Spain always packs a punch with its golden shoreline, contemporary gothic architecture, wholesome food, and fine wine. The people are friendly, the atmosphere full of life, and the list of places to see endless.
In this post, we’ll guide you through the packing process for summer and winter. We’ve also included a list of gear and equipment to pack and some fashion advice.
The Spaniards are a fashionable bunch who like life’s simple pleasures. Everyday fashion in Spain includes smart casual attire during the day and glamorous outfits for night outings.
However, Spain is a fairly religious country, and although fashionable, the locals are conservative when it comes to what they wear.
Packing for Spain isn’t tricky, but you want to make sure you pack the right clothes for the weather and those picture-capturing moments.
‘Cool’ Tip: If you’re planning a winter vacation, check out this post for the most unique places to visit in Spain in winter.
What to pack for Spain
For the majority of the year, Spain is hot and dry. But depending on where you’re going to be visiting, you may need extra layers or winter gear.
If you’re sightseeing in Barcelona or Madrid, you need smart casual outfits. But if you’re visiting one of Spain’s northern areas, you’ll need puffer jackets and thick coats to help keep you warm.
Book your tours in advance unique places to visit in Spain in winter.
What to wear in Spain in summer
Spain in summer runs from June to around mid-September. Here’s what you can expect to wear in Spain during the warmer months.
Note: men and women should avoid wearing anything too revealing because they might be stopped from entering religious sites, like churches and cathedrals.
1. Short-sleeved tops
Opt for tops/shirts made from cotton because cotton is a moisture-absorbing fabric. Pack one short-sleeved top or shirt for every day of your trip.
2. Dresses & collared shirts
Spanish women don’t miss a chance to add glamour to their outfits in the evenings. So ladies, pack your sexy dresses. And gents, you don’t want to look fashionably uncultured in front of Spanish men. Pack your collared, classy shirts for the summer evenings you intend on spending out in town.
The general rule in Spain is that shorts are for the beach and pants for the streets.
You can still wear your favorite pair of shorts in the city, but you’ll likely stand out as a tourist amongst the locals. This makes you an easy target for pickpocketing (a popular crime in Spain’s tourist hotspots).
Jeans can be uncomfortable in summer. Switch them for lightweight pants instead. They will keep you cool in the heat and are acceptable for both men and women. Pack 1-2 pairs for every two days.
4. Walking shoes
Start your trip on the right foot with a comfortable pair of shoes. If you’re going to spend your days in Spain sightseeing and visiting prominent landmarks, you don’t want your feet to be crammed into a pair of heels. Black walking shoes are the best choice, as they go with everything.
5. Swimwear & flip flops
Spain is known to have some of the best beaches in the world – whether it be in Barcelona, Majorca, Ibiza, or Benidorm. No trip to Spain is complete without a tan. Pack your best swimwear for beach days, and remember to take a pair of flip-flops too.
6. Sunglasses & Hat
Spain’s sunlight in summer is a blinding blaze. Prolonged exposure to the sun can damage your eyes in the long term. Pack a pair of sunglassessunglasses or two to protect your eyes from high UV rays.
Take a hat too, since Spain’s heat is strong enough to cause heatstroke.
It’s 2021 folks, and the skincare trend has taken over us like a storm. Skincare specialists and enthusiasts have been breathing down our necks on the importance of sunscreen.
A golden tan sounds tempting but do you want to risk premature aging and other countless skin conditions? We hope not. Be wise to carry a sunscreen with a high SPF and apply it in 2-3 hour intervals every day while you’re in Spain.
What to wear in Spain in Winter
The Winter season in Spain begins in November and ends around February/March.
While the south of Spain is relatively warm in winter, the northern areas can get very cold with temperatures dropping below 0 ℃.
Take a puffer jacket or a thick coat to keep you warm in the Northern regions.
Use the layering technique as it’s more practical and safe.
Start with a base layer with a thermal top, then add a second layer with a sweater/jersey/hoodie, and then the third layer with a jacket/coat.
Pack 1-2 items of each of the base and second layer for every two days. For the third layer, one jacket/coat should be sufficient for every 3-4 days of your trip.
2. Shawl or scarf
A shawl or thick scarf will keep you warm if the weather is chilly. It will also come in use when visiting religious sites requiring you to cover up, so pack a lighter one for summer too.
Cotton socks lose their insulating properties in cold, wet weather. Alternatively, wool socks are great insulators, absorb moisture, dry quicker, and have antibacterial properties.
What to bring to Spain – Essentials, gear & equipment.
You’ll obviously be packing your toiletries – like toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, etc. But in addition to the simple essentials, there are other pieces of equipment and gear that people tend to forget to pack when traveling.
1. First Aid Kit
Accidents happen, and we can’t predict when they will. It’s wise to carry a First Aid Kit in case someone cuts their finger or has a hangover headache. If you have any allergies or medical conditions, be sure to pack your pills.
Summer or winter, it’s vital to stay hydrated. With all the walking you’ll be doing, you don’t want to get dehydrated and faint in public.
A reusable hydro flask will save you money, keep your water cold in summer, and is also an environmentally-friendly option compared to single-use plastic bottles.
3. COVID PPE
Spain, like many other countries, has implemented some stringent rules to combat the novel coronavirus. To keep yourself and others around you safe, remember to pack:
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Cleaning wipes
4. Camera & electronics
Unless your smartphone camera is advanced enough to take high-quality pictures, take your camera to capture Spains’ picturesque landscapes and landmarks like the La Sagrada Familia. A GoPro can be a great option for a light weight, easily portable camera/
Also, remember to pack a:
- Camera charger
- Portable power bank
- Phone charger
- Spain power adapter
The Ultimate Packing List for Spain
And there you have it, the ultimate packing list for Spain.
Keep your baggage light and smart. If you’re planning to shop in Spain, make sure you leave space in your luggage for it – unless you’re willing to purchase another suitcase.
Most importantly, don’t forget to pack your appetite for all the delectable dishes you’ll be devouring in Spain.