Australian, Canadian, Japanese, New Zealand and US citizens can stay for a period of up to ninety days with a valid passport without a visa, as can residents of EU countries. If you intend staying for over ninety days you will need to obtain a visa before travelling. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you may need a visa to enter the country, you should also contact the Spanish Embassy in your home country.
The currency used in Spain is the Euro which is made up of 100 Cent. Notes come in denominations of €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5 and the coins in use are €2, €1, 0.50C, 0.20C, 0.10C, 0.05C, 0.02C and 0.01C.
The main language spoken in San Sebastian is Spanish, and the Basque dialect is the most prevalent.
San Sebastian has a mild climate overall with temperatures usually staying above 6ºC during the winter months. Summer in the city is hot and sunny, with August seeing high temperatures averaging 24.5 ºC. In the spring, the weather here is mild but prone to rain. April is usually the wettest month, seeing an average rainfall of around 305mm.
Visitors from EU countries are entitled to medical treatment under the EU Reciprocal Medical Treatment agreement. Before you travel you should collect an E111 form from your local social security office. This form may also be obtained in post offices also. For minor health problems visit the farmacia (pharmacy) where trained pharmacists should be able to assist you.
San Sebastian is located in the Central European Time (CET) zone which is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and six ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Shops in Spain are generally open between 9.00am and 2.00pm and again from 4.30pm until 7.30pm from Monday to Saturday.
The main tourist office in the city is located at Reina Regente 3.
Value added tax (VAT) is included in the price of all goods in Spain. Non-EU residents can claim some of this back after leaving the country. If this is the case, you need to fill in a form in the shop where you buy the item, have it stamped at customs and return it to the shop within sixty days. Following this your refund will be issued by cheque or to your credit card. At major airports and border crossings there are facilities which will provide you with an immediate cash refund.
Banks throughout the city offer currency exchange services. There are also a large number of ATMs in San Sebastian, from which you can withdraw local currency.
Electricity in Spain is 220V, 50 Hz. In San Sebastian you’ll need to use a 2-pin plug.
To call San Sebastian from abroad you first dial 00, followed by 34 which is the country code for Spain, the local area code 091 and the local number, but don't forget to drop the 0 on the area code.
If you wish to call abroad from San Sebastian, dial 00, followed by the international calling code for the country you are calling, the area code (without the 0) and then the local number.
The main post office in San Sebastian is on Calle de Undaneta.
Because the service charge is normally included on most bills, tipping is not compulsory. If the service you receive is particularly good, however, it is customary to leave a small additional amount. With regard to taxi drivers, it is usual to round the payment up to include ten per cent of the fare.
It is worth noting what the public holidays are as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day. In Spain they take place on January 1st and 6th, Good Friday, May 1st, August 15th, October 12th, November 1st and December 6th, 8th and 25th.