Signs Abound in Spain

One of the best things about being a tourist in Spain is the fact that the Spanish authorities obviously pump a huge amount of money in to their sign budget. They’re everywhere these signs and while in the US, they’d be covered with advertising, these signs just point you in the direction you need to go. No nonsense. No bad points.
Barcelona was one of the first places that I noticed how good the signs are. It’s great that they point you to landmarks and squares around the town. While they don’t often show the way to smaller streets, they’re so good that you could almost not use a map to get around the town and find the major sites. If you combine in heavy Metro use, I thing that you really could get away without having a map, although knowing where you’re going allows more exploration and a great deal more fun in a visit.
But, it’s not just a heavily touristed destination like Barcelona that gets the sign treatment. Check out this one up in Figueres. That’s a sign with serious direction. Or how about this old one in Perelada? Handy, yes!
They can get a little overboard though. For instance, this one on the beach in Barcelona goes a little over the top, although it can be understood given the general laziness and stupidity of the beach tourist. But, countering these overly directive signs are ones that are incredibly helpful, such as the one you see down below. It isn’t for cars, but for hikers. Not only does it tell the direction of the trails in the mountains around the village of els Hostalets d’en Bas in Garrotxa, but it also tells how long they take to walk. About the only place I’ve seen this in the US are the most established of National Parks like Yosemite.
Yes, many a country, including the US could learn many a thing from the signing of Spain. Have a visit someday if you haven’t. Enjoy and understand why the groups of Spaniards you’ll see traveling the US are often clutching their maps desperately and terrified beyond belief as they try to figure out directions that should really be indicated with a friendly sign.
Signs Abound in Spain