What to bring on a trip to Granada

Mobile Phones

Nowadays almost all phones companies will do international roaming so as soon as you arrive in Spain your phone will automatically configure itself to the network with the best signal.

If you are using a roaming phone sometimes it is necesary to prefix the number with 34 or 0034.

If someone phones you, you will have to pay the cost of a call from your own country. Please note that international mobile calls are very expensive and if you are not careful you can run up a massive bill.

If you are going to make or receive many calls to or from numbers in Spain it may be a good idea to bring an extra phone and buy a "pay as you go" chip (tarjeta pre-pago) and put it in your phone. This would be almost essential for anyone staying longer than 2 weeks in Spain. With a Spanish chip in your phone you will be able to phone people in Spain at normal rates and it will be much easier for other people in Spain to phone you.

BTW: the number for emergency calls in Spain is 112 (Spanish phones will phone this even with no credit)

Note: If you have access to a high speed internet access you can use programs such as Skype to make international phone calls. It is possible to phone a fixed line in the US for only 1.7 cents per minute.

Clothes

Here we are talking about the choice of clothes according to temperature. In June, July, August, early September you can guarantee that you won't need any clothes to keep you warm. At other times you may need a jersey in the evening. In late November, December, January, February and early March you will need warm clothes.

You can go to the beach (60km) and sunbathe at any time of the year (there is a big temperature difference between Granada and the coast in the winter) so bring your swimming stuff if you want to go to the beach. Bring sunglasses if you want to go skiing. (December - March) There is more detailed info here

Identification

Few foreigners know that it is actually illegal to walk around without identification in Spain. All Spanish people have an identity card which must be shown to the police on request. As a foreigner you are supposed to carry your passport. Note that in Spain you are often asked to show identity when using a credit card so it is a good idea to carry your passport with you. To hire a car you will need your driving license.

Money

Don't bother with traveller's cheques. The best way to have access to money is to bring your bank card and withdraw money at cash machines with a pin number. Some banks in Britain have recently started charging exorbitant rates for foreign purchases. The best solution for this is to change banks. Banks in Spain only open until 2pm.

Travel Insurance

It is a very good idea to buy travel insurance which covers you in the event of having to cancel, losing your luggage, repatriation or payment of hospital fees if you are ill.

Mosquito protection

In June, July, August, September you can get bitten by mosquitoes during the night. In all supermarkets in Spain you can get a little machine which you plug into the electric socket. Each night you put in a new tablet (pastilla) and it keeps the bedroom free of mosquitoes.


Electricity

Spain uses 240 volts electricity. British people may need a plug adapter for a laptop computer because Spanish plugs use 2 pin sockets.

Medication

Spanish chemists (farmacias) have the same range of products as any other country. They are generally not very strict about selling prescription drugs without a prescription so if you lose or forget your medication you can probably buy some more from the chemist. Most drugs have almost the same name in English as in Spanish. If the pharmacist does not understand you try writing it down. If you have a slight illness Spanish pharmacies are very good at giving advice and prescribing you something.

Phrasebook

The Spanish are getting much better at speaking English than they used to be but still you should not expect that everyone will speak English. You ought at least to know a few words to order yourself a beer. click here and print out a crash course in survival Spanish.

A great advantage of Spanish is that once you know how to pronounce the letters you will be able to pronounce any word. (Spanish does not have the equivalent of hair-hare click here to listen to a pronunciation guide. The more Spanish you know, the better time you will have.

Food and Drink

There is no problem with drinking the tap water in Granada, it comes straight from the mountains from springs or from mountain reservoirs. English people may note that it is impossible to buy decent tea in Granada and the only way of ensuring a good cuppa is to bring your own.

What to take from Granada

Here are some ideas of things that you can get in Granada that are much cheaper and better than you can get at home. Extra Virgin olive oil - Chorizo Sausage - Rioja red wine (Marques de Griñon is a good medium price one - You can buy these products at the big supermarkets.