SPAIN - BENO TRAVEL GUIDE
Spain is a large country with hot weather and loads of resort hotels.
Things to see
Spain has amazing resort hotels. In some areas there are miles and miles of wall to wall hotels. Each one has a different theme to it. Some of the hotels are spectacular. These hotels offer amazing experiences and are great places to enjoy. Also in the resort areas of Spain there are lots of different activities being sold (it is worth shopping around for the best prices). The best resort areas of Spain are Benidorm, Costa Brava, Lanzarote and Tenerife South.
Quite a lot of the trains and metro systems in Spain are not very characterful. The most interesting tranporation in Spain are the funiculars in places such as Bilbao and Barcelona. Bilbao has more funiculars than any other city I have visited.
With Urban Exploring, most people will not be bothered about you. If people see you on the roof of the building they are more likly to give you a thumbs up than phone the police. Spain does not have a vigilante culture. The only people who may get angry are the owners or security of the building you are exploring, but they will not usually detain you, they just want you out of their building.
It is easy to get on the roofs of a lot of buildings. Urban exploring is often a lot more relaxed in Spain. As for abandoned buildings, there are quite a few unfinished resort hotels that got abandoned.
Travelling to new places is an amazing experience and is one of the most rewarding things you can do. But when travelling there are often things you need to be aware of. I have written this travel advice because I have not been happy with the travel advice from other websites and guides which are often formulaic and unhelpful. All travel advice on my website is from my own experince when travelling.
With each country in my travel guide I have rated 9 key areas and compared them to the United Kingdom. This way you can get an accurate impression of the situation.
The currency is the Euro. Cards can be used in most places. In the modern day you unlikly to need to withdraw cash, apart from for some bus services on the islands.
100% compared with UK
Outside of Barcelona and Madrid, a lot of public transport does not have day tickets and you have to buy a single ticket for every journey. Some places, such as the islands, the public transport appears to have no funding so you are paying non-subsidised prices which can add up.
Cooked food price
120% compared with UK
Expect to pay eurozone prices for fast food such as McDonalds. This is around 20% more than the UK. Although sometimes there are deals, such as Burger King were doing 3 chicken nuggets per euro.
Cold food price
100% compared with UK
Be aware that the small shops around beach resort areas will be very overpriced. Some have extortionate prices and some will short change you. Even known brand small shops such as Spar are overpriced. Always go to the big shops for your shopping. If you see local Spanish people going in a supermarket then you know that the prices are good. Big supermarkets have roughly the same prices as the UK apart from things like meal deals that don't exist.
50% compared with UK
Spain has some very cheap package holiday deals. You can find deals for flights plus hotel for 3 or 4 nights for just £120. Package holiday deals are such good value in Spain that Spain is one of the few places where package holidays are cheaper and better than booking flights and hotels separately.
Spain has the european model of healthcare system. People care healthcare insurance cards. If you find yourself without a card that gives you healthcare you will be refused treatment.
300% compared with UK
Spain has a lot of crime and the police are ineffective at dealing with it. The main crimes are pick pocketing and the mugging of drunk people.
There are a lot of pick pockets all over Spain. You must assume that wherever you are that there will be many pick pockets all around. Hold your bags close to you and tightly at all times. Do not put anything in your pockets at any time. Also be aware of street performers as they can be used as distractions to help pck pockets. Also be aware of any other distractions such as people acting in a weird way.
Drunk people get mugged on a regular basis. This usually only happens in the bars and night clubs areas of seaside locations. There are many tough guys roaming the streets. They often look agressive and have big muscles. They will pick a target person and start following them. They then analyse the person to work out... 1. How drunk they are. 2. If they have any friends nearby. 3. If they are a foreigner. If they work out that the person is drunk, alone and not Spanish they will grab their bag and run. They work on the basis that the person will be too drunk to get a description of them and that the Spanish police don't bother with crimes against drunk tourists.
If you are not drunk and are in a group, the tough guys will not target you, but I would still not go near the bars area if on my own, just in case the tough guys do choose you even if not drunk. I have had the tough guys follow me a few times. They don't follow for very long as they make their decision quickly. They have always aborted with targeting me as I have not fitted their criteria and have always kept my bag held tightly.
Also, when on the beach, never leave your bag when you go in the water. If you do not keep hold of your bag some people will walk off with it. And when sitting on the beach, have the bag in front of you, not behind you. Also, if people see someone taking a bag they will not get involved as the crime has not involved them. It is best to leave belongings in your hotel when you go to the beach, but some hotel rooms are not very secure and have poor door locks and non locking balcony doors.
Confrontations with people
70% compared with UK
Spainish people are very laid back and relaxed. Unprovoked aggression from the Spainish people pretty much never happens. The confrontations you might have are with street sellers who will pester you to buy their rubbish. There are some people who try to make you take what they are selling by putting the item in your hand or forcibly giving it to you. They will then claim that they can't accept the item back and because you took it you have to pay for it. These people might get aggressive.
Government corruption and human right infringements
80% compared with UK
As seen in the news, the Spanish government will somtimes act with large amounts of unacceptable force towards certain political situations such as the Catalonia independence dispute. Other than this there is not much aggression and corruption from the government. For someone visiting Spain they will not have any aggression or force from the government unless they are taking part in certain political protests.
The majority of people in Spain live life freely with very little control from the government.
Although government corruption isn't a problem in normal daily life in Spain, there is a lot of government incompetence. There are more areas in Spain without drinkable tap water than there is with drinkable, which is simply unacceptable for a developed country. Also some areas of Spain have poor public transport services.
Security guard aggression
60% compared with UK
People in Spain are much more laid back than in the UK. Building have far less of a security presence and have a much more relaxed feel. The bad side to this is that somtimes thieves enter hotels to steal tourists' belongings. The good side is that urban exploring is very easy.
When people in Spain get angry they are very loud about it. So if you get caught by security expect some shouting, but security will usually just kick you out of their building and are less likly to detain you.
100% compared with UK
There are two police forces in Spain, Guardia Civil who are the military police. They are known to be very aggressive, but unless you are going to a protest, it is very unlikly that you will encounter them. The regular police are known as Policia Local, and they are famously lazy.
The local police take very little interest in people reporting crimes to them, especially if it is an English person reporting the crime. The police are not very intersted in small crimes such as thefts against foreigners and treat them as unimportant. Also, if you were drunk when the crime happened, the police will take zero interest.
In terms of urban exploration, there is a low amount of police presence in the streets, and this as well as local people not being bothered about crimes that don't affect them, it makes urban exploration easy. While the good side of lazy police is easy urbex, the bad side is the constant pick pocketing and bag snatching.
If for whatever reason you do find yourself in a police encounter, the police may be more aggressive than english police. The police situation in spain is quite different to the UK so it is hard to make a direct comparison, which is why I have given this a rating of 100%
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