Costa Blanca: Useful Information
The White Coast
- VAT (IVA) is always included in the price of goods and refunds are unusual throughout the Costa Blanca and Spain.
- Banks are normally open from 9am to 2pm on weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
- Shops are usually open between from 10am to 2pm and from 4pm to 8pm Monday to Saturday. Larger shops and department stores stay open all day. The big department store El Corte Inglés in Alicante (which also has a supermarket) is open until 10pm. Few shops open on Sundays.
- Internet cafes range from €1.7 to €3.5 per hour.
- The country code for Spain is 34, and the dialing code for Alicante, Benidorm and Denia is 96.
- To call from one city code to another on the Costa Blanca, first dial '0' followed by the Spanish city code and the main telephone number.
- For R.E.N.F.E (National Train Service) tickets, call 902 24 02 02.
- Tipping is not obligatory, but taxi drivers are pleased to receive a tip of around 5% of the total fare. A tip will also be expected in restaurants, but menu prices should always include service charges by law.
- The religion of the Costa Blanca and throughout Spain is Roman Catholic, although many other faiths and major religions are also represented in the city including Protestants and Muslims.
- In many buildings and on public transport, rules now restrict smoking and this is strictly enforced, with harsh fines and penalties. No-smoking symbols are often clearly displayed.