Things To Know Before Traveling To Spain – For those traveling to Spain for the first time, the trip should be pre-loaded with some mental baggage.
Depending on where you’re from, Spain probably conjures up simple images in your mind. Maybe “Spain” means beaches and family vacations to you. Maybe he’s referring to football. Maybe you’re thinking of flamenco and jamón.
Things To Know Before Traveling To Spain
For me, the first images that come to mind when I travel to Spain are picturesque coastal towns, beautiful coves and beaches and a glass of sangria in the sun.
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But after living in Spain for years, I know this country has a lot to offer!
Visiting Spain is popular and I see a lot of questions about Spain online. Therefore, I would like to start this article by answering the most popular questions about Spain.
Consequently, below, in the form of 10 questions, are some important things to know before traveling to Spain.
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This is one of the most frequently asked questions about Spain and the answer really depends on your perspective.
If you’re flying from Sao Paulo, the flight alone is around €1,000 (over $1,000 USD) and the meals are about the same as what you’re used to paying.
If you fly from Copenhagen, your trip costs less than €100 ($110), and a meal can be cheaper than you’d normally pay for a glass of wine.
What I’ve found useful to put Spanish costs into perspective is Numbio’s cost of living calculator. According to Nambio, the cost of living in Valencia is similar to the cost of living in Prague (as is the local salary).
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This was my experience too. You can find decent hotel rooms and managed apartments for around €50 or €60 a night. For lunch you get a nice 3-course menu (
A beer in a restaurant costs about 2 euros, and house wines are often less than 10 euros.
Multiply these numbers by 1.5 to estimate Barcelona and Madrid prices. And multiply those numbers by 2 if you’re visiting a super-touristy neighborhood like Palma de Mallorca’s Santa Catalina in high season.
Now, if €5 for a beer still seems reasonable, you can visit everywhere in Spain for less. If €2 beer is in the budget range, stick to regional towns around Barcelona and Madrid, outlying coastal towns and low-key neighborhoods.
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The great thing about Spain – and this goes for the cities and coastal areas – is that you can easily spend a whole day seeing things for free.
If, like me, you come from a country where it mostly rains, a big part of Spain’s appeal lies in relaxing in the sun. You can do it for free on the beach or in the mountains. You can do it for the price of a coffee on a city terrace.
So let’s take Valencia as an example again. With just 20 euros in your pocket, plus accommodation costs, you can spend a spectacular afternoon exploring:
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Of course, these costs can increase depending on your interests and needs. Families with lots of activities, for example, may spend a little more.
And if you’re more interested in Barcelona’s nightlife or Michelin-starred dining in the Basque Country, the sky’s the limit for your budget.
But if you like aimless wandering, lazy afternoons on the terrace and the occasional tapas, Spain is a fairly affordable destination.
The best time to visit Spain depends on where you want to go in Spain and your personal preferences.
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I would say March to early June and early September to mid November are the best times to visit Spain or most of the country. So in short: spring and autumn.
During the high season, from roughly mid-June to the end of August, Spain’s most popular destinations are very crowded and accommodation prices rise.
But if you want perfect beach weather, high season may be the best time to visit Spain. And northern Spain is very cold in spring and autumn, so it’s worth braving the crowds and high prices to have the best time.
Some small coastal towns populated mostly by tourism become ghost towns in the winter, where many shops and restaurants close for a month or more.
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On the other hand, in larger cities (mainly Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia) many shops and some restaurants close in August. During this time, many Spanish people go on vacation and leave the city to escape the heat.
The heat is real in that city and I do not recommend visiting Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia in August!
Most of the rain falls from October to the end of February (with a few surprisingly rainy days in September and March), which will be particularly noticeable in the north. In some years, extraordinary floods occur during these months.
Finally, if you’re looking for winter sports, the best time to visit is January through March, although you can sometimes ski in the Sierra Nevada as late as early June!
Things To Know Before Traveling To Spain • Travel Guide
However, Spain is a very diverse country and the best time to visit depends on where you are going and why you are visiting Spain. That is why I have written a separate article about when to visit Spain depending on the type of trip.
In general: Yes, Spain is safe. Whether you are traveling to Spain alone, with friends or with children, Spain is a safe country.
At the same time, with the rise of the right-wing Vox party and its fascism-tinged rhetoric, Spain certainly feels less welcoming than it did a few years ago.
Over the past few years, at marches to celebrate Community Day in Valencia on October 9, I have personally witnessed the raucous, armed salutes of far-right counter-demonstrators fueled by anti-immigrant and anti-Catalan political messages. and mischief in La Manda’s response to the rape in Pamplona.
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This message would have you believe that Barcelona is a hotbed of foreign crime. The statistics don’t really support that. Nationwide, crime rates have been steadily declining since the early 2000s.
Spain’s national crime rate is on a par with Portugal and Austria – and significantly lower than countries such as the UK, Canada and Finland.
Beware of pickpockets in cities, especially Barcelona. They are unlikely to resort to violence or use force to steal your belongings, but they are very good at reaching into backpacks or back pockets.
Yes, you can drink tap water in Spain. Plumbing infrastructure in all major cities is good and on a par with other modern European cities.
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To be fair, the water in some places can taste good and contain a lot of chlorine. This is certainly the case in Valencia, and why many locals buy bottled water or use water filters.
Note: Although most sources claim that tap water in Spain is safe to drink, there is research that shows the harmful effects of high levels of chlorine in the water.
One of the things I love about Spain is how many incredible beaches it has. From large, sandy beaches with bars and water sports to small, hidden coves, you can find everything.
But check out the beaches I highlight in this article on Costa Brava, Costa Dorada and Costa Verde.
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First, the shoes. Usually save them for the beach or pool. The Spanish are very smart dressers, and if you come to a restaurant wearing slippers, you are likely to receive at least poor service.
Also, if pickpockets in Barcelona see you on the subway in beachwear, that would be an easy sign.
Now the shorts. Shorts are definitely the right thing to wear in Spain in summer. One rule that works: When it’s 30 plus degrees Celsius, wear clothes you’re comfortable with.
Here in Valencia it is not unusual to see old men on a hot summer day with their shirts unbuttoned up to the navel. Shorts aren’t bad when it’s oppressively hot.
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If it’s not too hot, shorts look weird. I know 24 degrees Celsius (75°F) sounds like a bubble to someone who grew up in Dublin or Reykjavik, but that’s still pant weather in Spain.
Note: The most important thing to know about Spain is that you cannot wear slippers while driving. And yes, if the police pull you over you will be fined!
In this case, you cannot drive barefoot
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