What to wear in Spain: Packing List + Travel Tips
Spain is an amazing destination. With a varied landscape, culture, and climate you must be wondering what to wear in Spain at different times of the year, and in various destinations. Let us help you.
In this Spain packing list post, we have covered all the basics (essential documents, currency) to styling tips (clothing, shoes, and accessories) and safety hacks!
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What to wear in Spain Packing List
Spain experiences a moderate temperature all year round. It is rare to see any of the major Spanish cities to be covered in a snowy blanket. However there are temperature changes from season to season, and rains are common in the northern part of the country.
Winters are mild and even warmer in part of Southern Spain, including the islands.
Locals and many visitors to Spain dress stylishly and smartly like in most European cities, however, the vibe is more casual as compared to Milan, Zurich, or Paris!
Having said that, Spain dress code is a little conservative in nature – women wear modest clothing, without being too flashy. But as we said, they are stylish in long flowy dresses, skirts, and comfy pants.
You can wear shorts, but be mindful that religious sites like churches and some event organizers will provide a dress code. If you wish to enter churches and cathedrals wear modest clothing.
As far as Spanish men wear goes, they are also well-dressed in a very casual way. Like nice haircuts, cool t-shirts, and well-fitted jeans. This makes them look put together!
So avoid wearing baggy pants, loose hoodies with loud logos! When in doubt, business casuals are not a bad idea.
Favourite Travel Backpack: Overall BEST
A trip essential, this anti-theft travel backpack is our absolute favorite on road trips, long-distance getaways, and beyond. It is also carry-on approved!
Before we begin with our packing list, here are our luggage recommendations. Salil and I prefer to pack light, and we use our 45 litre backpacks.
Pacsafe Venturesafe 45 L has served us well for the past trips to Europe, and that includes Spain. What we like about this backpack is that it opens up from the side like a suitcase and it is made of anti-theft, and slash-proof material. This material will give you peace of mind as your belongings will be safe!
The backpack is roomy and makes it easy to store our packing cubes, and access items conveniently. I can easily store 2 weeks full of clothes, accessories, and other essentials (yes with dresses, some warm clothing, and more).
Coming back to the Pacsafe backpack, it has nice front pockets for storing our charging cables, universal adaptor, notebook, and toiletries.
Another carry-on option is the Osprey unisex adult Farpoint 40. Just like the Pacsafe, it opens up on the side, has dedicated pockets for storage, and comes with a very comfortable strap.
We highly recommend packing light for Spain. It will be so easy for you as you travel through different cities, using trains, or budget airlines (as they have luggage and weight restrictions).
For a daypack, we use Pacsafe Metrosafe 15 Liter Anti Theft Backpack. It comes in a 25 L size too. Salil carries the backpack, and it has our camera gear, sunglasses, and water bottle.
Seasons in Spain
There are four seasons in Spain.
- Spring – March to June
- Summer – June to September
- Autumn – September to December
- Winter – December to March
Spring and autumn or fall months are perfect seasons to visit Spain, especially in popular destinations like Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Seville, etc. The temperatures in these cities are bearable like not super hot, and you can easily wander about – without being uncomfortable.
Spain’s tourist destinations and their attractions will be busy and crowded even in the spring and autumn months – just that the temperatures are better.
Late June to September is warm, humid, and dry. And your Spain summer packing list will need airy cotton clothes, and you will need to take frequent breaks in the southern region as it can get very HOT!
Winters are never severe in Spain. It has a moderate temperature with rainfall. In a way, with these temperatures, you can easily pack lighter and just use a carry-on for travel.
When visiting in winter, a rain jacket is a must.
In this guide, we will cover the Spain packing list items by season.
Spain Packing List for summer, spring & fall/autumn
We will begin with our summer, spring, and fall packing list for Spain. Now, if you are planning a trip in the following months, this list applies to you,
- Spring – March to June
- Summer – June to September
- Autumn – September to December
Temperatures in Spanish cities like Barcelona and Madrid will be around 12 degrees C/53 F in the spring, 27 degrees C/ 80.6 F in the summer, and 20 degrees C/ 68 in the fall or autumn months.
In places like the Canary Islands, expect summers to be 29 degrees C/84 F, spring and autumn time is 21 degrees C/ 69.8 F.
Summers in Southern Spain is very hot and humid so that’s places like Seville, Malaga, Granada, etc. They have temperatures as high as 39 degrees C/102.2 F and sometimes could be unbearable to walk around during the day!
In the late autumn months, expect rains for 2-7 days in most Spanish cities and small towns.
Here is what you must pack for your trip to Spain – Women (Spring to Autumn),
Tops & Blouses
Carry 2-3 tops with you, depending on the duration of the trip, ideally one for every day. Opt for lightweight blouses, and choose bright colors for spring and fall, and whites and beige for summers.
Keep in mind, Spain has a very casual and laid-back vibe, so you can dress in tops/shorts, etc. without screening “tourists”. I will leave out huge logos and the designer brand’s monogram prints and be a little subtle and understated.
Wearing American Eagle jeggings | Gucci Belt | Top & hair accessories from H&M
If you are planning to hike and walk a lot, do wear moisture-wicking T-shirts on your trails.
Bottoms – jeans, linen pants, shorts
On our very first one week Spain trip, we noticed that it is perfectly normal for locals and visitors to wear shorts during these 3 seasons.
Of course when you enter a church or any other place of worship you have to be mindful of that. But in the rest of the other sites, restaurants you are all good.
In the spring and autumn months, you can wear cotton jeans, jeggings (I love my American Eagle denim like this one here) if you are comfortable in them. Else opt for shorts, linen (airy) pants, etc.
Stylish joggers are great too – but avoid looking like you just walked out of the gym – you know what I mean.
Cotton leggings come in handy as well.
BUY Lululemon leggings | PrAna shorts | American Eagle jeggings
Dresses & jumpsuits
Wear flowy, cute dresses in the summer, fall, and spring months. I carried a mix of light and pastel colors, along with bright prints (for the beach).
Dresses (maxi, or short dresses) are lightweight, and very easily packable. Plus you get to look amazing in your photos, so that’s a BONUS!
For dresses with deep necks, and backs ensure you wear a cover-up like a light cardigan, denim jacket, etc to cover when visiting a church.
Comfortable walking shoes, hiking boots
A pair of comfortable walking shoes are a must for Spain. From white-washed towns of Andalusia to city centres you will need good shoes to explore various sites.
I recommend my KEEN hiking shoes that are made of waterproof material, which is great for rainy days in autumn.
Hiking shoes were super handy for me, as some of the parks and sites had uneven surfaces or steps to get to the top. And hence wearing shoes with good arch support will be a good idea.
If you are team sandals for summers or for hitting the beach, then Teva Hurricane is a great option for walking. I also like KEEN Whisper Sandals and use them a lot at the beach.
Swimsuit and beachwear
With a long coastline of 4,964 kilometres (3,084 miles) there are tons of beaches and swimming spots in Spain. So make sure to pack cute swimsuits and beachwear.
When staying in a nice resort or hotel with a pool, swimwear is essential. Here is my favorite one from Amazon
And don’t forget to add a pair of flip flops.
A light cardigan or a denim jacket
I always like to carry a light cardigan or a denim jacket on all of my trips. They come in handy all year round – inside high-speed trains, flights, for when it rains, in the evenings, or also as a cover-up.
I like to style my denim jacket with dresses and that works for me, but if you only have to pick one outerwear for spring through autumn months, then opt for a windbreaker or a lightweight waterproof jacket.
BUY Guess Denin Jacket (it’s my absolute favorite) | Patagonia Cardigan
Waterproof jackets are essential for the autumn months in Spain. It rains for 2-7 days of the month and depending on when you are visiting you might encounter scattered showers or abrupt downpours, so a lightweight packable waterproof jacket (with a hood) is a must-carry item.
Keep in mind, rains are quite common in the north of Spain. Nights are also cooler in this region, so consider bringing a layering piece for your windbreaker or grab a lightly insulated waterproof jacket.
With balmy temperatures in the summer months and warm weather outside, it is natural to spend time outdoors. Do bring in a high SPF sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful sun rays.
And re-apply them every few hours so that you are protected! I like to bring a waterproof lotion when visiting the beach or outdoor pool.
It is a good idea to look put together when traveling. Accessorize your outfit with scarves, sunnies, wide-brim hats, belts, or fashion jewelry!
Carry a pair (or two) of loungewear, nightdress, loose boyfriend shirts – whatever makes you comfy and happy at night!
Here is a quick list for men,
- Bottoms – jeans, shorts
- Walking shoes, hiking shoes (waterproof)
- Waterproof jacket
FREE DOWNLOAD: Ultimate Packing List for Europe
Spain Winter Packing List
Although winters are not extreme in most Spanish cities, you will definitely feel the chill in the air from November onwards. Temperatures in the northern part of Spain ranges from 9 degrees C (48.2 F) to 15 degrees Celcius (60 Fahrenheit).
Places like Barcelona, Galicia, and the Basque Country are slightly cooler, and it does rain a lot during this time. Wearing waterproof jackets, and shoes are a good idea to stay dry and warm.
If you are visiting the Pyrenees and the mountains then definitely layer on with thermal wear and a warm jacket.
Visiting the Canary Islands in winter? Lucky you! The average temperatures are around 20 degrees C (60 F), and it rarely rains making it perfect for sightseeing outside.
In December Spain is decorated in festive colors. This is the time for visiting markets, shopping, and ringing in the New Year’s.
Although the country experiences moderate temperatures you can still go skiing in Spain. Popular resorts include Baqueira/Beret and many others in the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.
Generally, the coldest months in Spain are December, January, and February, and they are also the wettest months in terms of rainfall, mainly in northern Spain.
So here are the packing items for the winter season in Spain,
Winter Parka or warm coat (waterproof)
You will need your warm coat or winter parka if you are visiting Spain for skiing.
Popular places in northern Spain like Galicia and San Sebastian are usually pleasant during the day at 10-12 degrees, but you will definitely need to layer on and wear a warm jacket at night. Rainfall is quite high during the winter months in this part of Spain.
This North Face parka has a removable hood, so you can cover yourself when it’s cold and windy. With deep pockets, this is great for keeping your hands warm and toasty inside.
Packable short puffer jackets are a good option too. Opt for something with bright colors to pop against the snowy backdrop (like yellow, red, blue).
In destinations with temperatures of low of 9 degrees C/48.2 F, you can get by with a lightweight jacket, or a merino wool-based long coat. Definitely carry layering pieces for evenings and early mornings.
Generally, I will wear my wool coat, and wrap a nice shawl to look all cozy and cute!
Winter boots are a must, especially for outdoorsy activities. It is also important to consider the outsole and check the threading on it. The outsole should provide a grip when you are walking on slippery, icy surfaces.
I wear tall and ankle-length boots, with a warm insulated lining when exploring cities with cobblestone streets. This keeps me warm and comfortable for sightseeing.
Ensure your boots are made of waterproof material or they have a water repellent coating as the colder months are rainest too in Spain.
Also, consider the weight of the boots as you will be carrying them on your flight, and not wearing it.
Here are some of my winter favorites:
SOREL Joan of Arctic Boots | UGG Boots | North Face Shellista Boots
Do wear warm socks, preferably ones made of merino wool when you are out and about. Ensure they are breathable and moisture-wicking.
Carry a few pairs depending on the duration of your visit.
A scarf can brighten up your outfit, and keep you warm and cozy. I personally love scarves use them to jazz up a plain (neutral color) jacket in the winter.
We didn’t need gloves in the Spanish cities during the daytime temperatures, but when it rained it was cold, and having a pair of gloves were really handy.
Warm gloves are a must if you are visiting the northern parts of Spain, or heading to the mountains. Get gloves with fingers that you can easily slide in and out when needed.
Pick one pair of tech gloves so that you can use your cell phone, with ease.
Beanies and berets
Pack cute beanies or toques to cover your head and ears. Beanies also add a nice color to the usual/plain winter parkas. Wool berets are also a good idea!
Thermal tops, bottoms, leggings
In high altitudes, the cold weather can be nasty. If you are planning a lot of time outdoors in the mountains, do wear a thermal top, and bottoms – layer on!
Thermal wear is important so that you are warm, and comfortable, while sightseeing. I wear cute sweaters and cardigans as outerwear and use a thermal top as a base layer for warmth. It makes it easy to pose for photos too 🙂
For bottoms, sometimes I get by with skinny jeans and tall boots in the winter. But if your cold threshold is not high, wear thermal bottoms underneath for warmth.
All Winter Packing List Items: Men & Women (Cities and Northern Spain)
Here is the entire list of packing items for a winter trip to Spain for him, and her
- Long sleeve tops, shirts
- Bottoms – jeans, leggings
- Winter boots
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunglasses & sunscreen
- Stylish accessories
- Winter parka, wool coat
- Warm socks
Spain Winter Packing List: Southern Spain and Islands
Places like Costa del Sol and the Cabo de Gata in Andalusia, and the Canary Islands are one of the warmest places in Europe in December, January to February. With lovely temperatures all year round, you can even go swimming here in the winter.
Do add these items to your carry-on,
- Tops, shirts
- Bottoms – jeans, shorts
- Walking shoes, hiking shoes (waterproof)
- Swimwear and beachwear
- Warm waterproof jacket
Dressing up in Spain
With a plethora of bars, restaurants, and clubs, you must definitely dress up when in Spain.
Carry your finest Little Black Dress, velvet top and skirt, put on high heels, and make up for a nice night out.
What to pack for Spain: Toiletries & medications
Our summer and winter cosmetics list does not vary a lot. Here is what we recommend including in your cosmetics bag
- Moisturizers: Love my Vitamin E cream from Body Shop. I have been using it for over 10+ years, and it’s so good. Carry the 50 ml size, which is also carry-on approved.
- Sunscreen: Carry a sunscreen with an SPF 25 and above, and something that is waterproof. Buy it here
- Lipstick/balm: Pack a chapstick, and your favorite lipsticks, lip color
- Make up: Eye pencil, liquid foundation, compact or press powder (humid places), blush and eye shadow palette
- Perfume: Travel size perfume
- Toothpaste, toothbrush
- Hand sanitizer
- Don’t forget your prescriptions, and Advil, etc.
Keep in mind, you can easily buy shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, lotions, etc., at a reasonable price. So we would recommend carrying travel sizes only and then buying them later if you run out.
What to pack for Spain: Electronics
Electronics are just as important as clothing, especially a universal adaptor, and a charging cable. An extra tip here – when you are out and about exploring with your cellphones and expensive camera gear in tow, please be mindful of your surroundings.
- Keep phones in the front pocket of your jacket, coat or pants
- Avoid loosely carrying any type of camera bags/backpacks – hold them tightly, and keep them closer to your body with zippers closed, of course
- Don’t get distracted by street performers and crowds. If you play with different lenses and gear, ensure it is set up and ready to go, before you arrive at the sightseeing spot – and avoid switching and opening bags in crowded spaces
Now that this is out of the way, here is the entire list of electronics to carry,
- Cellphone: Your cellphone, of course. Salil and I travel with our iPhones and we also use it to store our boarding passes, booking information, and use it as a camera sometimes
- Sim card: This is optional
- Charger: You will need a charger to power up your electronics. I rely on (one) multi charging cables as they can charge our iPhones, and camera gear. Now instead of carrying multiple chargers just one is good to go. Check out this magic wand here
- Universal Adaptor: A universal adaptor is a must. Europe uses a plug with two round pins (type C), unlike the flat ones in North America. You can buy yours here
- Camera: Don’t forget your camera gear. We carry our Sony Mirrorless Camera and Sony A7iii. The mirrorless is super lightweight, and it can be stored inside a small crossbody bag. The A7iii is super powerful (for gloomy, low lighting photos) and we love it!
- Power pack: A power pack or a battery back up is handy on the go. Buy yours here
- SD Card: To back up all the photos you will be capturing in Spain
- Laptop: Optional
- Portable wifi: Optional
Checklist for travel to Spain: Packing Tips
If this is your first trip to Europe or Spain, you will find this section useful. Here are the essential travel documents that you must gather,
- Tourist Visa: Spain is a Europen Union member. They use the Schengen agreement for visa purposes for non-exempt visitors. So if you require a Schengen Visa for Europe, then you will need to apply for it prior to your trip to Spain. Any additional documents that go with the visa should be part of this list (varies). If you hold a US or Canadian passport you can travel to Spain visa-free for 90 days
- Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Spain. The passport must be in good condition and not torn or tempered
- Currency and Credit Cards: Don’t forget your credit cards, and currency (Spain’s official currency is Euro). You can easily exchange it at the airport or cities. Cards are accepted everywhere, but having cash is a good idea when visiting small towns or tipping
- Transportation: Carry City Pass, flight tickets, or any tour confirmation details
- Hotels: Confirm hotel reservations, and save your emails or a screenshot of the booking email
- Travel insurance: Highly recommend insuring your trips like we do. Do include medical coverage along with trip cancellations and delays. You can look at quotes here
Other essentials to bring to Spain
- Packing cubes: For easy packing and organization, we use packing cubes. You can buy yours here
- Reusable water bottle: Water bottle is handy during hikes, at the beach, and sightseeing tours. Here is my favorite bottle to add to your packing list
- Small umbrella: Because it rains in the winter months, a small umbrella is handy, when you are out and about.
- Money belt: For your Spain travel you can also get a money belt to safely store your cash. We have never used one, but we know some people love it
Things to Consider When Packing for a Trip to Spain and what not to pack
We have included all season packing lists for Spain. One item that you must carry with you is a lightweight waterproof jacket – it will protect you in the rain, when the temperatures drop, hikes, and more.
When visiting crossover months in the spring and fall months, do carry a warm piece of clothing like a scarf, sweater, warm socks, along with a waterproof jacket.
Here are some things to consider before you start packing for your trip
- When are you visiting: When choosing what to pack, consider the month of travel, and the season. We have included the month range for each season above.
- Where are you going: Your packing list for the cities vs beach towns and mountains will be slightly different. Most of the popular cities in Spain are moderately warm all year round, they remain pleasant. If you are planning to stay in places with high altitudes one set of warm clothing is advisable.
- What are you planning to do: Are you planning to go swimming, beach, hiking or visiting crowded attractions? Your packing list should reflect that! So don’t forget that stellar dress if you are hitting clubs or parties, hiking shoes, swimwear, boots, etc. So do consider what your itinerary and activities will look like
I plan my outfits by focusing on the weather, activities/attractions, and the trip duration, and carry only that, and this allows me to maximize the 45 L backpack space that I/ we have!
We hope you found this post on what to pack for Spain useful in planning yours. Have more questions? Ask away
Check out all of our travel packing lists here
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