Table of Contents

28 Top Spain Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

28 Top Spain Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring
Updated on

Spain is a wondrous mix of the old and new. From Gaudí to Picasso to Dalí, some of the greatest minds in history have created this vibrant culture.

Spaniards have exquisite style and taste, so you’ll need to pack accordingly. Landscapes also range from steep mountains to Mediterranean beaches, so I put together this checklist to help you determine what to pack, what to wear in Spain, what NOT to bring, and other FAQs.

Don’t forget your appetite, sense of adventure, and appreciation of life’s simple pleasures (¡placeres simples!).

Flamenco Dancer Spain
Traditional Spanish Flamenco dancing dress.
See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for Spain – 28 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet to Prevent Pickpocketing

    Pickpockets are extremely common in Spain, especially if you plan on heading to Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, or anywhere with large crowds. A quality neck wallet makes it next to impossible to become a target of thieves. This one is sturdy yet inexpensive, RFID-safe, and can easily fit your cell phone, cash, ATM cards, and passport without feeling too bulky. To be extra vigilant, wear this pouch tucked under your shirt (like my hubby does) and you won’t encounter a problem.

    Available on with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    Neck Wallet to Prevent Pickpocketing

    Or View on ➜

  • 2. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    While you’re running with the Spanish bulls and hopping between Gaudí exhibits, your phone could easily die in the middle of the action. While a power adapter is great for the hotel, an external power bank is better for on-the-go adventuring (instead of bee-lining for the hotel every time you need a charge). This one is about the size of a tube of lipstick and has saved us when we were stranded and needed to call a taxi and look up the hotel address. You won’t regret having it in an emergency.


    View on ➜

  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Through some recent bad experiences where I had my credit card number stolen while staying at an Airbnb in Paris – I’ve learned that a VPN is essential for any travel. Cybercrimes account for a massive 20% of Spain’s collective crime, and the growing number of attacks each year is a bit disturbing… Spain has ongoingly ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries in all of Europe and you do not want to risk your private data.

    Whenever you go on someone else’s Wi-Fi (whether it’s at a cafe, airport, Airbnb, or hotel), you’re exposing yourself to hackers on an unsecured network. A reliable VPN like NordVPN gives you an added layer of security to keep all your sensitive information, such as passwords, credit cards, and even your identity from being stolen. It’s like a digital disguise so nosy neighbors, your ISP, government officials, and cyber-thieves can’t monitor everything you do online! They already know enough about you, right? A bonus is that it will also allow you to use your favorite websites (like Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, and more) that could be censored or blocked in Spain or other countries you visit on your trip. It’s an absolute must-have.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    View Options ➜

  • 4. Universal Power Adapter

    Spain’s electrical outlets call for 220V, 50 Hz — and type F prongs (with the rounded tip), which is different than the U.S., so bring along a power adapter that won’t fry your electronics. If you’re visiting other countries, I highly recommend you get an international power adapter (like the one pictured) that works in 100+ countries and has a built-in fuse protector. This one also comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee!

    Power Adaptor

    View on ➜

  • 5. Gorgeous Outfit

    A night out in Spain is the perfect excuse to wear a killer outfit. I love this jumpsuit because it looks great on almost all body types, elongates your form, and doesn’t wrinkle easily when packed in your suitcase. You can wear it to dinner and head out dancing afterward without needing to change. I’m a fan of the open-back design, and the price is unbeatable.

    Women jumpsuit

    View on ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for Spain

    Travel Insurance is a non-negotiable when heading overseas. Your domestic health insurance will not follow you abroad (including Medicare and Medicaid), and you will need to protect yourself in cases of emergency. Travel insurance will cover your costs if your luggage gets lost or stolen or if cancellations to your flights occur… But most importantly, it will front a hefty medical bill if you need to see a doctor for an accident, injury, or surgery. Our friend suffered a nearly $50K medical bill after a hiking accident in Europe. Luckily, they were covered to avoid paying a massive amount out-of-pocket.

    Faye is our top choice for finding the perfect policy for your needs. They are raising the bar for the entire industry and pay you quickly through their app (instead of giving you tons of paperwork to fill out!) Our amount was approved with no questions asked and no hidden fees. It will protect your loved ones and your travel investment for a surprisingly low cost. They even offer entire trip cancelation “for ANY reason,” which can come in handy these days!

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Packing Cubes

    Packing cubes are a TOTAL GAME-CHANGER for organizing your suitcase. They help compact your items while keeping them compartmentalized so that you know exactly where your different clothing items are. Once you’ve used packing cubes, you will never travel without them because they make traveling so much less stressful! These even have a unique index card feature on the back so that you can write exactly what’s in each cube.

    packing cubes

    View on ➜

  • 8. Jet Lag Relief

    Don’t let jet lag weigh you down and stop you from enjoying those first few days of your trip (and the first few days back home). This homeopathic, natural jet lag preventative and relief supplement works magic. If you take it according to the instructions, it can really help speed up the recovery process from traveling, and you’ll arrive feeling refreshed and ready to explore Spain and all its wonders.

    jet lag relief

    View on ➜

  • 9. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    We all need certain toiletries from home while traveling, and keeping them clean, organized, and spill-free during the ride can save a lot of hassle. This hanging toiletry bag is a brilliant discovery and holds way more items than I would’ve guessed. It helps me to maintain my routine (and sanity!) while dealing with small European bathrooms that lack storage.

    Embrace the freedom of hanging your products anywhere, and don’t forget the 3-ounce TSA-approved toiletry bottles so you can bring your favorite products that won’t be readily available in Spain (AND so you don’t have to throw away your favorite oversized products at the security checkpoint!) It will elevate your international travel experience and once you try this bag, you will be forever changed… This may sound dramatic, but just try it and I have faith you will agree 🙂

    hanging toiletry bag

    View on ➜

  • 10. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    This item is a true travel staple for a reason. In Spain, you never know what your accommodations will be like, and you never know when you’ll need a compact, quick-dry towel. Even if you know you’re staying in a place that will provide adequate, clean towels, it’s still wise to have a packable version for outings, picnics, or beach days. And these dry 10x faster than cotton.

    HERO Travel Towel - Blue

    View on ➜

  • 11. Luggage Straps

    For hard shell suitcases, soft shell, carry-on bags, and everything in between – these adjustable luggage belts will come in clutch! These adjustable straps fit on nearly any bag and extend the life of your travel gear since the zippers don’t have to work as hard to compress all of your Spanish souvenirs. They’re TSA-friendly, heavy-duty, and can withstand more than 700 lbs of force-tension (which you may need with how bags are handled these days!) We’ve had our suitcase fall apart, and everything tumble out, so we refuse to suffer through that preventable experience again.

    It’s also way easier to locate at the baggage claim terminal or a cruise retrieval room, where they can often be consolidated for pick-up. You’ll see the brightly-colored straps from a mile away, even if thousands of bags are color-coordinated!

    luggage straps

    View on ➜

  • 12. Waterproof Pocket Blanket

    A blanket is a handy item to have, but you don’t want to lug around heavy blankets or a treasured piece that may get dirty. A waterproof pocket blanket is optimal, providing you with seating on beach days and picnics in the park (without any mud seeping through!) Designed with a tarp-like material, it’s still super soft and easily washable, as well as sand-proof so you can shake off any granules before putting it back in its case.


    View on ➜

  • 13. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Although Spain is known for its beautiful blue skies, you’ll also encounter the occasional gray day too. We always recommend packing a quality travel umbrella so you can explore even on rainy days. It’s important to choose a well-made umbrella that can resist strong winds and has a water-resistant coated canopy. We like to use this one in particular because it has those important weather-proof qualities, plus it comes with a carrying case that makes it easy to pack away and keep the rest of your things dry.

    Hero Umbrella

    View on ➜

  • 14. Discounted Tickets to Spain’s Attractions

    Get Your Guide is our favorite booking service for top-rated, discounted, and skip-the-line tickets to the best local attractions. No visit to Barcelona is complete without visiting Gaudí’s major works, Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, architectural icons that will leave your jaw on the floor. You should also watch a flamenco dancing show in Madrid, take an immersive food tour in Seville, and visit the holy mosque of Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba.

    Branch out for day trips to La Palma for a volcano tour or Granada to experience the remarkable Nasrid Palaces. One of my favorite cities was a resort-style town along the Western Mediterranean, Palma de Mallorca, oozing with cosmopolitan flair and a history fit for royals.

    get your guide

    See all Spain attractions at ➜

  • 15. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    When you think about it, tons of people have access to our luggage, and we simply trust that they won’t go through it and steal anything. Unfortunately for me, my favorite pair of sunglasses was stolen out of my checked luggage. Now, I don’t bother taking any chances and make sure to secure all of my luggage with TSA-approved luggage locks like these. They’re also useful for locking up day bags or lockers in hostels or tourist sites.

    luggage locks

    View on ➜

  • 16. Natural Hangover Relief

    Between the Sangría de Cava, Rebujito, and Clara Beer – a natural hangover supplement is a wise precaution! Even if you don’t consume much alcohol, the Spanish sun and dry climate can amplify your fatigue. We discovered Cheers through Shark Tank and found that it really works. It’s made with vitamins, electrolytes, and Dihydromyricetin, which is shown to “counteract acute alcohol intoxication.” Skip the hangxiety! Make the most out of your limited vacation time instead of being in recovery mode.

    hangover pills

    View on ➜

  • 17. Shawl/Cover-Up

    Many of the activities in Spain will include visiting architectural masterpieces, churches, and religious sites. You may not be allowed to enter these sites with exposed shoulders or bare arms. This shawl is my personal go-to because the material feels like luxurious cashmere, so I can use it for cold nights or dress up any dinner look. It’s handy to wrap around you if you’re rocking a plunging neckline or something a little revealing to add a touch of modesty to your look.

    Shawl beige

    View on ➜

  • 18. Deodorant Wipes

    Deodorant wipes are fantastic because Spain is hot and if you’re planning any full day trips you are inevitably going to get sweaty and stinky. Instead of stressing about whether your body odor is too much, just carry along a few of these little puppies. You can bust one out when you are in the bathroom and with one quick wipe, you will feel refreshed and stink-free. I love this brand because they smell amazing and are full of essential oils and other non-toxic ingredients.

    deodorant wipes, busy brand

    View on ➜

  • 19. Cooling Towels

    Like other Mediterranean countries, Spain has an abundance of heat and sunshine that carries throughout the year. It’s a good idea to bring cooling towels. These small but powerful towels become 20-30 degrees colder than the outside temperature as soon as you wet them. Drape them around your head, neck, or shoulders, and feel the immediate cooling relief. I like to always carry one in my daypack so that I can increase my endurance when we’re out exploring.

    towel pink

    View on ➜

  • 20. Comfortable Flats

    Footwear is definitely noticed in this country — and flip-flops are not acceptable beyond the beach. Additionally, driving in sandals is actually illegal (yes, it’s true!), so you will need close-toed shoes if you plan to rent or drive a car while in Spain. Given the amount of walking you’ll be doing on a daily basis, a solid pair of comfortable flats that are both stylish and supportive will help you to navigate the uneven cobblestones with grace. And the memory-foam sole is just heavenly.

    Comfortable Flats

    View on ➜

  • 21. Stylish Anti-Theft Backpack

    In Spain, fashion matters. A chic (yet extremely inexpensive) backpack like this one fits all the essentials and limits worry since it’s made to prevent theft. It has the zipper facing toward your back, so it’s next to impossible for someone to steal your things. Plus, it’s sophisticated enough that you won’t look like an obvious tourist!

    anti-theft bag

    View on ➜

  • 22. Activated Charcoal (Food Poisoning Fix)

    Spain is known for phenomenal food and delicious wines — and trust me, it will not disappoint! This said, we highly recommend bringing activated charcoal just in case you end up with a bout of food poisoning or traveler’s diarrhea. These activated charcoal tablets quickly absorb any toxins that may be in your system and can swiftly remedy your upset stomach without harmful side effects. In our experience, you will be back on your feet within a few hours rather than spending days of your vacation in bed recovering.

    Pro Tip: Be sure to eat at high-turnover restaurants and avoid pre-made sandwiches – especially those that might have been sitting around for days or without proper refrigeration.

    Activated Charcoal (Food Poisoning Fix)

    View on ➜

  • 23. Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    Water quality is tough to predict in many parts of Europe – Spain tends to have good water in most areas. Some coastal towns find that their water has sand or sediment in it, while water in urban areas can have a strong chlorine taste. This Brita is the most affordable one that still filters out the bare minimum of chlorine and sediment for cleaner and better-tasting water.

    Brita water bottle teal

    View on ➜

  • 24. Packable “Just In Case” Bag

    From charming boutiques to luxury brands, Spain has been rated the 4th cheapest shopping in all of Europe! Since European fashions are ahead of the American trends (and at a fraction of the typical cost), you will likely feel inspired to do some shopping. This “just in case” bag is ideal for those inevitable purchases because it counts as your personal item on the flight home and fits under your plane seat.

    Be sure to check out local goods, like bota, jamón, cava, blue wine, saffron, olive oil, Spanish scarves, paella dishes, tapas, terracotta, pottery, art, leather shoes, and of course, clothes!

    Just in Case bag

    View on ➜

  • 25. Motion Sickness Patches

    If you’re prone to sea, plane, or car sickness – consider bringing along these motion sickness patches, which have saved me on many occasions. They’re 100% natural, unlike most oral medications, and it may be difficult to find a comparable product in Spain. Biodramina is the closest thing you’ll find at la farmacia, and it’s almost TOO strong (with caffeine and other stimulants). These patches are our go-to since they’re holistic, gentle, and actually work!

    motion sickness

    View on ➜

  • 26. Dry Shampoo

    When traveling around Spain, you likely won’t have all of your favorite hair appliances or even the time to style your hair like you might at home. Any product that can cut down on the precious time you could use to be out sightseeing is a great choice, and this dry shampoo by Klorane (one of my favorite French brands) is no exception. If you’re skeptical of dry shampoo, this one won’t let you down. It blends smoothly with a volumizing finish that makes it easy to refresh second-day hair, so you’re out the door fast!

    Dry Shampoo

    View on ➜

  • 27. Prepaid Phone SIM Card for Spain

    Your cell provider will gladly charge you a fortune for roaming rates as you travel internationally… but we found a serious life hack for this predicament – purchase just the right amount of data with a European SIM Card. This resource is surprisingly affordable and gives you hours of call time plus 1,000 texts (probably all you’ll need for one trip). Simply unlock your phone before you leave, and once you arrive, go to a local vendor to activate a high-speed plan on a local number.

    Prepaid Phone SIM Card for Spain

    View on ➜

  • 28. Leak-Proof Packing Cushions “Wine Wings”

    This product is one of our best little secrets! Known as ‘wine wings,’ they are designed for wine but can be used for anything made of glass to protect it on the trip home. Simply pack breakable items in these cushioned cases to ensure their safe transport. With a triple seal, you don’t have to worry about liquids exploding all over your suitcase or ruining your favorite items. I use these for wine, olive oil, perfume bottles, and anything delicate that needs a little extra TLC!

    Leak-Proof Packing Cushions “Wine Wings”

    View on ➜

What to Wear in Spain

How to locals dress in Spain? From fiestas to the flamenco, Pablo Picasso, and Antoni Gaudí, Spain is a vibrant country with a lot to offer. Whether you are visiting the major cities like Barcelona or Madrid or planning a coastal getaway in Andalusia or the Canary Islands, you will find that Spaniards have a great sense of fashion.

Bring clothes that are well fitted in muted colors. Dress on the conservative side and choose versatile outfits that can be worn in museums and churches during the day and then to restaurants, concerts, and dancing at night.

What should WOMEN wear in Spain? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Women in Spain have a great sense of style, with a smart casual look that is on the conservative side. Start by packing footwear which is comfortable and can easily be worn for many hours such as fashion sneakers. Many local women wear ankle boots from fall to early spring and wedge heels during the summer evenings. Skinny jeans are very popular in any season and the trendy wide leg plants look great in spring and summer. On top, bring camis to pair with long sweaters, cardigans, or a nice blouse. During the warmer months add some style to your outfits by packing jumpsuits and long maxi dresses. For outside, pack a light hooded jacket and retro band shades. Lastly, boho earrings make great accessories for any outfit along with leather band bracelets.

What should MEN wear in Spain? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Up your style when visiting Spain. Start with a pair of comfortable shoes to wear in the day and leather wingtip shoes in the evening. Pants are worn in every season even when it is hot outside so pack a few pairs such as skinny fit jeans and/or tapered trousers. A nifty leather money belt protects you from pickpocketers by being able to store your cash inside the belt. On top, choose short sleeve dress shirts and polos for warmer months and oxford long sleeves and cardigans for the cooler months. Bring clothes that are well fitted and in muted colors without graphics. Outside wear a light hooded jacket with sunglasses. If it is cold pack beanie hat and scarf. Bring an RFID minimalist wallet for your credit cards and pack it in a rucksack for day exploring.

Packing for the Seasons in Spain

There’s a prevailing myth that the weather in Spain is perfect all year round. While many parts of the country enjoy wonderful weather much of the time, every part of Spain endures some rougher weather and seasonal changes. The golden rule is to do some research on the specific region you’ll be visiting, but the guidelines below should be more than enough for most travelers.

SPRING – March, April, May

Spring in Spain is lovely, and a hot time for tourism. When winter finally lets go, the air warms and the weather stays mild, so sun is plentiful. In certain parts of Spain it’s not uncommon to have a few days that are warm enough for beach time, but don’t plan on spending all of your time sunbathing in a bikini.

Most of Spain enjoys breezes and temps comfortable enough to dine outside without a jacket, but remember that rain is not uncommon in spring.

Pack a good rain jacket and a windproof travel umbrella so that you’ll be prepared should you be caught in a rain shower. A layering shawl is ideal to protect you from the chill of cooler evenings. Temperatures average between 55°F and 65°F (13°C to 18°C) with earlier months being the coldest.

SUMMER – June, July, August, part of September

This season brings heat to the whole country, though the northern areas are much milder than the southern regions. Rain can still be expected, especially in the north, so bring a rain jacket and a good umbrella!

Pack light layers to ward off occasional breezes and to protect your skin from the sun, but expect to tolerate some higher heat, too. A sunhat, sunglasses, and beachwear (swimsuit, swimsuit cover-up, flip flops) are definitely appropriate – just keep beachwear at the beach and the pool. Temperatures average between 70°F and 85°F (21°C to 29°C).

FALL – September, October, November

A magical and mild time in Spain, the fall brings some crispness to the air and the changing of the leaves. When packing for a fall trip, be sure to include a light jacket and a scarf or shawl – you’ll want to have something to ward off the evening chills that can also keep you cozy on colder days.

Crowds are prevalent since the weather is so nice (this is a high-season, after all), so you’ll encounter throngs of eager visitors at attractions.

Sometimes winter tends to sneak in a bit early, so it’s a good idea to check local weather forecasts right before you go and to pack accordingly. Temperatures average between 55°F and 70°F (13°C to 21°C) with later months in the colder ranges.

WINTER – December, January, February, part of March

Winters in Spain tend to be drier than other places in Europe, and are fairly mild with regard to weather. Obviously, this is the coldest season of the year, so pack accordingly, and don’t forget to bring layering items that can be mixed and matched so that you can avoid bringing too much clothing!

You may only need a fleece or a mid-weight jacket if you’re used to the cold, but if you come from a place where cold is uncommon you may want to opt for a heavier coat and a hat and gloves. Certainly, if you’re planning to ski or take part in other snow sports while on your trip, you’ll need to pack appropriate gear. Temperatures average between 45°F and 50°F (7°C to 10°C).

How to dress for different activities in Spain – (Click to expand)

Religious Sites – Catholicism has been very prominent in Spain for hundreds of years and as a result, beautiful churches and cathedrals can be found throughout the country. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is known as one of the greatest works of architecture and Seville Cathedral is the largest gothic cathedral in the world. As these are religious sites, it is important to pay attention to the dress code and wear outfits that are more on the conservative side. Both men and women need to have their shoulders covered. If you do choose to wear shorts (though not recommended), ensure that it goes below the knee. Anything that exposes cleavage, the midriff or back should be avoided. Just keep in mind that locals normally save shorts for the beach so pants are always a better option along with shoes instead of sandals.

Gourmet Food – From Spanish tapas to coastal seafood, charcuterie, and roasts, the cuisine in Spain is packed with flavor. Spain is a gourmet food destination with some restaurants even gaining a Michelin star (many of which are located in San Sebastian). El Celler de Can Roc, Akelarre, and Arzak are some of the top-rated and have three Michelin stars. Whether you are at a fine dining restaurant or out for a night of tapas, take a smart casual approach to how you dress. For casual restaurants, men can wear dark-fitted jeans with a t-shirt and blazer and for fancier restaurants, go with trousers and a dress shirt. For footwear, choose a nice pair of leather shoes. Women can wear maxi or cocktail dresses with a pair of wedge heels. For colder months, wear ankle boots, with black skinny pants, a blouse, and nice sweater. Makeup and jewelry are also common for a night out.

Beaches – From powder sand beaches to crystal clear waters, Spain has plenty of beaches for a relaxing holiday. Costa Brava, Gran Canaria, Majorca, and Costa Del Sol are just some parts of Spain offering fantastic beaches. Finally, these are places where you can dress in shorts! Getting to the beach though, you will want to blend in with locals, so wear a flowing dress overtop or shorts and a tank. For women, bikinis are the most popular choice. Men tend to wear swim shorts that go above the knee and are more fitted. Watch out for pickpocketing, though as beachgoers are a prime target. Do not take any valuables with you and by bringing an RFID wallet to throw in a bag with many pockets. It’s also a good idea to bring a microfibre towel that is lightweight for packing and quickly dries.

Football (Soccer) – Football is the most popular sport in Spain where it’s practically considered a religion and some of the worlds best clubs like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona compete. If you are already a fan of the game, wear your favorite teams’ jersey. If you want to go the extra mile, throw on some face paint! If you just want to experience Spanish football, pick a side and dress in their colors. It’s easiest if you pick the home team to avoid unwanted comments from passionate fans. Jeans are the most popular choice for bottom wear and don’t forget to bring a pair of sunglasses.

What NOT to Bring to Spain:

  • 1.DON’T TAKE flip flops with the intention of wearing them anywhere other than the beach

    You’ll be among a fashion forward crowd in Spain, so it’s best to dress the part. Blending in and being respectful will require a step up in the wardrobe, and that includes keeping those flip flops strictly at the beach.

  • 2.DON’T BRING a hairdryer

    Even with an adaptor, some of your more powerful appliances won’t do so well with the electrical conversion. It’s best to leave your hair dryer at home. Many accommodations will provide one. Otherwise just take advantage of the arid climate and air-dry your hair.

  • 3.DON’T BRING valuables

    Crime can be a problem in the touristy parts of Spain’s major cities, and even in some smaller cities and towns. Leave valuables at home or locked in a safe at your accommodations – you really won’t need them anyway. When carrying money and passport, it’s also best to use a Passport Pouch.

  • 4.DON’T TAKE books – opt for a Kindle

    Books take up a lot of space and weight, but a Kindle will allow you to read without the extra load. If you must have print books, you can look up spots along the way (like cafes and hostels) to swap out an old book for a new one — meaning less to carry.

  • 5.DON’T PACK so much that you don’t have space for souvenirs

    Spain has some magnificent shopping, and you’ll definitely want to bring home some items that you purchase. Whether it’s an extra bottle of wine or some bottles of Spain’s incredible olive oil, you’ll want some room to spare in your checked luggage.

  • 6.DON’T PACK immodest clothing

    Spain is fashion-forward, but it’s also a place where most people are fairly religious or at least conservative with their clothing. You certainly won’t see short shorts or other revealing clothing anywhere but the beach.

What clothing should I NOT wear in Spain? – (Click to expand)
The people of Spain have a great sense of fashion. To not stand out as a tourist, dress on the conservative side and never wear shorts or sandals unless you are going to the beach. Avoid baggy clothing, sweatpants, sweatshirts, workout clothing, graphic tees, bright colors, baseball caps, and sneakers. You will be doing plenty of exploring around Spain, so do not bring any shoes that are uncomfortable for walking. Women should also avoid tops with plunging necklines, crop tops, short dresses, and shorts. Lastly, never wear an opposing teams jersey in a city.

FAQs about Traveling in Spain

  • 1. What is the weather like in Spain?

    Spain Beach Tourism

    Spain has hot summers and cool, dry winters, so plan your trip and your outfits accordingly. Spain’s high seasons for tourism are in the spring and fall, but really, there isn’t much of a “bad” time to visit. Southern Spain can get too unbearably hot for some, while Northern Spain is considerably cooler. One thing to note is that many residents of Spain take their vacations in August, and so quite a few shops and restaurants may be closed during the heat of that month.

  • 2. What kinds of transportation are available in Spain?

    Taxis are common in the major cities of Spain. If you want to venture out on your own, make sure you’re comfortable with manual transmissions, as that’s what you’ll find in most rental cars, and remember the strict Spanish laws regarding footwear while driving! You can find bicycle-sharing systems in cities like Barcelona. But overall, walking is a pleasant and efficient way to see the cities.

  • 3. Is a visa required to visit Spain?

    For American citizens, a visa is not required for stays under 90 days. However, your passport needs to be valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date.

  • 4. How much of a time difference can I expect?

    Spanish square night

    Depending on where you are in Spain, you’ll be Western European Time or Central European Time — five or six hours ahead, respectively, of east coast time in the U.S. The further west you live in the United States, then the greater the time difference. You might want to keep this in mind because it will affect how jet-lagged you are.

  • 5. Is it safe to drink the water in Spain?

    The water is safe to drink in the urban areas of Spain and some more developed towns. If you get more remote, you may want to bring bottled water with you, or simply carry a refillable water bottle with a built-in filter so that you don’t have to worry about the quality of the water wherever you go!

  • 6. How is the healthcare?

    Healthcare in the country is very high-quality, and pretty easy to access. It is important, however, to make sure you check with your insurance regarding coverage or add a supplemental policy to cover the time you’ll be traveling in Spain.

  • 7. What’s the food like?

    Spanish Paella

    Spain is well known for tapas, or small plates. They are shareable and delectable, from patatas bravas (potatoes) to omelets to croquettes. You’ll likely have heard of Paella as well – a rice and seafood dish that is simple but delicious. Paella is local to the Valencia region and can be widely found there, but it’s not quite as common in other regions. Fret not – there are many other amazing dishes to look forward to! The country is also known for its Jamón ibérico, or aged ham, which is a delicacy everyone should try at least once. Dinner is much later than Americans are used to – these lighter tapas meals often start after 9 pm.

  • 8. What are typical accommodations like in Spain?

    You have a range of options to choose from in Spain — from five-star resorts to boutique hotels to budget hostels. One option to keep in mind is home-sharing platforms like Airbnb. You can find great deals in the center of the action, and they’re often much easier on your budget.

  • 9. What kinds of things are there to do?

    Spanish architecture church

    Depending on your interests, you have endless options in Spain.

    Whether you want to go full-tourist and check out The Sagrada Familia or spend the afternoon with a chilled bottle of cava and a plate of aged manchego cheese, make sure that you slow down and enjoy.

    There are beaches to relax on, gardens to roam and churches to see, streets to walk and shops to explore. Grab your Lonely Planet Guidebook and enjoy the journey.

  • 10. Do shops really close for siesta?

    Depending on where you are, the community may or may not take advantage of the afternoon siesta. In the major cities, you’ll find that things continue to operate more or less as normal.

    There’s even been debate over changing the working hours for Spaniards — ending the day at 6 pm rather than 7 pm, effectively eliminating the practice. However, in the smaller towns it’s more common for businesses to shut down from about 2 pm to 5 pm, and you should plan accordingly.

  • 11. Can I get dinner at 7 pm, or do I really have to wait until the Spanish eat at 9 pm?

    Spanish Jamon

    Yes, you can typically still find some places to eat at “regular” dinner times, but they will be fairly empty (aside from those catering specifically to tourists).
    However, some restaurants do modify their opening times and won’t open until later (8 or 9 pm). So if you have your heart set on a spot, it’s best to check ahead of time. And if you want to see how the city really lives, wait a couple more hours – snack on some Jamón and wine while you’re waiting!

  • 12. What kind of power outlets are in Spain? Do I need an adapter?

    Plugs are type F with the standard voltage around 220 V and 50 Hz frequency, so bring a Spain power adapter – it’s essential if you plan to charge anything while you’re there.