Business Travel in Spain

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Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Please visit
Diplomatic Representations
Visit the Spanish Ministry of External Affairs website
For visa requirements and health advices based on your personal details and itinerary, check IATA Travel Website.

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

It is recommended to use taxis (plenty, well signposted and affordable). It is necessary to have sufficient knowledge of the city beforehand to use the mass transport. The cities usually have a very good bus network.
Maps of Urban Networks
Madrid metro map
Barcelona metro map
Barcelona transport map
Valencia transport map

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Madrid - Barajas (MAD) 13 km / 8 miles EUR 17-23 / 20-30 min EUR 1.10 EUR 2 Available
Barcelona - El Prat (BCN) 13 km / 8 miles EUR 13-50 / 25-35 min EUR 2.80 / 30-40 min EUR 2.40 Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Apart from the high-speed lines, it is better to avoid rail transport since it is slow and often behind schedule. Domestic airline services are aplenty but crowded and flight departure delays are frequent. The bus transit network is dense, reliable and affordable.
Rail Companies
RENFE (Entire Spanish territory)
FEVE (North of the country and Murcia)
ADIF (entire Spanish territory)
FGC (Catalonia)
FGV (Valencia)
Euskotren (Basque Country)

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Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Iberia Major yes Yes
Air Europa Major yes Yes
Spanair low cost yes Yes
Vueling low cost yes Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

The road network is excellent. The major cities are served by turnpikes (AP - autopistas de peaje) or free expressways (A-autovías). The police is very strict about respecting speed limits. Fines are very high and foreigners must pay immediately in cash. Impounding for wrong parking is systematic. It is compulsory to have a fluorescent vest inside the car (and not in the trunk) and also two hazard warning triangles.
Road Maps
Road network map
Find an Itinerary
Guia Campsa
Via Michelin

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Different Forms of Tourism

There are many prehistoric sites ( the Altamira caves). The eight centuries of Muslim invasion have left traces (the Alhambra). A number of castles, palaces, and medieval cities ( Toledo).
Spain is a country with strong Catholic culture, but also Muslim and Jewish culture, since these 3 religions have coexisted ( Toledo).
Various sites registered in the world heritage sites of UNESCO.
Various museums to visit: all the museums listed on the Ministry of Culture website.
Folklore and traditions present during the fairs or the various festivals.
A number of theatre and dance festivals, concerts, bullfights, etc. especially during summer.
Many natural and national parks
Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela
Numerous churches, monasteries, convents, mosques and synagogues to visit.
A number of spas the tradition of which dates back to the Greek, Roman and Arab occupations.
With a vast Mediterranean coast without tides and sunshine, Spain is a paradise for "sunshine and beach" tourism. In the North, the Atlantic coast, often steeper, is especially suitable for water sports.
Winter Sports
Spain has around thirty winter sports resorts spread across the Pyrenees and the different mountain ranges of this mountainous country. The most popular is Baqueira-Beret in the Aran Valley (Catalonia), the southern most is near Grenada.
Outdoor Activities
Golf , big and small game hunting, river and sea fishing, sailing, scuba diving , horseback tourism, paragliding, hang-gliding, rafting.
Theme parks: Port Aventura, Terra Mitica, Isla Magica.
Many water parks.
All the big Spanish cities offer significant options: presence of outlets of all the major Spanish and international brands (especially Madrid and Barcelona). Large shops El Corte Ingles, business centers, etc. Various products and artistic souvenirs can be bought during the fairs or markets.

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
No mandatory vaccination required for international travel. There is no specific health risk.
International Hospitals
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Information pages of the World Health Organization
Information pages of the Ministry of Health
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
Interior Department (study on crime in Spain)
The Current Travel Warnings of the American State Department
Travel Advisory from the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry

Emergency Numbers

Fire Department 080
Guardia Civil (Regional police) 062
National Police 091
Civilian welfare (including medical emergencies) 112
Medical emergencies (in Catalonia) 061

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Madrid (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer)
Summer Time Period
Summer time from March to October.

Map of the Time Zone

Fuseau(x) horaire

Type of Climate
Spain has a varied climate depending on the regions. It is mostly oceanic climate in the north, mediterranean not to say dry climate in the south and a continental climate in the rest of the country. The seasons are more distinct in the heart of the country. Average temperatures in Madrid are 8°C in January and 27°C in June and in Barcelona 9°C in January and 20°C in June. The best time to visit Spain is from mid-May to mid-October.
For Further Information
Spanish meteorology agency

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
Traditional Spanish cuisine has a country base with distinct regional specialties.

Fried squids, gazpacho and tapas.

Caldereta: Lamb stew: Shepherd's dish. It is an adaptable dish allowing all types of local ingredients like wine, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, red and green peppers and garlic to be added. In the old recipes of Extremadure, the cooking juice is thickened with dried bread-crumbs, lamb liver and almonds, mixed up with a meat stock to make a sort of dough.

Paëlla: typical saffron rice-based Spanish dish accompanied with seafood and meat or poultry.

Churros: In Spain, the churros are part of the popular tradition. The dough is generally molded in a decorating tube with a star-shaped nozzle to make arm-length strips. Once they are fried, they are stacked and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon in cascade. They are eaten with hot and thick chocolate (Spain has obtained a waiver from the EU to be able to continue making chocolate containing a thickening agent).
The quality of the numerous Spanish wines is constantly improving.
The main labels of quality are: Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, Toro, Ribeiro, Rias Baixas, Albarino, etc. Catalogne prepares large quantities of a Champagne method sparkling wine labelled « cava ». The Andalusian cherrys are known for their variety: fino, oloroso, amontillado, manzanilla, Pedro Ximenez. There are special spirits: anisette, Pacharan and fruit liqueur. Asturias produce cider and Pays Basque du Txacoli (white wine).
Dietary Restrictions
 Rabbit, horse meat and snails are eaten only in some regions of Spain. It is rare to eat raw shellfish.

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Domestic Currency
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The easiest is to directly withdraw money from the ATMs. There are many of them easily accessible in the airports, downtown and in all areas. 
Possible Means of Payment
All credit cards are easily accepted in the hotels, restaurants (except the very small ones and the bars) and businesses, except American Express. Taxis which accept credit card payment are rare. It is not possible to pay by checks other than certified checks. The Spanish have the habit of paying by cash; it is common to see people with wads of bills. If you want to pay by credit card, you will be asked to show an identity card.

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Official Language
Castilian (Spanish)
Other Languages Spoken
Some regions use their regional language for conducting business (Euskera, Catalan, Galician, Valencian). Other minor regional languages can be used: Bable, Aragonese, Aranese, Extremaduran.
Business Language
English is rarely used but it is developing.
Getting Some Knowledge
Use the travlang website .
Free Translation Tools : Translation from Spanish to English, German, French or Italian as well as to Euskera, Catalan or Galician.
Eurodicautom : Translation into various European languages

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  • Business Travel in Spain

    Spaniards tend to be more formal in personal relations than U.S. citizens but less rigid than they were 10 years ago. It is a mistake to assume doing business in Spain is just like doing business in Mexico and Latin America; Italy or France would be a better comparison.

    U.S. Commercial Service Poland on 1 Mar 2010 related to Business Travel in Spain

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