The basics

Money

Spain uses the Euro. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere. ATMs are widely available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Languages

The official language is Castilian (Spanish). Other languages spoken are Catalan in Catalonia, Gallego in Galicia and Euskera in the Basque country. English is widely spoken in touristic areas. 

Transportation

Spain by train is a great way to see the country with a network (largely operated by Renfe) that links all major towns and cities. The addition of the high-speed AVE trains has facilitated and sped up travel  between Madrid and other major cities including Barcelona (just over 2 ½ hours!), Seville, Malaga and Valencia. Other train lines also service the rest of Spain.   Reservations are required for long-distance train travel, and you can take advantage of cheaper fairs by pre-booking. If you plan to make more than one or two train trips, consider buying a railpass, whether an InterRail, Eurail or Spain pass.  Renfe also offers several luxury train routes with 5-star accommodations and service. 

Spanish motorways (autopistas) are some of the best in Europe thanks to a recent road-building revamp, but tolls apply and can get expensive. There are also non-toll roads (autovías), which can get a bit busy. Watch out for radar speed traps that carry steep fines which must be paid on the spot in cash to the arresting officer. Tip: when stopping for gas, lock your doors when going to pay.

Spain has a number of national airlines and charter companies. The most well known of course is Iberia, which flies throughout the country and internationally. The Spain-based Air Europa flies offers national and international flights with destinations in Asia, North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and North Africa. Air Nostrum is a regional airline, and there are several smaller operations offering regional service.