Spain

Toledo, Spain

Step back into the past and take a peek into the future with a singles holiday in Spain. With its penchant for tradition and its large number of World Heritage Sites, the country is a history lesson in itself. Travel back centuries by visiting Alhambra’s castles and palaces, wasting the day away in Madrid’s art museums, and church hopping at the Old City of Toledo—but take note that bullfighting isn’t quite as accepted as it once was as a practice.

At the same time, Spain is every bit as modern as any other place in the world, with its vibrant nightlife, love of soccer, and high-speed railways. If partying in Ibiza’s nightclubs isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps a tomato fight (La Tomatina) in Buñol might satisfy your need for adventure. For something a little more laid-back, consider having a gastronomic experience in Errenteria’s Mugaritz, which holds 2 Michelin stars.

Location: Spain, Europe
Size: 505,992 km2
Capital: Madrid
Largest Cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Zaragoza
Climate: July and August, the summer months, can be incredibly hot, especially in the inland areas. On the other hand, both summer and winter have milder temperatures on the southern and eastern coasts. The region known as Green Spain (Galicia and the area near the Bay of Biscay until Basque Country), meanwhile, sees plenty of rainfall through most of the year and snowfall during the winter.
Population: Over 46 million people

Language: Spanish and other regional languages

Religion: Catholicism, no religious affiliation

Literacy Rate: 97.7%

Government Type: Unitary regional state parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Head of State: King

Land Borders: To the north and northeast, France and Andorra; to the northwest and west, Portugal; a small border to the south with the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar
Currency: Euro
Natural Resources: Coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, and other minerals (including uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, potash), hydropower, arable land
Main Agriculture: Grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish
Main Industry: Textiles and apparel, food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism
Electricity: 230 V AC, 50 Hz
Time Zone: GMT+1

Country Tel. Code: + 34
Visa/Passport: Under the Schengen Convention, Australian passport holders are allowed to visit Spain without a visa in certain circumstances.
Airport: The primary entryway to the country is the Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD), 9 kilometres away from the Madrid’s financial district and 13 kilometres away from the city’s historic centre of Puerta del Sol. European travellers might enter the country via the Barcelona El Prat Airport, which is 12 kilometres off of the city centre.
Departure Tax: Depending on the size of the airport from which one is leaving, passengers may have to pay a departure tax somewhere in the range of €0.42 and €11.64.
Getting Around: The train and bus services are common ways of getting around the country. Domestic flights are also a feasible option for longer distances. Take note that hitchhiking is not recommended in the country.
Credit Cards: Credit cards are widely accepted, even at places like market stalls, although stores might require proof of identity before accepting a credit card.
Drinking: The legal drinking age for most of the country is 18, although it is 16 in Asturias. Selling of alcohol is not permitted in stores between 10 PM and 9 AM.
Shopping: Spain offers a wide range of shopping places, from street stalls and flea markets to designer boutiques and shopping centres. El Rastro in Madrid is said to have anything and everything, and bargaining is accepted there. For upscale shopping in the city, head to the eastern Salamanca district. And if you’re looking for local souvenirs, watch out for fans, Spanish wine, espadrilles, and leather goods. Take note of the usual business hours in Spain—most businesses will close at around 1:30 in the afternoon, reopening at around 4:30.
Tipping: Tipping is not customary in Spain. At restaurants, some people may simply leave their change after paying the bill as a tip.