Spain is amazing. It is one of those countries you can never get tired of visiting. In Spain, music is awesome, foods are delicious, and cities are bright and sunny. There are lots of places to dance, see, and to make new friends. If you have never visited Spain before, you are missing out on a great experience.
Perhaps, the best part about visiting Spain is the sheer diversity you can find across the country. You will never feel alone in this awesome country as the locals are fiercely proud of their home and happy to help. This makes Spain hospitable for people from every background and culture.
If you are planning a visit to Spain, the best way to ensure you enjoy your trip is to learn some facts and travel tips about Spain. You need real prep if you want to get the most out of your trip. Since the country is a good mix of climates, cuisines, and cultures, it is important to learn which ones are the best for you. Some of you will prefer beach life, others will crave city bustle and others again will head for the mountains. Spain has it all. This article will help you learn a little more before you visit.
Below, we have gathered nine travel tips everyone should know before coming here. Once you learn these tips, your chances of having an enjoyable time goes up significantly. Keep on reading to find out more.
Eight travel tips before traveling to Spain
1. Make sure you have your essentials
You can’t ensure a seamless travel without bringing the right travel essentials with you. If Spain is your first travel destination ever, it’s only fair to pack your things efficiently to make the most out of your travel experience. When buying travel organizers and bags, get the best packing cubes for travel essentials of all kinds, whether it’s for small items like your toiletries and undergarments or large items like boots and sweaters.
Most importantly, when packing for Spain, know which season you’ll get to experience and choose appropriate clothing for function and protection. Typically, the best time to visit this country is during spring from late March to June to experience calmness with moderate heat. During spring, you can pack a variety of clothes such as lightweight jackets, tees, jeans, walking shoes, flats, and the like.
The best tip when packing for Spain is to pack as lightly as you can. With this, opt for a carry-on-sized bag instead of large suitcases. If you want to bring as many things with you, use every space possible in your bag.
2. Learn some Spanish phrases
Spain is a country with great diversity. However, not everyone speaks English of course – this is Spain after all. Learning some Spanish phrases before you embark on your trip will make your travel more interesting. Besides, the locals often appreciate it when you make an effort to speak their language. You don’t have to be an expert in Spanish, just learn a few key phrases such as:
- ¿Dónde está/estan…? = Where is/are…?
- Hola, Buenos dias = good morning
- Buenas tardes = Good afternoon
- Buenas noches = Goodnight
- Por favor = Please
- Gracias = Thank you
- Adios = Goodbye
- No comprendo / No entiendo = I don’t understand
- ¿Hablas inglés? = Do you speak English?
3. Expect to eat late as the Spanish do
If you are used to eating your lunch by 1 pm and your dinner by 7 pm, then expect to be shocked when you get to Spain – unless you are in a resort where the main visitors are British. In Spain, people eat lunch and dinner later than the United States or the UK. It is common for your host family to invite you for lunch during the afternoon and then eat dinner at around 10pm. You just have to get used to it if you want to please your friends or host.
Moreover, the Spanish enjoy the practice of sobremesa, meaning ‘over the table,’ wherein people have conversations after eating. So, once you’re done with your meal, be polite and avoid leaving immediately. When there’s a good conversation, some individuals even stay for hours!
4. Spanish isn’t the only language in Spain
It is possible that you will see street signs that are written in a language that is alien to you. This is because not every part of Spain speaks Castellano Spanish. For example, Catalonia has Catalan as an official language, Basque county speaks Basque, and the people in Galicia speak Galician. If you are to visit any of these places, it is possible that the street signs will be written in a language that is not English or Castellano Spanish. Nonetheless, almost every local speaks Castellano. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
5. Use public transport
When you are in Spain, try to use the public transport system. It is really good in most areas. Spain has extensive and developed public transport in most areas (Are you listening, Almería province? Could do better down here!). Not only is this a good way to meet locals and see nice scenery, but it will also help you save money. There are cheap bus lines and national budget airlines such as Iberia Express and Vueling. If you want to use a train, Renfe railway network will provide you a comfortable trip at an affordable price.
6. Don’t limit your Stay To Cities
When most people think of visiting Spain, they think of the main cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Malaga and Granada. However, cities are not the only things you can see in Spain. The mountainous Basque region, the beautiful Mediterranean coast, and the plains around Madrid are some of the good places you can visit and have an amazing time too.
7. Embrace the tapas culture
When you order a drink in a bar or restaurant in some areas of Spain, it may come with a small bite that you can eat. This could be a plate of olives, a bowl of potato chips or even a little ham or cheese sandwich. Don’t worry, you don’t always have to pay for them and this will be made clear at the time. You are getting them just as a complimentary snack to enjoy alongside your drink. ¡Disfrútalo!
8. Keep your pockets and bags safe
There is a small chance that you may experience pickpockets in big cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. No doubt, pickpockets can be a problem in Spain – just as anywhere else in the world. In most cases, these people target tourists. Thus, when you are visiting, ensure you take particular care of your valuables. We recommend you wear a money belt. Alternatively, carrying a purse or handbag with a zipper can keep them safer. Stay extra vigilant when you are in a crowded area… don’t leave your brain on the plane.
9. Get a date with Spanish idioms
The Spaniards are well known for their idioms. It is a great way to get to know the locals may impress the person you are chatting to. If you are looking forward to having a little adult fun in Spain, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn some Spanish idioms before your visit. These idioms will help to broadcast how cool and sexy you are. Of course, you don’t have to learn them all, but a few lines you will learn will help make you feel popular and sexy in Spain.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.