Every now and again we receive questions which we are dying to just type a reply of “Google it!”. We tend to just answer the question as it is either a client, future client or a loyal reader. Hopefully this post on facts about Spain, including maps of Spain will do the trick and help some of you find your answers. These should be handy if you are just travelling to Spain or if you are planning to move to Spain.
- Maps of Spain & Europe
- What Countries Border Spain
- Top Questions & Facts about Spain
- Some Basic Spain Info
- Is Spain a Country
- What is the Population of Spain
- Spain Date format
- Spain Time
- Spain Capital
- Spain Languages
- Reading and Writing Numbers in Spain
- Residence Visa in Spain
- Currency in Spain
- Use the ATM to get your currency in Spain
- Driving in Spain
- Places to Go In Spain
- What do things cost in Spain
- Electricity in Spain
- School Year
- Spanish Customs
- What to buy in Spain Souvenirs & More
- What is Spain known for?
- Help with your Move to Spain
We may include some affiliate links to products that we like or feel are useful to you. In addition we have a few links to eBooks in our Living in Spain Series, which are full of much more detailed information on a given topic. Okay let’s give you some Spain Info!
Maps of Spain & Europe
Where is Spain? It is located in the southwest of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. We will also share with you a map of Spain showing the different Autonomous Communities as well a map of the Provinces. If you are looking for things to do in various Regions of Spain, check out our post.
Map of Spain Autonomous Communities
The Autonomous Communities of Spain are the first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Think of this like a state in the USA.
Map of Spain Provinces
This Spain map shows how the country and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces. The Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla are not part of a province. Think of this like a county in the USA.
There are so many more maps on Spain available, of course we love using Google maps, but specifically MyMaps. This is a tool where you can customize your map on Spain and pin locations, like we have done for many of our road trips.
What Countries Border Spain
If you want to know what countries border Spain, that’s easy. Spain is a peninsula, so it doesn’t have too many boarders. To the west Portugal borders Spain, and there is a small section in the North which is bordered by France. We can’t forget Gibraltar tucked away in the South as well.
There is also an interesting fact about Spain, as there are two autonomous Spanish cities on the continent of Africa too! Yep, so officially the cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the Canary Islands all bordered with Morocco!
Top Questions & Facts about Spain
Okay here we go with simple facts for Spain, which can really be found just about anywhere online. We are still asked, so that is why some of these facts will now live on our blog. Below is the flag of Spain!
Some Basic Spain Info
Is Spain a Country
Yes, Spain is a country in Europe!
What is the Population of Spain
The Spain population is about 46,464,053.
Spain Date format
When filling out forms or writing the date, remember the day of the month is first and then the month, followed by the year.
Date format – dd/mm/yyyy (31/12/2018)
- Time Zone – GMT +1 for mainland Spain
- Time Zone – GMT for Canary Islands Spain
- Alan wrote a fun article about the time in Spain
Yep, the capital of Spain is Madrid, with a population of about 3.3 million. The 2nd largest city is Barcelona, with an estimated 1.3 million and is located in Catalonia.
Ah, you thought it was only Spanish in Spain. Nope, in fact there are several official languages in Spain. The Spanish languages are Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician, Basque, 3 unofficial regional languages (Asturian, Aragonese and Aranese), and several more dialects of these (Andalusian, Valencian…). Almost all Spaniards can speak Castilian Spanish though.
Reading and Writing Numbers in Spain
When reading or writing numbers the period and comma are reversed from what is used in the USA.
In the USA: $1.25 or 200,000
In Spain: €1,25 or 200.000
Don’t forget that long division is done a bit differently in Spain. Lars made a very helpful video on how to do long division in Spain.
Residence Visa in Spain
- For the US, Australia and other non-EU countries – Generally a visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days. If you plan to stay longer, you will need to request on of the various long-term visas. Each have their own list of requirements, obviously we have a wealth of information on our blog regarding the non lucrative visa for Spain. This is very similar to the retirement visa for Spain as well. We also have an eBook which guide you through the entire process to apply for the Spain non lucrative visa, it is called Live in Spain.
- EU or Schengen Citizens no visa is required and the borders or open to come and go as you like.
- Some nationalities need a Schengen visa.
Please check the Spain government site for current information and visa requirements.
Currency in Spain
Spanish currency is the Euro – €
€1 Euro = 100 Centimos
Coins or (monedas), are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50, “euros” 1 and 2.
The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins are copper in color.
The 10, 20 and 50 cent coins are gold in color. The €1 and €2 coins are two-tone. The €1 is gold on the outside with silver on the inside, and the €2 coin is silver on the outside and gold on the inside.
The Euros are denominated 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. Bills get physically larger as the denomination goes up, which differs from say the U.S., where all bills are the same physical dimensions.
The €5 is grey, €10 is red, €20 is blue, €50 is orange.
The €100 is green, €200 is yellow and €500 is a burgundy color.
When requesting the paper notes from your bank, try to avoid notes above €50. There aren’t many places that can provide change for bills greater than €50. If you are visiting one of the local markets, I would suggest bills no greater than €20.
Use the ATM to get your currency in Spain
Check with your bank for the fees associated with withdrawing currency in Spain. If you are American, you are in luck with the Charles Schwab account, as they reimburse all ATM fees internationally.
Check your home country to see what deals you can find. It is so much easier to take the money out at a machine, as there may not be many money exchange places where you are going. You can exchange money in some of the banks, but many times they require you have an account with them. ATM’s are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most places.
Driving in Spain
You drive on right side of road and we find it safe and fairly easy to get around. That said, if you are visiting small towns, be prepared for narrow roads. You should have an international driving permit if you are from the USA. I highly recommend our Driving in Spain eBook. We have many money and time-saving tips, as well as information that will make you drive with ease while in Spain.
Places to Go In Spain
When you plan to visit Spain, let us help you! We have traveled to all of the mainland autonomous communities and have really done a good job of logging southern Spain too. Here is or master guide for Things to do in Spain, including some of the top cities in Spain to visit (Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla, Granada, Malaga, Cadiz, Cordoba, and more).
What do things cost in Spain
You may want to be aware of what things may cost in Spain. Of course we usually share our Spain Travel Expenses with you as well as our Cost of Living in Spain. Just in case you are trying to figure out a budget and need a data point. We have also enjoyed a few road trips in Europe and share that info too. We also have an eBook with over 100 pages of information on how to budget and estimate cost of living in Spain.
Electricity in Spain
If you are from the US you will need an adapter for your electrical items. The electricity in Spain is 230V/50Hz 2 pronged plug. Below is an example of a standard type of adapter that we’ve used, including an affiliate link to a search for all adapters. In addition, if you’re from the U.S., and you want to bring in a device that’s purpose is to create heat (hair dryer, hair straightener, etc.), you’ll need a converter as well. These are more expensive than just the physical plug adapters. We would recommend bringing electronics with a motor like blow dryers, kitchen appliances. It is just safer and easier to buy those once you are in Spain.
Before you bring any sort of electronics over, check the power-supply or “power brick” that comes with the device. Look for something that indicates a range such as:
100 – 240V / 50-60Hz
The School year is typically from September – June. Read our eBook Education in Spain for more about the education system in Spain, including the various schooling options. Read our post if you are curious about the possibility of homeschooling in Spain? Oh and long division in Spain is done a bit differently too!
When meeting someone, it is customary to give one kiss on each cheek. The ‘kiss’ is deposited high up on the cheek, never on the mouth (except between lovers), and isn’t usually really a kiss, but a delicate brushing of the cheeks.
There are really two periods of siesta in Spain.
- Siesta for shops and businesses, during which time many people go to a bar or restaurant, approximately 2pm – 4 or 5pm.
- Siesta for the restaurants, who obviously can’t rest when everyone wants to come and eat, from 4 or 5pm until about 7 or 8pm.
This is less common in the bigger cities and popular tourist areas.
Bring them along! The Spanish love children and they are welcome everywhere. Don’t be surprised if someone pinches your child’s cheeks. This is one of our favorite facts about Spain!
Drinking age begins at 18. Many clubs and party areas don’t get started until 11:30pm or later.
Well that should be enough to get you started. As usual we hope this is helpful for you and we love to hear when it is. Please leave your comments below. Of course things can always change, so if you notice any bit of info which is now out of date please let us know so we can update the post.
What to buy in Spain Souvenirs & More
How about reading our guide on what to buy in Spain? We cover things to buy in Spain as souvenirs for you to remember your trip. We also share with you the best things to buy in Spain, but enjoy while you are there!
What is Spain known for?
I think if you ask anyone in Europe “What is Spain known for?“, they will quickly respond with sun and beaches, but there is more to it than that!
Help with your Move to Spain
We hope this helps you with your move to Spain. We do offer hourly consulting to help you with your relocation and we also offer move to Spain consulting packages. Learn more about a family gap year in Spain! Try new foods, language, routines, and a different way of doing things. Give the gift of experience, culture and the world to your kids.
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