Things To Know About Spain

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Spain, officially known as Kingdom of Spain is – and has been for thousands of years – one of the cultural centers of Europe. Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. Its mainland is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. Along with France and Morocco, it is one of only three countries to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.  If you are about to visit Spain, it will not be enough with a couple of days. Spain has many beautiful cities, towns and villages offering really old monuments, as well as futuristic architecture. Its various regions are geographically, climatically and even in personality different to each other. Spaniards tend to say that Spain is different. But they don’t specify compared to what: rest of Europe, rest of the world, or even to itself? We don’t know it either, but most likely you just have to explore it yourself to answer this question.

Top places to visit in Spain by car

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Granada

Another place for history lovers. Granada is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Andalusia and has many important examples of medieval architecture. Things to know about Granada? Granada is known for the Alhambra – a grand hilltop fortress complex surrounding royal palaces, serene patios, reflecting pools from the Nasrid dynasty, and fountains and orchards.

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Seville

Want to experience a little taste of history? This city is the right place to go. Seville is the capital of southern Spain Andalusia region. The city is known for its Alcazar castle complex. The massive Gothic cathedral is also the burial site of Christopher Columbus.

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Valencia

Spain’s third-largest city is a magnificent place – a wonderfully liveable city with thriving cultural, eating and nightlife scenes. Surrounded by the fertile farmland La Huerta, Valencia is famous as the home of rice dishes like paella but its dining scene offers plenty more besides. If you don’t prefer metropolis, however, you like the urban environment – go to Valencia!

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Madrid

No city on earth (or at least in Europe) is more alive than Madrid – its energy carries a simple message: this city really knows how to live. Besides the endless party you can visit Plaza Mayor, Almudena Cathedral, Museo Thyssen and many other spectacular places – and all of this in one city!

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Barcelona

Captivating seaside city with boundless culture, fabled architecture, and a world-class drinking and dining scene. The night holds limitless possibilities and a 24/7 party in Barcelona. A must-visit city! If your budget allows, enjoy your trip by renting a luxury car in Barcelona and after that go wherever you like.

Driving in Spain - rules on the road

Speed radars

The Civil Guard (Spain’s equivalent to traffic police) are using speed cameras more and more, because people in Spain drive very fast. They have multiplied the number of speed radars on many Spanish roads. There are usually signs in the area by the roadside to warn you about the cameras (either a blue or a white sign with a radar picture on it and the sign warns you about your speed). Be extra careful on motorways, where mobile speed radars are placed in unidentified cars which are used to catch drivers breaking the speed limit. Remember that speeding with rental car in Spain will cost you even more.

Road quality

Although road maintenance has improved over recent years, the quality of road surfaces is still very variable, so you should be prepared to deal with uneven surfaces, narrow lanes and frequent diversions or hold-ups due to roadworks. Be careful with rental cars.

Minimum driving age

You must be at least 18 years old to drive a car or a motorcycle with an engine capacity over 125cc. The minimum age for driving a motorcycle up to 50cc is 15 years and for a motorcycle up to 125cc 16 years and A1 license is needed. Don’t forget that there are many cheap car hire services in Spain where you can rent all above-mentioned vehicles.

Fuel price

Super 95: 1,31 EUR
Premium 98: 1,43 EUR
Diesel: 1,18 EUR

Side of the road

Right-hand side of the road. Keep to the right (slow) lane on multi-lane highways and remember that cars coming from your right have the right of way.

Seat belt fines

Unless you are Spaniard or Spanish resident driving a Spanish-registered vehicle with a Spanish driving licence, on-the-spot fine of not wearing a seat belt can be up to €300.

General information about Spain

Weather

The weather of Spain is the most diverse in Europe due to its position, coasts, mountains and large land mass. The best time to travel around Spain is the shoulder season (Apr-Jun and Sep-Oct). Average temperature in shoulder season in Barcelona is 18°C. If you prefer hot weather, July and August will be perfect for you – average temperature in Barcelona is 25 °C. Just rent a car (preferably a cabrio) and enjoy the heat. In low season average temperature is 10 °C.

Population

By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. In 2008 the population of Spain officially reached 46 million people. Population density in Spain is lower than in most Western European countries and its distribution across the country is very unequal. The most populated areas (except Madrid) lie around the coast. Native Spaniards make up 88% of the total population of Spain and immigrants make up 12% of the population. Immigrants originate: Latin America (39%), North Africa (16%), Eastern Europe (15%), Sub-Saharan Africa (4%).

Speaking language

Official and main language is Spanish (Latin American Spanish). Main foreign languages are English (27%), French (12%), German (2%).

Cost of living

Obviously, the cost of living in Spain will depend on your own lifestyle and where you choose to settle. If your annual income is 17 000 to 24 000 EUR, you can live a pretty comfortable lifestyle, housing costs aside.

Tourism

The climate, geographic location, popular coastlines, diverse landscapes, historical legacy, vibrant culture and excellent infrastructure of Spain has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In Spain you can always find good deals on accommodation, cheap car hire and meals. Before car rental in Spain keep in mind that most of the cars have manual transmission. Carrentalia offers both manual and automatic transmission cars. As well we offer both cheap and luxury car rental in Spain. If you are planning a budget trip, Carrentalia offers a wide range of vehicles for a cheap car rental in Spain. Choose one of our high-quality cars that meets your needs and budget best. If you want to sit down in your hired car straight from the plane, just use our car hire service in Barcelona airport.

Want more interesting things to know about Spain? Visit our other blogs about Spain!

Have a great road trip!

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