As always, I highly recommend getting all the information you need before visiting a new country.
In this article you will find are all the things that every traveller Must-Knows When Travelling To Spain For The First Time. From practical advice, to how to plan the perfect trip, and where to book everything you need to visit Spain and make your next holiday the best of your life.
Tips: As soon as you book your next adventure, make sure to buy good travel insurance in case you need to “unfortunately” delay, extend or cancel your trip. I recommend SafetyWing. A great insurance company to cover everything about your travel.
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Read Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Spain Below
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Spain is in the Central European Time Zone, which is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +1).
During summer, Spain observes daylight-saving, where the time is moved forward by 1 hour, so it becomes 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2). In winter the time in Italy is moved back by 1 hour to Central European Time.
These changes always happen on the last Saturday of March and the last Saturday of October.
The official currency of Spain is the euro, even though the country is still somewhat a cash-based economy.
You won't be paying cash all of the time, as there are shops and merchants in Italy that are well equipped to accept card payments – Visa and Mastercard are more common than American Express. Check here the actual currency change
You should ask your family doctor before travelling to Spain and ensure that you receive all of the appropriate vaccinations. Just make sure you’re up to date on recommended vaccinations for your home country and have a look at The Travel Vaccines and Advice here.
Voltage and Adaptors:
The standard voltage is 220-240 volts. Most of the sockets are European plugs of the two round-pin varieties. I recommend you buy a universal travel adaptor. You will need a voltage converter and plug adaptor in order to use other appliances.
Do you want to know more about Spain?
Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Spain" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.
Going from the Airport to your accommodation
I think it is always wise to check how to go from the Airport to your accommodation. There are always many ways to choose from.
There are shuttle buses that go to the city centre, train lines, or book a private taxi in advance that will take you to your accommodation.
In every article, "Everything you need to know before visiting (a city)", I listed all the ways to go from that specific city airport to the city centre and how to move around.
So far I have written about Barcelona and Madrid, but many more cities are coming.
You can move by bus, every city is very well connected to each other and in every place, there is a bus company to move around.
I always advise booking bus tickets in advance to make sure to plan your holiday in the best possible way. Check bus ticket options and prices on Omio when you can check if the best option is by bus or Train.
Not every Spanish airport has got a connection to the central city by Train but luckily most of them have it. I always use Omio while travelling, it is a great website to book train tickets.
The train company in Sapin is Renfe, click here to check out prices and availability.
HolidayTaxi: This is a website I always to check airport transfers while travelling. I always find great prices in case I am not travelling alone and prefer to get to my accommodations faster.
Kiwitaxi: is a site where one can book a transfer to get from or to the airport in 98 countries, between two tourist destinations or other locations popular with tourists.
Rent a Car:
If you like driving like me, you can always rent a car and in this case, I always have a look at my favourite rental car websites and I see where I find the best deals. Have a look at them here:
DiscoverCars: Discover is basically a Skyscanner, but for rental cars. And since you're comparing lots of different companies, you also get to choose from lots of different cars.
Rentalcars.com is an international car rental booking service that is present all over the world.
I always think is better to book a private transfer from the airport to the hotel. So, you can start your holiday right upon arrival and save your time and energy.
are tap water and food safe in Spain?
It’s safe to drink water in Spain from taps and drinking fountains that you will find, especially in the major cities and parks.
I always carry with me a reusable bottle so I can fill them up anytime I have the chance.
If you are not sure, it’s always safe to ask locals or, in doubt, just drink bottled water.
Honestly, Spain is one of my favourite countries when talking about food. It has so much to offer that the only problem you will have is that your stomach is not big enough to eat everything you wish.
That's why I always carry with me some Milk Thistle tablets, just in case I overeat because as my mom always says "I eat with my eyes and not with my mouth".
Unfortunately, bad luck happens everywhere, sometimes is not the food but just our stomach that needs to get used to the new cuisine (and let's be honest, we all eat and drink more than usual when on holiday) take some of these natural remedies below with you in case you will have stomach upset or food poisoning.
My favourite Natural remedies for stomach upset or food poisoning:
Milk Thistle: is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms associated with occasional over-indulgence of food and drink, such as indigestion and upset stomach. Milk Thistle is a great natural remedy to always have with you when you travel.
Obviously, ask your doctor first if you can take them in case they are not good for you.
Charcoal capsules: recent studies prove that charcoal can be a good help in case you eat something that was not good and it can prevent you from having diarrhoea.
Probiotics: These are a wonderful help while having food poisoning. Take as soon as you start to have symptoms and also after, for a couple of days at least. My doctor advises me to start taking them some days before my travel, as a prevention, in case I am going to visit a country where water and food can be easily contaminated.
Eating and Drinking Out
In Spain, you will find a wide variety of food from meat to fish. You won't find only the typical Spanish cuisine because every city and region has different dishes to try and love.
Check out my The Most Complete Guide of Spain to see all the places I have written about so far (more contents are coming) and read my articles about what to eat and where to eat typical food in that specific city, where I also listed some suggestions whether you are looking for a place to eat on a budget, mid-range or a fine-dining restaurant.
In there you will find everything you need to know about the delicious typical cuisine.
Prices may vary from bar to restaurant also from where the place is located if near a famous and tourist spot or a bit further but these are the approximate prices for the most common foods and drinks in Spain:
Bottle 1.5 L water: around 0.40-0.50 Euro
Imported Beer 0.33 L: approximately 1.50 Euro
Bottle of Wine: 5-10 Euro
At a Bar:
Coffee-latte: 1.50 Euro
A glass of 0.5 L Beer: around 1.50-2.00 Euro
A bottle of wine: 12-20 Euro
Coke in a Can: Around 2.00-2.50 Euro
A glass of Wine: Around 3.50-6.00 Euro
At a Restaurant:
Restaurant on a budget per person: Around 15 Euro. You can eat at a tapas bar for only 8 euros. It all depends on how many tapas you need to fill up your stomach.
Restaurant medium-range per person: Around 30-40 Euro
Fine dining Restaurant per person: From 80 Euro
In Spanish restaurants a gratuity of 10-20% is often added to the bill, so check that you're not already paying the tip before you add more to your payment.
If not, a tip of 10-15% is encouraged, mostly in tourist places.
The tip should reflect the customer service that you received so it is really up to you to decide how much to give.
Cost of Travelling
Spain is a very famous country, so if you are looking to save some money, I advise you to avoid it from June to August when it can be very hot, crowded and more expensive.
Flights can be very cheap from October to April (Once I went from my hometown Trieste to Barcelona and a return ticket cost me 60 euros) so have a look at my favourite flights website that I use to travel to check flights to Spain:
In Spain, you can find accommodations for every budget.
The website that I love the most to find amazing deals is always Hotellook which allows you to find and compare worldwide hotel prices provided by leading reservation systems.
It provides aggregated information on more than 250,000 hotels in 205 countries working together with more than 10 online reservation systems such as Booking.com, Agoda.com, Hotels.com, and Expedia.
Shopping and Souvenirs
The options are limitless in Spain, from clothes like Mango, Zara, Bimba Y Lola, Manolo Blahnik and many more. High street brand clothes are all there, waiting for you to take them home and create your next season outfits.
Spain offers many choices of food to buy as souvenirs, from olive oil, liquors like Sherry, Ronmiel from the Canary Islands, Chinchon from Madrid Cava wine, Allioli, cheese from different regions, cured meat like the famous Hamon Iberico, or spices to recreate the dishes you ate on holiday, at home for your loved ones.
Also handmade ceramic and paintings are a great souvenir idea.
Is Spain safe for a solo woman traveller?
Spain is pretty safe. During the day with tourists and locals around the streets, the only thing you will have to worry about are pickpockets that unfortunately can be present in every tourist city.
Overnight I advise a solo woman traveller to keep her eyes open wherever you are because bad things can happen anywhere, anytime to anybody so please safety first.
I had my first solo travel in the south of Spain, 22 amazing days visiting many towns and meeting locals I contacted them on travel Facebook groups and I have been lucky to meet people that took me around and show me their city so I was feeling pretty safe to be out late in the evening because I wasn't alone.
Do you want to see everything Spain has to offer and save money at the same time?
Check here all the activities and tours available. You won't regret it!
Duty-Free Allowance from Spain
If you are travelling from an EU country, there are no limits on the amount or value of goods you want to take home with you, if your interests are for personal consumption.
Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
800 cigarettes or 1kg of tobacco
10L of spirits over 22% volume, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer
If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Spain by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
4L of wine (excluding sparkling wine) and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume
Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers
You are not allowed to import meat or dairy products into Spain from outside the EU.
Where to book a train and a bus or rent a car
When I plan a trip, I always make sure to have a well-planned trip.
I am not talking about planning where to be at what time of the day because travelling is pleasant to be spontaneous but not too much if you know what I mean.
I like to book everything a lot in advance like accommodation, flight, airport shuttle, and train tickets because I have learned during my travels that the sooner, the better in these cases.
I save a lot of money and time by booking things in advance and also because if you research at what time the train or bus is due to the departure, you are going to make sure to don't end up without a train to reach your next destination and have to wait till the day after.
So here are some links that will help you to plan at least the essentials
Where to book Bus Tickets in Spain?
There is also this way to travel around Spain, cheaper than train for sure but not so fast so it all depends on how much time you have and what is your budget. Sometimes if there is not a train there is a bus so in case you are looking to buy some tickets, I advise you to do it on Omio, where you can also buy train tickets.
Where to Book Train Tickets in Spain?
A good website to buy train tickets in Spain is Omio, where you can check all the trains available and book your tickets in advance, I always use it when travelling in Spain and it is a great website.
Where to Rent a Car in Spain?
If you like driving like me, you can always rent a car, and in this case, I always have a look at my favourite rental car websites and I see where I find the best deals. Have a look at them here:
Discover is basically a Skyscanner, but for rental cars. And since you're comparing lots of different companies, you also get to choose from lots of different cars.
Rentalcars.com is an international car rental booking service that is present all over the world.
There is also another way to travel that not everybody thing about it and it is by Renting a Scooter or a Bicycle. If the weather is nice why not enjoy the beauty of Italy driving a nice Scooter or a Bicycle without the issue to find a car park?
If this is an option you may consider, I have an amazing website to advise you to check:
BikesBooking: where you will be able to choose between any kind of scooter, motorbike, quad and bicycle.
Where to Book Tours and Activity in Spain
If you want to check what attractions or museum tickets to buy to visit a Spanish city, have a look at my article about what to see in that specific city.
For museums or other activities, I always check two different websites.
The first one is Tiqets where you can buy every kind of ticket in advance.
If you are looking for a guided tour or for a day trip outside to go exploring what this amazing country has to offer I advise you to check out Tour Scanner, a website like Skyscanner where you can find every kind of tour or boo for an activity or museum in Italy.
Is easy to find wifi in Spain?
You won't have any problems finding wifi here, it is available and pretty fast in all hotels and most restaurants or bars.
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IMPORTANT SPANISH TELEPHONE NUMBERS
European Emergency Number 112 (they will direct you to the number you need)
Local Police 092
National Police 091
Civil Guard 062
Medical Emergency 061
Fire Brigade 112, 080 or 085
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