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Travel Spain FAQ

The Travel Spain mailing list is a free, non-commercial, spam-free source of information for people interested in discussing any aspect of travel in Spain. Many subscribers have extensive experience of travel in Spain and some actually live here. Information can be found for all budgets on hotels, restaurants and sights.

Since the list is an opt-in, closed group, external spammers can not send to the list. Ask the many list members for their own opinion regarding the best hotel, places to see and how to prepare your trip; or simply share your experience in Spain with others.

Decide for yourself - check out a summary of the previous posts at:
http://www.gomadrid.com/travelspain/
... or continue reading this FAQ for more information.

About the TravelSpain Mailing List

1) What is a mailing list ? A mailing list is a closed group of people who receive information by e-mail on a particular topic - in this case, travel in Spain. Once subscribed, you send your questions to the list by e-mail at travelspain@googlegroups.com. Everybody on the list receives your message and has the opportunity to answer. You will receive all the messages everyone else sends to the list, whether they interest you or not. All messages will be received at the e-mail address you used to subscribe.

2) Sounds great - how do I subscribe ? Easy - just send a blank e-mail (no text needed) to : travelspain-subscribe@googlegroups.com or use the subscribe box below

Google Groups
Subscribe to Travel Spain
Email:

3) Hang on a minute - can I un-subscribe whenever I want ? Of course! Again, it's easy - just send a blank e-mail (no subject or body text needed) to : travelspain-unsubscribe@googlegroups.com And don't worry, every message carries an automatic footer reminding you how to unsubscribe.

4) How many messages does the list receive ? It varies, sometimes several per day, sometimes none. You can see how many messages have been sent in the past months on the Travel Spain homepage. Or check out a summary of the last 100 posts.

5) That's too many for me, but I'm still interested - what can I do ? Google Groups allows you to select one of three options for viewing messages. You can receive all messages via email, only a daily summary or select to view messages on the travelspain web-page at googlegroups. You can select these options after registering at Google Groups here :- http://groups.google.com/

Apart from that, every message to the list contains the text [travelspain] as part of the message subject. Since most e-mail programs allow you to specify rules depending on the subject text, you could program a rule to send all travelspain messages to a separate folder. This way, you won't clutter your Inbox. Alternatively, you could subscribe with a different e-mail account than your normal one, to be used only to receive the list messages.

6) I'm still not sure - How can I see previous messages to the list to help me decide ? Again, you can read a summary of the last 100 posts to the list here, or check the homepage at http://groups.google.com/group/travelspain, where all previous posts can be viewed.

7) Who owns and runs the list ? The list was started by Go Madrid in February 2000, and the Go Madrid webmaster has a few administrative responsibilities, but the list basically runs and moderates itself. The list is a free service run by Google Groups. Go Madrid receives absolutely no payment for the use of this list.

8) I've heard about a Travelspain mailing list on YahooGroups - what's that? That was the previous version of the Travelspain mailing list. The moderators decided to switch the list to Google Groups, due to better message searching facilities and other functionality. The list was was switched to Google Groups on 21st December 2004.

Travel Questions

1) How can I find out how to get from A to B ? Trains - check RENFE's site here. Online booking in English here. Cars - check Spain's official traffic site here Itineraries - check http://www.mappy.com You may also like to check out this Transport information compiled by one of the list subscribers.

2) Can I book train tickets in advance ? Yes. Available in English here. You can also book over the phone by calling RENFE on (+34) 902-24 02 02 or buy  tickets at one of the main train stations (e.g. Atocha in Madrid). If you reserve your ticket by phone, RENFE gives you a reservation number and you have 48 hours to to collect the ticket at any of the major train stations. After 48 hours, the reservation is automatically cancelled.

3) I want to rent a car, but I'm worried about insurance Almost all car rental companies offer insurance as part of the rental, but may charge extra. Check with that particular company when you go to rent. Many credit card companies also offer car insurance if you use their card to pay for the rental. However, please check carefully with your credit card company, since you could be covered only for collision insurance and may have to take out additional liability insurance before renting a car in Spain.

Questions about specific places

1) Granada - can I book tickets for the Alhambra in advance ? Yes. You book to enter the Palacio Nazaríes part of the Alhambra, since other areas - El Alcázar and the Generalife gardens - are included in the entrance fee and do not suffer entrance restrictions.

You can book in several ways :-

  • via Internet, at http://www.alhambratickets.com
  • in person at the Alhambra ticket office, situated at the east end of the complex.
  • by phone, calling Alhambra administration on (+34) 958-220-912
  • in person at any BBVA (a Spanish bank) office, including those in Paris, London, Milan and New York.
  • by phone, calling the BBVA ticketline on (+34) 91 346 59 36 from outside Spain and on  902-22-44-60 once you're in Spain. If you book using the BBVA, they will give you a reservation number which you use to pick up your tickets at any branch throughout Spain.

2) Madrid - can I book tickets for the museums in advance ? In a way, yes. Madrid's Avenue of Art consists of the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen museums. you can buy an "Abono Paseo del Arte", a special voucher allowing you to visit all of these 3 first class art museums once at any time during the year. You may also purchase a "Tarjeta anual múltiple" f - this allows you to visit these 3 museums as many times as you want during 1 year. Purchase these vouchers at any of Madrid's major museum ticket offices.

3) Any city - do you have any hotel/restaurant recommendations ? The best thing to do here is send a detailed question directly to the list. We have received many recommendations in the past, much too numerous to include here. You could also search past archives at http://groups.google.com/group/travelspain/. For hotels, you might like to check out one of the list members Spain accommodation recommendations from his travels in Summer 2006.

General Questions about Spain

1) Are travellers' cheques accepted ? What about credit cards ? Generally speaking travellers cheques will not be accepted in Spain. While it will be possible to change traveller's cheques in banks and possibly some of the larger hotels, the best idea is to bring your credit cards, an ATM card or exchange money before you leave for Spain. Credit cards are universally accepted in hotels, restaurants, gas/petrol stations, etc. A bank debit card will normally give you better exchange rates than a credit card, but please check with your bank first. Cash and small change will be needed for bars and daily necessities.

2) So are ATM's generally available in Spain ? Absolutely - there are hundreds of them throughout the country. At airports, major shopping centres and outside bank offices. Major ATM card companies include VISA, AMEX, Mastercard, Cirrus, 4B, Maestro, Plus, etc. Spanish ATM cards use a 4-digit PIN code but it has been reported that 6-digit PIN codes used in other countries will also work - please check with your bank.

3) I don't know any Spanish - will I be able get by with just speaking English ? To a large extent, yes. English is spoken in the larger hotels, restaurants and stores. You will need to practice a bit of Spanish in smaller bars, shops and cafeterias. Most Spaniards will make the effort to understand if you at least make the effort to try to say the odd word in their language. Castillian Spanish is spoken throughout Spain, even in those regions with their own idiom (e.g. Galicia, Basque Country, Catalonia, etc.). Where all else fails, use sign language as a last resort.

4) I have many more questions about X, Y and Z .... Fine, so why don't you subscribe to the list and ask them there? Send an email now to :-

travelspain-subscribe@googlegroups.com

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