To call Spain:
1. Dial the international access code: 011 from the U.S.; 00 from the U.K., Ireland, or New Zealand; or 0011 from Australia.
2. Dial the country code 34.
3. Dial the city code, and then the number.
To make international calls: To make international calls from Spain, first dial 00 and then the country code (U.S. or Canada 1, U.K. 44, Ireland 353, Australia 61, New Zealand 64). Next you dial the area code and number. For example, if you wanted to call the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., you would dial 00-1-202-588-7800.
For directory assistance: Dial tel. 1003 in Spain.
For operator assistance: If you need operator assistance in making an international call, dial tel. 025.
Toll-free numbers: Numbers beginning with 900 in Spain are toll-free, but calling an 800 number in the States from Spain is not toll-free. In fact, it costs the same as an overseas call.
In Spain, many smaller establishments, especially bars, discos, and a few informal restaurants, don't have phones. Furthermore, many summer-only bars and discos secure a phone for the season only, and then get a new number the next season. Many attractions, such as small churches or even minor museums, have no staff to receive inquiries from the public.
In 1998, all telephone numbers in Spain changed to a nine-digit system instead of the six- or seven-digit system used previously. Each number is now preceded by its provincial code for local, national, and international calls. For example, when calling Madrid from Madrid or from another province within Spain, telephone customers must dial tel. 91-482-85-80.
More information is available on the Telefónica website (www.telefonica.es).
The three letters that define much of the world's wireless capabilities are GSM (Global System for Mobiles), a big, seamless network that makes for easy cross-border cellphone use throughout dozens of countries worldwide. In general reception is good.
For many, renting a phone is a good idea. (Even worldphone owners will have to rent new phones if they're traveling to non-GSM regions.) While you can rent a phone from any number of overseas sites, including kiosks at airports and at car-rental agencies, we suggest renting the phone before you leave home. North Americans can rent one before leaving home from InTouch USA (tel. 800/872-7626 or 703/222-7161; www.intouchglobal.com) or RoadPost (tel. 888/290-1616 or 905/272-5665; www.roadpost.com). InTouch will also, for free, advise you on whether your existing phone will work overseas.
Buying a phone can be economically attractive, as many nations have cheap prepaid phone systems. Once you arrive at your destination, stop by a local cellphone shop and get the cheapest package; you'll probably pay less than $100 for a phone and a starter calling card. Local calls may be as low as 10¢ per minute, and in many countries incoming calls are free.
Wilderness adventurers might consider renting a satellite phone ("satphone"). It's different from a cellphone in that it connects to satellites and works where there's no cellular signal or ground-based tower. You can rent satellite phones from RoadPost . InTouch USA offers a wider range of satphones but at higher rates. Per-minute call charges can be even cheaper than roaming charges with a regular cellphone, but the phone itself is more expensive. Satphones are outrageously expensive to buy, so don't even think about it.
Internet & Email
With Your Own Computer -- More and more hotels, cafes, and retailers are signing on as Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) "hotspots." Mac owners have their own networking technology: Apple AirPort. T-Mobile Hotspot (www.t-mobile.com/hotspot or www.t-mobile.co.uk) offers wireless connections at coffee shops nationwide. Boingo (www.boingo.com) and Wayport (www.wayport.com) have set up networks in airports and high-class hotel lobbies. iPass providers also give you access to a few hundred wireless hotel lobby setups. To locate other hotspots that provide free wireless networks, go to www.jiwire.com.
Most business-class hotels offer Wi-Fi. In addition, major Internet service providers (ISPs) have local access numbers around the world, allowing you to go online by placing a local call. The iPass network also has dial-up numbers around the world. You'll have to sign up with an iPass provider, who will then tell you how to set up your computer for your destination(s). For a list of iPass providers, go to www.ipass.com and click on "Individuals Buy Now." One solid provider is i2roam (tel. 866/811-6209 or 920/233-5863; www.i2roam.com).
Wherever you go, bring a connection kit of the right power and phone adapters, a spare phone cord, and a spare Ethernet network cable -- or find out whether your hotel supplies them to guests.
Without Your Own Computer -- To find cybercafes check www.cybercaptive.com and www.cybercafe.com. Cybercafes are found in all large cities in Spain, especially Madrid and Barcelona. But they do not tend to cluster in any particular neighborhoods because of competition.
In addition to formal cybercafes, most youth hostels and public libraries have Internet access. Avoid hotel business centers unless you're willing to pay exorbitant rates.
Most major airports now have Internet kiosks scattered throughout their gates. These give you basic Web access for a per-minute fee that's usually higher than cybercafe prices.