Nearly 19 million British nationals visited Spain last year. Most visits are trouble-free.
If you’re living in or moving to Spain, visit our Living in Spain guide in addition to this travel advice.
There have been large gatherings of people in Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region in relation to the political developments there. Further gatherings and demonstrations are likely to take place. They may occur with little or no warning and even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate and turn confrontational. You should exercise caution if you’re in the vicinity. Demonstrations may also cause some disruption and delays to transport services.
Temporary restrictions may apply to car use in Madrid on days when air pollution levels are high. See Road travel
There have been several deaths as a result of falls from balconies. Don’t take any unnecessary risks, especially when under the influence of drink or drugs. See Balcony falls
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Spain. See Terrorism
Still current at:28 January 2019Updated:22 January 2019 Latest update:
Summary – addition of links to pages with latest updates for UK nationals travelling and living in Europe; Safety and security section (Road travel) – addition of link to information on International Driving Permits if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; Entry requirements section (Passport validity) – updated information on passport validity rules if the UK leaves the EU without a deal
London & United Kingdom Current Threat Levels January 2019.
Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321. If your information does not relate to an imminent threat, you can also contact MI5.
Current threat from international terrorism
The current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is SEVERE.
Current threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism
The threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism is set separately for Northern Ireland and Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland).
- The current threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland is SEVERE.
- The current threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Britain is MODERATE.
Source: Travel advice GOV.UK.
There has been an increase in reports of burglaries in areas with holiday accommodation and residential areas in major cities. Make sure your accommodation has adequate security measures in place and lock all doors and windows at night or when you aren’t in. If you’re a tourist and are concerned about the security of your accommodation, speak to your tour operator or the villa owner. Make sure you know the contact details of the local emergency services and the location of the nearest police station.
Most visits to Spain are trouble-free, but you should be alert to the existence of street crime, especially thieves using distraction techniques. Thieves often work in teams of two or more people and tend to target money, luxury items and passports. Many people have their passports stolen while passing through airports, either on arrival in or departure from Spain.
In some city centres and resorts, thieves posing as police officers may approach tourists and ask to see their wallets for identification purposes. If this happens to you, establish that the officers are genuine and if necessary show some other form of ID. Genuine police officers don’t ask to see wallets or purses.
In Spain in any emergency, call 112. To report a crime, including stolen property and lost or stolen passports, visit the nearest Policia Nacional, regional police (Ertzaintza in the Basque Country, Mossos d’Esquadra in Catalonia, and Policia Foral in Navarre) or Guardia Civil Station to file a police report (denuncia). While in Spain, you can also call a dedicated English-speaking police line on +34 90 210 2112. If you’ve had belongings stolen, you’ll need to keep the police report for insurance purposes. If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll also need the report to apply for an emergency travel document from your nearest Consulate and to apply for a replacement passport when you return home.
Personal attacks, including sexual assaults, are rare but they do occur. Be alert to the possible use of ‘date rape’ and other drugs including ‘GHB’ and liquid ecstasy. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times to make sure they aren’t spiked. Alcohol and drugs can make you less vigilant, less in control and less aware of your environment. If you drink, know your limit – remember that drinks served in the bars are often stronger than those in the UK. Avoid splitting up from your friends, and don’t go off with people you don’t know.
Passengers caught using unlicensed taxi services are liable for fines of up to 600€. Make sure you book your taxi or airport transfer through a licensed firm.
During political situations avoid all demonstrations and follow the advice of police and local authorities.