Spain flag

According to Digopaul, Spain is a popular tourist destination in southern Europe, and is next door to Africa. Almost 60 years after the first charter trip, Spain is still the country where Swedes prefer to go on holiday.

Capital: Madrid
Biggest city: Madrid
State: monarchy within the EU
Language: Spanish
Religion: catholicism
Surface: 504 782 km²
Population: 46.6 million (2013)
Population density: 80 residents per km²
Life expectancy: 80 years
Illiteracy: 2%
Currency: euro (EUR)
1 euro = 9.76 kr
GDP per capita: $ 29,600 (2010)
Time difference: +0 hours
Electricity: 220 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: October 12
Country area code: 34
2-Letter country abbreviation: ES (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: service sector 68%, industry 21%, agriculture 11%
Climate: temperate; mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers; cooler and wetter in the northwest

Spain flag

It is one of Europe’s largest countries, and covers most of the Iberian Peninsula. Spain also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic, the city clovers Ceuta and Melilla on the north coast of Morocco, and a few smaller islands in its vicinity.

Spain has a varied landscape with vast plateaus, plains and coastal lands. The largest mountain ranges are the Pyrenees and the Sierra Nevada, which are also popular ski resorts. The Sierra Nevada is one of Europe’s sunniest ski resorts, and is only two hours from the Costa del Sol. It is one of the few places in the world where you can both ski and swim in the sea on the same day.

Spain has a rich artistic heritage, from Velázquez in the 17th century, Goya in the 18th and 19th centuries to Picasso, Dalí and Miró in the 20th century. Spanish flamenco, music and dance, are well known around the world, and Cervante’s novel Don Quixote is a milestone in modern European literature. Several Spanish filmmakers have received international awards, including Pedro Almodóvar, Alejandro Amenábar and Luis Buñuel.

Spanish cuisine is known for paella (rice, chicken, seafood and vegetables), tortilla (omelette with potatoes) and sangria (cold wine served with fruit).

Spain has 50 provinces, divided into 17 autonomous regions and two autonomous cities. In stark contrast to the formerly centralized Spain under Franco’s rule, the country has in recent years enforced a decentralization that has brought increased powers to the autonomous regions. Today, there are few places in Europe where the state has as little to say about it as in Spain.

The Basque Country has its own police force and pursues its own foreign policy alongside the national one. Catalonia also pursues its own foreign policy, and is now discussing the possibility of leaving Spain to become an independent state. The Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla enjoy special status within the EU. For example, Ceuta and Melilla are not part of the EU customs territory, and the Canary Islands are not part of the European VAT territory.

The autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla belong to the area of ​​Plazas de soberanía, also known as Spanish North Africa, and are geographically located in Africa. Plazas de soberanía consists of two cities as well as four smaller islands and archipelagos. The area is one of the few remaining European territories on or adjacent to mainland Africa. It belongs to Spain and is part of the Schengen area, but Morocco also claims these areas. There are fences up to six meters high around the cities that will prevent immigrants from African countries.

The James Bond films “From a Deadly Perspective”, “The World Is Not Enough”, “You Only Live Twice”, “Die Another Day” and “Quantum of Solace” are all largely shot in Spain. The same goes for the movies “Green Zone”, “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Patton”.

The Lasse Åberg film “Sällskapsresan” from 1980 was shot in Gran Canaria. Most of the scenes were filmed in the towns of Playa del Ingles and San Agustin.

ELECTRICAL OUTLET

Electricity and electrical outlets in Spain

Voltage: 230 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: C, F, J

Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.

CLIMATE AND WEATHER

Weather in Madrid

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 2 1 1 3 5 11 17 18 15 11 7 4
Day °C 10 12 16 17 22 29 33 33 29 21 15 11
Night °C 1 2 4 5 8 13 16 16 14 9 4 2
Rain (mm) 40 40 30 50 40 30 10 10 20 40 50 50
Rainy days 9 7 8 10 11 6 3 3 6 10 9 10
Soltim / day 2 2 3 7 10 12 13 10 7 4 2 1

Spain 2

Galicia

Galicia is an autonomous region in northwestern Spain. Galicia is divided into four provinces: La Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra. The capital is Santiago de Compostela.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago and autonomous region located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest coast of Africa. The archipelago consists of the seven larger islands: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, Fuerteventura and El Hierro, as well as six smaller islands.

The rivalry between Santa Cruz in Tenerife and Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, over which city would be the capital of the Canary Islands, divided the archipelago in 1927 into two provinces: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

The region’s parliament and administration now alternate between the two places, both of which are the capital. The islands have long been a duty-free area.

Cantabria

Cantabria is an autonomous region in northern Spain. The majority of the population lives along the coast of the Bay of Biscay, and there is also the capital Santander – an important port city and long popular tourist destination.

Castile and Leon

Castile and León is an autonomous region in Spain. It is Spain’s largest region, and is divided into nine provinces: Ávila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Zamora. The capital is Valladolid.

Castile-La Mancha

Castile-La Mancha is an autonomous region in central Spain. Castilla-La Mancha is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Spain, and consists of the four provinces of Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara and Toledo in New Castile, as well as the province of Albacete which has its historical origins in the Kingdom of Murcia.

It is in this region that the plot of the famous Spanish novel Don Quixote by Cervantes takes place. The region is a symbol of Spanish culture with sunflowers, windmills and El Quijote. Toledo is the capital of the region.

Catalonia

Catalonia is an autonomous region in northeastern Spain. It borders Andorra to the north, and is divided into four provinces: Barcelona, ​​Girona, Lleida and Tarragona.

The majority of the population is concentrated in the coastal areas. About 50 percent live in the capital Barcelona, ​​which is also Spain’s second largest city.

La Rioja

La Rioja is an autonomous region in central northern Spain. La Rioja is known for its wine production. Logroño is the capital of the region.

Madrid

According to Countryaah, Madrid is the capital of Spain and has about 3.1 million residents, with suburbs almost 6 million. It is thus the largest city on the Iberian Peninsula. Madrid is located on the left bank of the Manzanares, a small tributary of the Tajos tributary of the Jarama. In 1992, Madrid was the European Capital of Culture.

Madrid’s center is the Puerta del Sol, the liveliest site in the whole city and the site of many historical events. Here you will find, among other things, the statue of the bear and the arbutus tree, which are part of Madrid’s city coat of arms.

Madrid is one of the world’s most pub and club densely populated cities. The city reportedly has the most nightclubs per capita in Europe. The bars have for centuries played an important role in the lives of the people of Madrid. Writers, opposition figures, and journalists met here to discuss and debate. And the nightlife is still alive, probably stronger than ever.

Murcia

Murcia is an autonomous region and province in southeastern Spain. During the High Middle Ages, the area was an independent Muslim kingdom, and is Spain’s warmest and driest region with less than 400 mm of precipitation per year. The capital of the region is the city of Murcia.

Navarra

Navarre is an autonomous region and province in northern Spain. A significant part of the population is of Basque origin, and both Spanish and Basque are official languages ​​in the region. Pamplona is the capital.

Valencia

Valencia is a city in eastern Spain in the middle of the Gulf of Levant between the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Azahar. It is Spain’s third largest city with just over 800,000 residents. The city is also the capital of the Valencian-speaking autonomous region of Valencia and of the province of Valencia.

Valencia is known for oranges, the Valencia CF football team and the paella rice dish, which is also one of the Spanish national dishes. In Spain, Valencia is also known for its late nightlife and rich cultural offerings.

Alicante

Alicante is a city in Spain with 322,431 residents (2006). Alicante is located on the Costa Blanca, and is known for its miles of white beaches. Many Swedes have apartments in this city. A small suburb is Santa Pola, a small fishing village located on the beach a few miles south of Alicante. Between Alicante and Santa Pola, a new district, which belongs to Santa Pola, has grown up and is called Gran Alacant. There, Skanska has built two areas, Gran Vista and El Faro. Consequently, there are many Swedes in this suburb. The latter was completed in 2002 and is named after the lighthouse (Spanish: El Faro) which is located at the far end of a cliff.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a city located on the coast of Catalonia between the rivers Llobregat and the estuaries of Beso, kilometers south of the French border. Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia but also of the province of Barcelona and the county of Barcelonès. The population at the beginning of 2007 was 1,595,110, including the nearest suburbs, the population is about 3 million, with satellite cities about 4.5 million.

Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city after Madrid and the most industrialized. Barcelona is also one of the most densely populated cities in the western world. Catalan, along with Spanish, is the official language. The cityscape is characterized by narrow and dark streets lined with buildings erected during the 18th and 19th centuries, straight through Ciutat Vella stretch the two streets La Rambla and Via Laietana. Parc Güell is a park designed by the famous Antoni Gaudí. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It became a public park in 1922.

From the end of the 1880s until the beginning of the 1910s, a number of buildings were erected in the Catalan variant of art nouveau, named Modernism. The architect who became best known for his buildings was Antoni Gaudí, almost all of his larger buildings are now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Museu Picasso, housed in a 16th-century townhouse, displays works from the early years of Pablo Picasso.

According to Euromonitor International, in 2006 Barcelona was Europe’s fourth most visited city in terms of international tourists with 4.7 million foreign visitors. The total number of tourists amounted to 6.7 million according to the Barcelona Tourist Board, which was a doubling of the number of tourists compared to just five years earlier.

During the 2000s, weekend tourism has increased significantly after Barcelona attracted the attention of several magazines, including National Geographic, which included the city in its list of the world’s ten top destinations.

Bilbao

Bilbao is a Spanish port and industrial city in the Basque Country, about 12 km inside the mouth of the River Nervion in the Bay of Biscay. With suburbs, Bilbao has about one million residents. Bilbao is one of Spain’s most important industrial cities with iron and steel industry. The port is Spain’s second largest. In 1997, the Guggenheim Museum was inaugurated in Bilbao, a new art museum where the building itself has a very interesting architecture signed Frank Gehry.

Bilbao was one of the government’s most important strongholds at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War but was taken over by Franco in June 1937.

Ceuta

Ceuta is a Spanish autonomous city on the Mediterranean coast of northern Africa, and forms an exclave in northern Morocco opposite Gibraltar. It has an area of ​​28 square kilometers and 75,276 residents (2005).

The business community in the exclave consists of the fishing industry, breweries, workshops and more. Nowadays, Ceuta is a destination for many one-day tourists who come by boat from, among others, Algeciras in Spain. The city has a parliament, La Asamblea, with 25 seats and a term of four years. In the city, Spanish and tamazight are spoken. The residents are Catholics or Sunni Muslims.

From the beginning, Ceuta was a Phoenician colony to eventually belong to the Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Visigoths, Arabs, Portuguese and finally the Spaniards since July 18, 1580. The city was not part of the Spanish Morocco Protectorate.

The border between Ceuta and Morocco, like Melilla’s border, is protected by a fence. The fence is built by Spain to stop illegal immigration and smuggling. The cost of building the fence was EUR 30 million and it was financed by the European Union. It consists of two parallel fences, with a road in between, each three meters high with barbed wire at the top. The fence is also equipped with headlights, camcorders and motion sensors. Morocco has protested against the construction of the fence as they do not recognize Ceuta as a Spanish province.

Cordoba

Córdoba is a city in the region of Andalusia in southern Spain. It is located about 130 kilometers north of the tourist area Costa del Sol. The city, located on the river Guadalquivir, has 323,600 residents (2007).

Córdoba is an industrial city with food, metal and chemical industries. The city is also known for its fine (and sometimes expensive) handicrafts with roots in the Moorish period – including filigree works in silver and special ceramics. During the Moorish rule, a large mosque was built in the city, which was later converted into a cathedral. Now it goes by the name Mezquita and is a common destination.

The city was conquered by 716 Muslims and was from 929 to 1031 the center of the Caliphate of Córdoba. It was conquered in 1236 by the Christian Castile.

Granada

Granada is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name. The city is located in Andalusia in southern Spain, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and has about 240,000 residents, of which about 60,000 are students. The University of Granada, founded in 1531 by the German-Roman emperor Charles V, is one of the most prestigious in Spain.

Already in the 600s BC. Phoenician, Carthaginian and Greek settlers lived in the area. During the 400s BC. Iberians lived in the city of Ilturir, in the place where Granada is today. The Romans occupied the area in 193 BC. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. the area was under the Visigoths based in Toledo and in 711 the area was invaded by the Moors, who gave the city the name Elvira.
Granada was the last Arab outpost in Spain. In 1492, they were defeated by King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I, who expelled them from the city.

During the 13th and 14th centuries, the castle and castle area of ​​the Alhambra was built, complete with gardens and palaces. It is today considered one of the world’s foremost architectural works and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List along with the Arab “old town” in Granada, Albaicín.

Ibiza

Ibiza is the capital of the Mediterranean island of Ibiza belonging to the Pityus (a subgroup of the Balearic Islands which also includes Mallorca). The entire island has 110,000 residents, but the city has 42,884 (2005). The city of Ibiza is of ancient origin, and its main income comes from tourism, as the island of Ibiza is usually considered a “party island”.

The island is hilly with rocky coasts except in the southern part. Olives and southern fruits are mostly grown, partly with irrigation. Ibiza has a long historical history. Among other things, the island has historically come to be influenced by the Phoenician cultural tradition. During the Middle Ages, the island was part of the Kingdom of Mallorca. The island was dominated by Muslims for a period, but was recaptured by the Spaniards in the 14th century.

Las Palmas

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a Spanish city and capital of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands of the Atlantic. It is also the capital of the province of Las Palmas and, together with Santa Cruz in Tenerife, the shared capital of the Canary Islands Autonomous Region. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has 378,628 residents (2004), making it the largest city in the Canary Islands. At the same time, the municipality had 616,903 residents.

Santa Ana Cathedral is considered to be the most historic building in the Canary Islands. It began to be built in 1497 and opened in 1570. Many architects participated in the project, which gave the building many different architectural styles. It has, among other things, a neoclassical facade and altar parts in baroque. The cathedral has 13 chapels.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus stayed in the city when he heard his first voyage to America. He also stopped in Las Palmas on the return trip. Today, there is a museum built after him, Casa de Colon located in Vegueta, the historic district of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Casa de Colon consists of several buildings in the city center. The portal in the Plaza del Pilar Nuevo was created by Néstor Álamo in Renaissance style and the ground below in Gothic style.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a cosmopolitan city with a lively nightlife. There are also bars, nightclubs and discos in the historic districts.

The big city festival Fiestas de San Juan where the founding of the city is celebrated takes place in June every year. The Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is one of the most famous events in the city. Every year a film festival is also organized in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Las Palmas was one of the Swedes’ first charter destinations and the first charter plane that landed at Las Palmas airport was Swedish.

Madrid

Madrid is the capital of Spain and has about 3.1 million residents, with suburbs almost 6 million. It is thus the largest city on the Iberian Peninsula. Madrid is located on the left bank of the Manzanares, a small tributary of the Tajos tributary of the Jarama. In 1992, Madrid was the European Capital of Culture.

Madrid’s center is the Puerta del Sol, the liveliest site in the whole city and the site of many historical events. Here you will find, among other things, the statue of the bear and the arbutus tree, which are part of Madrid’s city coat of arms.

Madrid is one of the world’s most pub and club densely populated cities. The city reportedly has the most nightclubs per capita in Europe. The bars have for centuries played an important role in the lives of the people of Madrid. Writers, opposition figures, and journalists met here to discuss and debate. And the nightlife is still alive, probably stronger than ever.

Málaga

Málaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol (Spanish sun coast) and of the province of Málaga. It is the fifth largest city in Spain with almost 600,000 residents. The city is located practically in the middle of the Costa del Sol. Málaga is not a tourist resort in the sense that it has many hotel places to offer, but it is the only major city on the coast and has a rich business life, for example, the department store chain El Corte Inglés is there.

Many countries have missions in Málaga; here is, among other things, the Swedish consulate. The city has two rivers: Guadalmedina divides the city center into two parts, and in the western districts the province’s largest river Guadalhorce empties.

The modern parts of the city are on the right-hand side of the Guadalmedina River, while Málaga’s historic center and old town are on the left-hand side. In addition to the port and the shipbuilding area, Málaga receives its supply from the iron, steel and metal industries. Málaga also has a food industry. Wineries are located around the city and produce high quality wine.

Pablo Picasso was born here before moving to Barcelona at a young age, and then to France. The large Picasso Museum, which opened in 2003, is today one of Spain’s biggest tourist attractions.

Palma

Palma is a town and municipality on the Bay of Palma on the southwest coast of Mallorca. The city is the capital of the Balearic region, and has about 300,000 residents, the municipality almost 400,000 residents, and the entire metropolitan area about half a million residents.

One of the biggest tourist destinations in Palma is the 14th century La Seu Cathedral, a magnificent building that dominates the entire port and stands as a symbol of the power and wealth of Mallorca’s Christian conquerors. It is said that James I gave the order to build the cathedral in 1230, but in reality only an existing mosque was rebuilt.

The park next to the cathedral is called Parc de la Mar and is an oasis to stroll around in. It houses both a landscaped lake and a couple of cafes. The best part of Palma’s old city wall is along the Parc de la Mar. Palma’s largest industry is tourism.

Pamplona

Pamplona is the capital of the Spanish region of Navarre, and formerly also of the Kingdom of Navarre. The city has become famous for its San Fermín festival, where the bull run has become the biggest attraction. Pamplona is located in the middle of a valley, the Pamplona Valley. The city originated already under the Romans, when the area served as a winter camp. There are two universities in the city. The largest is the University of Navarra, which is privately owned. The other is the Universidad Pública de Navarra.

Salamanca

Salamanca is a city in the western part of Spain. The city is located in the province of Castile and Leon and the distance to the capital Madrid (and thus the nearest major airport Barajas) is about 21 miles. The city itself has 163,000 residents, while the region has a population of 357,000. Salamanca is a genuine university city where about 20 percent of all residents are students.

Despite its limited size, Salamanca has a lot to offer, which more than a million tourists discover every year. A given meeting place in the city is La Plaza Mayor, the large square in the middle of the city which was built in the 18th century. But perhaps the most famous for the city are still the University of Salamanca and the two cathedrals, which were built in the 15th and 16th centuries.

For its rich cultural heritage, the city has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. At the university’s richly decorated main entrance there is a frog sitting on a skull decorated, it is said to bring good luck to find it in the crowd of all other small figures.

San Sebastián

San Sebastián is the provincial capital of the Gipuzkoa region and one of the Basque Country’s main tourist destinations. The city, like most coastal towns, is characterized by fishing and with picturesque harbor quarters, but where the fishing huts used to be, today there are exclusive seafood restaurants. The city’s central parts and promenades run in Victorian architecture – the city was around the turn of the last century a major tourist city for the Spanish royal family and nobility.

Every year a big festival is held in the city, semana grande, with bullfighting, festival trains and activities such as concerts, amusement park and rowing competitions. The city is also known for its international film festival every autumn.

One reason why San Sebastian is one of the Basque Country’s major tourist destinations is the two large sandy beaches that stretch on either side of the city center. La Concha (the snail) is the largest of the beaches and is considered one of the finest in the world. The other beach, Zurriola, located outside the Gros district is the more youthful beach. It is known for its big waves and good surfing opportunities. The city’s youth culture is very much characterized by surfing.

Seville

Seville is Spain’s fourth largest city with 699,145 residents in the city itself and 1,450,214 residents in the metropolitan region (2007). It is the largest city in Andalusia and the traditional capital of this province. Well-known buildings are i.a. the cathedral and the Alcázar.

In 1992, the world exhibition was held there. The pavilion Sweden had built then is now in Grythyttan in Bergslagen. In terms of climate, Seville is Spain’s warmest city with an annual average temperature of 18.6 degrees. The opera Don Giovanni takes place in Seville as well as Carmen. Seville was home to the author Fernando de Herrera, among others.

Valencia

Valencia is a city in eastern Spain in the middle of the Gulf of Levant between the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Azahar. It is Spain’s third largest city with just over 800,000 residents. The city is also the capital of the Valencian-speaking autonomous region of Valencia and of the province of Valencia.

Valencia is known for oranges, the Valencia CF football team and the paella rice dish, which is also one of the Spanish national dishes. In Spain, Valencia is also known for its late nightlife and rich cultural offerings.

Zaragoza

Zaragoza is a city in northeastern Spain. Zaragoza is the capital of the province of the same name and of the Autonomous Community of Aragon. The city has about 600,000 residents and is considered Spain’s fifth largest city.

Zaragoza is located about 300 kilometers north of Madrid, 300 kilometers west of Barcelona and 350 kilometers from Valencia. The name Zaragoza comes from the Latin name Caesarea Augusta (meaning “Emperor Augustus”). The World Expo 2008 was held in Zaragoza in 2008.