NEED TO KNOW
Capital City: Madrid
Population: 40.3 million
Area: 195,000 square miles
Telephone Calling Code(s): 34
Electricity: 230V, 50 Hz
Currency: As of Nov 22, 2011:
1 Euro = $1.36 US Calculate Other Amounts
Spain, a member of the EU, does not require visas for citizens of the United States. A valid passport is sufficient for a three-month stay.
GOOD TO KNOW
Books and Movies
Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's latest movies are some of his best to date. Check out Bad Education and Volver.
If you have always wondered about Don Quixote and the origin of phrases like "tilting at windmills," pick up a copy of Miguel de Cervantes's masterwork, Don Quixote de la Mancha, for the plane ride over.
To sample a variety of local tastes, stop by a bar in any city or village and order a round of tapas. While in the northern Basque provinces, try angulas and you will (hopefully) understand the phrase "Nothing will make you squeal like a tasty baby eel!"
The intrepid shopper will find that prices in Spain are not as high as in much of the European Union. The quality of the goodslike suede jackets in Andalucía, toys in Alicante, handcrafted furniture in Valencia, and textiles in Cataloniais extremely high. And any one of the countless, fabuloso Spanish sherries would work well for a spirited homecoming party.
Most restaurants will include a service charge on the bill, but you should remember to tip five to ten percent at cafés and bars.
Dinner is served around 9 or 10 p.m.at the earliest.
Did You Know?
Everyone in Spain has two last names, but you should only use the first one in conversation.
January: 1, New Year's Day; 6, Twelfth Night (when Christmas presents are given)
March: 19, St. Joseph's Day
May: 1, Labor Day
June: 24, St. John's Day
July: 25, St. James's Day
August: 15, Assumption
October: 12, National Day
November: 1, All Saints' Day
December: 6, Constitution Day; 8, Immaculate Conception; 25, Christmas Day
Spring: Thursday before Easter, Good Thursday; Friday before Easter, Good Friday; Easter; day after Easter, Easter Monday; sixth Thursday after Easter, Ascension Day; seventh Sunday after Easter, Pentecost Sunday
Summer: Ninth Thursday after Easter, Corpus Christi