Ibiza travel guide

About Ibiza

Although Ibiza has long been synonymous with fun in the sun hedonism, a trip to the island is not all about sultry clubs and all-night raves – away from the bright lights there’s a quieter side to the so-called ‘White Isle’.

But first to the merrymaking, because make no mistake this Spanish haven is one of the foremost party destinations in Europe. During the summer, superstar DJs arrive en masse to entertain the millions of partyers who come for the quintessential boho-glam vibes of this sun-kissed island.

Ibiza Town is a hotbed of late-night revelry. The municipality is home to the world-famous clubs Pacha and Amnesia, which share quaint cobblestone streets with more traditional attractions such as Santa Maria d’Eivissa Cathedral.

Sant Antoni de Portmany (San Antonio) is the real clubbing capital, though. The so-called ‘Sunset Strip’ is renowned for its rowdy clubs and spectacular skies. Millions flock to witness resident DJs ‘put the sun to bed’ as they sip expensive cocktails and bliss out to party-perfect tunes. For sophisticates, there are a host of alternatives nearby, with chic bars offering expensive mélanges of spirits and exquisite sunset views.

Its reputation as a party island is notorious, but Ibiza has reconnected with its 1960’s hippy roots in recent years, with more laid-back parties and a burgeoning arts scene.

Those seeking quiet time or craving a bit of culture are also well catered for: Ibiza is blessed with sandy beaches, crystalline waters and alluring coves, not to mention an abundance of picturesque towns and villages.

Families are also well catered for in relaxing resorts such as Santa Eulària des Riu (Santa Eulalia del Río) and Es Canar (Es Caná) on the northeast coast.

Whether you’re there to dance till dawn, relax on a beach, imbibe the culture or hike amidst the greenery, Ibiza is a rite of passage for every discerning traveller.

Key facts


571 sq km (220 sq miles).


156,234 (2019).

Population density:

259 per sq km.




Since a parliamentary monarchy was introduced to Spain in 1978, the country has been divided into 17 autonomous regions. Ibiza is part of the Balearic Autonomous Community that has its headquarters in Palma, Mallorca.

Head of state:

King Felipe VI since 2014.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez since 2018.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you:

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Spain set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact Spain’s embassy or consulates in the UK.

If you are planning to travel to Spain through France, check the latest FCDO travel advice for France before you start your journey.

If you are planning to travel to Spain through Gibraltar, check the latest FCDO travel advice for Gibraltar before you start your journey.

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Spain.

Passport validity requirements

If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.

Your passport must be:

  • issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

Check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.

Contact Spain’s embassy or consulates in the UK if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

Visa requirements

You can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.

If travelling to Spain and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days.

To stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you need to meet the Spanish government’s entry requirements. Check with Spain’s embassy or consulates in the UK before you travel about what type of visa or work permit you may need.

If travelling to Spain for work, read the guidance on visas and permits.

If you cannot return to the UK before the expiry of your visa, permit or visa-free limit, contact the Spanish government’s national information service (In Spanish, English speaking operators are available). You can dial 060 from a Spanish phoneline.

If you are visiting Spain and need to extend your visa-free stay for exceptional reasons, such as a medical emergency, you must apply to the immigration authorities (‘Extranjería’)(in Spanish).

If you stay in Spain with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Passport stamping

Check your passport is stamped as you enter or exit the Schengen area through Spain as a visitor.

Border guards check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If you do not have relevant entry or exit stamps in your passport, they will assume you have overstayed.

You can show evidence of when and where you entered or exited the Schengen area, and ask the border guards to add this date and location in your passport. Examples of acceptable evidence includes boarding passes and tickets.


Use the desks staffed by border officers. If you are aged 18 or over, and airport staff instruct you to, you may be able to use e-gates where they are in operation.

If you use an e-gate, make sure you get your passport stamped by a border officer.

Additional documents required by tourists

If you enter the Schengen area as a tourist, you may need to provide additional documents at the border. As well as a valid return or onward ticket, when travelling to Spain you could be asked to show:

  • you have enough money for your stay
  • proof of accommodation for your stay, for example:
    • a hotel booking confirmation
    • proof of address if visiting your own property (such as second home)
    • an invitation or proof of address if staying with a third party, friends or family. A carta de invitation completed by your hosts is one of the options available.

You can visit the Spanish Ministry of Interior website for more information (only available in Spanish).

Residents of Spain

If you are resident in Spain your passport should not be stamped when entering or leaving Spain.

Actively show your proof of residence, such as the foreigner’s identity card (‘la tarjeta de identidad de extranjero’ or ‘TIE’), when presenting your passport at Spanish border control. For further information, read about living in Spain.

Travel between Spain and Gibraltar

Spanish border checks can cause delays when crossing between Spain and Gibraltar. If you are travelling to Spain through Gibraltar, check the travel advice for entry requirements for Gibraltar.

There is no charge to enter or leave Gibraltar. You should not hand over money to anybody claiming there is a charge.

Unaccompanied minors

Spanish law considers anyone under 18 to be a minor. If an unaccompanied minor comes to the attention of the Spanish authorities (particularly in connection with criminal incidents or when in hospital) they will be considered vulnerable and may be taken to a minors centre until a parent or guardian is found.

Vaccination requirements (other than COVID-19)

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need on TravelHealthPro.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about what goods can be taken into and out of Spain. You can find details on the National Tax Agency leaflet (in Spanish and English). Declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

Taking food and drink into Spain

You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.

Taking money and goods into Spain

Check the National Airport Association website for guidance on taking money and goods into and out of Spain.

You should also read FCDO’s overall travel advice.


There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British Nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British Nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

Terrorism in Spain

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Spain.

Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Stay aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of local authorities.

Recent terrorist attacks in Spain include:

  • in January 2023, one person was killed and others injured in a machete attack at 2 churches in Cadiz
  • in 2017, 14 people were killed and over 100 injured across 2 incidents where vehicles were driven into pedestrians in Barcelona and Cambrils

Political situation

Demonstrations, political gatherings or marches can take place with little or no warning, particularly in cities. Follow the advice of police and local authorities.

While most demonstrations are peaceful, there is a risk of unrest or violence. If you’re in and around areas where demonstrations are taking place, be aware of what is happening around you and move away if there are signs of disorder.


Protecting your belongings

Most visits to Spain are trouble-free, but be alert to street crime. Thieves use distraction techniques, and often work in teams. Take care of your passports, money and personal belongings, particularly when collecting or checking in luggage at the airport, and while arranging car hire.

Do not carry all your valuables in one place. Keep a photocopy or scanned copy of your passport somewhere safe.

Make sure your accommodation has adequate security. Lock all doors and windows at night, or when out. If concerned about the security of your accommodation, speak to your travel operator or the property owner.

Vehicle crime

‘Highway pirates’ target foreign-registered and hire cars, especially those towing caravans. They may (forcefully) try to make you stop, claiming there is something wrong with your car or that you have damaged theirs. If you decide to stop to check the condition of a vehicle, stop in a public area with lights, such as a service station. Be wary of anyone offering help.

When driving, be wary of approaches by people posing as police officers in plain clothes travelling in unmarked cars. In all traffic-related matters, police officers will usually be in uniform. All police officers, including those in plain clothes, carry official ID. Unmarked police vehicles have a flashing electronic sign on the rear window which reads Police (‘Policía’) or Civil Guard (‘Guardia Civil’), and may use blue flashing lights. Genuine police officers will only ask you to show them your documents and will not ask for your bag or wallet.

Attacks and sexual assault

In an emergency call 112.

Attacks, including sexual assaults, are rare but do occur. See Get help if you are a victim of crime abroad.

Avoid splitting up from your friends, do not leave drinks unattended and do not go off with people you do not know. Save the location of your accommodation on your maps app, so it’s easy to find. See TravelAware ‘Stick with your mates’ for tips and advice.

British Consulates in Spain (+34 917 146 300 or +44 207 008 5000) can provide local information and support.

Drink and food spiking

Be alert to the possible use of ‘date rape’ and other drugs including GHB and liquid ecstasy.

Buy your own drinks and always keep them in sight to avoid them being spiked. Alcohol and drugs can reduce your vigilance, making you less in control. If you drink, know your limit. Drinks served in bars in Spain are often stronger than those in the UK.


Thieves posing as police officers may ask to see your wallet, claiming they need to see it for identification. Genuine police officers will ask to see ID, but will not ask for wallets or purses.

Timeshare and holiday clubs

Timeshare ownership is well established in Spain. There are respected companies, agents and resorts who operate legally and fairly. However, there are also unscrupulous companies who falsely claim to provide incentives.

Read timeshare fraud advice from Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre.

Laws and cultural differences

Personal ID

You must provide photo ID if requested by a police officer. This includes the Guardia Civil and national, regional and local police forces. The police have the right to hold you at a police station until they have confirmed your identity.

Ignoring direct requests of a police officer can be considered as ‘disobedience’, which is a criminal offence.

Hotels, tourist accommodation and car rental companies have a legal duty to register passport details of tourists when they check-in or collect a vehicle.

When checking-in to your accommodation, wait until hotel staff have registered your passport details, or taken a photocopy of your passport. Do not leave your passport at reception to collect later.

You may need to show ID when buying goods with credit or debit cards. Your driving licence or a photocopy of your passport may be accepted, but they may need you to show your original passport.

Alcohol laws and bans

You cannot drink alcohol in the street in some areas of Spain. You can be given an on-the-spot fine. There are strict controls on drinking and sexual activity in public places, including on beaches.

Alcohol laws in the Balearic Islands

Local laws limit the sale and availability of alcohol in areas of some resorts on the islands of:

  • Mallorca

  • Magaluf (Calvià)

  • Playa de Palma

  • Ibiza

  • San Antonio (San Antoni de Portmany)

This prohibits:

  • happy hours

  • open bars (such as all you can drink in 1-hour offers)
  • the sale of alcohol from vending machines
  • self-service alcohol dispensers
  • the organising of pub-crawls and party boat trips
  • ‘off-licence’ sales between 9:30pm and 8am

Hotels and other establishments are obliged to evict customers who behave dangerously on balconies. Both the customer and the establishment can be fined for such behaviour.

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

Possession of even a small quantity of drugs can lead to arrest and detention. Possession of large quantities will usually result in prosecution and a prison sentence.

Illegal commercial parties in villas and private homes

There have been a number of serious accidents involving people attending illegal commercially promoted parties in villas and private homes on the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca.

Licensed clubs and bars are required to meet safety and security standards, including emergency exits and capacity limits, and to have trained, licensed security staff. Illegal commercial parties may not meet these standards. Take care of your belongings, make sure you know where emergency exits are and do not take unnecessary risks.

You may receive a fine for attending illegal commercially promoted parties.


In some parts of Spain it’s against the law to be in the street wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts. Being bare-chested is also illegal in some areas in Spain. You may be fined if you’re caught wearing swimwear on the seafront promenade or adjacent streets.

For security reasons, some public authorities in Spain do not allow the burka or niqab to be worn in their buildings. If you visit town council buildings wearing a burka or niqab, you may be asked to remove it while inside.

Changing money

When changing money, always use official money exchange offices or banks because unofficial money changers may give you counterfeit money. Possession or use of counterfeit money is considered a serious crime in Spain and may lead to prosecution.


Spain is a generally tolerant and progressive place for LGBT+ travellers. There are active LGBT+ communities and social venues, particularly in big cities. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005. Since 2007, transgender people are able to register under their preferred sex in public documents such as birth certificates, identity cards and passports without undergoing prior gender reassignment surgery. Spain does not recognise a third gender.

Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

Falls from height

There have been a number of very serious accidents (some fatal) as a result of falls from height, including balconies. Many accidents have involved British nationals, and have had a devastating impact on those involved and their loved ones.

Do not take unnecessary risks around balconies or other high places, particularly if you’re under the influence of drink or drugs. If you are staying in a room with a balcony, follow the safety advice and watch out for friends who may be at risk.

In some regions you may be fined or evicted from your hotel if you are found to be behaving irresponsibly around balconies. Your travel insurance may not cover you for incidents that take place on a balcony or if you were under the influence of drink or drugs when the incident happened.

Festivals, concerts and processions

Many large events and public processions are held in Spain each year. Follow the advice of police and local authorities when attending events.

Take care of your valuables if attending a festival or large concert. See the festival travel checklist for more advice.

Swimming and beaches

Every year, people drown in the sea and in swimming pools in Spain. Children should always be supervised, even if they can swim or there is a lifeguard present.

Take care when swimming in the sea. Some beaches, especially around Spanish islands, may have strong undercurrents.

Avoid swimming at beaches that are close to rivers. Do not dive into unknown water as hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death.

Many beaches have a flag system. Make sure you understand the system and follow any warnings (a red flag means you must not enter the water). Take extra care and seek local knowledge if there are no lifeguards, flags or signs.

If you are walking along unmanned beaches, be aware that waves can come in further than expected and have strong undertows.

Further tips can be found on ABTA’s swim safe pages and the Royal Life Saving Society’s ‘Water Safety on Holiday’ page.

Follow local advice if jellyfish are present.

Hill walking, skiing and mountain activities

Temperatures in some parts of Spain can change very quickly. Take extra care when planning a hike or walk. Check local weather reports for warnings of extreme heat or cold temperatures.

For advice on safety and weather conditions for skiing or other outdoor activities you can:

If an accident occurs while mountaineering, canoeing, potholing or climbing, or if you become lost in the mountains and need mountain rescue, call:

  • 112 for the emergency services
  • 062 for the Civil Guard

The Catalonia region has started billing climbers, skiers and other adventurers whose negligent behaviour causes them to need to be rescued.

Altitude sickness may be a risk in some of the higher mountain ranges in Spain, particularly in the regions of Granada, Huesca and Tenerife. More information about altitude sickness is available from the TravelHealthPro website.

Transport risks

Check with your airline, tour operator or transport company whether there is any planned strike action which might disrupt your journey.


Only use official registered or licensed taxis, or reputable transport companies you recognise. Licensing regulations differ across Spain and in certain cities pre-booking is required.

Passengers caught using unlicensed taxi services are liable for fines of up to 600 Euros. Make sure you book your taxi or airport transfer through a licensed firm.

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in Spain, see information on driving abroad and read the RAC guide.

In 2021 there were 1,508 road deaths in Spain (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 32 road deaths per million population and compares to the UK average of 24 road deaths per million population in 2021.

Licences and permits

To drive a car or a motorcycle over 125cc in Spain you must be 18 years of age or above, and at least 16 years old to ride a motorcycle up to 125cc. You must carry a valid driving licence and ID at all times.

If visiting Spain, you can drive on your full UK driving licence. Provisional licences are not valid for driving in Spain.

If you’re living in Spain, check the Living in Guide for information on requirements for residents.

If you are using UK insurance, always carry your certificate with you in case you are stopped. Check that your UK insurance will cover you to drive in Spain, and for how long. This certificate is generally only valid for a stay of less than 3 months.

Driving a British car abroad

You may need a UK sticker to drive your car outside the UK. In 2021 UK stickers replaced GB stickers. Check the GOV.UK Displaying number plates website for more information on what to do if you are driving outside the UK.

Driving regulations

Motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road in Spain. Driving rules and customs are different from those in the UK.

You must carry 2 red warning triangles which, in the event of an accident or breakdown should be placed in front of and behind the vehicle. They should be at least 50 metres away from the vehicle in each direction. You must have a spare wheel and the tools to change it. If you get out of your vehicle during an accident or breakdown, or while waiting for the arrival of the emergency services, you must wear a reflective vest or you may face a fine.

Spain has strict drink driving laws. Police regularly carry out roadside checks for alcohol and drugs. Penalties include fines, loss of licence and imprisonment.

You can be given an on-the-spot fines from the police for a variety of driving offences including speeding. If you accept the fine and pay within 20 days, it will be reduced by 50%. More information on how to pay is available on the Spanish driving agency website.

Seat belts are compulsory for all passengers in the front and back seats. Children under the age of 12 or under 1.35m in height must use an approved child safety seat and be positioned in the back seat. Children are only permitted to travel in the front seat of the car if the rear seats are already occupied by other children or if the vehicle does not have rear seats. Car hire agencies can provide child seats, so let them know you need one when you reserve the car. Incorrect installation of a child seat or not wearing a seat belt can be considered a serious offence and met with fines.

Motorcyclists (including drivers of mopeds and quads) must wear an approved safety helmet and other protective clothing. Not wearing one is considered a serious offence and can result in a fine.

It is illegal to use a mobile phone when driving, even if you have pulled over to the side of the road. You must be completely away from the road. Using an earpiece is also illegal. Only completely hands-free units are allowed to be used.

Low emission zones

Some inner city areas in Spain have introduced permanent low emission zones (‘Zonas de bajas emisiones’ – ZBE) where only vehicles that meet specific exhaust emission standards and display an air pollution sticker can enter. While air pollution stickers cannot be issued to vehicles with foreign registration plates, some cities do require you to register your vehicle in advance of travel if you wish to enter a low emission zone (e.g. Barcelona). You should check with local authorities in advance of travel for information on local regulations and the requirements for vehicles registered outside of Spain.

The Spanish government’s general information helpline 060 (if calling in Spain) or +34 902 887 060 (if calling from UK) may be able to provide further information.

Some cities also operate emergency anti-pollution protocols to limit exhaust emissions when air pollution levels are high. When activated, vehicle access is restricted and speed limits are imposed. Follow the instructions of the local authorities.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Extreme temperatures

Extreme temperatures can affect many areas of Spain over the summer months. For severe weather warnings and updates, visit the Spanish Meteorological Office (AEMET) and European Meteorological Services website.

For information on how to take care in the heat visit the NHS website or the website of the Spanish Ministry of Health (only available in Spanish).

You should check with your travel provider before traveling and follow the advice of local authorities at all times.

Forest fires

Forest fires occur frequently in Spain (including in the Spanish islands) during the summer months, when temperatures regularly reach over 40ºC. Be aware of your environment when visiting or driving through woodland areas. For information on forest fire risk visit the Spanish Meteorological Office (AEMET).

Causing a forest fire is a criminal offence in Spain, even if unintentional. Make sure cigarette ends are properly extinguished, do not light barbecues and do not leave empty bottles behind. You can be heavily fined for not following the rules against lighting outdoor barbecues in forest areas. Make sure you know the rules if considering a barbeque.

For information on what to do in the event of a forest fire, visit the Civil Protection website (only available in Spanish). Immediately report any fire you see to the emergency services on 112. In the case of wildfires, the situation can change quickly, so you should stay up to date with official advice.


Flash flooding can occur, causing travel disruption and damage to property and infrastructure. Check weather warnings from Spain’s meteorological office (AEMET) before travel and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Dial 112 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

For more information read guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe.

Vaccinations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip check:


The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK may be different in Spain.

TravelHealthPro explains best practice when travelling with medicines.

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.

Health insurance cards

Apply for a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC, it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.

The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state-provided medical treatment necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Spanish nationals. If you do not have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, contact the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team.

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. An EHIC or GHIC does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.

EHIC and GHIC cover state healthcare only, not private treatment. You will be responsible for the cost of any treatment provided by a private doctor or private clinic.

For information regarding access to healthcare in Spain see healthcare for UK nationals visiting Spain.

Healthcare facilities in Spain

You can view a list of English speaking doctors in Spain.

If you need hospital treatment in Spain you’re more likely to receive appropriate care in a public healthcare facility. However, in some tourist areas there may not be any public healthcare facilities nearby. Your insurance or medical assistance company will be able to provide further details. Some hotels may call private doctors or ambulances to take patients to private hospitals. The GHIC or EHIC will not be accepted there. For more information, visit Healthcare for UK nationals.

COVID-19 healthcare in Spain

Rapid lateral flow tests (‘pruebas de antígenos’) are widely available in pharmacies in Spain for a fee.

If you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 during your stay in Spain, you are not required to self-isolate.

Hotels and other accommodation providers may have their own COVID-19 protocols in place. Follow any safety measures put in place by your accommodation provider. Your accommodation provider may have a list of private doctors that they can call to assess your symptoms and conduct a COVID-19 test.

Follow the advice of the local authorities.

Use of face masks

Due to an increase in respiratory infections such as flu and COVID-19, you may be required to wear a face mask when using healthcare facilities such as doctors surgeries, hospitals or pharmacies. Specific rules on the use of face masks may vary by region. You should refer to the advice of local authorities in your destination and ensure you are aware of the specific measures in place on how best to protect yourself and others.

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health. There is also guidance on TravelHealthPro.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Spain


112 (ambulance, fire, police)

Make sure you know the contact details of the local emergency services and the location of the nearest police station.

Reporting crime

To report a crime, including stolen property and lost or stolen passports, visit the nearest National Police (‘Policia Nacional’), regional police (‘Ertzaintza’ in the Basque Country, ‘Mossos d’Esquadra’ in Catalonia, and ‘Policia Foral’ in Navarre) or Civil Guard (‘Guardia Civil’) station to file a police report (‘denuncia’).

Some Spanish cities also offer a Foreign Tourist Assistance Service (‘Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero’ or ‘SATE’) run by the Town Hall and National Police where you will be able to report a crime in English.

Violent crime or sexual assault must be reported in person at the nearest police station. If you’ve had belongings stolen, you’ll need to keep the police report for insurance purposes.

While in Spain, you can file a police report online for minor offences such as bag or car theft.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll need to apply for an emergency travel document from the nearest British Consulate and to apply for a replacement passport when you return to the UK.

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider

  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

Help abroad in an emergency

If you are in Spain and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British Embassy in Madrid or your nearest consulate.

You can also contact FCDO online.

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

Living in Spain

If you’re living in or moving to Spain, read the Living in Spain guide in addition to this travel advice.

Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

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