As a member of the European Union, Spain currency is the Euro (€).
1 Euro = 100 cents
1 Euro = 1.0898 U.S dollars (in March 2016)
There are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 bank-notes and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cent coins.
The safest way to exchange money in Spain is through ATMs, Banks, and Bureaux de change (Money exchange booths)
The money exchange booths open from 8:30 until 2:00pm during weekdays and are mostly close in weekend however, in major cities such as Barcelona, Seville and Madrid, they open from 11:00am to 15:00 am on Sundays. Avoid money exchangers in streets as it is illegal.
ATMs are widely spread in streets and near banks so your money is always accessible. It’s advised to stay away from ATMs in streets as they can be tampered with by someone to access to your ATM and PIN number or you can be an easy target to thieves.
Credit cards are widely accepted except in some small shops, bars and restaurants so it’s better to always carry cash. Most used cards are MasterCard and Visa as opposed to American Express. In case of lost credit card, contact your credit card company immediately.
Banks operating hours:
Banks open from 8.30 am or 9.00 am until between 13.30 and 14.30 during weekdays and from 8.30 and 9.30 until 12.00 or 13.00 on Saturdays in winter. Note that banks are closed on Saturdays from June to September or October.
When to go?
The climate varies by region so your choice depends on the part of the country to discover.
The best time to visit the north of Spain is between May and July. Cities near the Atlantic Ocean like Oviedo, Santander, and San Sebastian, the shining crown of the countryside are in their best weather at this period.
Months of September and October are perfect to see southern Spain. The autumn decorates the region with magical colors and the number of tourists is less. You will also benefit of low costs.
Planning for a winter holiday? Bring a lot of f layers, sweaters, scarves, and boots. Cold can be glacial sometimes.
For a summer visit, expect a lot of sunshine so bring sunscreen, tee-shirts, sunglasses, bathing suit.
It’s necessary to pack flexible footwear, Sandals are most convenient. Don’t forget accessories from chic scarves to beach hats you need to be always stylish as Spaniards are.
- Spaniards usually don’t tip but it’s expected from tourists.
- The common way is by rounding to the nearest Euro.
- Be generous but don’t exceed 10%.
- Most restaurants don’t add service charges but tipping is accepted.
- You can tip the taxi driver for each suitcase handled by one Euro.
Saving money tips:
- Replace dinner by delicious tapas from time to time to save money.
- Fruits and vegetables are cheaper and in good quality at the local market.
- Search for discounts on the internet for bus and train tickets.
- Laws impose that restaurants put a list of the plates and prices outside so you compare it with your budget before entering.
- Driving in major cities of Spain costs much. Parking is very expensive and public parking places are rare.
You won’t have a problem finding a clean Restrooms. Shopping centers, cafes, museums and all attractions have bathrooms. In street you can find coin operated toilets.
- A tax of 90 euro is asked from tourists visiting popular islands such as Mallorca, Menorca, Balearic islands and Ibiza. The tax will apply to everyone from July 1, 2016.
- Having in possession more than 50 grammes of drugs is illegal and engender a fine from $500 to $50,000. Any intention of selling drugs leads to long term prison.
- Smoking is forbidden in all enclosed public spaces and places of work, in public transportation, near hospitals, in playgrounds and in outdoor public places.
Spain mainly follows Central European Time (UTC+01:00) in winter and (UTC+02:00) in summer in Peninsular Spain, the Balearic Islands, Ceuta, Melilla and plazas de soberanía.
Canary Islands follows(UTC + 0h) during Standard Time and (UTC + 1h) during Daylight Saving Time.
Daylight saving time starts from the last Sunday in March (01:00 UTC) to the last Sunday in October (01:00 UTC).
- Small shops operate from 9:30 am to 2:00 p.m and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. Major shopping malls open from 10:00am until 9:00pm without break.
- Most restaurants start serving lunch from 1:00pm to 4:00 pm and dinner from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
- Banks open early in the morning, around 08.30am, but close at 14.00 pm on the weekdays. Each bank posts his operating hours outside.
Note that the closing from 2:00pm to 5:00pm is due to the famous Spanish “siesta” a custom of the country.
The voltage in Spain is 220V, 50Hz.
Power sockets are type F.
The electric plug has two round pins. The adapter plug can be bought at many travel stores.
You can use your electric appliances in Spain, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220V – 240V (as in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa).
Free Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, coffee shops and some restaurants. You can also get a map of free hotspots in your region.
You’re advised to buy a device that works as a hot spot and connects up to 5 devices. It can be ordered from the internet and delivered to your hotel.
You can pursuit a national roaming plan to reduce the fees or simply buy a local SIM card from any operator store for about €15 and comes with an amount of free national calls and SMS plus internet package.
Country calling code: +34
- 1 January: New Year’s Day
- 6 January: Epiphany
- 24 March: Maundy Thursday (except in Catalonia)
- 25 March: Good Friday
- 2 May: May Day (in Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Canary Islands, Castile and León, Extremadura and Madrid)
- 15 August: the Assumption
- 12 October: Spain’s National Day
- 1 November: All Saints’ Day
- 6 December: Spanish Constitution Day.
- 8 December: Festivity of the Immaculate Conception
- 26 December: day after Christmas Day (except in Canary Islands, Galicia, the Basque Country and La Rioja)