This European capital has banned new holiday rentals to curb overtourism

Of the 13,500 tourist lets available in the city, only 1,000 of them are legal – and locals have had enough

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Calle Preciados, Madrid

Packed with museums, galleries and some of best food you’ll ever eat, the Spanish capital of Madrid is undoubtedly one of Europe’s best city breaks. However, a surge in the number of short-term lets is having a detrimental effect on the lives of city locals. 

According to the Express, many have complained that the vast number of holiday rentals is pushing up the price of their rent, and it’s resulted in lots of people participating in protests, from adorning lets with stickers that say things like ‘Fuck Airbnb’ to demonstrations and marches. 

The proportion of holiday rentals across Spain has gradually caught up with the hotel industry over the last few years. There are around 1.9 million hotel beds across the country, according to Spanish news outlet SUR, but that’s now closely followed by the 1.75 million beds from the 351,000 holiday rentals. 

The Spanish capital itself has around 13,500 holiday rentals, which already sounds like a lot, but even more shockingly, the city council’s website published data showing only about 1,000 of these are legal. 

So, Madrid has decided to do something about it. The city has just announced that it will pause granting new licences for tourists flats to try and ease the pressure, and it’s thought the suspension will last until 2025. 

Hopefully this will make life a little easier for the city residents – although it sounds like some restrictions are needed for illegal lets, too. 

Here’s our guide to the best hotels that Madrid has to offer

More on overtourism in Spain

It’s not just Spain’s capital that is calling time on too much tourism. Ibiza and Majorca have recently reiterated their laws on drinking alcohol in the streets, and the latter has also made its dress-code a lot clearer for tourists headed to the sun to watch the Euros – shirts on please, gents. 

Did you see that these two European countries will soon be linked by an underwater tunnel?

Plus: This is the official opening date for Time Out Market Barcelona

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for all the latest travel news.

You may also like
You may also like