Spain Packing List (with Downloadable PDF Checklist)

My Spain packing list will help you plan your trip to the beautiful Mediterranean country with confidence. It covers essentials and seasonal packing, and I’ve also included packing tips to help you leave no stone unturned.

Spain Packing List

If you want to download this free Spain packing checklist PDF, read to the end of this article. You’ll find a download link to get this list, which also has room to add your own items.

Spain Packing List

Essentials to pack

Travel Documents

Let’s kick off this Spain packing list with the basics. This is true for any place you travel, but ensure you don’t forget any important documents. These include your passport, visa if applicable, driver’s license, international driving permit (IDP), and a student ID if you have one (for museums and landmarks).

I won’t go into detail regarding the basic identification documents, but it’s worth spending a few words on the driver’s license and International Driving Permit (IDP). Aside from EU citizens, most international visitors require an IDP to drive in Spain (including the islands). You must obtain your IDP before traveling to Spain and carry it with you, along with your driver’s license.

Other documents you may need are your flight tickets (printed or digital) and hotel (or Airbnb) booking confirmation. Lastly, I recommend storing copies of your documents in different places, like your carry-on bag. This can be very helpful in case anything happens to your original documents.

Cards and Cash

If you travel to big cities across Spain, you’ll get along just fine with card payments for the most part. However, if you plan on doing a road trip or visiting smaller towns and villages, having cash is essential.

You will likely not need cash as soon as you land, so you can avoid withdrawing or exchanging money at the airport, which is notably one of the places with the worst exchange rate. Instead, head to a bank ATM (not an independent ATM) and directly withdraw euros. If you have cash, the exchange rate is also better at banks and exchange offices in the city.

Read more: How to Get the Best Exchange Rate While Traveling

However, note that you likely won’t find exchange offices in smaller, remote locations. Be sure to get cash before getting on the road.

The most common banks in Spain are Santander, CaixaBank, Ibercaja, and BBVA. Each bank will have a different withdrawal fee depending on your own bank or credit card provider. I found that Deutsche Bank, Abanca, and CajaRural have low or no-fee withdrawals.

Medicine & First Aid Kit

Any prescription you’re on is an essential item to pack on a trip to Spain. If you’re on any specific medication or birth control, carry enough with you to last you the entire trip. Just be sure you double-check you’re allowed to bring your prescription into the country.

While you can find pharmacies even in most small villages in Spain, they may not have the medicine you need.

Having a first aid kit is also a good idea, especially if you plan on spending time outdoors, explore remote areas, or go hiking.

Chargers

Remember to bring chargers for your electronics, like your phone, laptop, tablet, or any other device you must carry. Although you can find electronic stores all over Spain, you may not find your original charger or may find it closed.

For extra safety, you may bring an extra charger for your most important device, like your phone. You don’t want to spend precious time running around finding a charger for your phone instead of enjoying the trip.

Portable Charger

I never travel anywhere without at least a portable charger. Nowadays, you can find compact and powerful ones that don’t take up much space and give you peace of mind. If you can, bring a backup as well.

Also, just a small reminder to always recharge your power bank in the evening. Take it from someone who ended up with a dead phone and two empty power banks on a hike in the middle of nowhere in Fuerteventura.

Adapter

You will need a power adapter if you travel to Spain from most places outside Europe and even some in Europe. Like most European countries, Spain has types F and C plugs and sockets. While some hotels provide adapters, you may not find them in all accommodations.

If you travel often, you can buy a universal adapter that works in any country, so you won’t need to buy a different one for every trip. I also recommend bringing a spare adapter if you can.

Padlock

If you plan on staying in hostels, bring a padlock with you. Some hostels provide locks, but others only have lockers, so you must either buy a lock or bring your own.

Having a padlock for your luggage can also be handy if you need to leave your suitcase or backpack anywhere while sightseeing. Opt for combination padlocks to avoid having to carry a key.

Day Bag

Don’t forget to pack a smaller day bag, whether it’s a crossbody bag, a fanny pack, or a small backpack. You want to opt for a lightweight yet spacious bag where you can carry essentials like your water bottle, an extra sweater, and maybe some snacks.

I don’t recommend wearing a purse in popular tourist places since they are easier targets for pickpockets. Whatever bag type you choose, be sure it has a zipper or some secure closure so you can keep your stuff safe, especially on public transport.

Reusable Water Bottle

Make the sustainable choice of skipping bottled water by bringing a reusable water bottle on your trip to Spain. You can drink tap water virtually everywhere in Spain, and you will often find public fountains to refill your bottle.

I never travel without a reusable water bottle. Not only will you produce less waste, but it also helps save money, so it’s the perfect choice for budget travelers.

Toiletries

Next up on our Spain packing list is your toiletries bag. Don’t forget to pack your favorite face cream, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, and hand sanitizer. Depending on your chosen accommodation, you may or may not find essential items like soap, shower gel, and shampoo.

While you can always buy toiletries, you can avoid having to throw away leftover cosmetics by bringing your own. You can also create less waste by ditching small hotel toiletries. Solid cosmetics are an even better choice, saving you space in the luggage and helping the planet.

If you carry liquids in your carry-on in Spain, remember the rule of having containers of a maximum of 100 ml (3.4 oz) each for a total of one liter (34 oz). Some airports have started eliminating this rule, but it’s still in place in most airports in Spain.

Sunscreen

One last essential item if you travel to Spain in any season is sunscreen. This is even more important in the summer when it can get extremely hot throughout Spain, especially in regions like Andalucia and Extremadura.

Yes, you can buy sunscreen in any supermarket in Spain, but they may not offer a wide range, so it’s better to arrive prepared. Opt for a mineral sunscreen that is both reef-safe and better for your skin.

What to Wear in Spain

Essentials for Any Season

In Spain, you’ll get around just fine if you dress casually most of the time. You may bring one or two elegant outfits for dining out or a special occasion, but there’s no need to overdo it. Classy and elegant is better than ostentatious. Keep it simple, and you’ll be okay.

Nights out are usually the occasions for dressing up. Men can wear trousers with a shirt and elegant sneakers, while women can wear a dress with sandals or heels. However, the place makes all the difference. Fine-dining restaurants, nightclubs, and chic bars are for dressing up. But you can find many casual places where there’s no need to overdress.

Athleisure is not something you will see often as an everyday outfit choice. This is true in most European countries, so if you don’t want to stand out, save the sportswear for actual sports or hiking.

Spain is known for having gorgeous cathedrals and churches. If you plan on visiting any, be sure to dress appropriately. This usually means covering the shoulders and legs above the knee. You may wear dresses and shorts, as long they are not too short, and you can bring a scarf to cover your shoulders. Also, remember to take off your hat when entering a church.

What to Wear in Mainland Spain

Summer

Summers can get very hot throughout Spain, although the north of Spain tends to have more moderate weather. The big cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia can get extremely hot in the peak summer months, and the same is true for Andalucia.

To survive the hot Spanish summer, bring light, breathable clothes and choose fabrics like linen or cotton. Pack light summer dresses, shorts, and tops for women and t-shirts and shorts for men.

You may need to cover your shoulders when you visit religious sites, so consider that and maybe pack a long dress or light pants. And of course, don’t forget your swimsuit.

In most places, the heat doesn’t diminish much during the night. Bring a lightweight blazer or cardigan, especially if you travel to northern Spain, but there is no need for extra layers.

Winter

Winter in Spain can look different depending on where you go. As a rule of thumb, winters are mild in Southern Spain and progressively harsher as you move further north. This means the weather can look very different in Sevilla and Bilbao. However, it rarely gets too cold, except in certain mountain areas.

Packing a warm, rainproof jacket, especially if you travel anywhere inland or in the north, is a good idea. Pack a few pairs of jeans or trousers, and sweaters, blouses, or cardigans. As for shoes, opt for waterproof boots or sneakers. Don’t forget a scarf for colder days, and pack a beanie if you travel north.

While Spain is not known for its winter sports destinations, there are a few areas where you can go skiing or enjoy the snow. In particular, you can explore the Sierra Nevada or the Pyrenees. Pack warm winter clothes if you plan on heading to these areas.

Spring and Fall

The weather in spring and fall in Spain depends on the region, but overall, it offers mild temperatures and sunny days. It is usually colder in the morning and evening and warmer during the day, so dressing in layers is a good idea.

If you travel to the south and east of Spain, especially along the Mediterranean coast, you will find the weather very pleasant and warm. The north and west of Spain, especially Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, and País Vasco, can be rainy and cold.

In places like Andalucia and Extremadura, the temperatures can rise in early spring and stay like that well into fall. As a rule, you can expect summer-like weather from April to October.

What to Wear in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands deserve a special mention since the weather here is completely different from mainland Spain. If you plan on traveling to any of the Canary Islands, you should always pack for summer or spring weather.

While summers can get super hot, the weather remains spring-like for the rest of the year. You can even go to the beach in the winter months in many places, so you should always pack your swimsuit, sandals, and summer clothes.

In the winter, the weather can be unpredictable in some areas, so pack layers. However, temperatures rarely fall below 15°C in the coldest areas.

Spain Packing Tips

Buy travel insurance.

The first packing tip for Spain is less about actual packing and more about protecting your stuff. Buying travel insurance is not mandatory, but it can give you peace of mind in the unlikely situation of your luggage getting lost or important items being stolen.

Good travel medical insurance will cover not just emergency medical expenses but also things like lost luggage, electronics theft, and stolen documents. Unexpected situations can happen, so it’s better to be prepared for any circumstance.

Choose the right luggage type.

The choice between a backpack and a suitcase is not always easy. I always choose a backpack for traveling to Spain (and Europe in general). A good-quality, comfortable backpack is often much more practical and easier to carry.

If you plan on staying longer in one place and sticking to big cities like Madrid or Barcelona, then bringing a suitcase is totally okay. However, if you want to explore more of Spain and visit smaller towns and remote regions, I recommend the backpack. This way, you also limit the chances of overpacking.

Pack according to the region you travel to.

I have included some tips regarding the various regions in the section about seasons, but always research the area you plan to visit ahead of your trip. Spain is quite big by European standards, and the weather can be radically different in opposite regions across mainland Spain. Plus, the islands have their own climate, particularly the Canary Islands.

Especially in winter or shoulder seasons, the difference between regions is more noticeable. You may need to pack very light clothes in Sevilla or Tenerife and warm sweaters, rain jackets, and boots in Madrid or Santander.

Leave space in your luggage.

This is true for any trip, but when packing for Spain, you should leave some free space in your suitcase or backpack.

Whether you go shopping for clothes, buy local products, or take souvenirs for your loved ones, you’ll end up filling that extra space. And you probably don’t want to pay extra at the airport or check another bag.

Don’t overpack.

While being prepared for different occasions and circumstances is good, don’t overpack. You’re traveling to Spain, so chances are you’ll find a big supermarket or clothing store within a short walk or bus ride. If you’re missing something, you can probably find a replacement.

Once you’ve made sure you have your essentials and a few changes of outfits, you’re good to go. Traveling light will give you more freedom of movement and less stress. After all, traveling is about novelty and experiences over things, not about having the perfect accessory for that one night out.


Spain is such a beautiful country, and I’m sure you’ll find lots to love about it. However, like traveling to any country, it’s always good to do plenty of research beforehand.

My list covers traveling to Spain on vacation for all seasons. Use the download link below to get this list for free. Print it off, add your items, and pack with confidence.

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Keep my Spain packing list in a safe place by saving it to one of your boards. When the time comes to plan your trip to Spain, you’ll easily be able to find this article and download the list.

Author: Roxana Fanaru

Roxana Fanaru is an Italy-based Romanian-born journalist. She has written for various publications in the lifestyle and travel space and is a seasoned solo traveler.

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