Understanding the 90 Day Rule for Staying in Spain


If you stay full 90 days in Spain, how many days must you spend outside Spain? 90 or 180? A Spaniard from another group insist it is 180 days, which is bad news if true. Please advice on the so-called 90 day rule.


These are the answers of Spainguru’s Facebook group members:

“You can be in the Schengen zone (note that that’s 27 countries) 90 days in any 180. Each day or part thereof counts as 1 (so if you cross the border at 23:55 that’s still one day).

So if you’ve not been in the Schengen zone in the last 90 days you can enter and stay 90 days. But then you need to stay out for 90 days. Most people don’t do it in blocks like this. There’s plenty of info and Schengen calculators online.”


“We currently drive over from the UK we stay 90 days then head back after 90 days and stay in the UK for 90 days before then driving back. We do May, June, July and November, December, January.

“Check out this, great for monitoring your days used & remaining. We travel 90/180 in our motorhome every year. https://ninety180.com/

“90 in 90 out, 90 in 90 out and so on and it’s not just for Spain.”

“90 days in Spain, 90 days outside the whole Schengen area.”

“We’re going back to the 90/180 situation. 90 max in Spain and then out for 90 (or more) to reset the count.”

“Yep, 90 in 90 out. We’ve got 35 left not that we’re counting….MUCH.”

“Yes, we do the 90/180, we stay in Spain April, May, and June, then return to the UK, then back to Spain October, November, and December.”

“It’s a rolling calendar, so for example if you spent 31 days in Dec, then January, then go home, when you return in say April/May some of Dec days will have dropped off, there is an app you can use to calculate your days.”


From the robust discussion within Spainguru’s Facebook group, it’s evident that the 90/180-day rule permits individuals to stay in the Schengen zone, including Spain, for 90 days within any 180-day period.

After spending 90 days in the zone, one must then spend 90 days outside before re-entering.

This rule is not exclusive to Spain but applies across all Schengen countries. Several members highlighted the utility of using online calculators and apps to track their stays meticulously, ensuring compliance with these regulations.

The conversation underlined a common strategy among UK citizens who split their time between the UK and Spain, managing their stays to enjoy the benefits of both locations within the legal framework.