Plan your trip to Spain
Regional Population: 40,341,462
Time Zone: Madrid
Local Currency: EUR
Spain is a diverse country in Mediterranean Europe, sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands off the African coast. It shares land borders with Portugal, France, Andorra, the British colony of Gibraltar and Morocco. With an area of about 314,000 square miles, Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (behind France).
Spain is a country with an extremely rich cultural and historical background, due in large part to the fact that—at various points in its history—it was ruled by three separate cultural and religious groups: Muslims (Moors), Jews and Christians. Spain also boasts a beautiful and varied landscape, full of mountains, beaches and vineyards. Spain’s cities are world-famous, and include the thriving capital Madrid, the vibrant coastal city of Barcelona, Pamplona with its annual bull-running, and the city where flamenco flourishes, Sevilla (which also boasts the world’s largest gothic cathedral). Historic Granada, home to the Alhambra, and Córdoba, home to La Mezquita, are also popular travel destinations.
With wonderful food, wine (and sherry) and some of Europe’s most vibrant festivals—including Las Fallas in Valencia, Carnaval in Cadiz (the oldest city in Western Europe) and La Feria de Abril in Sevilla—there is never a dull moment in Spain.
Read how one family turned a stopover prior to a Mediterranean cruise into an adventure that featured a mime and a reluctant 6-year-old Charlie Chaplin.
Barcelona beckons fashionistas and shopping connoisseurs to its upscale boutiques, chic shoe shops and designer stationers.
Our local expert in Barcelona shares her favorites for Gaudí architecture, Catalan cuisine, chic fashion, hot hotels and cool modern art.
Tempt your travel-wary teen with Barcelona’s youthful vibe and culture, funky architecture, vegetarian restaurants and sailing tours.
Stay in one of these government-run luxury Spanish hotels, which can be modern resorts or converted monasteries, castles and fortresses.
Explore Madrid’s art world on your family vacation, from Spanish masterpieces by Goya and Dalí, to contemporary art and photography festivals.
The Spanish city Valencia builds hundreds of huge, whimsical statues each March for its Las Fallas festival—then torches all but one in a single night.
From tasty tapas to staples like pan con tomate and bacalao, Barcelona offers distinct, modern Mediterranean cuisine.
Walk for charity, pamper your American Girl, visit Vancouver and bring the whole crew for cheap to Ireland or Mexico.
Two Barcelona guidebooks as chic as the city itself. Learn about Catalan cuisine, history, art and architecture for your Barcelona travels.
Every parent knows they must plan a family vacation to this theme park mecca at some point. Our latest issue tells you how.