The City of Madrid, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)

How to Travel Spain – Best Tips and Guides

There’s always a reason to visit or travel Spain. It’s a great country to explore, especially with all of the best sites throughout the country, including the very stunning beaches and gorgeous areas in Northern Spain that are too beautiful to miss.

Whether it’s for the lovely sunlight, lazy-day siestas, or taking in the beautiful scenery, the entire country is an open book of experiences that you simply must not miss.

Of course, there were certain cultural differences you would have to adjust to. For example, eating times in Spain are extremely late compared to the rest of the world’s dining patterns. And forget about leaving quickly from social occasions, in Spain, saying goodbye can eat up another hour of your time.

Aside from cultural differences, your vacation to this amazing country might be the most memorable yet if you plan ahead of time and follow some helpful travel tips.

Port on Ibiza, Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
Port on Ibiza, Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain

1. Have a Budget

Consider the usefulness of a pre-paid travelling debit card for passengers on trips lasting more than two weeks. Load the card with the majority of your Euros, keeping only enough cash for special situations, such as establishments with minimum spend requirements or a failing card machine. While credit cards are routinely accepted at stores and restaurants, keeping some cash in hand for transportation or emergencies gives you more flexibility in your financial approach.

When it comes to budgeting in Spain, the variety of travel patterns makes it difficult to recommend a common daily budget. However, based on experience, it is possible to visit Spain on a budget of $60-80 per day, depending on your lodging choices – a significant portion of your spending.

This insight emphasizes your budget’s adaptability to diverse travel conditions, ensuring financial efficiency while experiencing the richness of Spain’s cultural and culinary attractions. So, say your goodbyes at social occasions and plan your finances properly for an intense and affordable vacation in Spain.

2. Being Cashless is Common

Enjoy the convenience of going cashless, since credit and debit cards are frequently accepted for a variety of transactions, including meals, drinks, taxis, and bus fares.

However, if you do decide to carry cash, keep in mind the denomination. Many institutions, as well as bus and taxi drivers, may not have change for high sums, especially during morning shifts. To get around this, keep a supply of smaller bills (€5 and €10) and coins on hand to allow for convenient cash payments.

Accepting card payments and keeping enough cash on hand offers a seamless and hassle-free experience while you explore the clear and diverse landscapes of Spain.

A Lady Using ATM at Night in Valencia, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
A Lady Using ATM at Night in Valencia, Spain

3. Brush Up on Basic Spanish

As you embark on your Spanish vacation, gaining a basic command of the local language can substantially improve your experience, especially if you wander off the well-trodden tourist trails. While English is widely spoken in major cities, smaller areas off the tourist trail frequently rely primarily on Spanish. Familiarizing oneself with fundamental words not only makes speaking easier but also demonstrates a genuine interest in local culture.

One linguistic nuance to note is the phrase “no problemo,” which is frequently used wrongly. To match native expressions, choose “no hay problema” or the slang “no pasa nada.” This not only ensures linguistic precision but also demonstrates an understanding of the intricacies of the Spanish language.

4. Expect to Eat Late

In Spain, the dining experience lasts beyond the final mouthful. Make room for sobremesa, the beloved tradition of staying after a meal for post-dinner discussions. Sobremesa, which embodies the friendly.

Keep in mind that many places close on Mondays, so make your plans appropriately. To satisfy hunger before these later meals, embrace the Spanish tradition of tapas, which are small tasty appetizers that are commonly served complimentary with drink orders in many towns.

Pintxos, bite-sized pieces served on a slice of bread and secured with a toothpick, are popular in the Basque Country, especially in San Sebastián and Bilbao. This culinary adventure not only satisfies your taste but also immerses you in Spain’s rich gastronomic culture. So, alter your mealtime expectations and enjoy the delectable tapestry of Spanish cuisine.

A Street-side Bar in Zaragosa, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
A Street-side Bar in Zaragosa, Spain

5. Ordering Drinks

When it comes to ordering beverages in Spain, your choice may unintentionally identify you as a tourist. Sangría, a popular drink among travellers, is usually served in communal pitchers instead of individual glasses. To blend in, try tinto de verano, a local favourite similar to sangría that combines red wine and lemon soda. This option not only appeals to the local palette but also demonstrates your eagerness to seek regional delights outside the tourist circuit.

To drink like a native, ask for a “caña” instead of the generic “cerveza”. A caña is a tiny and pleasant glass of beer on tap, usually approximately 250ml. This minor change in your drink order demonstrates a grasp of local drinking habits, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the true Spanish experience.

6. Don’t Tip

Tipping doesn’t belong in the culture of Spain or many European countries, as it is in some others. However, it is important to understand that, while tipping is not needed, it is greatly appreciated, especially when service exceeds expectations.

Embrace the local habit of showing gratitude for great service with a thoughtful tip, creating positive interactions, and contributing to the hospitality culture. To appreciate Spain like a local, remember these nuances when toasting with tinto de verano or sipping a caña.

7. Don’t Eat on the Move

In Spain, the culinary experience has developed beyond plain subsistence, into a treasured ritual of leisurely delight. Unlike the frenzied pace of on-the-go nibbling found elsewhere, Spaniards make dining a leisurely experience.

Meals are not just consumed; they are appreciated with deliberate deliberation, forging a bond between food and soul. Locals frequently take a break from their day, whether at a small café or over a leisurely lunch break, to indulge in the gastronomic delights of Spanish cuisine.

This leisurely dining style reflects a cultural appreciation for the sensory richness of each bite, transforming meals into community experiences and a celebration of the tasty pleasures that define Spanish life.

Paella, a National Dish of Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
Paella, a National Dish of Spain

8. Look for Fixed-Price Lunches

For a real Spanish culinary exploration, choose the menú del día during weekdays, which is popular among locals. This fixed-menu valuable costs between €8 and €17 and includes a three-course meal with dessert, beverages, bread, and coffee.

The menú del día is not only affordable but also offers a variety of regional delights. Embracing this dining custom not only delivers a cost-effective gourmet adventure but also introduces you to the unique and flavourful tapestry of local cuisine.

It’s a tasty treat that goes beyond affordability, enabling you to taste the essence of Spanish dining culture with a carefully crafted cuisine that reflects the region’s unique variety of food.

9. Book Early Accommodations

Booking your place to stay in Spain well before your trip is super important. Spain has all sorts of places to stay – fancy hotels, cute inns, and budget-friendly hostels. If you plan and book early, you get to pick where you want to stay from a bunch of options.

Whether you like hotels by the beach, in the middle of a historic city, or a cozy bed and breakfast in the countryside, booking early means you get what you like.

Another cool thing about booking early is that you might save money. Lots of places give discounts if you book ahead of time. So, if you want more cash for yummy food, fun activities, and cool souvenirs, it’s smart to grab those early-bird deals.

And it’s not just about choices and savings – booking early helps you relax. You can enjoy your trip more when you know for sure you have a comfy place waiting for you. No stress about finding somewhere to crash at the last minute.

Especially in Spain, when big festivals and events happen, it’s even more crucial to book early. Places fill up fast during these busy times, like during the La Tomatina festival or the Running of the Bulls. If you wait too long, you might end up with fewer options or higher prices.

Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain

10. Keep an eye on your belongings

Be wary of pickpockets and keep your stuff close. Pickpockets are sadly common in heavy tourist traffic regions. If you’re sitting at an outside table, keep an eye out for vendors who approach you suspiciously and distract you with their things for sale, such as flowers or lottery tickets, while secretly stealing your wallet or phone from the table.

11. Drink Tap Water in Spain

Quench your thirst with confidence in Spain, where tap water, known as “agua de grifo,” is safe to drink. While the taste varies by country, the safety standards remain the same, making it a simple and environmentally beneficial option for staying hydrated while travelling. Accept the native practice of drinking tap water without hesitation, and contribute to sustainable travel by reducing the usage of plastic bottles.

12. One Number for Emergencies

In Spain, the universal emergency number is 112. This single emergency number acts as a centralized centre for dealing with a wide range of important situations and may be dialled effortlessly even without a Spanish SIM card.

The presence of multilingual operators promotes good communication, which quickly connects you to the appropriate emergency service. Dialling 091 is the approved procedure for requesting specific attention from the Spanish National Police.

This shortened approach to emergency response not only simplifies the process but also demonstrates Spain’s dedication to delivering rapid and accessible aid in times of need, giving residents and visitors a sense of security.

13. Check Out Local Markets

When in Spain, checking out local markets is a must. These markets are like lively hubs, filled with colours, smells, and tasty treats, giving you a real feel for Spanish life. You’ll find fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delicious local foods.

Beyond shopping, these markets are great for unique souvenirs. Each item has a story tied to Spain’s culture, and chatting with local sellers makes it more than just buying things.

Farmers Local Market in Mallorca, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
Farmers Local Market in Mallorca, Spain

14. Attend Local Events

Attending festivals and events in Spain is a fantastic way to make your trip more exciting and learn about the country’s culture. Spain has various celebrations throughout the year, like the famous Running of the Bulls or La Tomatina. These events are a chance to see traditional customs, and colourful parades, and feel the energy of the locals.

Apart from nationwide festivals, different regions have their unique celebrations, showcasing their history and traditions. Seville’s Feria de Abril features flamenco dancing and horse parades, while Valencia’s Fallas festival displays intricate sculptures and lively street parties.

Before you plan your trip, find out when and where these events are happening, so you can align your visit with the ones that interest you. Many festivals have religious or historical roots, giving you a peek into Spain’s diverse culture. Whether it’s Semana Santa’s processions or Carnival’s lively celebrations, these events let you experience the heart of Spanish traditions.

Attending these festivals also means enjoying local food and drinks that are often part of the celebrations. You’ll get to taste authentic flavours that might not be as available during other times of the year.

Moros y Cristiano Festival in Valencia, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
Moros y Cristiano Festival in Valencia, Spain

15. Know What’s Considered Polite

Politeness is inherent in Spanish social interactions and extends to a variety of everyday situations. Greeting people, including strangers, is more than a formality, it is a real demonstration of warmth. Elevators, stores, and corridors become gathering places for social interactions, adding to the overall convivial mood.

When expressing gratitude for excellent service, the term “muy amable” goes a long way. Translated as “very kind,” it is an adaptable acknowledgement for different kinds of situations, ranging from someone giving instructions to someone holding a door or offering their seat. This cultural etiquette opens the door to deeper interactions, allowing you to enjoy and reciprocate the warmth of Spanish hospitality.

By acquiring these linguistic and cultural nuances, your trip to Spain will become more than just a tourist excursion, but a full immersion into the heart of its vibrant and hospitable culture.

Beach in Marbella, Andalusia, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
Beach in Marbella, Andalusia, Spain

16. Don’t Skip Goodbyes

In Spain, leaving a social gathering without saying proper goodbyes is often frowned upon. Prepare for a distinctive facet of Spanish sociability: the protracted goodbye. Spaniards enjoy lingering in conversations, resulting in lengthy and typically multi-stage farewells.

Leaving early may be viewed as unfriendly, so follow the cultural practice of saying goodbye to your guests and thanking them for their hospitality. These lengthy goodbyes not only express your appreciation but also allow for additional networking and connection.

17. Pack Warm Clothes

When planning a trip to Spain, it’s best to follow the funny advice reflected in the Spanish term. Unlike the traditional image of Spain bathed in endless sunshine, the country has colder seasons than warm ones. Early spring (March to May), autumn (September to November), and winter (December to February) can all bring cooler weather, particularly in northern locations such as the Basque Country, Asturias, and Galicia.

Pack warm clothes to navigate the varied weather conditions in Spain. While summer can be hot and sunny, being prepared for milder days during the other seasons assures a comfortable and pleasurable stay, especially if you’re visiting the northern regions.

Snow Covered Mountains in Sotres, Asturias, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
Snow-Covered Mountains in Sotres, Asturias, Spain

18. Language changes

English is a major stroke in the mesmerizing tapestry of Spain’s linguistic environment, especially in thriving tourist destinations such as Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, and Seville. These cities resound with the familiar rhythm of English, catering to the international influx of visitors. English proficiency extends much further in the Southern regions and large seaside resorts, where linguistic communication is typically seamless.

However, when you travel beyond the well-trodden tourist pathways and into the heart of less touristic communities, the language landscape changes. Inland cities and small villages provide a patchwork of local languages, each with its charm. Catalan in Catalonia and Andaluz in Andalusia add to the rich linguistic diversity that defines Spain’s regional identity.

While English isn’t the most spoken language in these places, the Spanish people have a true affection for their language. Even simple attempts to communicate are greeted with enthusiasm when armed with a few good phrases. The warmth of Spanish friendliness shines through as locals eagerly provide aid and explain the complexities of their society.

In areas where English is less common, your attempt to communicate in Spanish becomes more than just a means of communication; it changes into a bridge that connects you to the essence of the local experience. The sheer act of trying has a positive impact, building connections across linguistic boundaries.

Immerse yourself in the linguistic trip, appreciate the varied dialects, and experience the reciprocal warmth that awaits you when you embrace this lively country’s language and culture.

19. Enjoy Pintxos

Enjoy a traditional Spanish culinary experience with pintxos. More than just nibbles, they reflect a cultural practice that is profoundly ingrained in Spanish social life. The experience begins in the early evening, when friends meet for drinks and indulge in the charming art of pintxos, igniting lively conversations and creating treasured memories.

Each institution has its twist, inviting you to try new flavours, textures, and culinary discoveries. The practice entails ordering one pintxo at each location, resulting in a trail of flavours that complement the local beverages, whether a glass of rich red wine or a crisp beer.

Pintxos’ popularity stems from its low cost. These scrumptious sweets are often accessible in bars, particularly in Spain’s northern areas, without breaking the bank. With prices ranging between 2 and 5 Euros per pintxo, you may enjoy this gourmet tour without breaking the budget.

Pintxos, however, are more than simply a culinary delight and a low-cost option; they are a celebration of community and togetherness. Spanish pubs have a welcoming atmosphere where locals and guests may share laughter, stories, and the joy of fine food. It is more than just the gastronomic delights; it is about the experience, the connections, and the common love for Spain’s diverse culinary tapestry.

So, whether you’re in the bustling streets of Barcelona or the picturesque alleys of San Sebastián, let pintxos take you on a culinary journey where each bite is more than simply a taste, but a celebration of Spain’s rich and diverse gastronomic legacy.

Pintxos (Pinchos) in Basque Country, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
Pintxos (Pinchos) in Basque Country, Spain

20. Navigating Streets Like A Pro

Exploring a destination by foot provides an intimate and fascinating experience, allowing you to soak up the lively culture and architectural details. However, being lost in strange winding streets, especially when time is short, can be a disappointing setback.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution: get yourself an offline map!

Whether you’re wandering through the charming streets of Barcelona, crossing the medieval lanes of Madrid, or taking in the coastal appeal of Malaga and Seville, an offline map can help you navigate like a seasoned traveller. In major tourist destinations, technology has become an invaluable companion for adventurers. With offline maps easily available, you can comfortably explore, taking in the local sites without fear of losing your way.

Beyond the crowded tourist hotspots, having an offline map becomes even more important when you wander into less-travelled places. In inland cities or remote villages where the English language may be less prominent, relying on technology to direct your steps is a good decision.

Getting lost is more than just wasting time; it can also result in missed chances and hidden gems. Armed with an offline map, you can effectively traverse the complicated trajectory of Spanish streets. You may confidently immerse yourself in the local culture, find delightful hidden gems, and make the most of your vacation, especially if it is brief.

So, before you go exploring, make sure your smartphone has an offline map. Walk the streets with confidence, taking in the beauty of Spain without the worry of getting lost. It’s a simple but effective tool that will turn your pedestrian trips into a seamless and unforgettable journey through the heart of this wonderful country.

Street of Madrid, Madrid, Spain - (How to Travel Spain - Best Tips and Guides)
Street of Madrid, Madrid, Spain


Exploring Spain is like discovering a colourful mix of cultures and pleasant people. Each location, from bustling tourist destinations to tranquil interior communities, has its distinct character. Remember to say respectful goodbyes, learn a few local phrases, and use offline maps to confidently explore.

Walking through Spain allows you to engage with its culture and appreciate the various experiences it provides. Pay attention to the language, embrace local traditions, and enjoy the great cuisine. Tips such as bidding farewell politely, learning some basic words, and using maps without the internet will help you navigate Spanish streets easily.

Spain’s mix of old and new offers an enjoyable journey. Whether you like late-night dinners, grasp social standards, or manage your finances effectively, each aspect contributes to a wonderful adventure. So, go into your trip with curiosity, a welcoming attitude, and an appreciation for Spain’s many beauties.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What documents do I need to travel to Spain?

To visit Spain, make sure you have a valid passport. Depending on where you’re from, you might need a visa or just an ID card if you’re an EU citizen.

2. When is the best time to go to Spain for good weather and cultural experiences?

Aim for spring (April to June) or fall (September to October) when the weather is nice, and there are exciting festivals. Summers can be quite hot, especially in the south.

3 How can I save money when travelling in Spain without missing out on experiences?

Save by using public transportation, trying affordable local food markets, and choosing budget-friendly accommodations. Booking attractions online in advance often gets you discounts too.

4. Do they speak English in Spain?

Definitely. In Spain, many people speak English, especially in touristy places and big cities.

5. What city should I visit first in Spain?

If you’re deciding where to start your visit in Spain, consider Barcelona or Madrid. They have an exciting culture and lots of things to see.

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