For nationals of the EU and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland a visa is not necessary to enter to Spain. They require only a passport or a valid identity card.
Nationals of other countries including Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and the USA do not require visas for tourist visits of up to 90 days.
Nationals of all other countries please check with the a Spanish embassy in your country: Find a Spanish ambassy in your country
Money and tipping
In Spain, since 2002, the official currency is the Euro (€). Major credit cards such as Visa and Master Card and to some extend American Express are accepted all over Spain. You can also use them to withdraw money from a cash machine and pay in restaurants, shops and hotels.
In case of thefts or losing your card please immediately call your provider to block it:
- VisaCard: 900 991 124
- MasterCard: 900 971 231
- American Express: 902 375 637
In Spain, restaurants are required by law to include service charges in their prices, but most people leave small change if they are happy with the service. Commonly, you also tip hotel porters and taxi drivers.
Health and Safety
In touristic places pick pockets can be annoyance. Please watch your belongings at touristic sights, on the metro and in crowded areas.
If you see an attempt just create attention by shouting. In this case the pick pockets usually just drop things and disappear.
Traffic in Spain is more hectically in comparison to other European countries so you have to pay attention on the streets. This especially accounts for traffic lights: if the green light for pedestrians starts flashing get off the road right away since cars and motorbikes will start within a few seconds.
In case of any emergency please call the EU standard emergency number 112.
If you got sick you should ask your hotel reception for the nearest medical center. As an EU citizen you can use your European Health Insurance Card for free treatment. Visitors from other countries should have travel insurance, otherwise you might have to pay on the spot. There are also many pharmacies where you can go if you have minor aches and pains. Some of them are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Business hours and holidays
Banks are normally open from Monday to Friday from 08.30 am to 14.00 hours. You can also change money there. The opening hours for museums vary considerably between 10.00 am to 18.00 hours.
Shops outside the touristic centers are open from 09.00 am to 14.00 hours. Then they close for the so-called siesta and open again at 16.00 – 17.00 hours till 20.00 – 21.00 hours.
In the touristic places and on major shopping streets in the cities, shops do not close for siesta anymore. They are open the whole day from Monday to Saturday. Some also have open on Sundays or holidays. During August many shops and restaurants are closed the whole month for vacation.
The Spanish people have different mealtimes than most other Europeans, because they tend to eat later. Normally they have a light breakfast between 09.00 and 11.00 am and lunch between 14.00 and 15.00 hours. Thus dinner is considerably later between 21.00 and 22.00 hours and in many restaurant the kitchen does not close before midnight.
If you would like to send postcards, please check the opening hours from the Correos. Correos is Spain’s national postal service where you can send postcards, letters and documents. You can buy sellos (stamps) at most tobacco shops and a postcard up to 20g costs 0,75€ from Spain to other European countries and 0,90€ to the rest of the world.
Spain has public and religious holidays. Some of them are celebrated nationwide and others only in specific regions:
01. January: New Year’s Day
06. January: Epiphany
March-April: Good Friday and Easter Sunday
01. May: Labour Day
August: Assumption Day
12. October: Spanish National Day
01. November: All Saint’s Day
06. December: Constitution Day
08. December: Immaculate Conception
25. December: Christmas Day