When you are off to sunny Spain, you’re in for a treat. This country in the south of Europe boasts a long and interesting history, great weather and stunning landscapes. Add to that the long history of tourism in the country, and you can imagine that all the amenities a tourist would want are present in Spain. Even though it might get busy on the coasts during the summer, Spain will not disappoint its visitors.
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The rail network in Spain is extensive and quite good. Especially the long-distance network is impressive. The network is continuously expanding with new lines being added every year. The relatively new line from Barcelona to Madrid is one of the busiest in Europe and effectively replaced the air shuttle service between the cities. The AVE-service will get you from the capital to the coast in 2.5 hours.
The commuter network is extensive as well. This helps the modern tourist, as it will get you from a lot of the tourist attractions that are further afield. It will also provide an opportunity to visit nearby cities that might be a bit more off the beaten path. This is something I would especially recommend in Spain because Spain among the Spaniards differs from when you are in the more touristy areas on the coast.
Spain has several large airports around the country. It pays to make sure you pick the right flight when flying into Spain. Especially flights originating in Europe are worth doing some research on. For example: Barcelona has 3 airports nearby. Barcelona El Prat, Girona and Reus. However, the last two are quite some distance away from the city even though companies like Ryanair are advertising these airports as ‘Barcelona’.
Intercontinental flights will most likely have either one of two destinations: Madrid or Barcelona El Prat. You can book a connecting flight to your eventual destination if you wish or take a high speed train there if that turns out cheaper or more convenient.
Spain has an extensive network of roads, and you can get anywhere on them. Since I’m not a driver, I will link you to the official Spanish tourism website to give you more information about driving in Spain.
As for public transport: Spain has an excellent network of public transport inside larger cities. Even in the more sparsely populated areas, there usually is a bus line to a hub.
Within cities like Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid you pretty much can rely on the public transport network to get you anywhere fast, cheap and safe. And if you are on a city trip, I would not recommend hiring a car just for driving within the city limits.