What To Wear In Spain
To sum it up - Simple and stylish
- The Spanish really care about their personal appearance and image and on the whole they dress conservatively and make an effort when they go out, even if it's just doing the daily shopping.
- In the evening, women dress more stylishly, particularly when dining out. If you are going to an average to high quality restaurant, you'll be more comfortable wearing something more dressy.
- And don't forget about your shoes... the Spanish love shoes, and for them a pair of shabby shoes can let down a whole outfit. We love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style. Or why not try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.
- Jeans are very popular here in every style and worn throughout the year.
- Our advice would be to save your shorts and sarong for the beach, wearing them elsewhere will label you as a tourist and skimpy tight fitting clothes may get you unwanted attention.
- If you are going to Spain for business then bring your work clothes. Men will be expected to wear jackets and ties even if it's hot. Women wear dresses or skirts.
- Spring and autumn are cooler and dressing in layers will help you cope with the temperature changes.
- If you are visiting in the spring it's worth bearing in mind that although you may view the temperatures as warm (in comparison to the freezing ones you may be used to over the winter), the locals don't. So if you want to blend in, then dress as they do. Sturdy shoes or boots, trousers, jumpers, scarf and a jacket.
- In the summer wear plenty of sun screen (we love the Riemann P20 range - apply just once a day, even if swimming, for a whole 10 hours protection), sunglasses and a sunhat.
- Although the winter months are short, roughly stretching from around November to February, the weather can be cold so take a jacket or wrap for the evenings.
- If you are planning on visiting Madrid in winter, it can be cold with severe winds - so a heavier type of overcoat will be needed with a warm scarf, gloves and hat or ear muffs.
- Church is still an integral part of Spanish life and wearing shorts or being scantily dressed while visiting a church will not be appreciated. If you are going to visit any religious sites then be sure to cover your shoulders and bare legs - your wrap can come in handy for this too.
- La Manga is all about sport; during the day most of the people wear trainers, jogging pants or shorts and a sports top. In the evening, in the main, it stays pretty casual but definitely at the smart end of casual. There are some notable exceptions, which you'll be glad you dressed up a bit more for... dining at the hotel and at Asia, to name a couple.
- Keep bottled water out of the sun as the plastic bottles can release dioxins when they heat up, which is not healthy. An alternative is to use a 100% BPA-free foldable water bottle. Reusing your water bottle will also help you do your bit for the planet - millions of plastic water bottles end up in landfill every year.
- To avoid taking separate electrical leads, chargers and adaptors for all your phones and devices, try a solar powered charger - this one gadget will charge most devices anywhere at any time.
- For pictures and ideas, see our Pinterest board: What to Wear in Spain.
- See our Blog post about what we packed for a city break in Grenada.
- See our Blog post about what we packed for a beach holiday on the Costa Del Sol.
- And to find great things to do in Spain, try the YouGoDo website.
- Stay healthy on your trip - travellers' diarrhoea can affect as many as 50% of people travelling abroad. We've tried and recommend Bimuno Travel Aid pastilles to help support your digestive health. And WhatToWearOnHoliday readers can claim a great 10% discount on Bimuno using code WHBIMUA at their checkout.
From Our Shop
Great products to pack for a holiday in Spain:
Roomy backpack that fits easyJet's hand luggage guarantee more >
Thank you so much for your info on what to wear in Spain. It was very helpful. I had to pack only a carry-on, and your advice helped me from over-packing. I brought everything you advised. - Hope, UK
La Manga is a great resort for taking children, as pretty much every bar and restaurant not only caters for them, but actively welcomes them too. And if you have a toddler, who prefers not to sit down for hours in a restaurant, most of them do takeaway options too. So no need to cook, unless you really want to. There's a brilliant junior club and babysitting is offered too, if you want to take advantage of a bit of grown-up time." - Rache, Herts
Being a native German, living in the States and organizing small group travel to Europe I find your site accurate and very helpful. My clients often ask what to pack when visiting Europe and I loved your motto: Dress smart! Nice job guys:) - Russ and Elke, USA
Packing advice for cities in Spain