Spain laws every tourist should know that could see you fined up to €1,500

The sale and consumption of alcohol is limited in some parts of the Balearic Islands, including Magaluf
The sale and consumption of alcohol is limited in some parts of the Balearic Islands, including Magaluf -Credit:The Image Bank RF/Getty Images

Millions of Brits are getting ready to jet off on their summer holidays, with Spain being one of the most popular destinations - but if you're heading there in the coming months, there are some rules you should be aware of.

Restrictions have been imposed in some parts of the country with high tourist numbers, which could see anyone falling foul of them hit with a fine - with the latest change coming into force in the Balearic Islands just last week. This new rule, which applies to parts of Mallorca and Ibiza, has imposed a ban on alcohol sales at night, and means drinking in public is prohibited.

This is not the only law that has been introduced in recent years in order to combat the impact of over-tourism in Spain, with restrictions also applying to smoking, drugs, parties, and even clothing. Here are the other rules that anyone planning a holiday to Spain should read up on before they go - more information can be found on the FCDO's Spain travel advice page.


As mentioned above, it is illegal to drink alcohol in the street in some areas of Spain, and doing so could land you an on-the-spot fine of between €500 and €1,500 (£430 - £1290). There are strict controls on drinking in public places, including on beaches, the Foreign Office warns, which is particularly worth bearing in mind if you're heading to one of the country's notorious party hotspots.

Local laws limit the sale and availability of alcohol in areas of some resorts on the Balearic Islands, including Magaluf and Playa de Palma in Mallorca, as well as San Antonia in Ibiza. This bans attractions such as happy hours, pub crawls and party boat trips, as well as the sale of alcohol from vending machines or self-service alcohol dispensers, and 'off-licence' alcohol sales are also prohibited between 9.30pm and 8am.

Smoking and drugs

Smoking is also prohibited on most Spanish beaches, including all of the beaches in Barcelona. Those caught smoking where they're not supposed to could be fined £25.

In addition, possession of even a small quantity of drugs can lead to arrest and detention. Possession of large quantities will usually result in prosecution and a prison sentence, according to the FCDO.


In some parts of Spain, including Barcelona, Malaga and Palma, it's illegal to wear just a bikini or swimming shorts in the street, and being bare-chested is also banned in some area. You could be fined €300 (around £250) if you're caught wearing swimwear on the seafront promenade or adjacent streets.

This rule applies to other public settings too, such as restaurants, shops and bars. Tourists are advised to always cover up when walking back from the beach or swimming pool to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law.

Illegal parties

There have been a number of "serious accidents" involving people attending illegal commercially promoted parties in villas and private homes on the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca, the FCDO said. Licensed clubs and bars have to meet safety and security standards - and illegal commercial parties may not meet these standards.

If you attend an illegal commercially promoted party, you may end up being fined. "Take care of your belongings, make sure you know where emergency exits are and do not take unnecessary risks," the Foreign Office advises.