Spain Travel Information

Photo Spain (Spanish España), parliamentary monarchy in southwestern Europe, occupying the greater part of the Iberian Peninsula, and bounded on the north by the Bay of Biscay, France, and Andorra; on the east by the Mediterranean Sea; on the south by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean; and on the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. The British dependency of Gibraltar is situated at the southern extremity of Spain. The Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa are governed as provinces of Spain. Also, Spain administers two small exclaves in Morocco—Ceuta and Melilla—as well as three island groups near Africa—Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera and the Alhucemas and Chafarinas islands. The area of Spain, including the African and insular territories, is 505,990 sq km (195,364 sq mi). Madrid is the capital and largest city.

The Spanish people are essentially a mixture of the indigenous peoples of the Iberian Peninsula with the successive peoples who conquered the peninsula and occupied it for extended periods. These added ethnologic elements include the Romans, a Mediterranean people, and the Suevi, Vandals, and Visigoths (see Goths), Teutonic peoples. Semitic elements are also present. Several ethnic groups in Spain have kept a separate identity, culturally and linguistically. These include the Catalans (16 percent of the population), who live principally in the northeast and on the eastern islands; the Galicians (7 percent), who live in northwestern Spain; the Basques, or Euskal-dun (2 percent), who live chiefly around the Bay of Biscay; and the nomadic Spanish Roma (Gypsies), also called Gitanos.

Important: Travel to Spain may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Spain visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Kingdom of Spain
Capital city: Madrid
Area: 505,370 sq km
Population: 47,042,984
Ethnic groups: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Languages: Castilian Spanish
Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Government: parliamentary monarchy
Chief of State: King JUAN CARLOS I
Head of Government: President of the Government
GDP: 1.406 trillion
GDP per captia: 30,500
Annual growth rate: 0.4%
Inflation: 3.1%
Agriculture: grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus
Major industries: textiles and apparel
Natural resources: coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land
Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Biscay, and Pyrenees Mountains
Trade Partners - exports: France 17.8%, Germany 10.6%, Portugal 8.3%, Italy 8.3%, UK 6.7%
Trade Partners - imports: Germany 13%, France 11.8%, Italy 6.7%, China 5.8%, Netherlands 5%, UK 4.5%