Through exploration and conquest, Spain became a world power in the 16th century and maintained its overseas empire until the 19th century. Its position at the crossroads of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and between Europe and Africa has also made the country a key political and cultural bridge across five continents. A decade after experiencing a prolonged recession in the wake of the global financial crisis that began in 2008, Spanish economic growth is again positive, largely due to increased private consumption and an EU funded restructuring and recapitalization program for the country’s financial sector. Today, the country’s diverse cultural history has been center stage as the Catalonia region fights for independence, causing many to wonder how a formal separation would affect the Spanish economy.

Destinations: Madrid, Barcelona