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free wifi

I am planning a trip to Spain with my family this June and am concerned about Internet Access. The countries we are
visiting are Madrid, Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada and Nerja. Hotels and apartments that we will be staying in states that they
have free WI-Fi. Do I need to do anything to my phone or computer before accessing free WI-FI in Spain to get internet service, or is it like in the US where it's simply a matter of logging onto the free WIFI login?

I hope to contain costs and not pay for data or roaming with my iPhone.

However, my son will be starting an online course (summer school) so he will definitely need access to internet for course materials.... I was just hoping to go to an area with free WiFi whenever he needed to log in.

Thank you. Any information will be appreciated

Posted by
20718 posts

Free wifi is everywhere. Sometimes it is locked and sometimes not. Many restaurants will advertise on the menu board free wifi. Sit down, order something and ask for the passport. Sometimes they will give it to you and other times they will type it in for you. Wifi works the same world wide.

Posted by
9363 posts

Every hostal or hotel we stayed in handed us the password for their free wifi when we checked in. In addition, you could find free wifi in public parks (we found that in Cordoba, for one). There is nothing you need to do to access it other than entering the password or agree to the terms of use or whatever you would normally do in the US to access free wifi in public places.

Posted by
16791 posts

I was surprised that a few hotels still made me ask for the WiFi password last year, even when free, instead of automatically providing it at check in, but I'm sure that communication is improving all the time. At a hotel in Bologna, I had to stop at the front desk every evening to get a new, 24-hour password; this was probably because it wasn't always free to everyone. Be prepared that some WiFi systems make you log back in again if you stop using the internet for even a few minutes, so that's an extra step, but not an expense.

Posted by
5379 posts

But do make sure you check with your phone service provider to make sure you have non-wifi turned off to avoid unintentional usage.

Posted by
4695 posts

Or if by chance you are using T-Mobile, change to their Simple Choice plan and you can enjoy free unlimited 2G data (slow but usually usable) while in Spain. Otherwise, keep the phone in airplane mode to turn off data, then turn on WiFi as needed.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you for all your advice and help.

To get free WiFi, I think I'm still a little confused.
To avoid huge roaming/internet fees, all I need to do is 2 things, right? ( I have an iphone, if that helps)
1. Turn off cellular data
2. Turn off data roaming

(On my IPhone, I go to "Settings",
then "Cellular"
then "Cellular Data" (at which point I turn off)
then "Data Roaming" (turn off)

Or do you mean that I just turn off "Cellular Data" but need roaming on for me to access freeWiFi?
I just don't want to come home and receive a HUGE AT&T bill for international roaming and cellular data usage.


Posted by
20718 posts

Wifi and Cell Data are completely different issues. TURN OFF Cell Data completely - turn off Voice Roaming, Cell Roaming. Leave WIFI ON.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you so much! You've clarified it all for me.
I love this Travel Forum because I gain so much from everyone's kind advice!