How Safe Is Spain for Travel?

Updated On November 7, 2023
Spain
Safety Index:
83
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
62
* Rated 62 / 100 based on 13 user reviews.

Spain is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula, sharing it with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea.

This country, although mostly known for its beaches, is actually filled with historical and cultural heritage: it is the country with the third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, coming after Italy and China.

Its perfect coastline implies fun nightlife, but apart from that and its historical and cultural heritage, Spain is actually very geographically diverse: apart from its beaches that everyone knows it for, in this country, there is everything from vast meadows and snowy mountains to huge deserts in the southeast.

It is also popular in Europe due to its friendly inhabitants, a laid back feel to it (especially near the coast), relaxed lifestyle, its delicious cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous festivities.

Some of the places that are a must-see in Spain are its thriving capital Madrid, the cultural capital of Barcelona, the famous “Running of the Bulls” at Pamplona, gorgeous Andalusian cities with Islamic architecture, like Seville, Granada and Córdoba and of course, the dreamy, picturesque Canary Islands.

Warnings & Dangers in Spain

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

Spain is very safe to visit. Apart from the pickpockets, which are common in this country, tourists should encounter no other problems. Use your common sense and your trip should go smoothly.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Transportation in Spain is very safe and reliable, even though taxi drivers might try to overcharge their services or demand a tip. Also, be careful on public transport, as it's the place where pickpockets operate.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH

Spain is filled with tourists, and naturally, it attracts a bunch of pickpockets so watch out in crowded places such as bus and train stations. There is even a message played on repeat at stations, reminding you to be wary of pickpockets. Be careful when carrying your valuables and never leave them out of your sight.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW

There are no threats of natural disasters, apart from an occasional avalanche which can only be a threat when skiing in the Pyrenees.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

Do not fear mugging or kidnapping in Spain, since it is a rare occurrence here. Still, do not accept any unsolicited help or drinks from anyone you don't know (even though drink spiking is also not an issue in this country).

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM

There haven't been recent terrorist attacks in Spain, but in the light of recent events in this part of Europe, they shouldn't be ruled out, so you should remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: HIGH

There are a couple of ways to get scammed in Spain. You should avoid gypsy women offering you some rosemary: they will read your future and ask for some money or pick your pockets with the help of another gypsy woman. Be wary of "trileros" and their "shell game" where you might get ripped off or stolen from. Always check the bill twice in restaurants and bars since the staff may try to overcharge you or charge for something you did not order.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Women traveling alone should have no problems in Spain. You should use your common sense, and be careful at night, avoid desert and poorly lit streets, and finding yourself alone with strange people in abandoned areas. Apart from that, you should have no safety problems in Spain.

So... How Safe Is Spain Really?

Spain is a safe country to visit, but it is recommended that you take some basic precautions measures since it is known to be crawling with pickpockets, especially around popular tourist landmarks and larger cities.

There have also been cases of thieves on motorbikes driving by women and grabbing their purses, so keep it tightly by your side at all times.

Be extremely careful in bus or train stations and other similar crowded places, since pickpocketing is so common there that a voice message reminding you of pickpockets is always played on repeat.

Also, exercise caution at the Spanish Flea Market (el Rastro) in Madrid over the weekends.

Here, the pickpockets operate in groups.

Also, be well prepared for people trying to scam you.

This can happen with taxi drivers trying to trick you into paying a fixed price from an airport to a city, even though they have a visible fare table.

They may also demand a tip.

Be wary of so-called ‘trileros’ playing the “shell game”.

They will probably rip you off you if you play, and if you stop to see other people play, they’ll probably pick your pockets.

Before paying the bill in bars and restaurants, always check the bill twice since the staff sometimes try to squeeze in a few extra euro by charging for something they did not eat or drink, or just by overcharging.

How Does Spain Compare?

CountrySafety Index
Spain83
Morocco54
Slovenia87
Japan83
Ghana73
Portugal57
Slovakia80
Greece73
Australia86

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

Most countries do not need a visa to enter Spain for any stays shorter than 90 days. Any longer than that, you will have to obtain a visa. Also, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned date of return. However, if you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.

Currency

Currency

Euro is the official currency in Spain. ATMs are widely available throughout the country, and credit cards accepted in most establishments such as hotels and restaurants. Allow yourself a budget of around 150e per day, including accommodation

Weather

Weather

Spain has three different climate zones, due to its size, but tourists can expect a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The vast central part of the state has a more continental climate with a bit colder winters.

Airports

Airports

Spain's busiest airport is Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas located just 9 km from Madrid's financial district and 13 km northeast of Plaza Mayor de Madrid, which is Madrid's historic center.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Spain, since it covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Spain Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 7° C
Feb 8° C
Mar 11° C
Apr 13° C
May 17° C
Jun 22° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 21° C
Oct 15° C
Nov 10° C
Dec 7° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
101216182228323126191310
Low
°C
346811161919151164
High
°F
505461647282908879665550
Low
°F
373943465261666659524339

Spain - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Alicante77
Andorra la Vella89
Barcelona67
Bilbao52
Cadiz74
Canary Islands81
Granada58
Ibiza82
Las Palmas74
Madrid68
Malaga76
Murcia83
Palma de Mallorca57
Pamplona81
Salamanca59
San Sebastian56
Seville71
Valencia69
Zaragoza79

Where to Next?

13 Reviews on Spain

  1. Great culture

    I feel like this review of the place is pretty much spot on. Having not been to Spain in several years, I was not sure what to expect when I went earlier this year. It is not as safe as it once was but I didn’t feel there was a threat against me at any point. I went with my husband, my sister, and her husband.

  2. T
    Thomas Parker says:

    Warm and nice

    I migrated from Spain to the US at a young age with my parents. I can’t say that I missed the place having no real deep memories from living there but when I went a few years ago, I did enjoy it. My parents had wanted to go back and visit family since I was 10 but never were able to afford it so I took them back in 2015. We are going to go again next year.

  3. K
    Kendall says:

    Safe and a pleasure to explore on your own terms

    I would never tire of this country! They really take their tourism industry very seriously, everything is spot on, from classic tourist hotspots to hospitality and means of transportation.

    Been to Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla and several other lesser-known cities with Cadaques, Girona being our absolute favorite one. Sevilla will always have my heart, there’s no shortage of activities and it’s not as fast paced as Barcelona which is more of a city focused on younger people. Flamenco show, gorgeous architecture, museums and insanely good food, a must see for anyone who’s never been to Spain.

    As with any big city you either can rent a car or resort to uber or lyft.

    Their airports are very well organized and clean, you won’t feel like you need to double up on wet wipes when you’re sitting somewhere.

    If you practice caution and avoid having all your valuables on display for an easy grab then you won’t have to deal with any other unpleasantries. Pickpockets, mostly gypsies, are rather easy to spot if you’ve traveled around Europe a bit. They tend to appear more in crowded places as in that confusion they will slightly push/bump into you and ease you of your wallet. Otherwise, that’s it. No one will hold you at gunpoint, you won’t get mugged or any other weird scenarios.

    For foodies like me this is a dreamy destination, I always end up ordering way more than I need which results in several pounds weight gain when I come back home.

    I see myself going on a solo-trip this summer now that covid is taking a break and Spain is definitely my top choice. A whole month of backpacking through this country, at my own pace, without having to worry about my safety, this is the dream especially after these rough couple of years.

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      Not safe from experience

      Many people get mugged at knifepoint in public daylight and even when vigilant. Just because nothing happened to you and you had a great time, doesn’t mean it’s safe.

  4. A
    Anonymous from usa says:

    Spain is not safe and should be rated below 50.

    Spain is NOT safe. Everybody i know that have visited including Europeans have been violently mugged or theft happened to them, including myself. Look at the US travel state department website report on Spain and see for yourself. Call the US embassy and ask them, they will have many of negative reports, including assaults. Police dont care and dont do anything. In fact, the police are definitely non existent and their guns are obsolete and a joke. The locals try to blame the morrocans. And taxi drivers will not run their meter.

    1. Spain is a safe, clean, and healthy country.

    2. Spain is safe

      I live in the USA and had a house in Spain. I used to go every summer for 4 years and never had one problem! Not sure what happened to you but don’t say it’s not safe just because you were one of the few that got hassled. It’s definitely safer than Los Angeles haha!

    3. Spain is fine in terms of safety

      I lived in Spain for many years (actually, I’m visiting now) and never encountered any of that… Are you sure about the country you are talking about?
      Other than the usual caution in large cities or tourist areas (like anywhere else in the world! – use your common sense), it is a safe country.

  5. R
    R. James says:

    Barcelona is absolutely not safe. I have been robbed or mugged and or randomly attacked 13 times in 2 years with around a 50% success rate for the C**TS… Unfortunately the last time was in my local area and the safest nicest area of them all, El Clot, It broke my heart so much that I vowed to leave Barcelona behind. It’s good for nothing but sunshine in my personal opinion; besides the theft of course. The first day I got there there was an attempt at my phone and the subsequent week another… Leave nothing out in the open and don’t even let strangers walk up towards you because they grab and run.. and they are fast! Do not leave anything on a table and do not go out with things you desire to look after and keep. Back all electronic information up so that you have a copy in case. So if you are like me friendly and trusting – First Barcelona will smash that out of your consciousness for a start – and make sure you have a VERY VERY solid and secure grip upon the things you wish to keep possession of, otherwise its ripped straight from your hand. Be careful of nightclub areas, Plaza Real especially and anything east of “The rambla” – a terrible area, anywhere east or south of Plaza Catalunya. East in this case is much safer than West. Do not leave your things on the beach, basically there is a very good reason why it is the petty crime capital of Europe and possibly even the world. To give this place a safe score I do find quite funny. Aside from the fact that its never a white man or a black man or a homeless man that will rob you. If you don’t look Spanish then you are a target. Men mostly I would imagine; I think its not only a disgusting act I also think they choose the men for there own egos too.

  6. V
    Visitor says:

    Span is as safe as Germany.

  7. H
    Harry Hexton says:

    Food is overrated

    I don’t know why people wax lyrical about the food. I have travelled from South to North and coming from Scotland , I too came with the spoon feed notion that Spanish was a superior place to visit for good food etc. I can now say after some deep travelling that the food is no better then decent cooked canteen food in the UK. Unlike the UK and prob the US there is next to no great selection of Ethnic Food , Even when you encounter a Chinese restaurant it’s mainly subservient to local tastes and blended down. Spanish foods tends to be over reliant on Potatoes and Night Shades , even though they are huge exporters of spinach you see next to no greens on the plate in a restaurant or other eatery even at the high end. Even for the 21st century the food system seems locked tight into a traditional regime , that probably harked back to a time when food was scarce and people had to make do with limited provisions. However unlike the UK Spain hasn’t moved on from the post war era it seems when it comes to the service of food. Good luck catering for any specific dietary requirements of food intolerances unless you’re going to live in a bubble in Barcelona or Madrid I suppose. Deserts and sweets seem to be locked into the same cycle and I’m not surprised alcohol plays a large part of the culinary experience to stimulate very bland and repetative regimes . When it comes to food. I’m surprised there have not been more jokes about the Spanish (of most regions ) and their over consumption of Potatoes with almost every other dish. Though Spain might be a nation divided at certain points along linguistic lines and other political factors. I’m sure as defenders of the Potato they will always be united in the IP even if Catalonia goes her own way.

    1. F
      FrozenPotatoes says:

      A Scotsman criticizing Spanish cuisine? Seriously, is this a joke? It’s not the fault of Spanish cuisine if you chose to always eat at cheap places where fried fish, pork skewers, and croquettes with frozen potatoes are the staples of the menu.
      This review speaks much more about its cultural level than about Spanish gastronomy.

  8. Avoid the Canaries

    Can’t speak of the mainland, but I would suggest avoiding the Canary Islands. Some rotten piece of trash stole clothing from my luggage. It’s not safe to drink the tap water on any of the islands, and with the possible exception of Tenerife, they aren’t very pretty. Chock full of loud mouth, uneducated, drunken British tourists looking for “quickies”… Find somewhere else to vacation.

Spain Rated 3.08 / 5 based on 13 user reviews.

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