Type: Constitutional monarchy
President: Pedro Sánchez
King: Felipe VI
€10.00 ≈ $11.65
The Iberian Peninsula
Bordering The Atlantic & Mediterranean
Hot, dry summers
Mild, rainy winters
Beer ≈ €1.99
Ice cream ≈ €1.65
Hello: Hola /ola/
Please: Por favor /por fuvor/
Thank you: Gracias /gurahseeus/
Can I have a beer please: Una cerveza por favor /oonu serveysu por fuvor/
Where is the train station?: Donde esta la estacion de trenes /donday esta la estaseeun de traynays/
Catalonia: Spain is made up of 17 autonomous zones. One of those being Catalonia – where Barcelona sits. In 2017 Catalonia held an independence referendum – in other words, they voted to be free from the rest of the country. The referendum passed, however the government of Spain declared the vote unconstitutional and imposed direct rule on the region – while also detaining a number of people involved in organizing the vote. In other words – Spain ignored the results. The relationships between Catalonia (where 32% of the population speak Catalonian – which is very distinctly different to Spanish) and Spain remain strained.
Identification: When asked for an ID by officials you must produce one – the police have the right to detain you if you can’t or don’t.
Drugs: Possession of any amount of illegal substance can result in detention or persecution.
Alcohol: 18 is the legal drinking age in Spain. On-street drinking varies by region.
LGBTQ: Same-sex relationships are legal in Spain. Citizens are allowed to choose their preferred recorded gender but a third gender is not recognized.
Generally speaking, Spain is a very safe country for travelers. One of the biggest threats is pickpockets, specifically in big cities like Barcelona.
Keep a close eye on your bags and valuables!
Founding: Spain as we know it today dates to 1978
Origins: The same plot of land that Spain now sits on has been referred to by similar variances since the Romans called it Hispania in the 2nd century B.C. The Spanish Empire led Europe for some time and was at its height in the 16th & 17th centuries.
Recent History: The Spanish Civil War, in the mid 1930’s, ended with Franco’s party, the “Nationalists” came to power. There are still multiple generations of Spaniards alive who lived under the military dictatorship of Franco, who died in 1975. During that time Spain remained neutral during WWII. After Franco’s death Spain transitioned to the liberal democracy it is today. More recently, Spain joined the EU in 1986 and is now considered a middle power in the EU with tourism as the countries largest economic sector.
Swim suits: Certain regions do not allow men nor women to walk through the streets in just a biking or swim trunks.
Burka: Some government building do not allow entrance with a burka on.