Legislation and Illegal Practices

  • Ley Antitabaco
  • Contaminación acústica y térmica
  • Venta y consumo de alcohol
  • Metro de Madrid

Madrid is a cosmopolitan city, home to over 3.1 million people of all nationalities. It is a very safe place, and there are a few laws that you may want to be aware of before arriving here.

Smoking ban

This Spanish law came into force in January 2011 to fight tobacco abuse and associated diseases, as well as to protect citizens, in particular minors. Under this law it is forbidden to smoke in enclosed public spaces (bars, health centres, schools, workplaces, government buildings etc.)

Spain has banned smoking in outdoor spaces around educational centres (except universities), healthcare centres, areas cordoned off for children’s parks, children’s play areas and at airports.

Fines for smoking in unauthorized areas range from €30 to €600.

City Ordinance on Protection against Noise and Thermal Pollution

In Madrid, there are laws in place to reduce noise nuisance.

During night hours (11pm to 7am), noise from houses and premises cannot exceed 30 decibels. In the daytime (from 7am to 11pm) the limit is set at 35 decibels.

Alcohol Sale and Consumption

According to the Law on Drug Addiction and Other Addictive Behaviours, people in Madrid are forbidden from selling or consuming alcohol on the street, except in outdoor cafés and bars and at tables placed by the doors of bars. It is also permitted during official fiestas, regulated by municipal ordinances. Violating this law can carry fines of up to €3,000.

Alcohol may not be sold, served or supplied to persons under the age of 18 (the minimum legal drinking age in Spain).

Legislación y prácticas no permitidas

Travelling with pets

You can enter Spain with your dog, cat or ferret as long as it has its Pet Passport. The passport must indicate that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies more than 21 days before your trip, unless it is a booster vaccination. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before being vaccinated against rabies.

Dogs must be kept on a leash in public spaces or privately owned common areas, and must wear a muzzle if they are on the list of potentially dangerous breeds. They are allowed off the leash in designated areas as well as in certain parks and gardens, at particular times (7pm to 10am in winter and 8pm to 10am in summer).

Dog walking rules do not allow dogs to be bathed in fountains or ponds. They also forbid dogs to drink directly from drinking water fountains intended for public use.

Rules on dog fouling dictate that the person in charge of the dog must pick up the pet’s poop, especially when the dog fouls a spot people walk along.

Public transport

Dogs are allowed to travel on the Madrid Metro. Only one dog is allowed per passenger and it must be leashed and muzzled. You can travel with your dog at any time of the day, except at peak hours during the week, and must always go in the last carriage of the train. Read more

Dogs are not permitted on EMT buses, unless they are guide dogs or guide dogs in training. Small pets are allowed as long they are inside a pet carrier and do not bother other passengers.

All dogs are allowed on the Cercanías Renfe regional trains.

Bikes are allowed on the metro at all times in some stations and at certain times in the rest. Read more.

New Normality Measures

Due to the healthcare crisis caused by COVID-19, the city of Madrid has entered into a new normality, implementing a series of measures and rules to be followed in order to guarantee health safety.

As part of the prevention and hygiene measures, the use of face masks is compulsory in closed spaces for public use or in outdoor public spaces (including transport), for people over the age of six, except those suffering from some kind of disability or respiratory illness which prevents the use of this kind of protection, as well as incompatible activities, such as doing sport or food consumption.

The measures also affect  distances between people and capacity levels so it is recommended to maintain a social distance of two metres. As far as shops, hotels, tourist accommodation, restaurants, museums, libraries or sports facilities are concerned, appropriate hygiene measures will be observed to prevent the risk of spreading the virus and the capacity will be limited.

Medidas de la nueva normalidad

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport has also implemented control measures as a result of the re-opening of borders.  In addition to the compulsory use of face masks, restricted check-in, boarding and luggage claim areas have been implemented. Passengers arriving in Spain must pass three health controls, which include filling in a Health Control Form informing whether they have had Covid-19 and, if so, under what conditions. A temperature control and a visual control will also be performed by external professionals, which include doctors and nurses.

It must be taken into account that it is strictly forbidden for any person who is not going to travel to enter the airport terminal.  Only passengers with a boarding card, airport staff and companions with justified cause (children travelling alone and people with reduced mobility) may enter the terminal.


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