Spain Travel guide – Visa, See, Get Around, Stay, Food

Spain has the perfect mix of all the ingredients that make your trip an unforgettable experience.

With a rich mixture of cultures, monuments listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, some of the world’s most important museums, beaches to suit everybody, a pleasant climate all year around and beautiful Spanish traditions making it a perfect getaway and consequently, one of the most visited countries in the world.

Visa and Passport Requirements:
All nationals visiting Spain require a passport valid for three months beyond the length of stay and issued within the past 10 years, except the EU nationals holding a passport or a national ID card which is valid for the duration of the stay.

For visits not exceeding ninety days per six-month period, visas are not required for holders of valid passports issued by the following countries or dependencies: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Israel, Japan, Korean Republic, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, San Marino, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA, Vatican City, Venezuela and Vanuatu. Nationals of other countries can apply for a Schengen visa to the nearest Spanish embassy. This visa takes at least 4 weeks to process.

The cost of the Schengen visa comes up to around €60. Two Schengen visas are available for short-stay travellers from non-member states. The single-entry visa allows travellers to enter the Schengen area once and travels within it. The multiple-entry visa allows you to enter and leave the Schengen area multiple times within the allocated time permitted.

When to Go:
During the peak of the summers, the weathers are warm and sometimes too hot and many cities are deserted. July and August are the busiest periods for international travellers but is not considered to be the best time to come to Spain as the Spanish tend to evacuate the cities and go towards the coastal areas. June and September are better options to visit Spain in the summer months. Winter months are also a good option to explore the country as the crowds are less, accommodations are cheaper and there are many events going on in the city like Easter, Christmas and New Years.

What to See and Experience:
Centuries of history have left behind a spectacular array of monuments Spain is the country with the third greatest number of UNESCO-designated World Heritage sites. Spain has over 1,400 museums where one can find masterpieces by great artists such as Goya, Picasso and Velázquez, genuine symbols of Spanish culture. There are many cities each with their own unique colour. One should make it a point to visit Paseo del Arte’ or ‘art walk and one of the most important galleries: The Prado Museum in Madrid. The city of Barcelona is a true symbol of modernism with some great architectural works like the Sagrada Familia cathedral and Güell Park by the famous architect Gaudí. One can take a tour of the Mosque of Cordoba, considered the most important Islamic work in the Western world, and by the gardens and palaces of the Alhambra in Granada, one of the most visited monuments in Spain. And whilst in the city, be sure not to miss any of the cultural events and festivals like the theatre festivals held in Mérida and Almagro, and film festivals such as the one in San Sebastián.

Getting Around in Spain:
Most of Spain is well covered by public transport. The rail network reaches all main towns, intercity bus services are frequent and cheap. On the other hand, driving a car will give you the freedom to head away from the major tourist routes and take in some of the spectacular scenery at your own pace.

• Train: Spanish Trains tend to be comfortable, frequent and one can check the timetables and even buy the tickets online on the English version of the website. It is advised to book in advance for long distance journeys. s. Advance tickets can be bought at the stations between sixty days and five minutes before departure.

• Bus: Many smaller villages and rural areas are only accessible by bus. Buses are reliable with a reasonable fare for example Madrid to León (3hr 30min), for example, costs around €23, Madrid to Santander (6hr) around €28.

• Car: An EU driver’s licence is sufficient to drive in Spain. Car rental is cheapest arranged in advance through one of the large multinational agencies. Rates start from around £140/$200 a week and more for larger vehicles and in peak holiday periods.

• Bike: Bike rental is not common, save in resort areas or in tourist-oriented cities such as Barcelona and Madrid, where you can expect to pay up to €20 a day or around €25 for a half-day bike tour.

• Flight: Spain has an extensive network of flights which can be worth if you wish to save time or can grab a bargain web fair.

Spain has an abundance of accommodation for every level of comfort and price ranging from private rooms, budget hotels, dormitories, mid-range hotels to five star and luxury hotels. The low budget hotels start the tariff from about 40 euros and the high budget hotels start from a tariff of about 350-400 euros.

The Gastronomic Affaire:
Eating in Spain is a genuine privilege, as it’s home to products of unbeatable quality, many of which have been awarded their own designation of origin. There is no shortage of restaurants to choose from and can also visit wineries and learn all about wine tasting while tasting samples of some of Spain’s best-known wines. When in Spain, one has to try typically Spanish dishes such as Paella, Gazpacho, Spanish omelette, Octopus A Feira, Cocido, Tortilla de Patata and the Fabada Asturiana.

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