Etiquette

  • Greetings Spaniards almost always greet friends and strangers alike with a kiss on each cheek, although two males only do this if they’re close friends. It is customary to say ‘Hola, buenos días’ or ‘Hola, buenas tardes’ (in the afternoon or evening) when meeting someone or when entering a shop or bar, and ‘Hasta luego’ when leaving.
  • Eating and drinking Spanish waiters won’t expect you to thank them every time they bring you something, but they may expect you to keep your cutlery between courses in more casual bars and restaurants.
  • Visiting churches It is considered disrespectful to visit churches for the purposes of tourism during Mass and other worship services.
  • Escalators Always stand on the right to let people pass.

Getting Around

Spain’s network of train and bus services is one of the best in Europe and there aren’t many places that can’t be reached using one or the other. The tentacles of Spain’s high-speed train network are expanding rapidly, while domestic air services are plentiful over longer distances and on routes that are more complicated by land.

Air

Spain has an extensive network of internal flights. These are operated by both Spanish airlines and a handful of low-cost international airlines.

Bus

There are few places in Spain where buses don’t go. Numerous companies provide bus links, from local routes between villages to fast intercity connections. It is often cheaper to travel by bus than by train, particularly on long-haul runs, but also less comfortable. Bus travel within Spain is not overly costly, but there’s a vast range of prices.

Car & Motorcycle

Every vehicle should display a nationality plate of its country of registration and you must always carry proof of ownership of a private vehicle. Third-party motor insurance is required throughout Europe. A warning triangle and a reflective jacket (to be used in case of breakdown) are compulsory.