Is it Safe to Travel to Spain?

  • Spain is a generally safe country, but tourists should be aware of pickpocketing and scams, especially in crowded areas.  
  • Before your trip, consider travel insurance that includes coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost baggage.   
  • Stay alert and trust your instincts, blend in with the locals by dressing modestly and learning basic Spanish phrases, and keep valuables secure. 

The allure of Spain is undeniable, drawing countless travelers each year with its vibrant culture, delectable cuisine, and stunning architecture. While it is generally a safe destination, taking precautions can enhance your travel experience. Staying informed about potential risks and taking simple safety measures can help you navigate Spain with confidence.  

What are Some Safety Tips for Tourists in Spain?

Here at AXA, we prioritize your safety while you explore the world. Now, Spain is a beautiful country with a rich culture, but like any travel destination, a little planning and awareness can go a long way. Here are some practical steps you can take to ensure a smooth and secure trip for yourself and your family: 

Be Alert and Stay Informed 

Surrounded by the vibrant energy of flamenco, the beauty of Gaudi’s architecture, and the delicious flavors of tapas. It is natural to feel relaxed and carefree in this amazing atmosphere but remember to keep your wits about you. Trust your instincts, and if something feels off, don’t hesitate to step back or change course.  

Apart from US STEP, Spain’s official tourism website is a great resource to stay updated. It provides official information on everything from travel regulations to cultural events. Also, El País is a major Spanish newspaper with a well-respected English translation section. 

You may also follow relevant social media channels of Spanish tourist boards or local news outlets for real-time updates. 

Enroll in STEP 

Before you start to explore the wonders of Spain, consider registering with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a service provided by the U.S. Department of State. Visit and enroll yourself.  

benefits of signing up with this service are: 

  • Receive security updates: STEP will send you updates about any dangers or security threats in Spain, including natural disasters, political unrest, or criminal activity. 
  • Facilitate communication in an emergency: If there is an emergency in Spain, STEP can help the U.S. Embassy or Consulate locate you and get you the help you need. 
  • Stay informed: STEP can provide you with important information about Spain, such as entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, and healthcare resources. 

Additionally, in the event of an emergency, the Embassy or Consulate will have your information on hand, making it easier for them to reach you if necessary. It's a quick and easy way to add an extra layer of security to your Spanish adventure.  

Blend in like a Spaniard 

While it might be difficult to pass as a local, making an effort to blend in can significantly enhance your travel experience in Spain. By adopting a lower profile, you might attract less unwanted attention, potentially deterring pickpockets or scammers.  

Observe how the locals dress and try to emulate their style. In coastal areas, sandals are common, while cities like Madrid might lean towards a more polished look with jeans and nice shoes. Evenings are generally busier, so pack accordingly. 

Similarly, lunch is the main meal in Spain, often eaten around 2 pm. Dinner usually starts late, around 9 pm or even later. Eating at 7 pm might make you feel like the only one at the restaurant. 
Learning a few Spanish phrases, such as "Hola" (hello), "Gracias" (thank you), and "Por favor" (please), can also help you connect with locals and make you appear less like a tourist.  

Share your Whereabouts 

Keep your friends and family in the loop by sharing your itinerary with them before you start your trip to Spain. Print a physical copy of your itinerary, including flights, accommodation details, and planned day trips, for a trusted contact at home. This is a good backup in case of lost phones or internet access issues.  

You may also send a quick text or a postcard during your trip to keep them updated on your whereabouts. For more regular conversations, many phone carriers offer international travel plans or pay-as-you-go options for Spain. Research and choose a plan that best suits your needs before you depart. 

What are the Necessary Vaccinations for Spain?

Although there isn’t any mandatory vaccination to enter the country, make sure you are also up-to-date on all your regular shots. The best time to do all this is a few months before your trip, so you're fully protected when you land in Spain. 

General Recommendations 

Before you pack your bags for Spain, take a moment to prioritize your health and well-being. Checking the CDC travel website for the latest information on infectious diseases in Spain is a wise first step. Ensure you're up-to-date on routine vaccinations like those for chickenpox, polio, shingles, and other common illnesses. 

Consider getting immunized for Hepatitis A and B, which can be transferred through contaminated food or water. It's important to be aware that measles outbreaks have been occurring globally, so confirm your immunity before traveling.  

While Spain is generally rabies-free, getting vaccinated against rabies is still a good idea, especially if you plan to spend time in rural areas or interact with animals. Schedule a pre-travel consultation with your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your departure. Your doctor can provide personalized tips based on your medical history, current health status, and planned activities in Spain.  

COVID-19 Considerations 

Check the latest information from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs). They outline current entry requirements for Spain, including any COVID-19 documentation needed (vaccination certificates, negative tests). You can also refer to the U.S. Department of State's specific travel advisory for Spain, which will outline any additional recommendations or requirements.  

Also consider opting for travel insurance that covers medical expenses related to COVID-19. COVID-19 information can change quickly, so check for updates close to your departure date.

Spain-Specific Vaccines 

While there are no mandatory vaccinations for entry into Spain for most U.S. travelers, staying up-to-date on recommended vaccinations is crucial for a safe and healthy trip. 

If your plans include exploring the great outdoors in certain regions, such as the Basque Country, Navarra, La Rioja, or parts of Castilla y León, the CDC recommends considering a vaccination for tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). This precaution is particularly important for those who anticipate spending time in wooded or grassy areas, where ticks carrying the TBE virus might be present. 

It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional or travel clinic before your trip to Spain. They can assess your individual risk factors and recommend the most appropriate vaccinations for your itinerary. 

You can find more information on recommended vaccinations for Spain from resources like the Spanish Ministry of Health or the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.  

What are the Dangers, Threats, and Alerts for Spain?

Spain is typically deemed a safe destination for travelers. However, it's important to be clever on the streets and stay alert about some possible threats: 


While Spain has a generally safe environment, it's always wise to be aware of the global security landscape and take simple precautions. Stay informed about any potential risks by checking the latest travel advisories on the U.S. State Department's website before your trip and throughout your stay. 

Maintain situational awareness, particularly in crowded areas or tourist hotspots. If you notice anything suspicious, don't hesitate to report it to local authorities. The Spanish Ministry of Interior prioritizes public safety and works diligently to ensure a secure environment for visitors. 

Should any security alerts or warnings be issued during your time in Spain, it's crucial to adhere to the instructions and directions provided by local authorities. By staying informed and vigilant, you can minimize potential risks and fully enjoy your Spanish adventure with peace of mind. 

Pickpocketing and Scams 

Spain is a beautiful country with many wonderful destinations to explore. But is it safe to travel to Spain alone? 

Like many popular tourist areas, it is necessary to be mindful of pickpocketing and scams, especially in crowded areas. The most common schemes include fortune telling, charity causes, and assistance needs like providing direction. That is why you need to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to people around you.  

Use a crossbody bag with a zipper or a money belt worn under your clothing to keep your belongings, such as cash, credit cards, passports, and more. Familiarize yourself with common scams and trust your instincts. If possible, travel with a group of people or a companion, especially at night.  

In addition to these general safety tips, keep a copy of all travel documents and make sure to back up your data in case you lose your phone. Note down emergency numbers like Police (112) and ambulance (112 or 061). 

Natural Disasters 

While the likelihood of experiencing a natural tragedy during your trip is very low, it is better to be prepared for it in advance. The northern area of Spain is susceptible to storms and snowfall. Although rare, earthquakes can occur in certain regions, like southern Spain and the Pyrenees mountains.  

On the other hand, forest fires also occur, especially during June to August. These fires can quickly spread and impact popular tourist areas like the Costa Brava or the Canary Islands. Stay informed about fire risks and heed any signs or evacuation orders issued by local authorities. Consider non-medical evacuation and trip cancellation coverage in your travel insurance plan for Spain if you are traveling to high-risk areas.  

What Areas Should Travelers Avoid in Spain?

Even though robbery is a menace because thieves in Spain become more active during the peak travel season, here are some areas you must avoid:  

High-Crime Neighborhoods: In Madrid, be aware of areas like Lavapiés or some parts of Usera, particularly at night. However, in Barcelona, El Raval and parts of the Gothic Quarter can be pickpocket hotspots, especially after dark. A brief online search or a conversation with your hotel staff can help you identify areas to avoid. 

While not inherently dangerous, some highly touristy areas can be overcrowded and overpriced. Consider going off the beaten path to discover more authentic and less crowded spots. For example, instead of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, explore the charming Gràcia neighborhood. 

Political Demonstrations: While demonstrations in Spain are usually peaceful, it's best to avoid them as they can sometimes lead to disruptions or unexpected situations. Stay informed regarding local news and events to be aware of any potential protests. 

Spain is one of the dream destinations for many, and when traveled safely, it can be an enriching experience.  

Spain FAQs 

Q. How safe is Spain? 

Spain is generally considered a safe country for tourists. However, like any destination, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions. 

Q. Is Spain safe for solo female travelers? 

Yes, Spain is naturally safe for solo female travelers. However, it's important to exercise caution and take normal safety protection, such as avoiding walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas. 

Q. What are the most common safety concerns for tourists in Spain? 

The most common concerns are petty theft, particularly pickpocketing and bag snatching, and scams targeting tourists. 

Q. What safety measures should I take when using public transportation in Spain? 

  • Be aware of your belongings and keep them close to you at all times. 
  • Avoid showing large amounts of cash or valuables. 
  • Be cautious of pickpockets, especially during rush hour. 

Q. Is it safe to drive in Spain? 

Spain has a well-maintained road network, and driving can be a convenient way to explore the country. However, familiarize yourself with local driving laws and regulations before getting behind the wheel. 


“International tourism in Spain- statistics & facts”  

“Traveler’s Health: Destinations.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 22, 2024.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. 

Travel.State.Gov. Spain Travel Advisory. 

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. COVID-19 vaccination. 

Ministry of Health. Vaccines and Vaccination Program. 

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