The main language is Spanish (Castilian) but other languages are spoken according to the region; Catalan in Catalonia (17%), Basque in the Basque Country (2%) and Galician in Galicia (7%).
Around 71% of the population is Catholic, about 3% other faith and about a quarter is unreligious.
The national currency is the euro, which consists of 100 cents.
ATM machines are widespread and often offer a more attractive exchange rate than banks. However, most ATMs incur a charge of about 2%.
The best exchange rates for cash tend to be at banks and building societies, which can be found in nearly all towns and villages. Banking opening hours are from 8:30am to 2pm Monday to Friday, with some also open on Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm. It is worth asking whether you will need to pay commission before exchanging currency.
Cash and travellers cheques can also be exchanged at exchange offices, which are abundant in tourist areas. Opening hours are often longer than banks, but will cost you more in terms of exchange rate and commission.
Trains are the fastest way to move between cities. The AVE is the Spanish equivalent of the British National Rail. It links Seville and Cordoba to Madrid, but can also be very expensive! To travel from one smaller town to another, you would be better off to rent a car or take the bus and if you can, try and book your car before leaving.
Buses are very widespread and range from fast intercity links to local services connecting small villages. Buses are far less frequent on weekends. Regarding fares, we recommend you book in advance for particularly long trips such as Madrid-Seville. If you are under 26 it is worth asking about discounts.
You can hire cars through international agencies, as they have outlets in every airport and agencies in all the major cities, notably in the central train stations. When you get there, the national companies are well represented and travel agencies also rent out cars for more than a week (your English driving license is sufficient). It is worth remembering that most car rental companies require you to be over 21 and you will need third-party car insurance.
The N4 major road axis goes along the Guadalquivir Valley, via Cadiz, Seville and Cordoba. Seville's city centre of narrow streets can be visited on foot; otherwise, there are four bus lines which circulate around the city.
Spanish Embassy in the UK
39, Chesham Place
London SW1X 8SB
Tel: 020 7235 5555
British Embassy in Spain
Paseo de la Castellana 259D
Tel: (+34) 91 71 46 300
Seville Tourist Office
Avenida de la Constitución 21, Seville
Tel: (+34) 95 42 21 404
Cordoba Tourist Office
Torrijos 10, Palacio de Congresos, Cordoba.
Tel: (+34) 95 74 71 235
Granada Tourist Office
Corral del Carbón, Grenada.
Tel: (+34) 95 82 25 990