Travel Advice

Travel Advice

New Zealand Government advice for Spain

Flag of Spain

When travelling to Spain, you should always get travel insurance in case the worst happens. To help you ensure you travel safely, we have included the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Spain.

There is some risk to your security in Spain due to the threat from terrorism and we advise caution.

Spain has been subject to terrorist attacks by both domestic and international terrorist groups.

International terrorist groups have made threats to conduct attacks across Europe, which are heightened by their potential to involve foreign fighters returning to Spain and Europe from conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Spain shares this threat with the rest of the region and Spanish authorities continue to make arrests of terrorism suspects. 

In recent years, the Spanish government has periodically adjusted its terrorism alert level in response to terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere as well as information held by its security agencies.  In 2015 it adopted a five point scale to measure this risk, and the threat level has since varied between 3 – Medium and 4 – High.  While the exact terrorism alert level may continue to vary, the basic assessment that there is an ongoing threat from terrorism in Spain remains unchanged.

There may be an increased security presence and security measures in some public places and protection of areas that could be potential targets, such as airports, train stations and critical infrastructure. 

Although the Basque terrorist organisation ETA announced a ‘definitive cessation of armed activity’ in October 2011, and has not mounted any attacks since 2009, the group remains armed and has broken ceasefire agreements previously.

New Zealanders in Spain, as in the rest of Europe, are advised to be security conscious at all times, particularly in public places, and stay informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources.  We recommend following any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities.

Petty crime such as bag snatching and pick pocketing is common in Spain, and is particularly common in tourist areas and on public transport.   Foreign tourists are targeted by professional thieves in Spain, and this regularly includes New Zealanders.  We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times.

There are a wide variety of scams in operation, involving various forms of distraction to tourists while they are being pickpocketed.  These distractions can be elaborate and involve accomplices (for example, an accomplice dirtying clothing, to allow a seemingly helpful bystander to offer assistance in cleaning it). Bags, wallets and purses are frequently stolen from restaurants, streetside tables, and other crowded locations, such as beaches.

Thieves have been known to pose as police officers, asking to see wallets for identification purposes – if approached by someone claiming to be a police officer we recommend you show only your ID and not your wallet or other valuables. Thieves have been known to target hotel rooms and safes. Thieves are also known to target motorists and may try to convince you there is a problem with your vehicle – stealing your valuables while you are investigating.

We advise New Zealanders in Spain to maintain a high level of personal security awareness and take steps to safeguard and secure personal belongings at all times.

The New Zealand Embassy website provides advice on what to do if your New Zealand passport is lost or stolen.

Civil unrest
Demonstrations, protests and strikes occur from time to time in Spain and can disrupt traffic and travel, leading to delays and the cancellation of services.  New Zealanders in Spain are advised to avoid all demonstrations and protests as they have the potential to turn violent.

General travel advice
The New Zealand Embassy website provides information on the assistance and guidance which can be provided to New Zealand citizens who are in serious distress.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Spain should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place.

New Zealanders in Spain are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Street Address Calle del Pinar, 7, 3rd floor, 28006 Madrid, Spain Telephone +34 915 230 226 Fax +34 915 230 171 Email Web Site Hours Mon-Fri 0900-1400, 1500-1730, July to August only: Mon-Fri 0830-1300, 1330-1630

Street Address 2nd Floor, Travesera de Gracia 64, 08006 Barcelona, Spain Telephone +34 93 209 0399 Fax +34 93 202 0890

See our regional advice for Europe

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Street Address
Calle del Pinar, 7, 3rd floor, 28006 Madrid, Spain

Telephone: +34 915 230 226

Fax: +34 915 230 171



Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1400, 1500-1730, July to August only: Mon-Fri 0830-1300, 1330-1630

Telephone: +34 915 230 226

Fax: +34 915 230 171