Flag of Spain

Flag of Spain

  • Officially » Reino de España
    • Kingdom of Spain (English)
  • Capital » Madrid

Facts

  • Population » About 48 million
  • Languages » Spanish (known as Castilian) is the official language.
    • There are several regional languages, such as Catalan, and English is widely spoken and understood.
  • Religions » Catholicism. Other religions include Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other Christian denominations.
  • Electricity » 220 or 225 volts, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are used.
  • Life expectancy » 79 years (men), 85 years (women)
  • Currency » Euro (EUR)
  • International dialing code » +34
  • Internet domain » .es
  • Emergency numbers » 112 (general emergencies)

Geography

  • Area » 505,988 sq km (195,363 sq miles)
  • Shares borders with France, GibraltarAndorra, as well as its Iberian Peninsula neighbour, Portugal, with whom they share the longest uninterrupted border within the EU, measuring 754 miles.

Maps

Tourism

  • Overtourism » Barcelona
  • Spain is the second most visited country in the world after France.
    • With its bright blue skies and long coastline with sandy beaches, Spain is a popular destination, despite suffering a harsh economic decline in 2009.
  • Locals have a vivacious spirit and have a simple and relaxed lifestyle. Be prepared to slow down.
    • If it doesn’t get done today, it’ll get done tomorrow, or maybe the day after. Stressing about it will not get it done any faster.
    • Don’t let the overly bureaucratic systems get you down which can be especially prevalent in rural areas.
  • Isla de las Palomas is the most southern point on mainland Europe.
    • Morocco can be seen from here
  • Hike: »Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela (Map)

Overland

  • Road Traffic » Drives on the right
  • Unlawful to use a mobile phone, walkie-talkie, or other handheld communication device while driving

Climate

  • Spain is a large country and the climate varies across the different regions.
  • The north coast is the coolest and wettest region with an average annual temperature of 14°C (57°F).
  • The central plateau has seasonal extremes with temperatures ranging from 8°C (46°F) in winter to 23 C (73° F) in summer.
  • The south has the most hours of sunshine. Its summers can be uncomfortably hot, but winters tend to be pleasantly mild.

Notes

  • Spain is really 17 autonomous regions – each having its own geography and culture.
  • Spain is the fourth largest economy in the EU.
    • Tourism and automotive industries are among the biggest employers.
    • Spain was hit hard by the global financial crisis, but the situation is steadily improving. Unemployment rates remain high and jobs are hard to come by.
    • The economic downturn means public services may be lacking.
  • Education is compulsory for children aged between 6 and 16. The school year runs from mid-September to the end of June. Spain’s public schools have good standard.
  • The cost of living in Spain is low compared to other advanced destinations in Europe.
  • The various regions of Spain are very diverse.
  • Ibiza, the Spanish island in the Mediterranean, has a reputation for very rowdy, hedonistic nightlife, where party-goers often over-indulge and become aggressive.

Formula One

  • Formula 1 winter testing and spring race is often held at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya outside Barcelona.

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This page was last updated on 2021.06.29 by Robert Vinet