Maps and Information you need to know about visiting Spain
(Map Notes: Spanish Cities in brown have detailed travel information on this site. Cities on the map which have directories if tourism information are in black.)
Destinations in Spain
Tarragona Spain Visitors Guide – Near enough to Barcelona to make either city a day trip.
For more destinations in Spain, see:
Maps of Spain
Spain Regional Map – a map showing the regions of Spain and resources for that region. Good for choosing a general destination rather than a city or for learning more about Spain..
Spain – Rail Map showing major Spanish cities on the rail lines. You’ll also find information links to pertinent train information.
A Traveler’s Geography of Spain – Map and Resources Find out about the Geography of Spain as well as interesting travel destinations emphasizing the natural history of Spain.
Spain Wine Regions Map – Find wine regions to visit with our wine map.
Spain in Pictures
Spain – Weather and Climate
Spain enjoys a moderate climate. In Bilbao. for example, the average temperature varies from 49 degrees F in January to 70 in August. For an overview of temperatures and rainfall throughout the year as well as current weather conditions in some of Spain’s major tourist destinations, see Spain Travel Weather and Climate .
Spain – Transportation
Spain is served by an extensive rail system. See our rail map for the major routes and train information.
Spain Rail Passes can save you money if your vacation involves days with long train rides.
There is no national bus service in Spain. Many small cities in Spain have access to the larger cities through a local bus system. Routes and Timetables for the local buses are found at bus stations and stops. You can buy a ticket on the bus or in advance from tobacco shops (estancos).
The two largest Bus companies serving Spain are Autocares Julia and Eurolines .
Spain – Eating in Spanish Restaurants
In the summer, Spanish eating habits can be daunting for the tourist, especially one just arriving from overseas. Lunch and dinner are served later here than in the rest of Europe, restaurants often opening as late as 3pm for lunch and 8 or 9pm for dinner. Many restaurants in metropolitan areas have started to cater to the overseas crowd and offer continuous opening hours. The traditional remedy for the lateness of meals was to eat small plates called tapas at bars that were open all day, either as a way to keep hunger away until the restaurants opened or to make a whole meal out of appetizers–not a bad way to go. Bellying up to a Tapas bar is a great way to meet people.
Many travelers report not finding enough vegetables in restaurants to keep them happy. This is not the case when you eat meals in people’s homes–it’s a quirk of the restaurant system. See Eating in Spain for more.
Tipping in Spanish Restaurants
Meals include a service charge, but tipping is common. 10% is a substantial tip.
Accommodations in Spain
Spain has a wide range of accommodations. There are usually hotels near train stations, some budget, a few seedy. You may inspect a hotel before committing to it.
If you have a family or are planning to spend a long time in one city, a vacation rental might be to your advantage. HomeAway offers over 30,000 vacation rentals in Spain (book direct with the owner).
We like to use the user-rated hotel guide Venere to find popular Spain hotels .
Hotels in Spain are classified by stars according to their facilities and not necessarily their charm. For more on the hotel rating system, see our article: Hotels and their Star Ratings .
An excellent glossary of Spanish Accommodation terms is found on our Spanish Language site: Lodging and Hotel Terms .
Language in Spain
The language spoken in Spain is Spanish. However, there are variants spoken that include Euskara, spoken in the basque regions; Catalan, spoken in parts of Spain, Andorra, France and Sardinia; Galician, and other languages. An excellent discussion of these is provided by Gerald Erichsen in his article: Spain’s Linguistic Diversity .
Foreign Languages for the Tourist gives a list of resources for learning just enough language to get along. Page two of that article is an account of going to language school in Perugia, Italy. I recommend undertaking such an experience in Spain if you’re interested in the Spanish language and people.
There is a good list of Spanish Language Schools here .
Currency in Spain
Spain uses the Euro–Symbol . At the time the Euro came into use, its value was set to 166.386 Spanish Pesetas. [more on the Euro ]
Spain – Siesta!
The siesta period is from 1:30 to 4:30. Stores close but restaurants stay open in the late afternoon, closing usually at 4:30.