Visitors from other European Union member countries may enter Spain using either a passport or their national identity document. Visitors from other countries must have a valid passport and a visa if required. Inquiries regarding visas can be directed to Spanish diplomatic representatives abroad.
Spanish is the main language spoken in Granada. Although tourist information, hotel services, menus in restaurants, etc. are nearly always available in English, it may sometimes be difficult to get along without speaking Spanish. However, even if they don’t speak English, most people will do their best to try to understand your problem and help you out.
General Safety Advice for Visitors
Granada is a safe city, with very little violent crime, so tourists and visitors can stroll around and sightsee at ease. However, as in any big city, some basic safety precautions should be observed. When walking around typical tourist spots, be especially vigilant of handbags and wallets.
Fortune-tellers may approach you with a rosemary branch and the promise of divining your fate for free, but they will insist on a reward afterwards – they are best ignored.
No international immunization is needed when entering Spain. However, be sure to familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations of all countries through which you may have to pass on your way to Spain.
Banks are open from 8:30h to 14:00h from Monday to Friday.
Credit Cards & Currency Exchange
All major international credit cards are accepted in Spain. Foreign currency and traveller’s checks can be exchanged in banks and foreign exchange offices. Cash-point machines accepting major international credit cards and charge cards are available at most banks. The Spanish currency is the Euro.
There is a variable value added tax (or IVA, in Spanish) of 10% to 21% applied to most items and services, but most prices you see will include it. When it is not included, it should be clearly indicated.
Normal trading hours are Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 13:30 and 16:30 to 20:00; however, shops in the city centre and shopping malls stay open all day from about 10:00 to 21:00.
There are no restrictions on visitors entering Spain with goods bought in another European Union member country, as long as they are for their own use and not for sale.
Public Transport and Car Rental
Granada’s public transport network consists exclusively of bus lines. Apart from single tickets (€1.20), special multiple-trip cards and one, two or three-day tickets can be purchased on the bus. Taxis are abundant and reasonably priced. Free parking is very limited in the city centre and car parks are expensive, so car rental is only really recommended for trips outside the city.
Taxis in Granada may be ordered by phone, picked up at authorized taxi stands, or flagged down in the street. Always check that the meter is running. Taxis must usually be paid in cash though some accept credit cards.
In restaurants, hotels, taxis, hairdressers and so on, gratuities are not included in the price. Although optional, tips are readily accepted and a general guideline is between 5% and 10% of the bill, depending on the quality of the service. Hotel and airport porters will take, depending on the luggage you have, €1 to €3.