Spain is located in the southwestern part of Europe, in the Iberian Peninsula, which they share with Portugal. Other than Portugal, Spain shares borders with France and Andorra to the north and in the south, it is separated from Africa by less than 15km of water. Spain also has a number of important islands, including the Balearic Islands at the east of the peninsula, and the Canary Islands, famous for their amazing weather and beautiful beaches.
General Information about Spain
Facts about Spain
Spain used pesetas until 1999, but it’s been 20 years since Euro has become the state currency. It makes it extremely easy to travel all around Europe, as the majority of countries use it as well. It’ll save you time and money on the exchange rates.
220V AC, 50 Hz. Round two-pin plugs are standard.
The Spanish monarchy is better known as “The Crown” (La Corona) and it’s represented by Felipe VI, his wife Queen Letizia and their 2 daughters: Leonor, Princess of Asturias and Infanta Sofía. Felipe VI became king in 2014 after his father, Juan Carlos, abdicated.
There are three different types of police officers in Spain: national, municipal and “guardia civil”. The three of them are in charge of citizenship safety and watch over the compliance of laws and the constitution, though they have different jurisdiction.
GMT +1 from the last Sunday in October to the Saturday before the last Sunday in March.
GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the Saturday before the last Sunday in October.
Weight in grams and kilograms, distance in meters and kilometers and temperatures in Celsius.
Spain is a constitutional monarchy, with king being the head of the country, but actual power to make decisions belongs to a bicameral parliament, the Cortes Generales (General Courts). The executive branch consists of a Council of Ministers of Spain presided over by the Prime Minister. There’s a democratic system and elections are every 4 years.
Madrid’s cuisine celebrates the food of all the regions in Spain and, whether you’re keen to have a beer and tapas, or sit down to a world-class meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant, you’re sure to find something that will make your mouth water. Here is a list of typical food in Madrid to whet your appetite.
To move around Madrid is very easy and comfortable since the public transport is very well designed to reach even the most random areas.
The metro has 300 stations and 13 different lines. It’s very easy to understand how it works and you can always grab a little map in the station or solve any doubts you might have by visiting their website.
Another way of getting around is by bus. They are very frequent and you even have night buses called “buhos” that will take you as close to home as possible after a great party. If you need to check schedules or find a specific bus, visit their website.
Last but not least, we’ve got flights! Madrid is a hub for easy travel to the rest of Europe. Barajas airport flies everywhere and you can get really cheap flights. Take a look at www.easyjet.com, www.ryanair.com, www.vueling.com to find out more about prices. Or check out our blog post on the best low-cost airlines in Spain.
Madrid also offers the “Renfe” service. These are different type of trains that’ll get you to your destination in a comfortable and fast way. You have “Cercanías” which is a short distance train (inside Madrid) and you also have the “Ave” which is the high-speed train that takes you to other cities. For more info visit their website.
Driving in Spain
Spaniards drive on the right side of the road. If you are from the EU or the European Economic Community, your license is valid to drive in Spain. If you are from the US you need to get an international driving permit prior to your arrival in Spain. Given that conditions may vary from one country to another, we suggest that you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.