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Spain

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO SPAIN
 
SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS
June to August – Summer 
September to October – Autumn 
November to March – Winter
April to May – Spring
 
Spain is a popular year-round destination with long hot summers and cooler winters.  Temperatures and climatic conditions vary from one side of Spain to the other and travellers should be prepared for all weather conditions.
 
WHAT TO PACK
As you plan what to wear in Europe, keep in mind that the trick is to pack and wear layers. We suggest layering like this: tank top or t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, jersey and then jacket.  Always pack something to protect yourself against rain showers.
 
RETAIL HOURS
Monday to Saturday 10h00 to 18h00 or 19h00, although Department Stores often say open longer.  Outside the main areas, some shops might close at lunchtime.
 
MONEY MATTERS
Spain is a member of the European Union with the Euro being the official currency.
 
Currency: Euro (EUR). EUR1 = 100 Cents. 
Credit Cards are widely available and ATM’s are very prevalent.
 
DRINKING WATER
Yes, at least 99.5% of all public tap water in Spain is safe to drink and complies with international water quality standards.
 
TIPPING / PORTERAGE  
Porters Euro 1 to Euro 2 per bag
Housekeepers Euro 2 to Euro 5 per day
Doormen Euro 2 to Euro 2 if they hail you a taxi.
Concierge between Euro 5 to Euro 10
It is common to tip 10% of the fare or round up your bill.
In restaurants it is usual to tip 10% of the bill.
Tour Guides do not expect to be tipped but are grateful to receive something at the end of a tour. 
 
TRAVEL RESPONSIBILITY 
Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
Appropriate behaviours by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospital and friendly.
Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
Buy locally made crafts and support local skills. 
 
GENERAL INFORMATION 
Spanish is the official language.  Many people speak at least some English. 
South African passport holders require a Schengen Visa.
Spain is on Central European time. They are 1 hour behind S.A during their winter months (November to March) and are on the same time as S.A during their summer months (last Sunday in March to the Last Saturday in October)
For Spain there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. 
Spain operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
 
WHAT THINGS COST
Meal Inexpensive Restaurant : Euro 8 to Euro 12
Meal for 2 people, midrange Restaurant 3 Course: Euro 25 to Euro 50
McMeal at McDonalds (or equivalent): Euro 6 to Euro 8
Domestic Beer (0.5 Lt Draught) : Euro 1.50 to Euro 3
Imported Beer (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 2 to Euro 3.50
Cappuccino (Regular) : Euro 1.20 to Euro 2
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 1 to Euro 2
Water (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 0.60 to Euro 1.50
 
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS 
A lot of public restrooms will charge you a small fee to use them, so just keep some change on hand to pay the fee.
Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
Always be aware of pick pockets irrespective of where you are in the world.


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