Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Spain
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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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: