Photo Credit: Les Haines

Spain is a member of the European Union and allows visitors from other EU and EFTA countries to enter visa-free for stays indefinitely. US citizens and those from Australia, New Zealand and Canada are also allowed visa-free entry for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. The same applies to a long list of other nationals, accessible online at the Spanish immigration website. Visitors not on the list are advised to apply to their nearest Spanish Embassy for further instructions and application forms.

Health and Safety

There are no specific recommended vaccines for travel to Spain, except make sure your usual shots are up to date. The water is safe to drink, although in the south it may be unpalatable. EU visitors can use the Spanish free healthcare system, but US visitors are advised to buy travel/health insurance. The summer sun can cause burns and heatstroke, so sunscreen and plenty of drinking water is essential. If you’re traveling in the wilderness, watch out for forest or brush fires, as well as for snakes and other wildlife.

Generally, Spain is a safe country, although the usual hassle of pickpockets, bag-snatchers and scam artists exist at tourist attractions and on public transportation. Use common sense and take care of your belongings and you should have no trouble as violent attacks on tourists are rare. Perennial problems in outdoor markets are caused by gypsy gangs who distract you with goods, while another member grabs your wallet. It’s a good idea to check your restaurant bill carefully before paying, as “mistakes” often happen. Walking alone late at night is discouraged.

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