Spain Overview

By | July 13, 2021


Official name of the state

Kingdom of Spain.




As a country located in Europe according to estatelearning, Spain occupies about four fifths of the Iberian Peninsula, which also includes Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar. In the northeast, the Pyrenees form a natural border with France. The state territory also includes the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera), which is southeast of Barcelona in the Mediterranean, and the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa. Ceuta, Chafarinas, Melilla and Ladu are tiny Spanish enclaves in North Africa that are remnants of the Spanish colonial empire.

Spain is a very mountainous country and averages 610 m above sea level. d. The approximately 400 km long Pyrenees stretch from the Basque Country in the northwest to the Mediterranean. Some peaks reach a height of over 3000 m; the Pico de Aneto is the highest point at 3404 m. Inland forms the Meseta, a huge 600-800 m high plateau, which is divided by numerous sierras. In the north-west and north it is bounded by the Cantabrian Mountains and the Iberian Mountains, and in the south by the Sierra Morena. Beyond the Sierra Morena lies the Guadalquivir Valley. The mountainous landscape of Galicia is located on the strongly rugged Atlantic coast. Mountainous country also fills the extreme south; the Sierra Nevada southeast of Granada is part of the Betic Cordilleras, which run parallel to the Mediterranean Sea. It has the highest mountain on the Spanish mainland, the Mulhacén (3481 m). The highest point in Spain is the Pico del Teide (3718 m) on Tenerife.

The coasts of Spain are almost 5000 km long. The Mediterranean coast stretches from the French border to the Rock of Gibraltar. The Strait of Gibraltar connects the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and separates Spain from North Africa.


Parliamentary monarchy since 1978. Constitution from 1978, last amended in 1992. Bicameral Parliament (Cortes Generales): House of Representatives (Congreso de los Diputados) with 350 members and Senate (Senado) with 259 senators. Spain is a member of the EU.

Head of state

King Felipe VI., Since June 2014.

Head of government

Mariano Rajoy, since July 2016.


230 V, 50 Hz (110/125 V often still in older buildings in small towns).

Time zone

Central European Time: CET +2 (CET +3 from March 26 to October 29, 2017)





1 euro = 100 cents. Currency abbreviation: €, EUR (ISO code). There are banknotes in the values 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros, coins in the denominations of 1 and 2 euros, as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted almost everywhere. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.


EC / Maestro card / Sparcard
With EC / Maestro card and PIN number, cash in the local currency can be withdrawn from ATMs throughout Europe. In many European countries it is also possible to pay with the ec- / Maestro card in shops. Cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are accepted in Europe and worldwide. Further information from banks and credit institutes. The same applies to the German Sparcard, the successor to the postal savings book as a means of procuring currency in Europe. With the Sparcard and PIN number, cash can be withdrawn from European ATMs with the Plus logo.

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank customer card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the options for using their card from their bank prior to departure.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 8.30 a.m.-2.30 p.m., Sat 8.30 a.m.-1 p.m. (from May to September: closed on Saturdays).

Foreign exchange regulations

There are no restrictions on the import or export of national or foreign currencies for travelers within and outside the EU, but there is an obligation to declare cash from the equivalent of € 10,000 (including travelers checks, other currencies or checks made out to third parties).

Currency Exchange

Money can be changed in all bank branches and in the exchange offices in larger cities. Many hotels and travel agencies also offer this service.



The official language is Spanish (Castellano, 74%). Catalan (17%), Galician (7%) and Basque (2%) are common regionally; in tourist areas e.g. T. English and German.



Roman Catholic (94%); Muslim, Protestant and Jewish minorities.

Social rules of conduct

Manners: Shake hands to greet you. The common courtesy formulas should be observed. B. for invitations from the host with a small gift. Flowers are only given on special occasions.

Clothing: Everyday clothing is generally accepted. In some hotels and restaurants, men are expected to wear jackets and ties. Evening wear is only required for particularly formal events. Swimwear belongs on the beach without exception.

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in all public facilities, on public transport, in telephone booths and rooms with ATMs, as well as in children’s playgrounds and schoolyards. The smoking ban also applies in all catering establishments and bars. Smoking areas in guest rooms are no longer permitted. Only hotels are allowed to offer smoking rooms.

Tip: Service charge is i. General Included in hotel and restaurant bills, however it is customary to leave a small tip for room staff and waiters. Porters receive a small sum per item of luggage. If you decide to tip, you give between 5-10% in gastronomy. When the waiter returns the change, the guest leaves the tip. However, it is extremely impolite to leave small amounts such as two or five cent pieces behind. In the taxi, the fare is rounded up.

Spain Overview


Best travel time

Highland climate 680 a.s.l. Mediterranean and Atlantic climate on the coasts. The climate varies from temperate in the north to hot and dry in the south. In midsummer it can get very hot, especially inland, while in winter it can be quite cold, especially in the north and on the central plateau.

The north of Spain is best traveled in summer. For Madrid, Barcelona, the Balearic Islands and the Spanish Riviera, spring and autumn are recommended as the best travel time. The Canary Islands are a popular travel destination all year round.


Area code +34 Area (sqkm) 504782 Population 48146134 Population density (per sqkm) 95 Population in 2015 Member of the EU Yes main emergency number 112