Madrid is a major European capital as well as a city of great art, fantastic food, and rich culture. Your trip to this glorious place must be filled with fun and joy. That’s why you should prepare for it properly. These simple tips for staying healthy in Madrid will work for any traveler and will ensure that any medical issues don’t ruin your adventure.
5 Basic Tips for Staying Healthy in Madrid
1. Pack all your medical essentials
The health and hygiene standards in Madrid are close to the US and any traveler can get access to necessary medical care. However, packing all the meds and other healthcare-related items you require will be best. This will reduce your levels of stress as you know that in an emergency, you have exactly what you need. This will also ensure that you don’t have to take chances with some drug substitutes as your prescription may be unavailable in Spain.
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) has a detailed Healthy Travel Packing List for those who are going to visit Spain. Use it as your guide but be sure to consult your doctor if you have some chronic condition or other personal health risks.
2. Use the services of reliable tourist agencies and transportation only
Note that tips for staying healthy in Madrid cover not only the matters related to healthcare and medications. Your personal safety and stress management also affect your overall health and must be considered. Madrid sees millions of tourists every year. Sadly, this means that there are many criminals preying on the travelers.
The best way to reduce the risk of facing them is to obtain all your tourist services from reliable businesses only. Get your accommodations sorted out before you arrive. Stay in a licensed hotel/hostel or with a verified Airbnb host. Strawberry Tours is the agency to contact if you want to go on a walking tour to explore the city. You can check reviews from travelers who used this service and not run a risk following a shady guide you can meet in the streets. If you plan a short trip out of the city, use the services of licensed tourist agencies.
As for transport, stick to Uber and licensed taxis. Public transport in Madrid is well-developed and safe. So, you can catch a ride on the state buses and trains. Keep away from overcrowded vehicles and any type of moto-transport, including motorbike taxis.
3. Plan where you’ll eat in advance
Food-related tips for staying healthy in Madrid boil down to eating out in places with a good reputation and washing your fruits and veggies. You can buy fresh food in the big city markets, but do this only if you have the place to cook it thoroughly.
Street food in Madrid is rather safe, but if you have a sensitive stomach or simply want to be 100% sure of your safety, steer away from stalls. Check out the TripAdvisor list of healthy restaurants in Madrid and plan your exploration trails with them in mind.
4. Know where the pharmacies are
Madrid has plenty of 24/7 pharmacies clearly marked with a green cross. Having the list of them on hand will ensure you are always prepared to handle any emergency. If you need some specific medication, research whether you’ll be able to buy it in Spain or what substitutes are available there.
5. Carry a file with your essential medical information at all times
This document should contain information about your blood type, allergies, medical conditions, dietary requirements, and medications you are taking. Have that file in both Spanish and English.
If you have to take prescription drugs, carry a copy of your prescription. You will also need to determine if you can take these meds with you to Spain as some drugs might be illegal there. Contact the Spanish embassy to find out information like this and ask any additional questions.
Photo by Maryge