We want your stay in the Catalan capital to be free of any problems. After all, a holiday is supposed to be about relaxing, right? Although it’s so easy to fall straight into what we call “holiday mode,” you need to remember that you’re coming to a city where people also live outside of holiday season.
Because of this, there are a few public laws that you should take into account the next time you visit Barcelona, to avoid any unwanted problems during your stay.
In the Street
- Drinking in the street is illegal. You can be fined between €30- €1500 according to the severity of the offense.
- Wearing bikinis and going topless is for the beach only. You need to cover up when walking around town, even in the neighbourhoods next to the beach.
- It is illegal to buy goods from the unauthorised street sellers, don’t be caught out by the cheap prices and pretty displays.
- Possessing drugs for personal use does not constitute a criminal offence under Spanish law. However, public consumption is penalised with administrative fines.
- Regarding cannabis, although public possession of less than two ounces is not a criminal offence, heavy administrative fees can be charged. Possession of more than two ounces or growing for sale is considered a criminal offence.
On the Street
- Defacing public property, including graffiti art, without permission from the government is illegal. Fines of between 120€ and 750€ can be imposed depending on the location and severity of the vandalism.
- In 2006, a law was introduced allowing the local police to prosecute skateboarders skating in the street. Skateboarders should stick to the city’s many skate parks.
- As stated by a government approved civic law, fines can be administered for the misuse and/or abuse of public space: urinating or defecating in public, begging, juggling, selling goods without permission, vandalism, and skateboarding. Fines can reach a staggering 3000€.
On the Roads
- Bike helmets are compulsory for under 16’s cycling on the road.
- Cyclists must use the cycle lanes on the roads. If there isn’t one, stay in the lane closest to the pavement.
- Bikes can only ride on pavements that are wider than 5 metres. We recommend avoiding cycling on any pavements during peak summer season.
- Do not cycle in the bus lane.
- When using public transport, your ticket must be valid. Random ticket checks can happen at any place, at any time. Failure to present a valid ticket will result in a fine of €100.
In your Apartment
- To avoid any noise disturbance complaints, do not make excessive noise between 22:00 and 8:00.
- Make sure to lock both windows and doors when leaving the apartment to prevent theft. Use a safe deposit box to store your valuable objects; don’t leave them in your bedroom.
- Spain’s drinking age is 18, however, in some regions the drinking age is lowered to 16. Admittance to bars and clubs that serve alcohol is restricted to persons aged 18 and above.
- You must be 18 years old to buy cigarettes.
- You are able to obtain a driving licence to drive a moped at 14 years old. This is called a licencia de conducir.
- To drive certain types of motorcycles, the minimum age is 16.
- You must be 18 years old to drive cars and all types of motorcycles, this licence is called a permiso de conducir.
- A license to drive certain types of commercial vehicles and trucks can be obtained at 21.