- Visitor info
- Working and living
- Did you know
Spain is a very popular destination in Europe due to its friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world famous folklore and festivities. Among many places worth visiting are Spain's thriving capital Madrid, the vibrant coastal city of Barcelona, the famous "Running of the Bulls" at Pamplona, major Andalusian cities with Islamic architecture, like Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba, the way of St. James and the idyllic Balearic and Canary ISlands.
Spain is cheap to travel in and has a warm climate all year round. The ideal times to visit Spain are May, June, and September. If visiting the south of Spain, then add April and October. These times are ideal as the weather is good but not too hot or sunny. Madrid is almost deserted in July and August as it is too hot.
The biggest airports in Spain are in Madrid and Barcelona but there are many airports all over Spain including in Mallorca, Malaga, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao, and the Canary Islands.
Trains connect France with Barcelona and Madrid. There are also connections to Lisbon in Portugal. If travelling around Spain you must reserve your train seat beforehand.
Spain is a safe country. There are problems in crowded areas with pickpockets so take precautions with your valuables. Leave as much as you can in your hotel safe with your passport.
For more tips on staying safe, visit our security section.
Some pharmacies in Spain are open 24 hours.
Water and food are first rate.
The European Health Insurance Card is valid here for citizens of E.U. member states. This will cover you in the case of an emergency but remember that you should still have health insurance as the EHIC will not cover everything.
The emergency number is 112.
For travel tips on packing, camping, flying and much more, visit our travel tips section.
Spain is home to a large expat community, especially in areas along the coast. Spain is seen as a great country to escape the cold weather and live a better life.
Spain has been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn and has an especially high unemployment rate especially amongst younger people. So it makes sense to look for a job well before you leave for Spain. Speaking the language is a must. You won’t get very far without it, unless you are looking for service work in the coastal cities popular with expats.
Citizens of EU member states can work and live in Spain with no restrictions. They will also be treated equally in respect of working conditions, social entitlements and tax requirements. This also applies to countries in the EEA (European Economic Area) which is the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. Residents of Switzerland also enjoy the same rights.
If from outside the EU/EEA, it is more difficult. The Spanish Employment Institute will want you and your employer to prove that the post can’t be filled firstly by a Spanish citizen and then an EU citizen. If you can prove that, then you can apply for a work permit.
If from EU/EEA you can stay three months before you need to register. If not you must apply in your home country to a Spanish Embassy. Make sure your passport is valid for the duration of the visa you are applying for.
Click here for more information on visas.
Spain is a monarchy. Juan Carlos I is their King.
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world.
The Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona has become world famous due to the running of the bulls, where bulls are let loose on the street and chase the participants.
Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world.
Bullfighting has been popular in Spain for thousands of years.
La Tomatina is held every August in Bunol, just outside of Valencia. It is essentially a massive food fight with tomatoes.
There are four official languages in Spain: Castilian, Basque, Catalan and Galician. Castilian is spoken by most Spanish people.
Spain did participate in either of the World Wars.