British Consulate General Madrid
Paseo de la Castellana, 259D
28046 Madrid, Spain
British Consulate General Barcelona
British Consulate Alicante
Rambla Méndez Núñez 28-32, 6ª planta,
03002 Alacant, Alicante, Spain
Post-pandemic travel advice
Coronavirus has changed the way we view travel. Click here to read the latest safety tips and advice.
Before visiting any country make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Ambulance: 061
- Fire: 080
- National Police: 091
- Language: Spanish
- Currency: Euro
- Capital City: Madrid
- Country Code: ES
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 47,190,493
- Driving: Right hand side
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- La siesta. The afternoon nap is one of the most extended customs of Spain and it is well known by visitors. It was originally thought by doctors to rest after each 6 hour period, this was better for the body to function correctly, it is also to rest for the hottest period each day.
- If you need to visit the hospital you are valid to use your EHIC card in Spain for free medical care, this does not include private hospitals. Some public hospitals also refuse to take the card this is not correct, you have a right to show the card and use their services.
- Flamenco is not just the dance, it is actually a musical style, which has dancing as a part of the style. Clothing, dancers and musicians show great passion and make for a fantastic spectacle.
What are the most common crimes in Spain?
A common crime in Spain, tourists can be easy targets so be discreet about the fact you are a visitor. They will also target people who are drunk or distracted so always be aware. Keep your valuables secure; if you’re male then the front pocket of your trousers will be far less accessible than the back pocket or your jacket pocket; if you’re female always wear your handbag facing front and kept against your chest, try not to keep your bag slung behind you.
Three card monty
One of the oldest con in the book, whether it’s played with 3 cards or with 3 cups and a pea. Nobody ever wins. When you see someone winning you are looking at one of the conman’s friends. He’ll have several, and every now and again one will win a lot of money, this convinces the mark that the game is one that can be won. Even stopping to watch the game makes you a mark, because you’ll find yourself in a small compressed bunch of people, and it’s easy to pick-pocket anyone when others are pressed against them.
What are the top safety tips for Spain?
A common scam in tourist areas is people dropping things close to you, if you help by picking them up be aware as they might try to take your valuables. Also avoid talking to strangers or anyone looking suspicious who approaches you, it could be a distraction whilst someone else grabs your wallet, phone or camera.
Theft from motor vehicles is also common, for car radios, and anything of value. Be aware if you hire a car or self drive not to leave valuables in the car or anything on display.
Baggage may be stolen if you leave it unattended in hotels, stations, airports, so always be aware of your belongings. Make sure they are clearly marked so you know they are yours at a glance.
What is the best time to travel to Spain?
Summer is the main tourist season for holiday makers, although the weather can be very mild during the winters.
What are the customs and traditions in Spain?
Female friends kiss one another, and men on both cheeks (starting with the left), whereas men shake hands and close friends embrace.
“Con permiso?” should be used to say “excuse me” when you need to pass someone. “mucho gusto” – nice to meet you. If you do not understand something – always use “Mande?”, instead of “Que?”
Three Wise Men
Spain celebrates the feast of the Three Wise Men as a part of the Christmas holiday. There are parades in the streets and parties where the three wise men feature and give gifts to the local children.
New Year’s Day
The grapes of luck. This is part of the New Year’s celebrations in Spain, just before the stroke of midnight all friends gather together in front of the television with twelve grapes, one to eaten at each stroke so they will be lucky for the coming year. When they finish, they open a bottle of champagne and toast the New Year giving two kisses to everybody.
For more country specific travel & safety information, please visit the Travel Aware website by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Towns & Cities
- Safer Travel
A city famed for its university and being a key site for part of Spain’s history, Salamanca lies between Madrid and the Portugal boarder. The old city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. However, the main residents of the city are students as the university has been one of the most popular in all of Europe for some time. There is a constant mixture of old and new here that needs to be explored.
- Safer Travel
Only an hours drive to the Mediterranean coast, Granada enjoys a mixture of Spanish and African heritage. Home to the UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, The Alhambra is an ancient Nasrid citadel and palace that tourists from all over the world flock to see. The mixture of worlds, such as ancient Islamic architecture and contemporary street art, makes Granada more than just a historically significant location.
- Safer Travel
This Spanish city is home to both Roman and Islamic architecture, allotting it four world heritage sites which is more than anywhere else in the world. Cordoba is located in southern Spain and has the hottest average high temperatures in all of Europe. It has been a site of significance and history since Neanderthals. This rich past of culture, education and of political importance can be highlighted by the fact that, in different parts of history, its population was greater than most other cities and it remains the largest municipality in Andalusia to this day.
- Safer Travel
A port city in southwestern Spain, lies a quaint town that houses 15th century monuments. Architecture and museums are a prominent feature of this city, defining its character and customs. There are so many interesting attractions to explore.
- Safer Travel
Salou is a resort town along Spain’s northeastern Costa Daurada, in the Tarragona province. There is so much to explore in this city, from water parks to museums. Coastal walks are also a popular activity, along with beach walks to watch the sunrise or sunset.