Topics include Transportation, Things to Do, Dining Scene & more!
Spain has FOUR European land borders. Two are with Schengen countries (France and Portugal), so routine immigration and customs checks do not take place on crossing the border - see the Schengen Agreement section below for more information. The third and fouth are with Andorra, and Gibraltar two of Europe's micro-states. Crossing into Spain from Andorra and Gibraltar will sometimes mean a long wait while Spanish immigration and customs teams search you and/or vehicle, due to Andorra and Gibraltar being regarded as a "tax haven".
There are two enclaves of Spain in Northern Africa: Ceuta and Melilla. Both have heavily guarded borders with Morocco. The border crossing can be restricted to EU nationals only at certain times of the year, as can ferry crossings from Tangier to the Spanish mainland. Be prepared for queues of up to 2 hours entering Ceuta or Melilla from Morocco, as well as extensive immigration and customs checks.
When flying between Spain and another Schengen country, routine immigration and customs checks do not take place - see the Schengen Agreement section below for more information. When flying between Spain and non-Schengen countries (including Bulgaria/Cyprus/Ireland/Romania/United Kingdom), there are routine immigration checks and selective customs checks.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens need only present a passport or national identity card that is valid on the day you enter and leave Spain. There is no minimum validity required. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens under the age of 18 travelling unaccompanied with a national identity card must be able to present written parental consent to travel to Spain.
All other citizens need to present a passport or other accepted travel document that is valid for the total duration of their planned stay in Spain. Some will require a visa - see the Visa section below for more information.
All passengers arriving in Spain by air are required to give passport/national identity card details to the Spanish authorities in advance of landing (this is usually done when booking a flight or at check-in).
As a safety precaution, always carry a photocopy of your passport with you or some form of government issue photographic ID in case police undertake a random spot check.
EU, EEA, Swiss and Andorran citizens do not require a visa under free right of movement treaty.
Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa if staying in the Schengen Area as a whole for less than 90 days in a 180 day period: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Hong Kong SAR (also British Nationals (Overseas)), Japan, Macao SAR, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, St Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela. Citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro must have biometric passports to enter without a visa. Citizens of Serbia must have a biometric passport not issued by the Co-ordination Directorate to be able to enter without a visa.
New Zealand citizens do not require a visa if staying in Spain for up to 90 days, regardless of the time spent in other Schengen countries.
If you do not qualify for any of the visa exemptions listed above, you will need to apply for a visa before arriving in Spain/the Schengen Area.
If your total stay in the Schengen Area is less than 90 days, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of the country which is your main destination or, if spending an equal length of time in each country, the first point of entry.
If your total stay in the Schengen Area is more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a national visa at the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of the country which is your main destination, which will permit you to stay in the main country for the validity of the visa and in each other Schengen country for up to 90 days during the validity of the visa.
Spain is part of the Schengen Agreement, which means that there are no routine immigration checks when travelling to/from another Schengen country. The terms 'Schengen Area' and 'Schengen zone' refer to all Schengen countries as a whole.
In addition, a visa issued by one Schengen country is valid for all member countries, unless otherwise specified on the visa. With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen zone according to the validity and conditions of the visa. If you plan to visit several Schengen countries, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your main destination or, if spending an equal length of time in each country, the first point of entry.
At present, there are 26 Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. All these countries except Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are European Union members.
Do note that the UK is not part of the Schengen Agreement.
There are no restrictions on goods brought into Spain for personal use from other European Union countries.
Note that the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are not part of the European Union customs territory.
The following limits apply on goods brought into Spain from countries and territories that are outside the European Union customs territory: