Travel warning over little-known Spain bikini and shirts rule that could land you £500 fine

Strict laws are in place in some parts of Spain that can see holidaymakers issued hefty fines if broken
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British holidaymakers heading to Spain this summer are being warned not to fall foul of the country’s strict dress codes in some areas.

The UK Foreign Office has warned it is against the law to wear only a bikini or swimming shorts, or trunks, in parts of Spain on the seafront promenade or the adjacent streets. It is part of efforts to clamp down on people being inappropriately dressed on public streets, with those who flout the rules facing landing a hefty fine.

In Barcelona, local rules mean bikinis can only be worn on the beach and those who are caught wearing one in the town centre could be fined up to £260. Bikinis are also restricted to the beach only on the island of Majorca - one of Spain’s most popular tourist spots in the Balearic Islands. Anyone who wears a bikini outside of beach areas faces being fined up to £500. The rules also apply to shirtless men in both of these areas.

In some parts of Spain it’s against the law to be in the street wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts, or trunks (Photo: Getty Images)In some parts of Spain it’s against the law to be in the street wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts, or trunks (Photo: Getty Images)
In some parts of Spain it’s against the law to be in the street wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts, or trunks (Photo: Getty Images)

Foreign Office advice states: “In some parts of Spain it’s against the law to be in the street wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts/trunks. Being bare-chested has also been banned in some areas of Spain. Some local councils will impose fines if you’re caught wearing swimwear on the seafront promenade or the adjacent streets.

“For security reasons, some public authorities in Spain don’t allow the burka or niqab to be worn in their buildings. If you visit town council buildings wearing a burka or niqab, you may be asked to remove it while inside.”

In addition, strict clothing rules are also in force in other parts of Majorca, with 11 seaside restaurants on the island having banned tourists from wearing certain clothes associated with “drunken tourism”.

In these restaurants, which are mostly based in the Playa de Palma area, anyone who is shirtless, dressed in a costume, or wearing a football journey will be barred from entry, according to Juan Miguel Ferrer, the chief executive of Palma Beach.

Anyone who wears a bikini or goes shirless outside of beach areas faces being fined up to £500 in some parts of Spain (Photo: Getty Images)Anyone who wears a bikini or goes shirless outside of beach areas faces being fined up to £500 in some parts of Spain (Photo: Getty Images)
Anyone who wears a bikini or goes shirless outside of beach areas faces being fined up to £500 in some parts of Spain (Photo: Getty Images)

In keeping with the crackdown on so-called “drunken tourism”, the Foreign Office also warns British holidaymakers to be aware of alcohol rules in some parts of the Balearic Islands, with new laws introduced by the regional government limiting the sale and availability of booze.

In the holiday resorts of Magaluf (Calvià), Playa de Palma and San Antonio (San Antoni de Portmany) on the island of Ibiza, happy hours, open bars, two-for-one drinks, pub crawls and party boat trips are all banned, as well as the sale of alcoholic drinks from vending machines.

The move hopes to tackle the issues of “over-consumption of alcohol” and improve the image of these popular party resorts, which are all well-known for drunken behaviour. Some local councils in Spain have also banned alcohol from being consumed in the street and will issue on-the-spot fines to rule-breakers.

Alcohol restrictions also apply to holidaymakers that have booked all-inclusive trips in Magaluf, El Arenal and San Antonio on the island of Ibiza. The law, introduced in January last year, limits all-inclusive guests to six alcoholic drinks per day - three at lunch and three with an evening meal - instead of having free-flowing drinks all day.

The Foreign Office states: “In designated areas of the resorts, there are prohibitions on happy hours, open bars (such as all you can drink in 1-hour offers), the sale of alcohol from vending machines, self-service alcohol dispensers and the organising of pub-crawls and party boat trips.

“The law also prohibits “off-licence” sales between 9.30pm and 8am. In addition, hotels and other establishments are obliged to evict clients found to be behaving dangerously on balconies, with fines for both the client and the establishment.”

Balearic Islands Tourism minister Iago Negueruela said previously: “We want British tourists. We don’t want this type of tourism. British tourism is essential for our islands. We share with the British government the view that some images of British tourists are embarrassing.

“We want to put a stop to bad behaviour. We will increase the police presence in these areas and the number of inspectors. We will have zero tolerance for tourism excesses.”

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