Spain is a country full of contrasts. Large capital cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Seville or Granada interspersed with huge tracts of virtually unpopulated land. Snow in the winter and hot, glittering sun in the summer.

Ancient sites of beauty and culture such as the Alhambra, and the extraordinary design of the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Hectic nightlife in the cities contrasting with quiet little villages of whitewashed houses, donkey tracks and colourful geraniums.

There are activities to suit most travel plans in Spain. You can surf or swim at one of the wonderful sandy beaches.

Visit ancient cities full of intriguing history, especially the many beautiful cathedrals and museums. Enjoy tapas and wine late into the night or people-watch with churros and hot chocolate at one of the many cafes.

Whether your plans include watching the traditional flamboyant flamingo, or taking in a post-modern art gallery, Spain’s wonderful culture will keep you entertained and stimulated. Visit Madrid for museums full of famous Spanish artists such as Picasso, Dalí, Goya and Gaudí.

Start your sightseeing in any city at the main cathedral, enjoying the beautiful stonework and frescos. Or take part in a festival in one of the tiny villages. If you prefer a slower pace, try a walking holiday around the historical sites of the ancient Moors, or though national parks filled with wildlife.

5 useful phrases Spain

Hello Hola
Please Por favor
Thank you Gracias
Excuse me Perdóneme
Goodbye Adiós

For more useful words and phrases in Spanish, visit the Insight Guides website.

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Risks of travelling to Spain

Spain is one of the safer destinations in Europe, but as with any travel destination, still has its fair share of risks.

Crime and unrest

Bag snatchers are common in the major cities, so make sure you have your bag firmly around your shoulder, or even better, keep your passport and credit cards in a zipped inner pocket. It’s also wise to keep a copy of your travel documents somewhere safe.

Watch for thieves and pick-pockets using distraction techniques such as loud fighting in crowded areas or asking you to answer a survey. Also beware of people dressed as policemen asking to see your wallet. Always ask to see their ID if approached by someone claiming to be from the police force, as impersonators do exist.

Terrorism is an ongoing threat for all of Europe, and transport hubs and major events are sometimes targeted.


Some beaches have strong currents or rips – make sure you visit patrolled beaches and swim between the flags, just like at home. Big waves with strong undertows can break unexpectedly so take care if you are walking alone on a beach.

Watch out for bushfires if you are traveling in the country in summer, and take the same precautions that you would take at home – obey fire warnings, extinguish cigarettes or matches before throwing them away, and don’t light campfires in uncleared spots.

Getting around

If you are driving in Spain and your car breaks down, you must wear a reflective jacket and place warning reflective triangles at each end of the vehicle. Failure to do so will probably result in a hefty fine.

Beware of people approaching you claiming that you have damaged their vehicle, and of offers of help from strangers in that situation.

The cost of skipping travel insurance

In 2014, Worldcare helped 18 Australians who travelled to Spain, ran into trouble and made a claim on their travel insurance policy.
Most of our total claims cost for Spain that year was for luggage and personal effects (70%). Other common claims were for medical and hospital expenses (20%) and pick-pocketing (4%).
If your luggage or personal effects are lost, stolen or delayed in Spain, it could cost you an average of AUD $540 without travel insurance.
If you are injured or get sick while travelling in Spain, you can expect to be out of pocket an average of AUD $431 without insurance. Being pick-pocketed could cost you AUD $150 on average.
So it’s worth considering travel insurance, which is not expensive and may save you considerable cost and trouble. 

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Worldcare has a range of travel insurance options and inclusions to suit any Spanish holiday budget – even if yours is limited.

Before you travel to Spain

As soon as adverse events such as bad weather, natural disasters and others that may affect your trip hit mass media, you are not covered unless you already have travel insurance, as it’s no longer ‘unforeseen’.

It’s wise to buy your insurance in advance of travelling, as you never know when disaster can strike and cause you to cancel or delay your trip. If you have your policy arranged well in advance of travelling, you are protected. So take it out before you leave and you should be eligible to claim.

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Worldcare Travel Insurance: Worldcare and Allianz Global Assistance are trading names of AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFSL 245631 which issues and manages travel insurance as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. We do not provide any advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial status or needs. Before making a decision please consider the Product Disclosure Statement. If you purchase a policy we receive a commission which is a percentage of your premium - ask us for more details before we provide you with any services on this product.

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