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Racism in Spain?

3 Aug 2008 UGACaroline85 asked

Hi, I am a 23 yr old Asian American young woman travelling to Spain in the upcoming month on the Spanish Spree. While researching Spain, I have come across some articles that have me troubled concerning negative Spanish attitudes towards other races. Can any past travellers tell me about their experiences with this issue?
  • Read the responses 9 responses so far
  • 4 Aug 2008 evalco said


    I took a Contiki trip to Spain a while back and there was a mix of ethnicities and races on my trip. No one seemed to have any problems that I know of. If anything they’ll have more of a problem with the “American” than the “Asian” part. Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> Overall it wasn’t the most friendly place I’ve been to, but as long as you’re not obnoxious and rude to them, you’ll be fine and have a blast.

  • 4 Aug 2008 work2travel said


    Yeah, I’d have to agree with evalco on the American part of their post. We were waiting to catch a bus near the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, and not knowing the system, we were apparently standing in the wrong spot. When we tried to board the bus some little old Spanish ladies started yelling at us, saying some not very nice things I understood in my limited knowledge of the language, but the “Americanos” was easy to figure out. Of course I was annoyed being Canadian, but whatever. That being said, it was an isolated incident and I found most of the other people to be very nice.

    My advice, learn a little Spanish. An hola, buenos dias, and/or muchas gracias goes a long way! They really do appreciate it, and that can be said the whole world over!
    Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

  • 4 Aug 2008 UGACaroline85 said


    Thanks for your input!! That makes me feel more at ease Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> I actually speak Spanish fluently, but thanks for the advice!

  • 4 Aug 2008 work2travel said


    Well there you go! You’re as good as gold!
    Have a great trip.
    Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

  • 17 Aug 2008 Explorer1110246 said


    I’m from Spain.

    Spain is probably one of the most racist country in Western Europe. So, be careful.

    Don’t mistake me, you’re not going to get beat up on the streets, but people won’t be extremly friendly or even nice to you. Wheter you speak spanish or not. Be specially careful of 40-50 year old men. Probably the most racist people. Your best chances of getting a nice smile is to ask woman around 20-30 years old. They are usually the nicests. And, as you say, you can speak spanish, if you’re completly lost, try 70 year old guys, they usually know almost everything about adresses.

    Racism is worst in big cities like Madrid or Barcelona. In Ibiza or Seville you won’t have any problem.

    Asian are not often overlooked, americans are seen as dumb and easy to be ripped off

    Also, you should be careful about fake policemen, usually south americans identify, with a false badge, as police and take your purse away. This kind of rip off is usually tried on asians, so be careful. Always ask the number of the badge, and also…a badge MUST be with a identification card that contains a photo and other data of the policeman. If it doesn’t contain that ID it’s fake.

    My general advise, don’t look too much as a tourist. Hats, sandals, socks and a short is not usually a pretty good idea.


  • 17 Aug 2008 cah0902 said


    I want to go to Spain so bad and my tour might touch there. I’ll just have try to be quiet and non conspicuous, I suppose. I’m gonna get a few of my friends to teach me some more Spanish, so I’ll probably be okay.

  • 5 Sep 2008 UGACaroline85 said


    I just came back from my Spanish Spree trip and had no problems at all, the ppl were very friendly… so for future travellers, don’t worry about a thing!

  • 6 Sep 2008 Explorer1106402 said


    I’m African American as well and I’ve been to Spain on separate occasions and been through a great deal of the country; I loved every minute of it. I loved the lifestyle, culture, I found the people to very friendly and easy-going. This is not to say that another person might go and have an negative experience.

  • 8 Sep 2008 Explorer1082701 said


    I can’t speak for Spain but when my cousin travelled to Italy with her best friend (who is asian) she said they encountered a lot of discrimination.

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