Five Quick Facts About Travelling In Spain
- Spain is a safe country to travel in although do watch for pick pockets in the large tourist centres such as Barcelona and Madrid.
- Spain has a good transport system from getting around the country with train and bus running to all of the country. See Getting Around Tab for more information
- English is widely spoken across Spain making travel easy. As always it is polite to learn a few basic works of the language.
- Spain is relatively cheap to travel in however you will pay premium prices in Barcelona and on the coast in peak season.
- Spain is part of the Schengen Visa Area. See the Visa Tab for further details.
Spain is a great place to travel to at any time of the year. Here is a guide to the different seasons and times of year.
High Season (July & August)
- European summer and when most Europeans take their holidays means long lines at main attractions and busy roads.
- There are loads of festivals across Spain throughout the summer.
- Book ahead for accommodation as places get booked out early. The weather is usually warm to hot with very hot temperatures in the south of the country.
Shoulder Season (April to June & September / October)
- This is my favourite time to travel in Spain.
- Spring and Autumn see milder weather and less crowds.
- The weather can be changeable so it is advisable to pack a rain coat particularly in Spring.
Low Season (November to March)
- High season in the mountains and at the ski resorts
- The rest of the country being quieter with no queues or crowds.
- The weather is cold in the interior.
- Head south the Seville for sunny days and cold nights.
The currency in Spain is the Euro which is the currency of the 24 other EU member states plus Andorra, Kosovo, Monarco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican.
ATMs can be found throughout Spain. It is advisable to always carry a small amount of cash as no all eftpos machines accept foreign cards.
Spain Visa Policy
Spain is part of the Schengen Area Visa Policy.
Nationals / Citizens from Schengen States have right of movement and entry without a visa but will need a passport as proof of identity.
The policy applies to the Schengen Area which is 22 E.U member states and 4 non E.U states which are part of the EFTA – Iceland, Liechenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania are not part of the Schengen Area but have visa policies based on Schengen acquis.
Schengen Visa Policy Map
| ||Schengen Area|
| ||Other EU member states outside the Schengen Area but bound by the same visa policy and legally obliged to join the Area when they meet the criteria, and special territories of Schengen member states (freedom of movement in the Schengen Area)|
| ||Members of the EU single market with independent visa policies (freedom of movement in the Schengen Area)|
| ||Visa-free access to the Schengen states for short stays, usually 90 days in any 180-day period (|
| ||Visa required to enter the Schengen states, and to transit some Schengen states in some circumstance|
| || Visa required to transit any Schengen state|
| ||Travel documents not accepted|
Schengen Area Map
| ||Member state|
| ||Countries de facto participating|
| ||Members of the EU legally obliged to join the Schengen area, but not yet members|
Spain has an excellent internal transport system with many options to get around the country.
Cheap flights can be found linking most of the major cities in Spain.
RENFE is the Spanish national rail carrier.
- Trains are clean fast and generally on time.
- Reservations are required on all long distance trains. If travelling in peak season on popular routes it is advised to book well in advance.
- Ticket prices are on par with the rest of Europe.
- Short-distance trains or Cercanías are often delayed especially in the Barcelona area. To be safe, always take the train before the one you need.
- Some routes of short distance trains require a reservation.
- On line via the RENFE website, the further out you book the cheaper the tickets are. Tickets can be downloaded to your smart device or printed as confirmation.
- Tickets can be purchased at train stations.
The easiest and cheapest way to get around most parts of Spain is by bus. Buses run frequently to most major towns/cities and direct.
There are different operators for each route, but generally just one operator per route.
While this may sound confusing simply ask at the bus station and the staff there will direct you to the correct operator.
The following two are major bus companies serving much of the country:
- Grupo Alsa, Avenida de América Intercambiador 9 which also included Continental Auto
- Grupo Avanza,operates the Alosa, Tusza, Vitrasa & Auto Res lines
What To Pack In Spain
What to pack for Spain is very dependent on when you will be travelling to the country and where you will be going. Summers are warm to hot but if travelling to the mountains a jacket or coat is advisable.
Winters are cold especially in the mountains so cold-weather gear will be needed.
It’s all about layering which allows you to add or loses clothing as needed
1 pair jeans – I know they are heavy and take ages to dry but I wear them constantly and find them comfortable
1 pair black travel type pants – Black pants are little smarter than jeans so good if going somewhere a little dressier. Mine is the lightweight fabric in the style of jean,
2 x pair of shorts. 1 denim and one lightweight travel fabric
2 x singlets – good for layering and sleeping in
4 x short sleeve cotton shirts, lightweight and breathable
1 x long sleeve sloppy joe.
1 x zip-up shell jacket
1 x lightweight raincoat – packable version that packs down into a small bag.
5 x socks
5 x underpants
2 x bras
1 x pair walking or hiking shoes.
1 x pair slip on flats
1 x pair flip flops (great for hostel showers)
Shampoo & Conditioner
Bar of Soap
Brush / Comb
1 x Earbud headphones.Light and small,
1 x IPad
1 x 6S iPhone
Charging leads for above
2 x USB
1 x power bank
1 x Cable organiser which keeps everything tidy
1 x 14” laptop – we run a business so this is essential for us.
This year I have left behind my DSLR and lenses to travel only with a GoPro and a LUMIX TZ80. At the end of the day it came down to weight when travelling a long way and having to carry a pack – so let’s see how we go….
1 x GoPro Hero 5
2 x Spare GoPro Batteries
1 x DSLR + Lenses
Spare micro SD Cards
1 x padlock
1 x headlight or torch
1 x Swiss knife
1 x medical kit