Entry Requirements

Minimum validity of travel documents

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, need only produce a passport or national identity card which is valid on the date of entry.

Other nationals must produce a passport which is valid for the entirety of their period of stay in Spain.

More information about the minimum validity of travel documents is available at this webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain.

Spain is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented this treaty - the European Union except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But be careful: not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union. This means that there may be spot customs checks but no immigration checks travelling within Schengen but to/from a non-EU country or you may have to clear immigration but not customs travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country.

Please see the article Travel in the Schengen Zone for more information about how the scheme works and what entry requirements are.

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who enter Spain on a national identity card, who are under 18 years old and travelling without their parents are required to have written parental consent. For more information, visit this webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain.

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Mauritius, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Seychelles are permitted to work in Spain without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 90 day visa-free stay. However, this ability to work visa-free does not necessarily extend to other Schengen countries.

When entering by air from a non-Schengen country, you will be expected to fill out a brief form which includes an address in Spain, such as a hotel or hostel. This does not appear to be stringently checked, but you will not be allowed in unless an address has been entered.

A stay of longer than 90 days for non-EEA or Swiss citizens almost invariably requires an advance visa. If one stays for longer than 6 months, a residence permit Titulo de Residencia must be obtained within the first 30 days of entering Spain.

There are a number of ways to get into Spain. From neighbouring European countries, a drive with the car or a train ride is feasible; visitors from further away will probably be using air travel.

By plane
By plane

Spain's national carrier is Iberia.

The busiest airports are Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Malaga, followed by Seville, Valencia, Bilbao, Alicante, Santiago de Compostela, Vigo, Gran Canaria and the 2 airports in Tenerife. All are listed on the official airport governing body website: (

Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao have the most beautiful airports, designed by famous architects.

Low cost carriers operating to Spain include: Vueling (, easyJet (, Ryanair (, Blue Air (, and (

Warning: If you buy an e-ticket from Iberia over the internet with a credit card, you may have to show the original credit card upon check-in. If you fail to do so, you will have to purchase another ticket for the same fare, and the original ticket will be refunded many weeks or even months later.

By bus
By bus

Bus travel in Spain is increasingly an attractive option for people traveling on a tight budget.

There are lots of private bus companies offering routes to all major Spanish cities. If you want to travel around Spain by bus, the best idea is to go to your local bus station Apart from Madrid and Barcelona, most towns and cities have just one and see what is available.

Traveling by bus in Spain is usually reliable except on peak holiday days when roads can be very crowded and you should expect long delays on popular routes, coaches are modern and comfortable. You can expect to pay about €8 per 100km.

By ship
By ship

From the UK, Brittany Ferries offers services from Portsmouth and Plymouth to Santander and from Portsmouth to Bilbao. The journey time from Portsmouth to Santander is approximately 24 hours.

Ferry services were once run by P&O from Portsmouth to Bilbao and from Plymouth and Southampton to Santander. However, P&O no longer operates these routes.

As well as the UK, Spain is also well connected by Ferry to Northern Africa particularly Algeria and Morocco and the Canary Islands which are owned by Spain. Routes are also naturally available to the Spanish Balearic islands of Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera.

Another popular route is from Barcelona to Genoa.

Spain Yatching Group S.L. ( Yacht charter and sailing - INTERNATIONAL YACHTING GROUP, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in Spain and Wordwide.

By train
By train

The best option to arrive in Spain by train is the high-speed track from France, connecting Paris with Barcelona and further with Madrid. It takes 6 hours of travel from Paris to Barcelona. Cross-border connections are also frequent on the other end of the border with France, between San Sebastian and Bayonne. Trains from Portugal are slow and not so frequent.