What Clothing To Pack For a Winter Trip to Spain

albir spain

I’ve been living in Asia for a few months and am now starting to pack for a six week trip back to Spain. In winter. Unlike in the summer months, where you can get away with a swimsuit, some shorts and a tank top, winter in Spain isn’t like that. Although a lot of people, judging by the skimpy clothing they arrive in Spain in, think it is.

I’ve traveled to Spain many times in winter over the years so, for me, packing is easy. It may not seem that way for you however. That’s why, if you’re not sure what clothing to pack for a winter trip to Spain, follow these quick tips and you’ll arrive fully-prepared and appropriately dressed.

Clothing To Pack For Daytime in Spain In The Winter – Of course, depending on which area of Spain you’re going to, the weather can be warm or cold in winter. In most areas of Spain though, it can be quite chilly in the winter months. That’s why the worst thing you can possibly do while packing for Spain in the winter is to throw in mostly light-weight summer clothing as, not only will you feel out of place among all the Spaniards in their winter finery, you’ll freeze to death too.

The best clothing to pack is long-sleeved shirts, jeans, casual pants like khakis, a couple of sweaters and a light jacket and, for women, some longer skirts too. That way, you can wear less clothing if the days are warmer and put a few light layers on if it really begins to get cold.

Of course, you can take a pair of long shorts if you’re the type that doesn’t feel the cold as much. Just pair them with a long-sleeved t-shirt and a zip-up fleece sweatshirt.

And, if you’re going to mountainous areas of Spain, pack the usual cold weather or snow gear of jeans, down jackets, gloves, a scarf, a hat and comfortable hiking shoes.

spain at dusk

Clothing To Pack For Evenings In Spain – Spaniards get quite dressed up at night or, at least don’t show up for dinner in shorts and t-shirt like Americans often do. If you’re staying in a nicer hotel or eating out at restaurants, you’ll look decidedly odd if you sit down in shorts and a t shirt for dinner in winter, and many Spanish hotels will not allow it.

For men, casual slacks and a long-sleeved casual shirt are fine. Ties aren’t necessary. Not unless you’re staying at the Ritz-Carlton.

For women, longer skirts paired with a long-sleeved t-shirt dressed up with a pretty necklace are appropriate for an evening out. Or, a casual dress, or even casual pants and a long-sleeved shirt is fine.

For both men and women, remember to take a thick jacket suitable for evening wear if you’ll go outside at night as, no matter which part of Spain you’re visiting in winter, it gets cold.

Shoes For Spain In The Winter – Because I’ve been living in Thailand for a few months, I wear flip flops all the time. So, when I pack for Spain, I still take a couple of pairs of flip flops with me if I’m going to beach areas.

Flip flops are great for during the day, as you can wear them with jeans, pants, shorts and longer skirts. Even in colder Spanish weather, my feet have still been warm in flip flops.

If you’re going to be walking a lot or seeing Spanish cultural sites, you should take a couple of pairs of comfortable walking shoes with you. If you find running shoes comfortable (I don’t), take those, or a pair of sturdy yet soft leather shoes should do the trick.

For evening, men should pack a pair of dressier shoes, in case you eat out at nicer restaurants. For women, a couple of pairs of evening sandals are nice – one pair with lower heels in case you’re still going to be walking around, and another higher-heeled pair for more elegant evenings out.

Remember, Spaniards are dressier people than Americans so, if in doubt, dress up instead of down.