Legislation and Illegal Practices

  • Legislación y prácticas no permitidas

Face masks must be worn in health care facilities and pharmacies

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 entered into force in January 2011 with the aim of combating smoking, associated diseases and protecting citizens, especially children. It prohibits smoking in collective spaces and indoor places open to the general public (bars, health centres, schools, companies, government buildings…). Although each bar and restaurant can choose whether to ban smoking on its outdoor terraces or not, so it’s best to check with staff in advance.

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.

Scooters, skateboards, skates, or similar without an electric motor

Madrid City Council has regulated the use of scooters, skateboards, skates, or similar without an electric motor in addition to Urban Mobility Vehicles, such as segways, hoverboards, and bikes with a large basket or trailer, within the new Sustainable Mobility Ordinance.

The Sustainable Mobility Ordinance establishes rules that indicate where electric scooters can be ridden and parked. For example, they may not be ridden on the pavement, in bus lanes, streets with more than one lane in any direction, and sections of the M-30 road that do not have traffic lights.

They must be ridden exclusively on the road, and therefore they may not be ridden or parked on the pavement. They also cannot be used in bike lanes or on inter-urban roads, through roads, highways, motorways, or urban tunnels. The maximum speed is limited to 25 kilometres per hour.

In public parks, they can be ridden through areas used by bikes, but in the case of pathways shared with pedestrians, their speed limit is 5 km/hour. Electric scooters must abide by the maximum speed limit allowed on each road they are allowed to use, and like other vehicle users, you must not drink and drive an electric scooter.

In terms of parking, scooters should be parked in spaces marked for motorcycles and bicycles, and if none are available, in the general parking available on the roadside, in line with current regulations.


  • No matter what time of year you visit, in Madrid you will enjoy our light and an inexhaustible array of culture, food and entertainment.

    Madrid through the seasons
  • Madrid en todas las estaciones del año
  • Are you bringing your dog to Madrid? Here’s our guide to getting around the city and which spaces are dog friendly.

    Dog-Friendly Madrid
  • Madrid con perros
  • Your identity card or passport, maybe your visa, and your suitcase are all you need to have a great time in Madrid!

  • Documentos para el viaje
  • Some guidelines to help you fully enjoy your stay and make sure that nothing catches you off guard.

    Practical information
  • Consejos prácticos
  • Internet, telecomunicaciones y correo en España
  • Everything you need to know about hospitals, healthcare centres, the toll-free number 112 and the Foreign Tourist Assistance Service (SATE).

    Emergency Services and Healthcare
  • Salud y emergencias


The city’s new official sightseeing and tourist travel pass.

An observation deck at 92 metres.

Our online store (in Spanish) sells artisan souvenirs.