What to Wear in Spain – Packing Guide for First-Timers

May 21, 2021

Spain is a relatively well-dressed country in comparison to its other westernised counterparts. When visiting the country you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb while visiting all the best Spanish hidden gems. Before getting into what to pack for Spain, here are a few tips on how to dress in Spain.

  1. Take items that dry easily – this is because laundromats are not the norm in Spain, so you may find yourself having to do your own washing. Clothing doesn’t tend to dry too easily in a hotel room, so where you can, take lightweight options that dry easily.
  2. Don’t go topless on every beach –  Although it’s legal to do so, don’t go topless on every beach in the country. There are beaches that are considered a little more conservative, so take a look around to see what others are wearing before baring all.
  3. Bring conservative clothing – Although you won’t need to dress conservatively at all times, when you visit tourist attractions like old churches, you’ll need to cover up. It’s a form of respect.
  4. Wear a messenger bag – Messenger bags can be worn across your body, keeping them safely secured while your hands are free. Be sure to take one with zipper pockets to avoid getting pick-pocketed.
  5. Pack neutral shades – Neutral shades are easily paired with other clothes. Meaning you’ll have to pack less because your clothes will be able to make up a wider variety of outfits.
  6. Men should wear long pants at all times – Unless you’re at the beach, men should wear long pants most of the time if they want to fit in with the locals. Beaches are usually the only places you’ll find Spanish men in shorts.

It’s important to note that you never know when something could go wrong on your holiday. Taking out travel insurance is the best way to put your mind at ease.

Spain Packing List

packing for summer travel in spain

Packing for Spain can be tricky, especially if you’ve never been before. But overpacking is not an option as the weight of your luggage plays a big role in how expensive your holiday is going to be (no one likes having to pay for extra baggage).

Spain Summer – What to Wear

Summer in Spain runs from June to August, but this packing list incorporates all the warmer months. So April, May, and September are also appropriate months to refer to this section of this Spain packing list. Here’s what to pack for Spain in the summer.

Short-Sleeved Tops

Short-sleeved tops allow you to soak up some sunshine while staying cool in the summer heat. Women should avoid strappy tops while exploring historical centres as these aren’t acceptable in all situations – such as entering churches and cathedrals.

Shorts and Skirts

Shorts and skirts are appropriate for women to wear in Spain, weather dependent. Try not to wear anything too revealing as you don’t want to stick out from the crowds.

Lightweight Pants

Wearing lightweight jeans or pants is appropriate as it keeps you covered and cool at the same time. This is acceptable for both men and women in the warmer months.

Lightweight Jersey

Although in the south of Spain you’re unlikely to need a lightweight jersey, even at night, in the north it’s a good idea to take one with just in case.

Sandals and Flip-flops

To keep your feet cool, be sure to take along a pair of sandals or flip-flops, especially if you plan on visiting the beach.

Swimming Costume

If you’re visiting the beach, or have a swimming pool at your hotel, taking a bathing costume with you is essential. Two-piece costumes and one-pieces are both appropriate for female travellers. For men, wearing swimming shorts is the norm in Spain.

Comfortable Sneakers

It’s likely that you’ll be doing a lot of walking when exploring the different cities of Spain. Be sure to take a comfortable pair of walking shoes or sneakers with you so that your feet don’t get sore. Being on your feet all day in sandals can hurt if you’re doing a lot of walking.

What to Pack for Winter in Spain

packing for spain travel

Winter runs from November to February, however, October and March are also fairly cold so you can use this list for those months too. If you’re not a lover of the cold, be sure to visit one of the warmest places in Spain during winter. These are some items that simply have to be on your packing list for Spain during the colder months.

Coats and Jackets

You’ll need a lightweight coat or jacket to keep you warm in the chilly Spanish winters. Try to wear three layers of clothing – a base layer, a jersey, and a jacket or coat. Layering is a great way to complete a look, as well as being practical.


When trying to keep warm in winter, it’s often the small things that make the biggest difference. Keeping your neck warm with a wool or cashmere scarf is a game-changer.

Thermal Top

Having a great base layer is the key to keeping warm. Thermal tops lock in your own body heat and prevent the cold from getting in.

Jersey or Hoodie

Jerseys and hoodies make a great second layer. And if the day is not too cold, they may even act as your outer layer.

Wool Socks

Keeping your feet warm makes a huge difference in the cold. Be sure to pack thick socks that will not only keep your feet comfortable inside your shoes but also ensure your feet stay warm while you’re out and about.

Comfortable Walking Shoes

Sneakers or comfortable walking shoes are essential both in summer and winter in Spain. If you’re going to be on your feet a lot during the day, be sure to pop these on so your feet don’t get sore.


For those extra chilly days, it’s important to have a pair of shoes that you can walk in, as well as ones that can keep your feet warm. A pair of boots that have enough space in them to fit woollen socks are ideal for this situation.

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