Spain is a country of contrasts. Be it the weather, the culture, or the difference between country and city life. In order for you to be prepared for your eventful vacation in Spain, we have prepared this packing list for you. With our 16 must-have Spain packing list travel gadgets you are ready for the perfect trip in 2021 and beyond 🙂
There are countless ways to enjoy the breathtaking country of Spain. There are almost no limits to your imagination. A city trip through some of the biggest cities in Europe? No problem at all. An extended hiking vacation? The Camino de Santiago is right on your doorstep and finds its end in the west of Spain. Or would you prefer a relaxing beach vacation with lots of sun and beach? Spain has some of the most beautiful coasts in the world.
The packing list contains items that we have tested in Spain and found to be very helpful. Besides items for your packing list, you will also find valuable information about activities in Spain, the seasons in Spain and of course advice to assist you on your trip.
In order to enjoy all this without any problems, good planning is essential. So you can save time and money and enjoy your vacation in Spain to the fullest.
Regardless of your next destination, we also have some general information and tips for you in this article:
Smart Travel Planning – 5 Tips to Save Money on your next Trip
15 Travel Gadgets you need on your Spain Packing List!
Spain is a perfect place to go hiking. Whether you walk through the plains or through the mountains, it never hurts to have a little extra support. Especially in the mountains these trekking poles are a real blessing. I used them on the way to Santiago and I do not want to miss them on my Spain hikes anymore.
Be it on a city trip where you extensivly using your cell phone to navigate or you are hiking a lot. At some point you run out of battery. Simply connect your cell phone to this solar charger and the battery is no longer a problem. The sun of Spain will do the rest and make sure that the Powerbank never runs out of power.
Universal Travel Adapter
A Travel Adapter is a must-have on every journey! With it you don’t have to worry about the sockets at your destination and you can charge your devices quickly on your own. Especially handy are the USB ports, which allow you to charge several devices at the same time at one socket.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
With all the beautiful places and trails in Spain this Packing List should not be without this utensil. A pair of decent hiking boots. If you don’t have one yet, here is our absolute recommendation. Lowa stands for quality and durability. My pair has already taken me all the way through Spain and you can’t tell by looking at them.
Speaking of things not to be forgotten while packing… sunscreen lotion! This is really essential and should be packed first, because the sun in Spain can get really intense. Of course, it is very important from a health point of view, because your skin has to enjoy many more hours of sunshine 🙂
Dual-Port USB Car Charger Adapter
You travel Spain by car? Of course, it is also important that you do not run out of navigation while driving 😉 It is a small but very useful companion which you should always have in your car even when at home. Again, there are several USB ports with which you can even charge your camera equipment for the next stop while driving.
Depending on how you want to travel Spain, a backpacking backpack can be a great option. We have linked our loyal companions for you. When buying a backpack for hiking, it is very important to make sure that the weight is well distributed and your back is not put under the wrong load. Both backpacks have a large volume. We recommend not to exceed this volume, otherwise it will be too heavy.
Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack
If you have a big backpack with you, of course you don’t want to walk around with it all the time. This small practical ultra lightweight packable backpack is perfect for every trip! The daypack’s adjustable breathable straps ensure a proper fit and comfortable all-day use. We are really surprised how comfortable and robust it is. A clear recommendation!
Repel Windproof Umbrella
Especially at the coast of Spain the weather can be very uncomfortable. In the rainy season it can rain for hours, despite pleasant temperatures. Just then you will be glad not to have forgotten this umbrella while packing. So even a walk in more unpleasant weather is not a problem anymore.
Magnetic In Car Phone Holder
Perfect on every Road-Trip or Trip by car in general! Although the public transportation in Spain is very well developed, some places can be reached much easier by car. But be careful with the pilgrims who often cross the roads.. This In Car Phone Holder is highly recommended as it is compatible with any car and smartphone.
SPF 30 Lip Balm
The sun in Spain can be especially strong around noon and early afternoon. If you don’t want to take a siesta during this time but still want to be on the road, we recommend this sun protection for your lips. And believe me when I tell you that a sunburn on your lips is no fun.
Especially if you are in Spain during the rainy season you should not forget these companions while packing. When exactly this is you can read below. With a waterproof jacket you don’t have to fear that your vacation will be rained off.
Travel Security Belt
Another great item for your safety in Spain is this practical Travel Security Belt. It protects you from pickpockets and you always have enough money with you. Compared to a chest pouch or similar, another big advantage is that you can even swim in the sea with the belt and always have your money with you. This item should definitely be on your packing list as it does not even take up space in your luggage.
Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary
Now a tip that I would have preferred to take a bit more seriously before 😛 Outside the larger Spanish cities, people often speak little or no English. Of course you can always communicate and funny situations arise 😀 Nevertheless I would like to recommend you to improve your Spanish a little bit and to have this phrasebook with you if necessary.
Body Deodorant Wipes
Finally, a little insider tip for all those who like to make longer trips. The sun in Spain can make you sweat a lot. Therefore it is always a good idea to have a little refreshment with you to refresh your body also from the outside.These wipes are perfect for this purpose and hardly take up any space when packing.
More Spain Packing List Gadgets which may come in handy
Bonus Tip: Travel Insurance
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how quickly something unexpected can happen. However, in order for you to worry as little as possible during your well-deserved vacation, we have fought our way through the insurance jungle for you and looked for a reliable partner. Thereby we have stumbled upon WorldNomads.com. Insurance is always a very sensitive topic and honestly, we would rather do without it and spend the money on vacation for other nice things. But if something should happen, you are more than happy to have a partner like WorldNomads on your side!
Why WorldNomads has impressed us so much?
- Backed by specialized insurance providers and global assistance partners
- You can always buy the insurance online, even if you are already traveling
- You can adjust your insurance coverage during the trip and claim online
- They cover a range of adventure sports and activities
- Very high availability worldwide
6 Things you DO NOT need in Spain
In Spain people wear shorts only on the beach. Therefore you will immediately attract attention as a tourist wearing shorts in the cities, which is not a good thing as you might attract pickpockets.
Actually, you do not need to have money with you because there are ATMs everywhere. Even if you go on a pilgrimage, the pilgrim accommodation is often relatively cheap. So take only small sums with you and during the day you can top up your wallet.
Especially in the big tourist cities of Spain, pickpocketing is a problem. Therefore you should leave your valuables at home. This way you can save some space for souvenirs you want to take with you.
Discussions about religion
You should avoid discussing religion in public. Especially the Christian faith is extremely widespread in Spain and the Spanish take their religion very seriously.
During the day you will probably be on the road, exploring the country and in the evening life in Spain really starts. So you won’t really get to read at all. If you want to read something we recommend the E Book Reader to save weight and space.
Early Hunger in the Evening
If you want to go to a restaurant in the evening it is best to plan at 8pm at the earliest. In Spain most restaurants open very late and stay open until late at night. And be prepared for noisy crowds 😛
3 Special Accommodations to stay in Spain
Barcelona City Center – La Rambla
Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Spain and for good reason. Being in this extremely vibrant city, you want to be right in the city center. With the small urban apartment of Danny you are as central as you can get. The most famous promenade of Spain, La Rambla, is right in front of the door and therefore you have the perfect base to explore Barcelona by day or night. You will have your own kitchen in the accommodation, but we recommend that you try the local specialties.
VIVOOD Landscape Hotel & Spa
Do you feel like something really special? Then you will love this accommodation.I think the picture speaks for itself. The apartment is very modern and chic, but the real highlight is definitely the view from the infinity pool. The region in Spain with its large reservoir is perfect for some hiking trips. Did you spot a nice place from the pool where you want to go hiking or would you like to see your accommodation from the other side? No problem at all. And thanks to the extremely friendly service team no wishes remain unfulfilled.
“The Cave” Of Toledo
Want a very unique accommodation close to Madrid? Then you should definitely check out “The Cave”. Situated in the middle of the beautiful city of Toledo, Ricardo has created a small, cosy paradise. With great attention to detail and a perfect location. And if you feel like visiting one of the biggest cities in Spain, Madrid is only an hour away by car. We definitely fell in love with the unique charm of “The Cave”.
Budget flights to Spain
4 seasons in Spain. What to experience and what to be aware of
Spring in Spain (March – May)
In spring, Spain slowly wakes up from its hibernation. The days become longer and temperatures often exceed 20 degrees and only falls below 10 degrees by night. Although it rains frequently at this time of the year, it usually rains much less than in autumn.
We believe that spring is the perfect time to spend your vacations in Spain. The weather is not yet as extremely hot as in summer and there are fewer tourists in the country at this time. Also the students don’t have holidays yet and therefore it is generally a bit quieter on the beaches and in the cities. And you will rarely see Spain as colorful as at this time.
Which activities are most recommended in spring?
Since I have already started the pilgrimage to Santiago several times at this time, this is my absolute recommendation for this season. Spring in Spain is the perfect time for hiking. It is not too hot to burn in the sun nor does it rain too often or much. In March many of the pilgrim hostels open their sleeping places and you will meet more hikers. If you want to camp at this time of the year, good camping equipment is very advisable as it can still get quite cold at night. Please be aware of the hikers, as the trails often cross roads.
If you are planning to go hiking in the mountains or in the Basque Country in general, I recommend that you wait until April, as the hiking trails are often still a bit rough in March.
Another absolute highlight at this time of year are the festivals in Spain. I think it is no secret that the people in this country like to celebrate and enjoy life to the fullest.
The best known is probably the carnival which starts in February. The bizarre highlight takes place on March 1st and is the end of the carnival. The “El entierro de la sardina”, which means “The burial of the sardine”. For this celebration people dress up as mourning widows or once again in their carnival costumes to mourn and burn a huge sardine made of cardboard. Sounds a bit strange but I was allowed to attend this custom and it is an absolute highlight.
One of the biggest festivals in Spain is also Las Fallas, which is held at this time of the year. Here again figures made of cardboard are burned. But before they fall victim to the fire they are exhibited in the cities and the prettiest Fallas are awarded. Often these are caricatures of current events or persons. But around midnight they are set on fire. Really an exciting spectacle.
Summer in Spain (June – August)
Summer in Spain is something for sun lovers and people who can handle high temperatures. Even the Spaniards disappear into their houses for a few hours during siesta, otherwise it would be unbearable. Even at night the temperatures fall only to about 20 degrees and during the day it is often 30 degrees and more. In addition the sun in Spain is very powerful. So sun lotion is a must-have at this time of year. We have already suggested a good one above.
Nevertheless, this season is perfect to visit the coastal regions of Spain. But don’t overdo it with sightseeing, especially not during the extreme hours of sunshine, and always have enough water with you.
Which activities are most recommended in summer?
Spain really has a lot of beautiful coastal regions to explore. Especially the beaches invite you for extensive bathing in summer. First and foremost, the cities of Barcelona and San Sebastian should be mentioned. Although there are many tourists in summer, the beaches are so wide that you can always find a quieter place.
My absolute personal recommendation at this time of the year is the Semana Grande, a festival of cultural activities. For one week there are free concerts. There is also a big international fireworks competition, which just amazes you. But book your accommodation well in advance, as this festival is very popular. I will definitely visit it a second time.
Do not miss the night activities. In Spain life really starts when the sun goes down. Especially in summer this is the case. The bars fill up and it gets loud on the streets. There are many opportunities to meet new people and enjoy the nightlife to the full.
Despite the heat, one of the funniest festivals in Spain takes place at this time. The “La Tomatina” in Valencia. I think that a lot of you think of tomatoes when you think of Spain and this is exactly why they get their own festival here. More than 150.000 tomatoes are thrown on each other. So packing some change clothes and maybe some helpful gadgets for a festival.
Don’t miss the chance for some dives. Although I would not recommend snorkeling because of the extreme strong Spanish sunshine, scuba diving is ideal at this time of year. Spain has a variety of beautiful scuba diving locations. For example Blue Corner Wall or Barracuda point. Also the diving schools are open in summer for those who want to make their first diving attempts. In our Diving Checklist you can also find some helpful gadgets to start with.
Autumn in Spain (September – November)
Autumn in Spain is very similar to spring. Although the temperatures at the beginning of autumn are a bit higher with an average of 21 degrees, there is much more rain. Especially November is the rainiest month in Spain.
Since the main season of tourism is over again, accommodations are less booked and the cities are a bit emptier. Also most of the schools have no vacations anymore. So if you like it a bit quieter you should visit Spain in autumn.
It is important to mention that the temperature drops rapidly towards November. If you want some more warm days, you should travel in September. In November the temperature often drops below 10 degrees.
Which activities are most recommended in autumn?
Especially in September usually the weather is still very good and therefore it is a good time to go hiking and explore the country by foot. My personal recommendation would be the Camino del Norte along the north coast of Spain. At high temperatures you can hike along beautiful beaches and be cooled down by the fresh wind of the Atlantic Ocean.
If you want to do camping, September is ideal. If you are looking for camping sites near the metropolises you can save a lot of money. That way you will have more money left to enjoy the delicacies of Spain. You can find the right equipment for your trip in our camping checklist.
Also sightseeing is a good idea at this time. There are less tourists in the cities and the temperatures during the day are also getting more bearable. The perfect climate to explore the beautiful cities of Spain. If you don’t want to go to the big cities then Toledo is a little insider tip of mine.
For all wine lovers this is also the perfect season to try the local wines. Especially the Rioja region should be highlighted here. There is a wine festival in the city of Logroño where as a highlight the fresh grapes are processed the old-fashioned way. So socks off and on to the grape stomping. If you have found a new favorite wine that you want to take home with you, here is a little insider tip how to get every bottle of wine home safely.
Winter in Spain (December – February)
Even in winter the temperature in Spain never falls below 0 degrees. Nevertheless, the thermometer usually does not go above 14 degrees. However, the country is very attractive during this time of year and shows aspects that it did not have in the other seasons. Especially at Christmas time, Spain really comes alive again.
The probably biggest advantage is obvious. Winter in Spain is absolute off-season and therefore there are hardly any tourists in the country. That makes the accommodations relatively very very cheap. The perfect moment to plan a low budget vacation or a weekend trip.
Which activities are most recommended in winter?
If you don’t have a problem with the temperatures or have the right clothes in your closet, winter is ideal for sightseeing. Here you can explore the cities of Spain to your heart’s content without the hustle and bustle of the tourists. Whether it is the many museums that the country has to offer or the old and new works of art that you can find in almost every city.
In addition, the sky is usually very clear in winter. That means there is not only less rain but also ideal conditions for photographers. Especially because of the few tourists you often get pictures that would not have been possible during the main season.
If you think of winter, skiing comes naturally into your mind. But skiing in Spain? No problem at all. People often forget that Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe and therefore has immense ski resorts. Probably the biggest of these ski paradises can be found in the Pyrenees, Baqueira-Beret. If you are looking for good ski equipment, you should also take a look at our skiing checklist.
Also one of the most famous festivals in Spain takes place in winter. The Carnival reflects the Spanish mentality like no other festival. Colorful, loud and full of joy for life, the Spanish dance in huge street parades through the cities. It does not matter if you are young or old. Everyone participates, even people in wheelchairs or with other disabilities. It is really a spectacle that everyone should have taken part at least once. Sitges is probably the biggest hot spot at this time.
10 Interesting Facts about Spain!
An amazing amount of 150.000 tomatoes are thrown EVERY year
Yes, you read correctly. In Spain every year about 150.000 tomatoes are thrown at the legendary La Tomatina Festival.
There are actually only two important rules at this spectacle.
1. the tomato must be squashed before throwing
2. throw as many tomatoes as you can
Among all OECD countries, Spain has the second highest life expectancy of 83 years. Only Japan has an even higher life expectancy.
Women even reach 85 years. Their male counterparts, however, make it to a proud 79 years.
However, this also leads to an aging population. Estimates of the United Nations assume that in 2050 over 30% of the population in Spain will be over 60 years old.
Spain is the worlds largest Olive Oil producer
Most people think that Italy is the country with the highest production of olive oil. Far from it. 44% of the total production takes place in Spain.
The region of Andalusia makes up the largest part within Spain.
Would you have known that?
New Year custom in Spain – Eat 12 grapes
A somewhat unusual but funny custom. The goal is to eat a total of 12 grapes at midnight. You should eat one grape each bell strike of the clock. Sounds easier than it is.
Whoever manages to do so will be rewarded with a lucky year.
The origin of this custom lies with the winegrowers of Spain. They wanted to get rid of excess grapes.
Every Spaniard has two surnames
These consist of the last name of the father followed by the last name of the mother. This tradition is continued in Spain until today.
Home of the second most spoken language
An estimated 440 million people worldwide speak Spanish. Only Mandarin can speak more people.
And although Spanish is the official language in Spain, other regional languages are considered official in some regions. These include the regional language of Catalan, Basque (Euskara) and Galician (Galego).
Spaniards tend to speak very loudly
If you have ever been to the nightlife of Spain you will already know this. Spaniards talk very loud and lively. Often you can recognize them this way even outside their country.
But this is exactly what gives Spain this unique character. It simply belongs to Spain and doesn’t disturb at all but rather carries you with it.
Spain is the country with the third most UNESCO heritage sites
We have already mentioned that Spain is particularly religious. This is also shown by the number of UNESCO heritages sites. Altogether there are 47 all over Spain. Only Italy and China with 55 each have more.
The most famous is the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona. The construction of this cathedral began in 1882 and is estimated to be completed in 2026.
Spain has over 8000 beaches in total
The dream for everyone who likes to sunbathe on the beach, go for a walk or a swim. Often you can already see from one beach to the next.
Dogs are also absolutely common as pet in Spain. So if you are thinking about a vacation together with your dog, Spain is one of the best places to go.
In Spain there is a different life rhythm than in the rest of Europe
This already starts with the meals during the day. In Spain, for example, lunch is eaten between 1 and 3pm and dinner is around 10pm.
In the summer there is also a siesta. This is about 2 to 5pm. Even though siesta means nap most Spaniards do not sleep during this time. But it is important to know that most stores are closed during this time. So make sure you stock up on groceries or take a siesta yourself.