Are you wondering what to wear in Spain in May? Well, fear not, this Spain Packing List for Spring will cover everything that you need for the different Spanish regions and islands, for weather, sightseeing, beaches and more.
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Weather in Spain in May
Spain in May is one of my favorite times to visit this amazing country. Spring is in full bloom and has brought with it warm temperatures without the scorching temperatures that you get in summer.
However if you are traveling to different regions of Spain you will find the temperatures have a huge range which can make it challenging if you are touring the country.
Note: the weather between months changes quite dramatically in Spain. Therefore if your trip spans a couple of months then please be sure to check out our other monthly:
- What to wear to Spain in June
- What to wear to Spain in April
And if you are traveling to other regions on your trip be sure to check out our other Spanish city and Spain guides:
- What to wear in Barcelona in May
- What to wear in Seville
- What to wear in Madrid
How hot is Spain in May?
Depending on the part of Spain you are in will impact the temperatures you experience on your vacation. In Barcelona the average high temperature to be around 70s / c.24C and the low around 13C which for me is the perfect temperature for sightseeing.
While in Madrid the weather has highs of 22C/72F and lows of 11C/52F on average.
While on islands such as Tenerife you are getting the start of beach weather with temperatures between 23C/73F-17C/63F.
Does it rain a lot in May in Spain?
Spain in May is actually fairly dry.
Depending on where you are i.e. North versus South, you can expect between 7-5 days on rain respectively. And when it does rain it is more likely to be in showers than huge deluges so you don’t need to worry too much about waterproof wear on your May packing list.
What to Wear in Spain in May
Best Shoes for Spain in May
As the weather starts to warm in Spain in May I would definitely ditch the boots from your packing list and replace them with a trusty pair of sneakers.
Sneakers work in Spain whether you are wandering done las RAmblas in Barcelona or sightseeing in other cities, heading out to the countryside or even on the beaches on the beautiful Spanish Islands.
Personally, I recommend sneakers that I am most comfortable walking in which include brands such as Hoka , Sketchers Go Walks or All Birds for wandering around Spain. But go with whatever you feel most comfortable in.
As I said above, May for me in Spain means ditching the boots in favour of more light weight shoes.
As many people in Spain dress for dinner or at least stick to a smart casual dress code I would opt to wear sandals at night instead of sneakers when dining out.
I personally would not wear flip flops round Spanish towns and cities or in the mountains as there is no arch support or grip on these shoes.
However if you are on an island or plan to spend time around a pool or even on the the beaches of Barcelona flip flops are a handy addition.
For more information on what not to wear in Spain check out this post.
What to Wear in Spain in May for women
Although May is warming up I still think it is worthwhile taking a pair of jeans especially if you are in the Northern parts of the country.
As Spain is quite a casual casual country but particularly in the big cities such as Madrid and Barcelona you will find a variety and styles of jeans so just pick the style you are most comfortable in.
On top of jeans I would add some more light weight trousers to your May packing list for the hotter days. I think Chinos are the perfect weight trousers for traveling in May.
Skirts and dresses
Spain has quite a liberal dress code especially in the cities so feel free to wear skirts, dresses and shorts of the length you are most comfortable in.
However if you are visiting a religious site in Spain such as Sagrada Familia or some monasteries you will need to adhere to a more conservative dress code.
In religious settings in Spain knees and shoulders must be covered so you should avoid mini skirts and mini dresses on the day you plan to tour religious settings.
Also we recommend you pick dresses in natural fabrics only to help reduce sweat.
A loose blouse works perfectly for warmer days and cooler nights and is a great item to wear to dinner in Spain.
Spain in May is warming up so I recommend packing t shirts for sightseeing. During May you should be able to stick to short sleeve t shirts however if there is a cold snap one longer sleeve wouldn’t go amiss.
In Spain you will see all manner of t shirts from bold colors with patterns to plain darks, from baggy to skinny fit so pick the t shirt that you feel most comfortable in.
It is highly unlikely you will need a coat when visiting Spain in May unless you are going to a high altitude, however there can be windy evenings especially on the coast so for this reason we never recommend traveling to Spain in May without a jacket.
They are also great for restaurants with a smarter dress code.
A pashmina should be on your Spain packing list for Spring. It can act as a scarf or extra layer on cooler May days and can help make your outfit more modest for visits to monasteries and the Sagrada Familia for instance.
PJs or Nightie
Lightweight pyjamas and nighties are perfect especially towards the end of the month.
Sunglasses are essential in Spain whatever the month but May and Summer in particular.
I always recommend taking a sun hat if you are visiting Spain in summer but I would also say that the sun is strong enough in May to warrant a sunhat, especially on beaches and on islands.
Whenever I travel with a sun hat I recommend taking this as carry on instead of a suitcase to help maintain the hats shape.
Depending on which part of Spain you are visiting will depend on where you are traveling. For Barcelona I personally do not find the sea warm enough to swim in however on the islands it may be possible.
Also if your hotel comes with a heated pool you will definitely want to consider adding swimwear to your list.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying.
What to pack for Spain in May for Men
As with the packing list for women chinos and jeans ) are perfect for Spain in May as they are the perfect weight for the weather.
However I would also recommend packing
The weather especially towards the end of the month will be hot enough for shorts in particular down south or on the islands.
They are also great for those wanting to sunbath on the beach.
Just note that shorts are not appropriate for men or women for religious settings.
T Shirts and Shirts
Short sleeve t shirts are perfect for sightseeing during the day in May.
However for evenings I would recommend having a button down shirt with long sleeves and maybe a polo shirt for day to night transition outfits.
A blazer is a perfect addition to a men’s Spring Packing List for Spain especially for going out to restaurants.
An essential no matter the month.
For same reason as above.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
What Else to Pack for Spain in May
- Travel Adaptor
- Power Pack / Battery recharger
- Crossbody bag – depending on where you are in Spain will depend on how much this is needed But I would recommend a crossbody bag for cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. As with anywhere in the world tourist cities can attract pickpockets so any deterrents are worthwhile.
- camera – Spain is a beautiful country you will want to take lots of photographs
FAQs about May Spain Packing List
What to wear to dinner in Spain?
Spain is a great foodie country. From great tapas bars to fancy Michelin starred restaurants, and countryside tavernas there is something foodie for everyone.
While Spain is a relatively casual country, you will find that most people tend to stick to smart casual dress codes for dinner. Therefore we recommend sandals of sneakers in May and shirts over t shirts.
What do locals wear in Spain in May?
People in Spain in May know that May is a transition month. The temperatures are rising so lighter clothes are out. However it is always worth adding a layer to your packing list.
What would you add to this Spain May Packing List
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Wednesday 22nd of March 2023
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