Information on Spain/Madrid

Comparison of temperatures



Spain is south-west of the Pyrenees on the Iberian Peninsula. Its neighbouring states are Portugal, Gibraltar, the Principality of Andorra and France.

Form of government:

Parliamentary constitutional monarchy. King Felipe VI has been the head of state since 19 June 2014. Pedro Sánchez has been the head of government since 2 June 2018.




Roman Catholic (more than 90%)


Spanish (Castellano) is the official language. The respective regional languages have official status in the autonomous regions of the Basque Country, Galicia, Catalonia and Valencia.


Madrid: highland climate; Castilian Plateau (680 metres above sea level): dry, cold winters, hot summers (up to 40 °C); coast: Mediterranean and Atlantic climate


Electricity in Spain is supplied at a voltage of 230 V and in the form of alternating current with a frequency of 50 Hertz. You need an adapter in your hotel.

Local time:

Spain is part of the Central European Time zone where GMT+1 applies, along with daylight saving time.

Making telephone calls:

To make phone calls to the UK, pre-dial 0044 (+44). To make phone calls from the UK to Spain, pre-dial 0034 (+34).

Entry requirements for British citizens:

British nationals do not need a visa to visit Spain. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. Nationals of other countries are advised to inquire at the Spanish Embassy about the entry requirements applicable to them. Spain is a contracting party to the European Agreement concerning the movement of persons between member states as agreed by the European Council on 13.12.1957. With the exception of provisional ID cards, travel documents must not have expired by more than one year. It must be noted, however, that departure from Spain by air is only possible with a valid ID document on account of the prevailing aviation security requirements. As a general rule, these entry requirements apply for all citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Traveling after 29 March 2019:

The UK government recommends that travellers going to the EU after 29 March 2019 have six months left on their passport, and is also advising that any extra months which have been added to a 10 year passport will not be valid. You can check your passport validity here:
For up-to-date informations on developments regarding BREXIT, please visit the ABTA page at regular intervals:

Tour guides:

Your expert tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information about the country, people, history, culture etc., and offer advice and assistance for organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information and a welcoming drink. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that Spain has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people. Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras on arrival.

Gourmet Package: The package includes comfortable half-board, i.e. 7× sumptuous dinner with Spanish and international specialties: only £159 per person.
Cultural Package: The package includes guided tour & entry to the El Escorial monastery residence, guided tour of the city of Salamanca including admission to the university and the new and old cathedral, city tour of Ávila including admission to the Gothic cathedral and a guided tour of the city of Toledo including admission to the Church of Santo Tomé: only £199 per person.


The euro has been the official currency in Spain since 2002. Exchange rate (as at February 2019): 1 GBP = 1.14 EUR; 1 EUR = 0.87 GBP.

Banks/Credit cards:

Purchases can be paid for in cash and using the most popular credit cards. This payment system is typical in Spanish shops; the symbols of credit cards accepted are usually displayed at the entrance to shops. ID cards are required when paying by credit card. Travellers’ cheques (in dollars or Euro) can also be cashed in banks. It is also possible to withdraw cash from ATMs using EC/Maestro cards but high fees may be charged by the respective bank.

Customs regulations:

Private persons travelling within the EU can purchase and export goods without limits on quantities if they are for personal use and not intended for resale. The customs regulations for the UK can be viewed on the British Customs Web site or queried by phone.

Safety instructions:

Crime: Vigilance should be exercised regarding pickpockets and petty crime in larger tourist centres in particular. We recommend leaving cash, identity documents, driving licences, air tickets and other important documents in the hotel safe, for example, and only carrying the cash (and EC or credit card) you need on a given day on your person. Travellers should try to steer clear of large groups of people and keep an eye on their valuables at tourist spots, airports (including in the security area), railway stations, the metro, buses etc.

Medical information:

Vaccinations: The standard vaccinations for children and adults should be examined and supplemented prior to travelling. The Foreign Office Medical Service also recommends vaccination against hepatitis A and B in cases of particular exposure (e.g. current outbreaks, basic travelling conditions, hygiene deficiencies, missions, inadequate medical care, particular professional/social contacts). Please consult a doctor specialising in tropical illnesses. Customers must ensure that they are in good physical and mental health in line with the trip in question. Customers must enquire about the physical mobility and psychological autonomy required for this trip.

Medical care:

In Spain, anyone with state insurance in the UK is entitled to medical treatment – where urgently necessary – by doctors, dentists, hospitals etc. registered with the foreign statutory health insurance association. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Replacement Certificate must be presented as proof (both documents can be obtained from your health insurance company). Nonetheless, you are urgently recommended to take out travel health insurance for the duration of your holiday which covers risks not assumed by the statutory health insurance companies (e.g. repatriation to the UK in the event of illness, treatment by private doctors or in private hospitals). Please note: In the event of a no-deal BREXIT, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid. You can also contact your health insurance company for information on current regulations. Customers should ensure that they are physically and psychologically fit for undertaking the selected trip and make the necessary queries concerning the level of physical and psychological fitness required. Please observe that the excursions are accessible by foot only and that the buses used for the roundtrip are not customised to transport wheelchairs or similar devices.

All information is subject to change/Last updated: February 2019

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