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Lived in EU for 12 years



Europe > Spain > Useful Info
Updated on Feb 11, 2020 Useful Info

The Newbie Travellers Guide to Spain

Spain is a beautiful paradise. From the amazing beaches to the picture-perfect scenery, it is at the top of places to visit. Spain is an exhilarating place to visit, and you can experience it on a budget.


The language that is spoken the most in Spain is Spanish. Sometimes “Spanish” in Spain is referred to as Castellano. This is understood everywhere in the country. Castellano has deviated into several other languages with different vocabulary.


The currency in Spain is the Euro. Although it changes, the Euro is currently equivalent to $1.09 U.S. dollars. The Euro is the only currency accepted in Spain. The safest way to get Euros in Spain is at ATMs, banks, or the airport. It is not advised to use street vendors. The simplest way is to use your credit card at an ATM. If you do not want to use your credit card, there are Currency Exchange Branches throughout Spain.


U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Spain for less than 90 days for tourist or business purposes. Also, all countries that are a part of the Schengen agreement do not need a Visa to enter Spain. If you are from a country that is not included in the agreement, you need a visa. Spain Visas are 60 Euros.

SIM Card

To save money on international calling plans and high travel fees, invest in a Spanish SIM card and use it with an unlocked phone. The SIM card is a small chip that will give you a Spain phone number. When you load it with credits you will be able to use data, send text messages, and make telephone calls. One of the best SIM cards to purchase to visit Spain is the Orange TuMundo Prepaid SIM Card. The cost is 15 Euros (USD 16.28). The includes 400 minutes of talk time and 4GB of data.

Dress Code

In Spain, they have adopted a “Euro” fashion sense. Women love to wear flowy dresses, skirts, high heels, and sandals. Men typically wear form-fitting pants and button-up shirts. They are extremely fashionable in Spain and often on trend with the latest runway styles.

Airport Transportation

Madrid – Madrid Barajas International Airport (MAD)

Madrid airport has a train station. This is the most cost-effective way to travel from the airport. The train station is located on the first floor at terminal 4 (T4). The train runs from 6:00 am – 2:00 am, leaving every five minutes. If you would like to travel to the city center use line 8. Line 8 is a nonstop direct ride to Nuevos Ministerios Metro station which is located at the center of Madrid. It currently costs 5 euros (USD 5.46) for a single journey to or from the airport. The train ride is approximately 12 minutes.

Barcelona - Aeroport de Barcelona-El Prat (BCN)

It takes approximately 25 minutes to travel from Barcelona airport to the city center with the RENFE train service. A single ride from the airport to the city center is 1.02 Euros. The train services run every 30 minutes

Local Transportation

Taxes are one of the most convenient ways to travel locally in Spain. They are inexpensive and metered. Uber and Cabify are also regulated in Spain.

Madrid – The Madrid transportation system is efficient, and it connects the city’s main points. Madrid has 200 different bus lines, with 2,000 buses available. Local buses cost 5 Euros and you must pay on the bus. Buses run every 15 minutes starting from 6:00 am until 11:30 pm and then every 35 minutes. Traveling by bus in Madrid is easy and cheap.

Barcelona – the quickest way to get around Barcelona is with Metro, Tram, and FGC.

The bus typically runs between 7.60 Euros – 8.10 Euros. Price is dependent on the distance you are traveling.

Other Budget-Friendly Ways to Travel to Spain

Consider other cheap options to explore Spain. Cruises are an excellent alternative to see multiple places without having to worry about shelter or food. There are both short term (3day -1 week) and long-term (14 day+) cruises. European cruises usually start around $1,000. Most of them travel to more than one place, allowing you to see different cities.