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Travel Tips & Notes

General Tips:

Currency: Spain uses the Euro (€). It's advisable to have some cash on hand for small purchases, but most places accept credit/debit cards.
Language: The official language is Spanish. While many people in tourist areas speak English, it's always appreciated if you learn a few basic phrases in Spanish.
Tipping: Tipping is not as customary in Spain as in some other countries. However, leaving a small tip (around 5-10%) for good service in restaurants is appreciated.
Safety: Spain is generally safe for tourists. However, be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas, especially in major tourist spots and public transportation.
Public Transport: Both Madrid and Marbella have efficient public transportation systems. Consider getting a tourist travel card if you plan to use public transport frequently.

Cultural Notes:

Siesta Time: Many shops and restaurants close in the afternoon (usually between 2 pm to 5 pm) for siesta. Plan your activities accordingly.
Dining: Spaniards usually have dinner late, often starting around 9 pm or even later.
Greetings: A common greeting is two kisses on the cheeks, starting with the left. This is typical among friends and acquaintances.
Dress Code: Spaniards take pride in their appearance. When visiting churches or religious sites, dress modestly.

Local Etiquette:

Queueing: Always wait in line and respect queues, whether it's at a bus stop or in a cafe.
Speaking Loudly: Try to keep your voice down, especially in public places. Loud conversations, especially on mobile phones, can be considered rude.
Asking for the Bill: In restaurants, the bill won't be brought to you until you ask for it. You can signal the waiter and ask for "La cuenta, por favor."

Packing & Luggage:

Adapters: Spain uses Type F power sockets. Ensure you have the right adapter for your devices.
Weather: Check the weather forecast before packing and bring appropriate clothing.
Medications: If you're bringing prescription medications, keep them in their original packaging with a copy of the prescription.

Emergency Numbers:

General Emergency: 112
Medical Emergency: 061
Police: 091

Useful Apps:

Google Translate: For on-the-spot translations.
Citymapper: For public transportation routes and timings.
XE Currency: For up-to-date currency exchange rates.
TripAdvisor: For reviews and recommendations on attractions, restaurants, and more.
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