CURRENCY AND BANKING INFORMATION
CURRENCY EXCHANGE. The only official currency in Spain is Euro. There are several currency exchange offices at Terminals 1 and 4 at Barajas Airport. For a currency exchange (CAMBIO), you need to present your passport. You can, of course, also get cash from automated teller machines (cash dispensers).
BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS. Banks in Spain usually open from around 8:30 AM untill 1:30 or 2 PM, Monday through Friday. That is, during our conference, you will only find them open on Thu and Fri morning and early afternoon. For cashing a check or for currency exchange, you would need to visit them exclusively during these hours and for both purposes you will need to show your passport or ID.
Practically every bank (BANCO in Spanish) and credit union office (CAJA in Spanish, pron. like "kaha" in a number of languages) will have an ATM (cash dispenser) working 24 hrs/day, and you can use both your credit cards and your debit cards there to get some cach (in Euros). There are some near the hotel Reina Victoria in the uphill area and others downhill from the Residence.
CREDIT CARDS. Most stores (with the exception of some smaller shops), supermarkets, restaurants, bars, and other businesses in Spain accept credit cards, though it is not so common that people pay very small amounts (e.g., 5-6 €) using a credit card. Some taxi cabs may accept debit cards. Some taxi cabs may accept debit cards. Although most shops will accept credit cards, they may not accept very large Euro bills (200 or 500) for safety reasons.