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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.