Sex Scene and Prostitution
Cities like Madrid, Ibiza and Barcelona have long been major sex tourist and all night clubbing destinations of Europe. Now a sex tourism is starting to increase even higher in Spain and it is slowly becoming one of the most popular destinations for sex tourism in the whole world. In Madrid, the Red-light district is interwoven with regular streets, so it’s very accessible, whereas in Barcelona, the red-light district is a well known tourist attraction.
Prostitution is kind of legal in Spain, the truth is that prostitution exists in a legal vacuum. Sex workers are not penalized, instead the pimps are the ones who are punished. With 90% of prostitutes in Spain said to be illegal immigrants (many coming from South America), brought into Spain through illegal human trafficking, the circumstances of many prostitutes leave them in legal limbo.
Brothels have been illegal since 1956, but the vast majority of brothels are loosely disguised as whiskerías or 'clubs' and are left to function as normal.
Prostitutes have been able to practice their trade freely and advertise frequently in the 'Relax' section of the classifieds in newspapers and magazines written in thinly veiled sexual jargon. However, a proposal in July 2011 suggested that all contact sections of newspapers should be closed down to prevent the advertising of prostitution.
| Green Spain (A Coruña)|
| Northern Spain |
| Eastern Spain (Barcelona, Valencia, Murcia, Alicante)|
| Central Spain (Madrid)|
| Andalusia (Malaga, Marbella, Fuengirola, Torremolinos)|
| Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera)|
| Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, Lanzarote, La Palma, El Hierro)|
| Cities, islands and crags in North Africa (Ceuta, Melilla, Crag of Vélez de la Gomera, Crag of Alhucemas, Chafarinas Islands, Alboran Island)|
- Madrid - the capital and largest city.
- Barcelona - coastal city and faumous tourist destination.
- Malaga- the biggest city in Andalucia.
- Bilbao- the biggest northern city.
- Cadiz — oldest city in Western Europe.
- Cordoba — The Grand Mosque ('Mezquita') of Cordoba is one of the world's finest buildings.
- Granada — stunning city in the south.
- Seville — a beautiful, verdant city, and home to the world's third largest cathedral.
- Valencia — paella was invented here, has a very nice beach.
- Zaragoza — fifth largest city of Spain.
- Almeria — best natural beaches and great selection of "tapas".
- Costa Blanca — 200 km of white coast with plenty of beaches and small villages
- Costa Brava — the rugged coast with plenty of seaside resorts
- Costa del Sol — the sunny coast in the south of the country
- Gran Canaria — known as "a continent in miniature" due to its many different climates and landscapes
- Ibiza — a Balearic island; one of the best places for clubbing, raving, and DJs in the entire world
- Mallorca — the largest island of the Balears, full of amazing beaches and great nightlife
- Sierra Nevada — the highest mountains on the Iberian Peninsula, great for walking and skiing
- Tenerife — offers lush forests, exotic fauna and flora, deserts, mountains, volcanoes, beautiful coastlines and
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Gay & Lesbian
The rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Spain have undergone several dramatic changes in recent decades. Today Spain provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world for its LGBT community. However, this was not the case for much of Spain's history. The evolution from the Roman sexuality, where the sexual act and power relationships engendered were more important, to the modern concept of homosexuality as a type of sexuality and even lifestyle, was determined and modified by many factors. One of the main ones has been the influence of Christianity, which characterized sexuality as an act whose only goal was procreation, so that the other sexual activities were seen as sinful and contrary to God's wishes. This would be reflected in the legislation of the time, where sodomy was identified with State treason and punished harshly with death by fire. The turnabout point was marked by the Enlightenment, when individual liberties started gaining importance, to the point that in 1822 sodomy was taken out of the Spanish criminal code and effectively legalised. The slow and hard ongoing process toward acceptance of homosexuality was suddenly interrupted by the Spanish Civil War and Francisco Franco's regime, which precipitated a strong repression of the LGBT community in Spain. When the regime ended, the process resumed, although homophobia was strong.
Today, Spain is one of the eleven countries around the world that allows same-sex marriage and has the most progressive laws, since they also permit adoption by same-sex couples. Spanish LGBT culture has been exported internationally with film directors such as Pedro Almodóvar and events like the Europride celebrated in Madrid in 2007. Visibility of homosexuals has reached several layers of society that were previously unthinkable, such as the army, Guardia Civil, judges or priests, although in other areas like football there is still a way to go.
Despite being a Catholic majority country, homosexuality is quite tolerated in Spain and public display of same-sex affection would not likely stir hostility. In fact, same-sex marriages are legal and recognized by the government and provide legal benefits to same-sex couples. However, a gay friendly country does not always necessarily mean that the Spaniards are friendly to gays: (people in places like Madrid or Barcelona, which are 2 of the largest urban areas in Europe, will obviously have a more open view than those from rural areas). As in any other place, elderly people do usually have far more conservative points of view. Still, violence against gays is rarely heard of and Spain should be safe for most gay and lesbian travelers.
In Spain, pickpockets are not jailed if they steal less than €400. After they are arrested, they are automatically bailed to carry on pickpocketing so they can easily pay their €200 fine when they go to court. Many have been around the Spanish justice merry-go-round hundreds of times. Spanish pickpockets are really skilful but they are in competition with many more from South America.
Some people could try to take advantage of your ignorance of local customs.
- In Spanish cities, all taxis should have a visible fare table. Do not agree a fixed price to go from an airport to a city: in most cases, the taxi driver will be earning more money than without a preagreed tariff. Many taxi drivers will also demand a tip from foreign customers or even from national ones on the way to and from the airport. You might round up to the nearest euro when paying though.
- In many places of Madrid, especially near Atocha station, and also in the Ramblas of Barcelona, there are people ('trileros') who play the "shell game". They will "fish" you if you play, and they will most likely pick your pocket if you stop to see other people play.
- Before paying the bill in bars and restaurants, always check the bill and carefully scrutinize it. Some staff will often attempt to squeeze a few extra euros out of unsuspecting tourists by charging for things they did not eat or drink, or simply overcharging. This is true in both touristy and non-touristy areas. If you feel overcharged, bring it to their attention and/or ask to see a menu. It is also sometimes written (in English only) at the bottom of a bill that a tip is not included: remember that tipping is optional in Spain and Spanish people commonly leave loose change only and no more than a 5%-8% of the price of what they have consumed (not an American-style 15-20%), so avoid being fooled into leaving more than you have to.
- Many tourists have reported lottery scams whereby they are contacted via the Internet or fax and informed that they have won a substantial prize in the Spanish lottery (El Gordo), when in fact they have never participated in the lottery. They are asked to deposit an amount of money in a bank account to pay taxes and other fees before collecting the prize or coming to Spain to close the transaction.
- There have also been reports of a scam whereby a person is informed that he or she is the recipient of a large inheritance, and that funds must be deposited into a Spanish bank account so the inheritance can be processed.
- In another common scam, some tourists have received a bogus email purportedly sent from an individual well known to them and claiming that he or she is in trouble and needs funds.
Largest Cities in Spain
Position (Largest) - City - Population
- Madrid - 2,824,000
- Barcelona - 1,454,000
- Valencia - 736,000
- Seville - 695,000
- Zaragoza - 601,000
- Malaga - 542,000
- Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - 354,000
- Bilbao - 351,000
- Murcia - 350,000
- Valladolid - 317,000
- Cordoba - 307,000
- Palma de Mallorca - 302,000
- Vigo - 287,000
- Alicante - 272,000
- Gijón - 264,000
- Hospitalet de Llobregat - 255,000
- Granada - 242,000
- A Coruña - 241,000
- Vitoria-Gasteiz - 215,000
- Badalona - 210,000
- Santa Cruzde (Tenerife) - 203,000
- Oviedo - 199,000
- Móstoles - 196,000
- Elche - 191,000
- Sabadell - 186,000
- Santander - 183,000
- Jérez de la Frontera - 182,000
- San Sebastián - 177,000
- Leganés - 175,000
- Almeria - 170,000
- Cartagena - 170,000
- Terrassa - 164,000
- Alcaláde Henares - 163,000
- Fuenlabrada - 163,000
- Pamplona - 163,000
- Burgos - 162,000
- Salamanca - 158,000
- Albacete - 146,000
- León - 144,000
- Getafe - 143,000
- Alcorcón - 141,000
- Cadiz - 141,000
- Huelva - 140,000
- Castellón de la Plana - 136,000
- Badajoz - 124,000
- Logroño - 124,000
- Santa Coloma de Gramanet - 123,000
- La Laguna - -122,000
- Lleida 111,000
- Tarragona - 111,000
- Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, Ibiza
- France, Paris, Nice
- Italy, Rome, Milan
- Prostitution and law in Spain
- Spanish Sex Phrasebook
- Age of consent in Spain
- Spain Strip Clubs
- Prostitution, Prostitution Prices, Street prostitution
- Sex topics & Phrasebooks, Sex worker, Prostitute types
- Red-light district, List of red-light districts all over the world
- Brothel, Escort agency, Call girl, Erotic massage, Strip club
- Sex tourism, Sex industry, Countries with most prostitutes
- Sex vocabulary & Abbreviations, Humorous sexual terms
- Gay and lesbian travel, Gay, Lesbian, Shemale, Ladyboy
- Age of consent, Sexually transmitted disease, HIV/AIDS