Is Madrid safe? You will agree with me that this is a natural question for every traveler visiting new cities, especially when traveling solo or with kids.
In this post, you will find the updated travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, essential safety information to travel to Spain now, and practical tips for enjoying your trip to Madrid in complete safety.
Table of contents
- 1 What is the status of COVID-19 in Madrid?
- 2 Is Madrid safe to travel to right now?
- 2.1 Recognized reports on Madrid safety
- 2.2 Is Madrid safe at night?
- 2.3 Is Madrid a safe city to travel to for families?
- 2.4 Is Madrid Safe to Travel Alone?
- 2.5 Is Madrid safe for solo female travel?
- 2.6 How safe is Madrid for international students?
- 2.7 Is Madrid safe for the LGBTQ+ community?
- 2.8 Is public transportation in Madrid safe?
- 2.9 Is Madrid Safe from Terrorism?
- 3 Emergency numbers
- 4 Safety Tips for Traveling to Madrid
What is the status of COVID-19 in Madrid?
Nowadays, most questions about traveling to Madrid have to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is important that you know that Madrid is a safe destination, currently open to national and international tourism.
When I say that you can currently visit Madrid with total confidence is because:
- Spain is one of the top European destinations with the highest percentage of adults who have already received the full dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
- Madrid has a highly competent healthcare system.
- Touristic facilities and attractions in Madrid are prepared with health control measures such as cleaning and disinfection. The use of face masks on public transportation is still compulsory.
The World Travel & Tourism Council’s global travel safety program, Safe Travels, has certified Madrid as safe for travel.
To qualify for this program, countries must follow rigorous COVID-19 safety protocols.
Madrid offers the peace of mind and safety you need to relax and enjoy your trip to Spain to the fullest.
Covid-19 Requirements to enter Spain
All passengers arriving in Spain by air (except for those under 12 years of age and those in international transit) must have one of these documents:
a) A valid and recognized EU Digital COVID Certificate or equivalent. This certificate evidences that you have been vaccinated against COVID 19, you have had a test with a negative result, or you have recovered from COVID 19.
These certificates are not necessary for children under the age of 12.
Travelers between 12 to 18 years old who have had a single dose of the vaccine may travel to Spain with a negative PCR/antigen test result carried out within 72 hours before departure.
b) If you do not have a valid certificate, you must complete a health control form before your departure here. Once completed, you will obtain a QR code that could be requested at the time of boarding and upon arrival in Spain.
If you are an international transit passenger, you will not be asked to provide a Health Control Form or a certificate of vaccination as long as you do not leave the airport environment and your stay in Spain does not exceed 24 hours.
Spain´s official tourism website has created an extremely useful interactive map to check the most updated entry requirements for the country you are traveling from.
Don´t forget to check today if there have been changes in the Covid-19 requirements to enter Spain.
All travelers may undergo a health check at the first point of entry, which will include at least taking your temperature, checking your documentation, and a visual assessment of your physical state of health.
As you can imagine, these requirements are necessary to maintain Madrid as one of the safest destinations in the world.
Current Covid-19 restrictions in Madrid
Wearing a mask indoors or outdoors is no longer required in Madrid as of today.
There are certain exceptions though, and you must still wear your mask in public transport, hospitals, and pharmacies. Remember that masks are not required for children under six years old.
However, masks are still recommended for vulnerable people or when social distance cannot be maintained.
Remember to follow the usual health and safety recommendations in Madrid, such as keeping a safe distance, using hydroalcoholic gel, and washing your hands often.
What to do if you have Covid-19 during your stay in Madrid?
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should take precautions and limit your social interactions as much as possible, especially with vulnerable people.
During the next 10 days after the beginning of symptoms always wear a mask and wash your hands frequently.
Close contacts of confirmed cases are no longer required to self-isolate.
For your personal safety, keep in mind that emergency healthcare services are guaranteed in Madrid in all cases at hospitals and healthcare centers.
Is Madrid safe to travel to right now?
In short, yes. Madrid is a safe destination. Like other well-developed European cities, the living standard and personal safety are very high in Madrid.
Pickpocketing is the most common form of street crime in Madrid, especially around popular tourist attractions. Scams are also a risk around tourist spots.
With the usual precautions and safety guidelines, I am sure you will enjoy a wonderful experience in Madrid.
At the end of your trip, you will agree with me that Madrid is safe to travel to right now.
It is true that some violent crimes could occur from time to time after dark in very specific areas not usually visited by tourists.
Recognized reports on Madrid safety
According to the 2021 Safe Cities Index by The Economist Madrid ranks 10th in personal security.
It is much better positioned than other top-rated tourist destinations such as London (14), Tokyo (16), Rome (23), New York (27), Los Angeles (29), Rio de Janeiro (36), and Mexico City (42).
Personal security considers how at-risk citizens are from crime, violence, terrorist threats, natural disasters, and economic vulnerabilities.
The index takes into account the prevalence of petty and violent crime, threat of civil unrest, corruption levels, and other indicators assessing income inequality.
Also, as of today, Spain ranks 31st on the Global Peace Index. It compares very well with other countries such as the United Kingdom (33), France (55), the United States (122), and Mexico (140).
Is Madrid safe at night?
Yes. Spain is considered one of the safest countries in the world to walk alone at night.
However, just like any other city in the world, crime rates rise after midnight so you need to be especially careful.
As alcohol consumption is sometimes associated with more aggressive behavior, be alert in the areas in the city center with a more vibrant nightlife.
However, violent conducts in the Madrid nightlife are very rare and you will see plenty of police looking after your personal safety.
There are some boroughs that you should avoid in Madrid at night such as Lavapies, Usera, and Villaverde.
Safety starts with awareness, so remember to take the usual precautions such as being alert, walking through well-lit and populated areas, not wearing headphones, and carrying your phone fully charged, especially if you are walking alone.
Overall, you can rely on the Madrid public transport to get to your hotel safely.
Is Madrid a safe city to travel to for families?
Yes. Madrid is actually a very family-oriented city.
There are plenty of amazing things to do in Madrid with children, such as theme parks, cultural activities, and leisure and adventure centers.
I am sure your kids will always remember your trip to Madrid.
Madrid is very safe to travel with kids but you need to realize that it is a very big city, with dense traffic, and some areas are especially crowded.
Keep your eyes on them at all times to prevent accidents. And if you follow these tips, you will find Madrid an extremely safe city to travel to for families:
- Teach your kids to stay close together in crowded locations and remind them to always be where they can see you. It is a good idea to dress your kids in brightly-colored clothing that is easy to spot.
- Also, make sure your kids know who to talk to in an emergency by identifying uniforms (e.g. (a police officer).
- If possible, arm your children with your name and phone number. This could be a business card in their pocket or a bracelet.
- Madrid can be quite hot in Summer, so be sure your children stay hydrated.
Is Madrid Safe to Travel Alone?
Yes. Madrid is a great destination for solo travelers. The capital of Spain is very safe, easy to get around, and full of things to do alone.
You will find that locals are friendly and open to chatting with tourists. Although it is true that not so many locals can speak English fluently. Anyway, for any problem you could have they will be eager to help.
Also, as you will not share expenses with anyone, Madrid is one of the most affordable cities to visit in Europe.
Another advantage is the high number of sunshine hours. In summer you can enjoy even 15 hours a day of sunlight. With the sunset at 22:00, you could be even back at your hotel before it is dark outside.
Although Madrid is a really safe city to travel alone, you need the take the usual precautions. I suggest you read my safety tips for traveling to Madrid in the last section of the article.
Finally, if you think you will feel safer in Madrid in a group, you can book a free guided sightseeing tour where you will discover the top-rated landmarks together with other visitors that will probably have similar interests.
Is Madrid safe for solo female travel?
My answer would be Yes. But safety is usually a feeling and it depends on everyone.
I have lived for more than 40 years in Madrid and have always felt safe. It is true though that it is my city. I’ve personally never experienced any sort of incident against my personal safety in Madrid.
Unfortunately, being a woman traveler still involves some additional risks. It’s not difficult to find countries where incidents of violence against women are still very high.
Madrid is an excellent city for solo female travel, it is safe, walkable, with plenty of sunshine hours, with many people in the streets even at night, and locals are friendly and happy to help tourists.
Also, visiting Madrid alone will allow you to get involved with Spanish culture and interact with locals in a deeper way.
But, as in any other city in the world, it is important that you stay always alert. Keep your belongings (and your drinks) close, keep your phone fully charged, and avoid dark and isolated areas.
And if you feel unsafe at any given time, share your live location with someone you trust.
Don´t forget to take a look at the last section of this article with handy precautions for traveling to Madrid.
How safe is Madrid for international students?
Yes. Many students prefer to study in Madrid due to the nice weather, the Spanish lifestyle, the affordable prices, and the security the city provides.
Madrid is one of the safest cities in the world. I am sure that if you decide to spend some months studying in Madrid, you will never forget this unique experience.
Meeting lots of new people, discovering Spain, trying our delicious foods, enjoying the amazing weather, our unique Spanish lifestyle, maybe some party… You will return home as a more open-minded person.
However, as in any other major city in the world, it is important to be aware of certain things to stay safe throughout your stay in Madrid.
Arriving in a new country on your own can be a challenge, and common sense is essential to be aware of any dangers you might face.
- As an international student in Madrid, remember to keep all your documents safe. You can take a copy of your passport when you go out exploring and leave the original documentation locked at home.
- Do not carry a high amount of cash, and think about using a credit card instead.
- Keep your family and friends updated on your location, especially when you are alone. At night, try to stay in groups and do not get back home just on your own, particularly if you are drunk.
- In Spain, it is illegal to sell alcohol and tobacco to minors under 18 years old. And you can be arrested if you are caught using drugs in public places.
Is Madrid safe for the LGBTQ+ community?
Yes. In fact, Madrid is one of the favorite destinations in the world for the LGBTQ+ community.
In terms of protecting LGBTQ+ rights and equality, Madrid is an open and cosmopolitan metropolis with progressive legislation. Same-sex marriage has been a reality since 2005.
The Madrid Pride festivities, famous worldwide, are a good example of the existing freedom, tolerance, and respect.
The biggest day is the Madrid Pride Parade, which brings more than a million and a half people each year to the streets of the capital to continue demonstrating for LGBTQ+ rights.
Pride is celebrated throughout the entire city, but most of the activities take place in the Chueca neighborhood, the most cosmopolitan and vibrant area in Madrid.
Chueca offers a wide variety of galleries, shops, restaurants, and cafes, and it has the most exciting nightlife in the capital.
You will notice tolerance and respect everywhere and you will feel safe while having fun in Madrid.
Is public transportation in Madrid safe?
Yes. Public transport in Madrid is totally safe, even at night.
Anyway, if you feel unsafe at any time, avoid sitting in an empty carriage and take a place near the driver on the bus. If you are alone, remain close to other groups of people.
Taxis are an excellent option at night, although it can be sometimes difficult to find a free vehicle. Search for a green light on the roof of the car and raise your hand to stop it. Once inside, make sure that the taxi has a working meter to avoid being overcharged. Taxis from the airport work at a fixed rate of 30 €.
Besides, according to health experts, the risk of Covid contagion on public transport is low. You must still wear your mask in public transport and the ventilation systems have been improved for your safety.
Is Madrid Safe from Terrorism?
Unfortunately, Madrid is not safe from terrorism.
It is true that the probability of being involved in a terrorist attack is statistically almost null but this risk is present in most destinations all over the world.
Terrorism has been and will continue to be a concern and Madrid suffered a terrorist attack in 2004 where almost 200 innocent people were killed.
In my case, I have always believed that if I stop traveling for being afraid of an attack, the terrorists will have achieved their objective.
A long time ago, I decided to not live with fear, but it is up to you to make this decision.
Although you’re unlikely to need them, you should write down and remember the essential emergency numbers in Madrid.
In the event of an emergency (ambulance, fire and rescue, or police), dial 112, a toll-free number that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the EU, including Spain. The caller’s location is immediately determined by the call center.
Most countries have diplomatic representation in Madrid. Find below the phone numbers for some countries, check here the complete list:
- U.S. Embassy in Madrid: (+34) 91 587 22 00
- Canada Embassy: (+34) 91 382 84 00
- United Kingdom Embassy: (+34) 91 714 63 00
- Germany Embassy: (+34) 91 557 90 00
- Australia Embassy: (+34) 91 353 66 00
- Norway Embassy: (+34) 91 436 38 40
Safety Tips for Traveling to Madrid
1. Officially register your trip
Most countries have created official sites to register your trip.
For example, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip.
This way, you will be able to receive important information about safety conditions in your destination country, and the U.S. Embassy can contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
2. Use an anti-theft invisible wallet
This is an essential safety item when I travel. I always carry some cash, not so much, but enough for any emergency.
An invisible wallet will help you to prevent thefts and keep your money safe. I often keep my passport inside as well as other valuable documentation on my trip.
3. Don’t leave your belongings unattended
Remember to keep your luggage, backpack, purse, and other valuables close.
Carry your bags always zipped up, don’t hang your bags on the back of chairs, and don´t leave your phone on the table. Thefts will be looking for laptops, cameras, and cell phones, and take advantage of any distractions.
Same way, women traveling solo to Madrid should keep their drinks close at night.
4. Take a taxi
Taking a taxi in Madrid will allow you to mitigate the risk of being pickpocketed. And, if you are alone at night, it is the perfect way to get safe and quick to your accommodation.
5. Leave your valuables in your hotel safe
Wearing your most expensive clothes, jewelry and accessories could not be the best idea while sightseeing abroad as they will attract the attention of pickpockets.
Looking like a wealthy tourist could make you a target for pickpockets.
You can also lock the travel documentation and the passport, just take a copy with you.
6. Be careful when using ATMs
When withdrawing money from ATMs, make sure no one is looking at your PIN over your shoulder. You find plenty of ATMs throughout the city, an indoor bank will offer you more privacy.
7. Get a Travel Insurance
I have learned to expect the unexpected on my trips. It is always better to be safe than sorry, especially when you are abroad.
Travel insurance will give you a higher level of security and peace of mind. Don´t allow an inconvenience ruins your vacation and insure your health and belongings.
They are more economic than you expect.
8. Book a guided tour
In case you are traveling alone and feel unsafe sightseeing on your own in Madrid, guided tours will allow you to visit the best tourist attractions with a group of people of similar interests, lead by a professional bilingual guide.
9. Learn some basic Spanish
Locals are really friendly in Madrid and will always try to help tourists.
But it is true that many locals cannot speak English fluently. Therefore, learning some basic words in Spanish could help you in case of an emergency.
10. Stay connected
Maintain regular contact with friends and family, especially if you are traveling alone. Let people know if you are going out and when you plan to be back.
There are many official apps that will allow you to continuously share your actual location.