For members


Reader question: Does a passport renewal restart the 90-day clock for visiting Spain?

If you were hoping that your renewed passport might offer a way to avoid the 90-day rule when visiting Spain, here is what you should know.

90 day schengen rule passport renewal
Some have suggested that a new passport could be a work-around the 90-day rule, but it's not true. Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR / BELGA / AFP

Question – I’m British and since Brexit my passport is stamped when I enter and leave Spain, in order to keep track of my 90-day allowance. However, I’ve recently renewed my passport and of course, the new one has no stamps – does this mean that I get a new 90-day allowance?

While it may seem like passport renewal could be a loophole for getting around the 90-day rule when visiting Spain, you should not attempt to spend more than 90 days out of every 180 in the Schengen zone without a visa or residency permit. 

Non-EU nationals including Americans, Canadians, Australians and – since Brexit – Brits are limited to spending only 90 days out of every 180 within the EU. Anyone who wants to spend longer than this needs to apply for either a passport or a residency card. These rules apply whether you want to move to an EU country such as Spain to live or simply want to make frequent or long visits here.

The 90-day ‘clock’ covers all EU and Schengen zone countries – if you need help calculating your time spent in the Schengen zone, you can do so using an online calculator HERE.

Passports are stamped on entry and exit to the EU/Schengen zone, with dates of entry and exit.


However, getting a new passport does not reset the clock – some have suggested that a new passport could be a work-around, as it would not show previous entry/exit stamps which are used to calculate the amount of time a non-EU national person has spent in the Schengen zone. 

The primary reason is that passports are in most cases automatically scanned when you enter and leave the Bloc, which makes it easy to spot overstayers and for border forces to enforce the 90-day rule. This means that border forces do not only rely on the physical stamps in your passport.

The EU’s new EES – Entry and Exit System – will tighten up the scanning process, but its entry has been delayed.

READ ALSO: What happens if you overstay your 90-day limit in Spain?

While Spain generally has a reputation for being less strict than some other EU countries,  if you are caught overstaying your allocated 90 days you can end up with an ‘overstay’ flag on your passport which can make it difficult to enter any other country, not just Spain, and is likely to make any future attempts at getting visas or residency a lot more difficult.

The consequences for staying over can also include being fined upon exit if they are found to have spent more than 90 days in the Schengen zone.

Keep in mind that the 90-day rule does not apply to all non-EU countries – some states, such as India, are required to have a visa for even short stays. You can access the European Union’s map that outlines which countries require visas for short stays to check to see if you are eligible.


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For members


How much have hotel prices in Spain gone up?

Going on holiday seems more expensive than ever this year, with the cost of flights, food and accommodation having skyrocketed, but exactly how much have hotel prices in Spain gone up by?

How much have hotel prices in Spain gone up?

This year, not only has everyday living become more expensive – the food we buy and the bills we pay, but going on holiday is a lot more costly too. 

Higher demand, the fallout after the pandemic and inflation have all caused flight prices, restaurants and accommodation to increase exponentially. 

Tourism in Spain is accelerating towards a record-breaking year. Spain already set a new record for tourism in April, welcoming 7.2 million international tourists and surpassing pre-pandemic levels. 

Spain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Héctor Gómez also predicts that Spain will receive between 52.3 and 54.8 million foreign tourists during the summer months from May to October 2023.

All this means that hotels are getting more expensive than ever. 

Spanish hotels have been increasing their prices for the last two years since people started travelling again after the pandemic, but this year hotel costs have skyrocketed.

Hotel establishments raised their prices by 11 percent in March 2023 compared to the same month in 2022, which already had already seen an increase of almost 35 percent, according to the latest data from Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE). 

READ ALSO: Why are flights to and from Spain so expensive this summer?

Over Easter, hotel costs soared, and ‘The Hotel Pricing Outlook’ report by consultancy firm Simon-Kucher revealed that hotels were 40 percent more expensive than in April last year

At the end of April 2023, the latest data available from the INE, shows that the average cost per room in Spain stood at €99.32 per night. In the same month last year, the average rate was €89.05 and in 2019, prior to the pandemic, it was €80.92.

By category, five-star hotels raised their rates by 14 percent compared to last year, reaching an average cost of €231 per room per night; those with four stars increased prices by nine percent, up to €102 and three-star hotels raised them by more than 13 percent; up to €76. 

Where have hotel prices risen the most?  

Accommodation costs may have risen all over Spain, but the rates and how much they’ve increased by still varies between regions.  

According to the INE, the region where accommodation prices have gone up the most is the Basque Country, where hotel rooms are 16.7 percent more than last year.  

This is unsurprisingly followed by Madrid and Catalonia, where costs have risen by 15.6 and 15.5 respectively.  

Next up is the Canary Islands with 14.8 percent, followed by Cantabria with 14 .3 percent and Aragón with 13.3 percent.  

But, there are still some places where hotel rates remain relatively affordable. The region where prices rose by the least is Extremadura with a rise of just 0.2 compared to last year.

This is followed by Asturias with 3.4 percent, Navarre with 4.4 percent, Galicia with 5.8 percent and Melilla with 6.1 percent.  

Could hotels be even more expensive this summer?

It’s now the beginning of June and the official start of summer is just over two weeks away, anyone who hasn’t booked accommodation for their summer holiday yet is in for a big shock.

Hotel prices during high season typically increase and this year is set to be no different, meaning that the already steep costs will go up even more.

In the summer of 2022, the average rate per night in Spain was €121 per night in July, almost €128 in August and €107 in September, according to INE records.

Travel experts predict that both demand for hotels and prices will continue to rise until they reach record levels.