Spanish law defines anyone under 18 to be a minor, subject to parental control or adult supervision. Any unaccompanied minors that come to the attention of the Spanish authorities (for whatever reason, but particularly in connection with criminal incidents or when in hospital) are judged to be vulnerable and may face being taken into a Minors’ Centre for their protection until their situation is resolved and a parent or suitable guardian can be found.


You must provide ID i.e. your passport if requested by a Police Officer. The Police have the right to hold you at a police station until your identity is confirmed.


Being caught in possession of even a small quantity of drugs can lead to arrest and detention. Possession of large quantities will probably result in prosecution and a custodial sentence if convicted. Some regional Governments in Spain have banned the consumption of alcohol in the street. Failure to respect this may result in a heavy fine.


It is illegal to smoke in indoor public places i.e. bars, restaurants, airports, shopping centres etc.  Smoking is also illegal outside hospitals, schools and children’s play parks.  Fines for breaking laws range from €30 to €600 and are being strictly enforced.  There are also strict controls on drinking and sexual activity in public places, including beaches, where regulations have increased significantly.  Fines range from €30-€1,500.


In Barcelona it is now against the law to be in the street wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts/trunks. Being bare-chested or going fully nude has also been banned. The only exception to this law is when you are on the beach, the seafront promenade or the adjacent streets. Failure to respect this law may result in a fine.


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 Councils wearing a burka or niqab, you may be asked to remove it whilst in the building


Hotels have a legal duty to register the passport details of tourists when they check-in. Wait until the hotel staff have registered your passport details or taken a photocopy of your passport, rather than leaving it in reception to collect later. It may help to take your own photocopy.