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Updated in 2018: If you’re wondering about what to wear in Spain, these three travelers have the inside scoop! We have expat Brandy from It’s One World Travel who’s lived in Spain the last seven years; Lola from Miss Filatelista lived in and explored the country for nearly a year; and seasoned traveler Sebrin from The Clumsy Traveler. Read on to find out the essentials on their packing list when traveling to Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Valencia, Seville and other parts of Spain.
What to Wear in Spain: Packing List
Written By: Lola Mendez and Sebrin Elms
What to wear in Spain will vary based on the season and the autonomous community that you’ll be visiting. While Spanish weather and scenery may vary local style choices are based on comfort, color, and coordination.
If you ever get the chance to witness a Spanish wedding you’ll see women in fashionable fancy ensembles, often combined with tocados, like a British fascinator.
Everyday style isn’t quite as avant-garde but Spanish women do like to have fun with fashion and express their personalities through their outfits. Keep this in mind when deciding what to wear in Spain.
If you forget to add something to your Spain packing list, don’t worry; most cities have a Zara or Mango where you’ll be able to stock up on Spanish duds for a fraction of the cost at home.
Spain Packing Tips
Pack comfortable, durable items that can be mixed and matched into cute outfits. Some of Spain’s most historic sites like the Moorish Alhambra palace in Granada, trekking along the seaside cliffs in San Sebastian, and visiting Gaudi’s masterpiece Parc Guell, require hours of walking.
Comfortable footwear is a must for Spain, but you can also pack a low chunky heel that can be worn out at night or for less strenuous activities.
These experts are giving you the inside scoop on their twenty-one top picks for the most comfortable shoes. Take a look!
Weather in Spain varies and it’s never a bad idea to have a lightweight scarf in your bag and on your Spain packing list. The temperature is different throughout the country. You’ll need cold weather accessories in Madrid, the central mountain areas, and the far north. In the south, you’ll need a lightweight jacket and an umbrella.
If you’re traveling to various climates in Spain, you’ll want to think of layers while building your Spain packing list. A tee shirt and jeans with low heeled booties are a great option during spring, but in the fall you may need a thick pair of socks and knit hat in the Basque Country, or a chunky cardigan layered with a heavy scarf in Galicia and an umbrella, it rains a lot there!
Read to find out how to choose the best and warmest long underwear for women!
When creating your Spain packing list, choose one base neutral colored pair of shoes–black or brown. Organize the rest of the items around what would look good with those shoes and function for the activities you’ve planned.
Having a minimalist travel wardrobe is key for a light Spain packing list. Spain is full of mainstream and unique mom and pop shops so bring fewer accessories so you have room to buy new wearable souvenirs during your trip.
Which luggage accessories and packing organizers will work best for you?
I always include aromatherapy oils on my Spain packing list. I use the natural scents instead of perfume and choose mood boasting aromas that help keep me calm and relaxed during hectic travel situations.
I also keep one in my bag and sniff it if I ever come across something foul smelling or want to smell nice unexpectedly–like when meeting a handsome Spanish barista. I use ADORAtherapy as they’re all natural, wearable on the skin, and come in travel size containers with easy to use roll-on applicators.
These are the best travel containers because you pack only what you need!
Spain Clothing Style
Style in Spain is similar to any western country, so that makes it easier to choose what to pack for Spain. Trends are no longer unique to countries due to fast fashion stores, like Spanish brands Mango and Zara.
Whatever you’d wear at home is probably equally acceptable here, but you’re on vacation so you’ll want to pack fun, memorable outfits that will photograph well.
In major cities, like Madrid and Barcelona, you’ll see women who are incredibly stylish and look like they’ve walked right out of a photo shoot. But you’ll also see lots of bohemian, preppy, punk, and conservative looks.
Personal style in Spain can vary and you’re sure to find all sorts of fashions, be inspired by your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to compliment a Spanish woman if you like something she’s wearing. She’ll probably tell you where you can get it!
When in doubt, a safe choice is wearing jeans paired with a nice top and classic flats. When visiting cathedrals, bring along a shawl or scarf to cover up and respect local religion.
If you’re planning to go out at night, then plan to dress up a bit. If you’re staying in a beach town, you can go for a more casual look.
Plan for what to wear in Spain with this packing guide:
What to Wear in Spain in Fall
Fall is the perfect time to discover the great outdoors in Spain. The country has many mountain ranges boasting beautiful hikes! Warm tapas are made for this season and the weather will still be warm enough to enjoy your meal outdoors and watch the changing leaves.
Temperatures drop in Spain during autumn, which is from September to November, but it varies according to the location. In the north in Galicia, it can be very cold this season; in Madrid and the south, you can feel the heat until mid-October. That’s when it starts to be cold again.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for autumn travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer Clothes
- Use a Summer Dress to Pack Light in Fall
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Spain Packing List for Fall
Fall is much brighter than gloomy winter in Spain and a perfect time to wear warm hues like orange, reds, and yellows and layer with cozy separates like flannel shirts, leather pants, and denim jackets.
You likely won’t need a full hat-gloves-scarf set but a floppy wool hat and stylish blanket scarf should be enough to keep you cozy, especially at night.
Here are eight different ways to wear a scarf when you travel!
Avoid adding a bulky winter jacket to your Spain packing list by wearing lots of layers instead. A faux fur vest will keep you warm and stylish as you explore Spain.
You’ll miss out on lots of beautiful sites if you skip out on walking to and from your destinations due to the cold. Pack appropriately and always bring more layers than you think you’ll need. Don’t forget comfy shoes!
Discover our top 10 brands for the best thermal underwear for women!
When choosing what to wear in Spain, go for a tee as your base with a cardigan or button up shirt as a layering item. If it gets too warm you can wear your jacket just with the base, or if it gets too cold you can wrap up the layering item and close up your coat for extra warmth.
It is not practical or comfortable to wear heels in Spain, regardless of the season. Most local women don’t wear them out at night either so you still feel stylish and appropriate in booties or flats. Keep this in mind for your Spain packing list!
Shop the best ankle boots for fall and travel with them for just about any cold weather destination all year long!
What to Wear in Spain in Winter
Winter in Spain occurs from December to mid-March. There is a misconception that Spain is always warm. I was even told I wouldn’t need a winter jacket in Madrid. This is not true! Temperatures may not get crazy low in Madrid, and snow is really rare, but wind chill and rain call for weatherproof accessories.
Not only does it snow in parts of the country, but in January to February there’s a lot of rain showers in the north. Occasionally dry and drafty, you’d better layer up if you’re visiting in winter. A sturdy and travel-sized umbrella can quickly become your best travel mate, so add these to your Spain packing list.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
Spain Packing List for Winter
When deciding what to wear in Spain, pack at least a pair of jeans and a pair of thick leggings. If you plan to explore the north of Spain where some of the most fantastic cities are – like Bilbao, San Sebastian, and Asturias you may even want to layer your leggings underneath your jeans. Barcelona around the holidays can be so mild that you might only need a trench coat and thin wool scarf in the morning but just a sweater in the afternoon.
Spain’s many islands, like Ibiza, Mallorca, and the Canary Islands, also stay quite moderate in the winter, and can even be warm at times. You may not exactly need to add a swimsuit to your Spain packing list but you can probably at least take a walk on the beach or have dinner at an outdoor terrace near the sea.
These tips on how to stay warm in cold weather are a must-read!
Andalusia’s many historic cities are wonderful to explore in the winter due to mild temperatures but the weather can fluctuate a lot during the day, especially if you’re traveling to higher altitudes, so having a scarf in your bag is never a bad idea. And it makes for a fashionable accessory.
The cold weather accessories that you need to pack for a comfortable and cozy winter trip to Spain will depend entirely on your destination. If you aren’t sure about the weather, or are visiting multiple climates, pack a basic set of hat, scarves, gloves.
Accessories can be both practical and stylish and we’re going to show you how with these fashionable winter accessories for women!
If you like to wear shorts, skirts, or dresses, make sure to add at least one pair of thick tights to your Spain packing list to keep your legs from freezing at night. You can always buy warmer items once you are in Spain if the weather calls for it. It can be wet throughout the country in the winter months you may want to avoid packing your favorite pair of sneakers. Faux leather ankle booties with sturdy soles that can be worn for both daytime explorations and nights out and make a great addition to your outfit.
If you plan to spend time outdoors hiking, or exploring Spain’s many vineyards, a stylish pair of hiking boots will make it easier to tread through mud. Rain boots are an option too but generally a pain to pack and not really necessary as you can seek shelter indoors during bursts of rain.
Find out how to choose hiking boots and the five styles TFG readers voted as their favorites!
Thick socks are a lifesaver when trying to keep feet warm in damp weather. Pack a few pairs as they make take time to dry after a good soak and have fun by packing a few different style lengths, knits, patterns, and colors. Your socks sometimes may be the only variety in your daily outfits if you’re wearing the same coat and accessories every day!
Depending on your destination will determine what kind of outerwear you need to add to your Spain packing list. Women can be seen wearing fur jackets, while down jackets are popular for younger people. In Madrid and the north of Spain, you will need a long wool coat or down jacket.
In the south of Spain, you’ll be fine with a trench coat or military style coat worn over layers. Even if you’re coming to Spain from a warmer climate, wear your jacket on your flight to save space in your luggage.
Need a coat? Here are the best down jackets to wear over your layers!
What to Wear in Spain in Spring
Spring is one of the most beautiful times to visit Spain. The weather is warm, but not too hot, flowers bloom in abandon, and the streets come to life with music and delicious farm fresh foods. It’s a great season for upping your style.
If you have the chance to visit a feria in Andalucia or see the patios of Cordoba you’ll get to immerse yourself in the Spanish celebrations of spring.
Madrid is also amazing to visit in the spring with trips to the famous art museums, Rastro market, and boat rides at Retiro park.
While March and April can still be chilly, it starts to warm up in May. It will still be cold during the first weeks of the season, so make sure you have a warm jacket on your Spain packing list. Warmth comes with the sun, but as soon as it disappears you can feel the draft, so it’s best to layer your clothing when choosing what to wear in Spain.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer a Summer Dress for Spring
- How to Pack for Europe in Spring
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Spain Packing List for Spring
Have fun with your travel outfits in the spring. Bright colors, pastels, and florals are appropriate for this season, as everyone mimics nature’s vivid colors. Long tunic tops are paired with leggings, replacing trousers and denim.
Florals are always a good idea for your Spain packing list. Try pairing a floral skirt with a striped blouse or Flamenco inspired polka dot skirt with a sheer tank to play with textures, fabrics, and patterns for a truly Spanish inspired ensemble.
Here’s what TFG readers voted on the best leggings for women who travel!
A versatile maxi dress is an ideal look for spring for exploring La Rioja vineyards, historic Granada, or the many medieval pueblos like Ronda, Toledo, Avila, and others.
Weather may be wet so opt for plastic or rubber sandals over leather goods so you don’t destroy your favorite pair. Ballet flats or converse are also super comfortable for sightseeing all day in Spain.
We’ve got a round up of cute and comfortable ballet flats to wear at home and abroad!
Dining out is popular in this fair weather, but make sure you bring along a scarf or a jacket. March can still be quite chilly so a denim jacket or blanket scarf can be a lifesaver when the weather gets crisp.
By May, the weather is already heating up and you won’t need a jacket, but will want to make sure you’ve included a swimsuit on your Spain packing list, especially if you’re heading to Malaga or Valencia!
Find out why we love these lightweight jackets for travel!
What to Wear in Spain in Summer
Spain is a vast country with different cities, vibes and ideals. But one thing is for sure: Spain in the summer is hot, hot, hot! Pair that with the millions of tourists visiting this season and it is near stifling.
Cities in the center of the country, like Madrid and Seville, can reach up to 113º F, while coastal cities are closer to 90’s. It’s also not completely unheard of to experience some rain in the beginning of June. If you have flexible travel dates, aim to go around this time. August is definitely the hottest month with record-breaking temperatures, no rain, and lots of crowds. Your Spain packing list will feature a lot of light pieces.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Summer
- Top Summer Dresses Perfect for Europe
- Lightweight Jackets for Easy Layers
- Best Walking Shoes for Europe’s Cobblestone Streets
Spain Packing List for Summer
Spain is a very playful and colorful location, rich in culture and traditions that are reflected in modern fashion. During the summer, you’re going to want to choose breathable and comfortable clothing to beat the heat.
But have fun with it! Wear a flirty sun dress, some cute cut off shorts, off-the-shoulder tops or a bright, colorful tee. Your wardrobe should be fun and frisky to reflect your destination.
For added versatility, these are popular convertible travel dress styles!
Sun dresses, shorts, tank tops and even crop tops are perfectly acceptable ways to dress throughout Spain. If you plan on going into any museums or churches, just be sure your stomach and shoulders are covered so as not to offend.
The evening brings a reprise from the heat, but you still won’t need any pants. Dresses or shorts with a blouse is commonplace for the club or bar scene. Again, be sure to cover up based on your surroundings.
Take a look at these sundress outfits that transform an everyday summer dress!
Spain Travel Essentials
The perfect accessories to add color to any outfit are a handbag and a scarf. You can use your handbag, belts, and scarves to brighten up an otherwise neutral outfit. Don’t forget the perfect daytime accessory: sunglasses.
The perfect travel bag for your Spain packing list is a crossbody bag. To take your look from day to night, use a removable chain or strap to transform it from a crossbody into an elegant clutch.
You must add sandals to your Spain packing list for casual beach/city days and sneakers for active wear or additional support. If you’re planning on going to a nice dinner or dancing flamenco, bring appropriate fancy shoes.
Spain Luggage Tips
So the hard part’s out of the way; after much turmoil you’ve finally perfected your travel wardrobe and created a Spain packing list, now it’s time to get packing! Which luggage will work best for you?
Depending on how many days or weeks you’re traveling, you may want to use packing organizers, which allow optimum use of the space in your luggage, keeping everything organized and in place during your travels, and making the task of unpacking and repacking simple and stress-free.
As you’re headed to fashionable Europe, use an equally stylish carry-on, such as the Osprey Ozone, which is a personal favorite. Keep in mind that most of Europe’s budget airlines have a carry-on bag allowance of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airlines individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.
Like any major tourist destination in Europe, accommodations are aplenty here in Spain. From villas and luxury hotels to hostels and homestays, you have plenty of options to choose from. If you want to make it a real summer trip, try staying on a boat and travel from one beach city to the next.
Aside from safety, I also like to feel like I’m living in the destination. It’s a small taste of local life plus you get more amenities than you would at a hotel such as a kitchen and washing machine.
For hostels, we recommend Hostelworld and Hostelbookers. Always read the reviews before booking to get the best idea if the hostel is right for you. Some are quiet and family friendly while others are known for their party atmosphere.
Major cities like Madrid, Seville and Barcelona have incredible public transportation. From taxis to buses, you will find affordable transportation throughout. It’s also very easy to get from city to city. Road tripping in your own car, trains, buses and even airplanes fly to several destinations within the country.
What To Do in Spain
History and beautiful beaches are just about everywhere in Spain. And with such a diverse range of landscapes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you’re looking to escape the typical tourists traps, try a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat or Lloret de Mar.
A trip to Avila or Toledo is the perfect spot to visit from Madrid. You can even fly to the less known Canary Islands for your very own private adventure. Or you can drive from Barcelona to Gibraltar and see where the wind takes you!
If you’re looking to have a typical Spanish-style experience enjoy a flamenco show, run with the bulls in Pamplona, throw tomatoes at La Tomatina, go surfing in Mundaka, see Gaudí in Barcelona or party it up in Ibiza.
The nightlife scene in Madrid is vibrant, with most clubs getting busy around 1 AM and partiers staying until 6 AM dancing and socializing. Some clubs may have dress codes but you’ll see your fair share of locals dressed super casually, even in tee shirts and sneakers. Barcelona tends to be a bit more upscale and Ibiza is the place to see and be seen in your most stylish dresses.
If clubs aren’t your scene, don’t worry there are endless Spanish tapas and wine bars where you can spend lazy nights enjoying delicious food and beautiful Spanish guitar music. Here your outfit can be what you’ve worn sightseeing all day, or more dressed up, it’s really up to your personal preference.
More often than not you may feel overdressed but as long as you feel good in what you’re wearing and have a good time, that’s all anyone will care about.
These are a few popular Spain guidebooks:
Spain Safety Tips
Petty theft in Spain is very prevalent. In fact, the country is ranked #1 in the world for travel insurance claims. Always keep an eye on your things, and remember to pack them securely.
Make your clothing theft-proof and choose items with strong zippers. Jeans are handy for this reason: you can put important items, like your wallet and phone, in your front pockets, where it’s very difficult for a wandering hand to snatch it. Add items like the Secret Stash Bra Pocket and Underwear with Pockets to your packing list.
And be mindful of purse snatchers! They either slash the bottom of your bag so the content fall out or slash the strap. Wear your purse strap across your body and the zipper towards the front.
These are articles with other suggested anti-theft products:
- Money Belts and Anti-theft Accessories
- Best Anti-theft Bags for Women
- 6 Tools to Protect Your From Pickpockets in Europe
Remember, the safest place for your passport is locked in your accommodation. Carry a photocopy or other ID when you’re sightseeing or are out at night.
What is on your packing list for Spain? Share in the comments!
Please note: Most of Europe’s budget airlines have this carryon bag allowance: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airline’s individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.
For more tips, please read these Europe packing lists:
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a shoestring
- Lonely Planet Spain (Country Guide)
- Travel Shoes for Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for 9 countries.
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We hope this Spain packing list helps you plan your packing list for Spain. Don’t forget to share the love on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Author Bio: Lola Méndez is a full-time traveler sharing her adventures on Miss Filatelista as she adds to her collection of passport stamps. She travels to develop her own worldview and has explored 50+ countries. Passionate about sustainable travel she seeks out ethical experiences that benefit local communities. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Author Bio: Sebrin is a newlywed, flower child, and travel-obsessed blogger. When she isn’t traipsing the globe with her husband, you can find her curled up with a book, snuggling with her kitty babies, or binge-watching Netflix. Follow along her travels on her blog or instagram!