time learn the Spanish language. Many foreign student...
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Learning a Language

  • Learning a language in Spain

    Learning a language in Spain

    Every year, thousands of people come to Spain to study and improve their level of Spanish. Quality courses are offered to university and post-graduate studies, paid internships, living with families as au pair or even when you're working. Grants a...
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Teaching or Working

  • Teaching or Working in Spain

    Teaching or Working in Spain

    Finding a job in Spain is not easy. Foreigners who are not members of the Schengen group must first have their employment approved by the Spanish Ministry of Labor (Ministerio de Trabajo). EU citizens will find it easier to enter and find a job in...
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Culture Shock

  • Culture Shock in Spain

    Culture Shock in Spain

    1. Evening meals or dinner are taken late in the evening usually around 21:00-22:00. Spanish consider mid-day meals as their biggest meal in any given day. If you're not used to eating dinner so late, you might consider a light supper, tapas, a co...
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People and Culture

  • Tipping

    Tipping

    Hotel and restaurant bills usually include a 7% tax and additional tip of about 15% is favorable. A common practice in almost all restaurants is to leave a 5-10% tip including tour guides. Taxi drivers expect tips of 10-15% and usually charge bagg...
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  • People

    People

    The people of Spain are mostly born and raised as Roman Catholic. Spanish people give high value to religion since Catholicism has been a great influence to their culture. Compared to other European countries, Spanish lifestyle is more relaxed. Th...
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  • Language

    Language

    The official language is Spanish. It is the most popular Romance language spoken by a total of twenty nations all over the world including Canada, Morocco, Philippines and the United States. Spain has two major dialects: Andalusian and Castilian. ...
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  • Religion

    Religion

    Roman Catholic is the major religion in Spain. Catholicism plays a major role in Spanish lifestyle. Travelers to Spain can notice that Catholicism is present everywhere- in museums, buildings, monuments and religious celebrations. It is estimated...
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  • Holidays & Festivals

    Holidays & Festivals

    People in Spain tend not to go to work on a Monday or Friday that falls in between a Tuesday or Thursday (that is a holiday) and weekend days although it is not sanctioned by the government.
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  • Food

    Food

    Spain is very famous for a variety of food rich in flavor and aroma. Food is very important to the Spanish people. Spanish food is traditional and differs from each region. Northern Spain is famous for beans, sausages, vegetables and seafood. Spai...
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  • Music

    Music

    Spanish music is basically associated with Flamenco, an Andalusian music genre. Other regional folk music, pop, rock and hip hop are also popular in Spain. Spanish Pop Music: Spanish pop music started in the late 1950s at the end of Francisco Fran...
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  • Dance

    Dance

    Popular dance genres in Spain: 1. Sardana - originally from Catalonia, this dance is performed in a closed circle with several couples joining hands 2. Zambra - a Moorish dance which was later adapted to Spanish dance customs. 3. Mu�eira - po...
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  • Gestures

    Gestures

    Below are some common Spanish gestures and their meanings. 1. Eyelid pull- done by placing your forefinger below the center of your eye and pulling your eye skin in a downward motion. This means,
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  • Etiquette

    Etiquette

    When meeting people, expect to get a handshake. Men who are close friends will often embrace or give each other a warm hug while women with close companions meet and say goodbye by kissing on the cheeks and giving a small hug. In working, most Sp...
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Continued from People and Culture

  • Sports

    Sports

    One of the main activities on Spain is soccer. It has been played in the country for hundreds of years already. Cycling and bullfighting are also popular in Spain. The Summer Olympics in 1992 was held in Barcelona, Spain. This has caused a great i...
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Where to Go and What to See

  • Balearic Islands

    Balearic Islands

    Floating off the east coast of Spain, there are the four Balearic Islands; tiny Formentera, party-hearty Ibiza, windswept Menorca, and the capital of the Islands; Mallorca. Each offers the visitor a wonderful holiday adventure. Formentera, small...
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  • Museums

    Museums

    1. Madrid The Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza are the three most popular museums in Madrid well known to many Spaniards as the
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  • National Parks

    National Parks

    Spain has many national parks to offer travelers who are into strolling, biking, picnics or other activities. Below are some famous national parks in Spain. 1. Donania National Parks Located in the provinces of Seville and Huelva with around 50,72...
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  • Tourist Offices

    Tourist Offices

    1. Instituto de Turismo de Espana (TURESPANIA) Official tourism office of Spain Jose Lazaro Galdiano, 6, 28071 Madrid Tel.913433500 2. Spanish National Tourist Office in the UK P.O. Box 4009, London W1A 6NB, UK Tel: (020) 7486 8077 or (0845) 940...
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Night Life

  • Night Life

    Night Life

    Major Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and Granada are the major places for a busy nightlife. Madrid is known as the nightclub capital of Spain. However, travelers must not forget that restaurants and other establishments on...
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Transportation

  • Land Travel

    Land Travel

    Spain has an extensive road grid covering close on 212,500 miles (340.000 kilometres), and of this total 4,375 miles (7.000 kilometres) represent highways (toll motorways, freeways and dual-carriageways). This highway network, a great part of whi...
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  • Rail Transportation

    Rail Transportation

    The Spanish rail network has some 9,375 miles, (15 kilometres) of track, with 471 kilometres corresponding to the high-speed Madrid-Seville (AVE) link, a distance covered in 21¼4 hours. Another high-speed rail links are the Madrid-Málaga, an...
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  • Taxis

    Taxis

    It is very important when taking a taxi in a foreign country to follow the following guidelines. When you arrive at the airport, if you are going to take a cab, it is very important to look for a desk of a registered taxi company. There may be mo...
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  • International Airports

    International Airports

    1. Barajas Madrid International Airport Located 10 miles (16 km) NE of Madrid. Getting from Barajas to Madrid takes three ways: by subway, bus or taxi. 2. El Prat de Llobregat Airport in Barcelona Located 7.5 miles south of the city, this airpor...
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Communication and Technology

  • Electricity

    Electricity

    220 volts (50cycles) is the power supply used in Spain. An adapter is recommended due to the cycle differences.
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  • Postal Services

    Postal Services

    Spain has an efficient postal service and postal offices are available all over the country. There are around 6,000 offices available all over Spain. The main offices in big cities and international airports are open 24 hours a day Services includ...
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  • Telephone Services

    Telephone Services

    A sophisticated telephone system provides coverage for Spain's towns and cities. Apart from more comfortable booths (locutorios) provided at the central telephone exchange (Telefonica) in all main cities, there are the usual street-corner public ...
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Continued from Communication and Technology

  • Internet Availability

    Internet Availability

    According to Nielsen Net Ratings, there are 43.9% of internet users in Spain since January 2007 although there was a slight decrease in the ratings against several EU countries, particularly where ADSL is concerned. Providing internet access to ...
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Money Issues

  • Traveler's Checks, ATMs and Credit Cards

    Traveler's Checks, ATMs and Credit Cards

    When traveling abroad today, traveler's checks remain the safest and most reliable way to obtain cash. Another option available to travelers is the use of a personal ATM bankcard. This enables the traveler to access his or her own personal bank ...
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  • Local currency

    Local currency

    The local currency of Spain is Euro. One euro is divided into 100 centimes. The euro coins have denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, 1 euro and 2 euros. It is recommended for tourists to bring at least 6,010.12 Euros without having to ...
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  • Currency Exchange Information

    Currency Exchange Information

    Euro is the official currency of Spain. Money exchange can be done in bureaux de change and hotels. However, banks give the best exchange rates. To get Euro from a dollar bank account, ATM machines can be utilized as long as your bank is not charg...
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Women and Travel

  • Women and Travel

    Women and Travel

    It is recommended that women wear loose dresses. Some areas in Spain are still old-fashioned and shorts and t-shirts are usually frowned upon. Using comfortable shoes or platform sandals are common for long walks. At times churches will not allow ...
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Traveling with Disabilities

  • Traveling with Disabilities

    Traveling with Disabilities

    It may be difficult to get around anywhere in Spain for disabled persons but a plenty of hotels, including ramps and other forms of access have been made gradually accessible to several tourist areas including museums, sites and sports facilities,...
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Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual

  • Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual

    Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual

    Despite being a religious country, the Spanish government approved full marriage rights for homosexual couples in June 2005. Spain is the first Catholic country allowing gay marriages and child adoption. Andalusia is known for being open about hom...
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Accommodations

  • Accommodations - Adjusting to Life in Spain

    Accommodations - Adjusting to Life in Spain

    What to expect Accommodations Housing will probably be your first and main problem in Madrid. If you dont come with something arranged, you will find accommodation; although it may take awhile (one to two months in the winter) or cost yo...
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While you're there

  • Culture Shock and Traveling Abroad

    Culture Shock and Traveling Abroad

    The phenomenon of Culture Shock has been experienced to various degrees by almost every traveler who spends an extended period outside his/her own country, including the student studying abroad. Immunity to culture shock does not come from being ...
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  • Work Camps

    Work Camps

    In work camps, participants take part in construction, landscaping, or irrigation. According to Kate Shackword, of Operation Crossroads Africa, these work camps are easily defined, start and end with the same group, and usually include shorter wo...
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  • Fundraise your way to volunteering for free!

    Fundraise your way to volunteering for free!

    The distinct advantage for volunteering abroad is the humanitarian, unselfish reasoning surrounding it. In most cases, family and friends will respect your determination to volunteer abroad - enough in fact, to help you finance the entire trip. ...
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  • Choosing a Language School - Things that are important

    Choosing a Language School - Things that are important

    You've decided to study abroad to learn a foreign language or to improve your foreign language skills, and now it has come to choosing the best school for your purpose. The task can be daunting with so many choices. Here a few things to conside...
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  • While in Spain - Take Language Courses

    While in Spain - Take Language Courses

    What to expect Language Courses If you are serious about learning Spanish, try one of the private language schools where you are placed to your level and you will learn grammar and practice speaking in a small class (4 to 10 students) with a mi...
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Fast Facts

  • Official Name: Reino de Espana (Kingdom of Spain)
  • Capital: Madrid
  • Currency: Euro
  • Population: 44.7 million (as of April, 2007)
  • Timezone: CET (UTC +1)

Cities

  • Alcala de Henares
  • Algeciras
  • Alicante
  • Almeria
  • Almunecar
  • Arcos de la Frontera
  • Avila
  • Ayamonte
  • Aznalcollar
  • Barbastro
  • Barbate
  • Barcelona
  • Bedmar y Garciez
  • Benalmadena
  • Bilbao
  • Burgos
  • Caceres
  • Cadiz
  • Calahorra
  • Calpe (Calp)
  • Cambil
  • Canar
  • Canary Islands
  • Cartagena
  • Casariche
  • Castellon de la Plana
  • Ceuta
  • Chiclana de la Frontera
  • Ciutadella de Menorca
  • Conil de la Frontera
  • Cordoba
  • Cuenca
  • Denia
  • Donostia-San Sebastian
  • Dos Hermanas
  • Eivissa (Ibiza)
  • El Puerto de Santa Maria
  • Estepona
  • Fuengirola
  • Getxo (Guecho)
  • Gijon
  • Girona (Gerona)
  • Granada
  • Huelva
  • Ibiza
  • Igualada
  • Jaen
  • Jerez de la Frontera
  • La Coruna
  • Las Palmas (de Gran Canaria)
  • Leon
  • Les
  • Lleida (Lerida)
  • Logrono
  • Lorca
  • Madrid
  • Malaga
  • Marbella
  • Merida
  • Molinos
  • Monachil
  • Murcia
  • Nerja
  • Nijar
  • Ourense (Orense)
  • Oviedo
  • Palma de Mallorca
  • Pamplona (Iruna)
  • Playa de Muro
  • Pontevedra
  • Puerto de la Cruz
  • Remolinos
  • Ronda
  • Roquetas de Mar
  • Rota
  • Salamanca
  • San Sebastian
  • Sanlucar de Barrameda
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Santander
  • Santiago
  • Santiponce
  • Segovia
  • Seville (Sevilla)
  • Tarifa
  • Tarragona
  • Tenerife
  • Terrassa
  • Toledo
  • Torremolinos
  • Torrevieja
  • Ubeda
  • Ubrique
  • Valencia
  • Valladolid
  • Vejer de la Frontera
  • Vic
  • Vigo
  • Vitoria-Gasteiz
  • Zafra
  • Zamora
  • Zaragoza

Embassies

    Honorary Consulate of Malawi
  • San Jose de Calasanz 16
    Villa Caiman, Alella
    08328 Barcelona
    Spain
    Barcelona
    Phone: (+34) 935555034
    more info

  • Honorary Consulate of Malta in Seville, Spain
  • C/ Virgen de la Antigua
    2 - 2oA
    41011 Sevilla
    Spain
    Seville
    Phone: 0034 954 270 283
    more info

More Embassies in Spain

Area Codes

  • 34 country code
  • 3  Barcelona
  • 4  Bilbao
  • 56  Cadiz
  • 58  Canar
  • 56  Ceuta
  • 58  Granada
  • 3  Igualada
  • 87  Leon
  • 73  Les
  • 68  Lorca
  • 1  Madrid
  • 5  Malaga
  • 74  Molinos
  • 71  Palma de Mallorca
  • 48  Pamplona (Iruna)
  • 976  Remolinos
  • 50  Santa Cruz
  • 42  Santander
  • 5  Seville (Sevilla)
  • 52  Torremolinos

Electricity

  • The standard current supply is 220 volts.

Airports

  • 1. Barajas Madrid International Airport
    2. El Prat de Llobregat Airport in Barcelona
    3. Malaga's Airport
    4. Valencia Airport

Holidays

  • January 1
    New Year's Day / Ano Nuevo

    January 6
    Dia delos tres Reyes

    March 19
    Father's Day / San Jose

    May 1
    Labor Day / Dia del Trabajo

    June 24
    St. John's Day / San Juan

    June 29
    St. Peter & St. Paul / San Pedro y San Pablo

    July 25
    St. James, patron saint of Spain / Santiago

    August 15
    Assumption / Asuncion

    October 12
    Columbus Day / Dia de la Hispanidad

    November 1
    All Saints Day / Todos los Santos

    December 6
    Constitution Day / Dia de la Constitucion


Recommended Vaccinations

  • * Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine
    * Tetanus- diphtheria vaccine
    * Influenza vaccine
    * Hepatitis A vaccine