Location: Western Europe
Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 1 hour
Daylight savings time: during northern hemisphere summer
Current time: 19:08
Dialling code: +34
Internet suffix: .es
Spain is a Western European country known for its distinctive culture, longstanding history, climate and influence on the world.
Overall security situation: mostly secure
Crime rate: extremely low
Murder rate: extremely low
Gun ownership levels: moderately high
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no
Spain is a very secure country. Institutions are highly resilient, well-resourced and capable
The crime rate is extremely low with infrequent incidents, good police coverage and a well-resourced and professional judicial system. While gun ownership levels are moderately high by global standards, the murder rate is low.
Society is largely content, although there are some, mostly single issues which can generate social unrest, including issues such as Catalan separatism. There are occasional protests and demonstrations, some of which can be large, but they are usually non-violent.
Terrorism poses a moderate level of risk with ongoing sporadic incidents of related activity and violence.
Aviation safety levels: standard
Annual road fatality rates: low
Vehicles drive on the: right
Infrastructure quality: excellent
Urban ATM availability: very good
Electricity supply: 230V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: consistent
Plug types: C and F
Plug type C (2 round pins, not grounded/earthed)
Plug type F (2 round pins, grounded/earthed, socket compatible with plug types C and E)
Is tap water drinkable: yes but some travellers may experience an upset stomach
Healthcare quality: among the best healthcare provision in the world
Infectious disease prevalence: extremely low*
*Note that there have been numerous cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the country
Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):
- Hepatitis B (not always needed)
- Rabies (usually only for long-term stays, or for those coming into contact with animals in at-risk areas – see below)
- Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)
Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: rare/non-existent
Rabies prevalence: rare/non-existent (high risk in Ceuta and Melilla)
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: low
Hepatitis B prevalence: intermediate
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: not present
Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: low/non-existent risk
Chagas disease presence: none
Typhoid fever presence: sporadic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: only cases where patient was infected elsewhere; outbreak subsequently contained
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no
Climate: temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
Terrain: large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees Mountains in north
Natural disaster risk: low
Natural hazards: occasional drought; storms; flooding
Tropical storms: few/none
Volcanic activity: volcanic activity in the Canary Islands, located off Africa’s northwest coast; Teide (elev. 3,715 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; La Palma (elev. 2,426 m), which last erupted in 1971, is the most active of the Canary Islands volcanoes; Lanzarote is the only other historically active volcano
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: no
Government type: parliamentary monarchy
Socio-economic development score: 9/10 (very high levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: 98.1%
Unemployment rate: high
Civil liberties: well respected
Investment rating: investment grade
Corruption levels: fairly low
Same-sex sexual activity: legal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, and Basque 2%; note that several minority languages are official in certain regions
Ethnic groups: predominantly Spanish with several regional identities 86%, immigrants (particularly from Latin America) 14%
Beliefs: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
- The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
- However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
- Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
- Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
- Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.
Safe country guidelines
- Even in relatively safe parts of the world, accidents, illnesses and other incidents can still affect traveller safety.
- Make sure you know how to find help if you need it (such as the local emergency service numbers).
- There may still be a risk of opportunistic crime so be mindful of your belongings and take responsibility for your own actions.
- If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
- Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
- Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
- Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
- Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
- Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
- Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
- As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.
- Civil unrest can lead to road closures and even curfews, which can affect your travel plans.
- Be prepared for delays and route alterations.
- Avoid demonstrations as they can turn violent.
- If demonstrations take place on a frequent basis, research the trends which tend to accompany them.
- Where do they tend to take place? Do they tend to turn violent? Do attendees target specific types of building or representative interests associated with a specific nationality, industry, political group (such as party political offices, state buildings or foreign-owned businesses)?
- Once you have identified the sorts of risks, trends and areas of higher risk to be avoided you can start planning to minimise your exposure.
- Terrorism can pose a risk, even in otherwise mostly safe countries.
- Assess the trends and tactics of any relevant terrorist organisations with the potential for targeting your location and identify potential targets.
- Be vigilant in and around these areas, which could include crowded places, symbolic or sensitive political sites, or busy restaurant, nightlife or tourist spots.
- Use your judgement on the frequency of incidents taking place. Just because an incident has taken place in a certain city does not mean that the city will regularly be hit again – use rational judgement to decide whether or not there is a likelihood that you will be caught up in any future incidents.
- Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to react at short notice in the event of an incident.
- In the event of an incident, get out of the area quickly if it is safe to do so.
- Alternatively hide and try to keep out of harm’s way.
- In most cases you should only try to help other people if it is safe for you to do so.
- Keep quiet and notify the relevant authorities, colleagues or loved ones only when you are out of danger.
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