For this week's post, Laura, a fellow solo traveller from the UK, shares her tips on planning a trip to Spain
If you are planning on travelling to Spain, the picturesque views of its natural beauty combined with a warm welcoming ambience will leave you wanting to return to this country again and again.
As much of a paradisiacal beauty, this fascinating land of cultures is, in my view, you could never really get to call your visit to Spain complete if you don't plan your trip the right way. Here are my best ways to prep for your trip to Spain.
Do I Need a Visa?
Being from the UK, personally, I don't need a visa to visit Spain. And most people don't.
If you are from the UK as well and hold either:
- A full UK passport,
- A British Overseas Territories citizenship
- A British Protected Person passport, or
- A British Subject passport;
You can freely travel to Spain. However, British residents of some certain nationalities need to get a Spanish Schengen visa to enter Spain.
For the non-Brits, if you are from Europe, North America, Australia, or New Zealand, chances are, you too don't need a visa of any kind! However, it is a good idea to enquire with your local Spanish embassy to check the entry requirements.
Even if you need a visa, the process is pretty straightforward and customary. Don't let visa requirements get in the way of your vacation plans — Spain is a must-visit!
Make Sure Your Passport is Valid
Millions of people visit Spain every year. In 2019 alone, Spain was the second most visited country on the planet, registering an influx of nearly 84 million tourists! It marked the country's seventh successive year of record-breaking tourism figures.
Tourists from all around the globe visit Spain to explore its historic cities, soak up the sun, and revel in Spain’s diverse and rich gourmet cuisine. And since it has a visa-exempt entry for the citizens of many countries, the Spanish authorities need something to keep a record of its massive tourist admittance. Passport.
No matter where you are from, you need a valid passport to visit Spain. By valid, I mean a passport that is at least 6 months away from its expiration date.
While planning a trip, I often get more enthusiastic and fixated on exploring a new destination than worrying about entry requirements. And in that excitement, I sometimes forget to review whether my passport is still valid. After all, the British passport has a 10 years validity. Don't be like me. Instead, check if your passport has at least 180 days left on its validity, otherwise, you may not be granted access into Spain.
That said, displaying leniency towards fellow European Union member nations, passport holders from the EU only need their passport to be valid for the length of their stay in Spain to gain entrance into the country.
What To Do in Spain
In my travel experience, I have found it true that each nation has its own set of customs, cultures, food, ways of life, climate, and so on. Many countries have a similar culture while many others offer a vast mix of greatly differing traditions, history, and languages.
For the traveller, culture-enthusiast, and student of history in me, every corner of the planet holds something new and inspiring. I always check local activities when visiting a country.
If you are planning on visiting Spain, this sunny, colourful country has so much to offer. From eating paella and dancing to enjoying a few plates of tapas alongside a glass of wine (or two), or just discovering its marvellous architecture, Spain has a boundless magnetism for even the most worldly-wise traveller.
If you are visiting this magnificent country for the first time, here are my top three suggestions for the best local stuff to do when in Spain:
#1: See a flamenco show
For an absolutely rich and authentic cultural experience, seeing a flamenco show is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself while in Spain. This classical style of Spanish folk music has a beguiling essence to it, which oozes through its hand-clapping, dancing, and guitar playing. In cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, and Seville, you can catch a flamenco show almost every day!
#2: Experience La Tomatina
This food fight festival held every year in Bunol municipality of the Valencia province is one of the most appealing tourist attractions — in not just Spain but the entire planet! Do not miss out on this fruity fun if you are planning on visiting Spain.
#3: Go to Seville
Seville in southern Spain is one of the most fascinating, enchanting, and downright breathtaking places in Europe. It is well known for its delicious cuisine and Gothic, Mudejar, and Renaissance architecture. Make sure to visit the Alcázar castle complex, La Giralda, Seville Cathedral, and Plaza de España when you’re there.
The best journeys, I have found, are the ones that leave room for altering your itinerary as you go. If you are the sort of person who frequently pays excess baggage rates, I highly recommend packing light. You will be amazed at how much of an impact it makes on the quality of your trips.
Packing light may seem like a herculean task, but it makes multi-destination trips less of an inconvenience, saves you money on extra luggage on the plane, and you can promptly switch plans and go somewhere en route to your destination. Especially for a country like Spain where there are crowd-pulling tourist attractions just about everywhere.
Packing light helps you to see as much of the country as you can on your very own schedule. If you’re planning a trip to Spain, check out the Solo Travel in Spain guide. Happy planning!