Are you wondering what to wear in Spain in Winter? In this guide we will tell you what to pack for Spain whether you are visiting in December, January or February. And covers everything from special events, Christmas, weather and the differences between regions.
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Weather in Spain in Winter
One of the difficulties about traveling to Spain in Winter, is that the weather can actually be pretty changeable. While places like Germany in Winter, requires you to pack a full on Winter travel capsule wardrobe, Spain is a little different. It really depends on the area you are visiting and the month so we have broken the weather down by month below, before we can look at how this affects your Spain Winter packing list.
Generally speaking, the Southern cities in Spain such as Seville and Valencia will be the warmest parts of mainland Spain. While the North i.e. in the Capital city Madrid, and places at altitude such as Grenada are the coolest part of the mainland. So it is worth keeping in mind as we talk about average temperatures and weather below.
Spain Weather in December
Although most people expect Europe in December to be cold, however the temperatures are still pretty moderate in Spain in December. On average across the country you can expect the average temperature range to be between 37F/3C to 62F/16C. Which really is still quite moderate.
And Spain in December is still quite dry with only 3 -6 days of expected rainfall.
Weather Spain in January
Overall, January tends to be coolest month in Spain, however the temperatures are still not what I would consider cold. The temperature range in Spain in January tends to hover between 36F/2C to 61F/16C.
And the rainfall can be anywhere between 2-6 days.
Weather Spain in February
The temperature range in Spain in February tends to hover between 38F/3C to 64F/17C and has anywhere between 3-6 days of rain across the month.
Overall no matter the Winter month you are visiting Spain, the key to any packing list has to be lots of light layers. This way you will be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you.
Note: while this guide will talk about what to wear in Spain generally in Winter, if you want more specific regional guidance be sure to check out the below seasonal and monthly specific posts:
- What to wear to Barcelona in December
- What to wear in Barcelona in January
- What to wear in Madrid
- What to wear in Seville in Winter
Also it is worth noting that the weather between months and seasons changes dramatically in Spain. For this reason we recommend checking out our other monthly guide if your trip spans a couple of months:
- What to wear to Spain in October
- What to wear in Spain in November
- What to wear to Spain in December
- What to wear to Spain in January
Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.
What to Wear in Spain in Winter
So now you know what to expect from the weather in Spain in Winter, we will now turn our attention to what to wear in Spain in Winter. But before we get onto the specific items to include on your Spain Winter packing list, we thought it would be worth looking at how the locals dress.
What do locals wear in Spain in Winter?
Locals in Spain know how changeable the weather is in Winter in Spain. While it is not excessively cold, most Spaniards will have at least a light jacket with them at all times as it can feel cool.
Tips for how to dress in Spain in Winter
When looking at how to dress in Spain in Winter, the key thing to remember is that you will need to have layers with you. You will also need some more modest outfits for certain tourist attractions such as the Sagrada Familia and Montserrat.
So now you know about local dress sense and tips for packing, we will now turn our attention to specific things that should be on your Spain packing list for Winter.
Note: looking for tips on creating the perfect capsule wardrobe for Spain be sure to check out our packing techniques:
However please be aware that it is unlikely that you will have access to a dryer during your time in Spain as these are not commonly found in homes and apartments. Therefore do bear this in mind when packing, especially if you are traveling to Spain with family who are liable to spills etc.
Best Shoes for Spain in Winter
Whenever I am packing for a trip, I always find it easiest to overpack on the shoe front. However for Spain in Winter you are only going to need 2 to maybe 3 pairs depending on your itinerary.
However for most travelers in Spain the shoes we recommend taking are:
Sneakers are the perfect shoe for Spain all year round especially in the more Southern cities such as Valencia and Seville where the average temperatures tend to be warmer and the rainfall less.
My favorite brand of sneakers for walking are Hoka and AllBirds, however you also can’t go wrong with a plain white sneaker as they go with everything. One of my favorite pairs of white sneakers is the Adidas Cloud Foam shoes.
However if you are heading to the North to cities such as Madrid or Grenada where the weather can be cooler and wetter it can be a good idea to bring a shoes with some water resistance. In my opinion a great water resistance sneaker brand is Ecco.
On top of sneakers we also recommend packing the below for Spain too:
As the weather is changeable in Spain in Winter we recommend having a leather boot with some waterproofing as well as a sneaker.
For more information on what not to wear in Spain no matter the season check out this post.
What to Wear in Spain in Winter for women
Note: we recommend trying to pack a capsule wardrobe when traveling. This way you reduce how many items you need to take as everything you have is interchangeable. For more information on how to pack a travel capsule wardrobe check out the below posts:
Although the temperatures in Spain aren’t as cold as other parts of Europe in Winter you will still be needing a Winter jacket. This is especially important if you are visiting more Northern and high altitude cities like Madrid and Grenada. However we also recommend you bringing even in Barcelona in December.
Personally I don’t think you can go wrong with a down jacket in Spain in Winter.
Skirts and dresses
Although you may find it a little windy to be sightseeing in dresses, I personally like to change for dinner in Spain, no matter whether I am going to a high end restaurant or just for tapas.
My favorite thing to wear out in for dinner in Spain in Winter has to be a sweater dress / jumper dress paired with thick tights and ankle boots, as I find this most appropriate for the weather. .
Click here to shop dresses for Spain.
Trousers are a great pick for Spain in Winter. Jeans are a great choice at this time of year as the weather has cooled enough to be comfortable in them. However I would also pack other types of trousers for rainy days. As there is nothing worse in my opinion than sightseeing in wet jeans.
On top of jeans I usually pack a plain black pair of trousers. If you want a smarter pant then we love a regular black pant (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel). I also love traveling with corduroy trousers and wool trousers if I am going somewhere that is expected to be cool
For Winter I recommend packing a mix of short and long sleeve t shirts.
A loose blouse works perfectly for warmer days and cooler nights. And something with a longer sleeve is better for Spain in Winter than a short sleeve one. For cooler nights and days, I would usually pair this with a thick knit cardigan or layer it with my trusty merino wool sweater.
Usually I will take 3 layers with me for a week in Spain in Winter. This usually comprises of a cardigan that can be used for dinners, a casual hoodie that is good for sightseeing in the day as well as my favorite merino wool sweater.
Merino wool is a great fabric choice when you are trying to pack light for Winter. It is a relatively thin material to pack, however is insulating and repels smell packing it perfect for Winter capsule wardrobes.
A pashmina should be on your Spain packing list whatever the month of travel . It is just such a versatile accessory.
It can act as a scarf or extra layer on cooler evenings and can help make your outfit more modest for visits to places such as the Sagrada Familia.
Hat, Scarf and Gloves
Winter accessories are another good addition to the packing list. While not as cold was other parts of Europe, it can feel chilly at night especially. For this reason I recommend packing a hat scarf and gloves to match your coat.
But be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.
PJs or Nightie
We recommend packing heavier weight pjs, especially for Madrid and other Northern cities.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying. I would pack at least a couple of thicker pairs of socks and some tights for some evenings as the temperature drops.
No matter where I am in Europe in Winter, I usually pack a mixture of thicker hiking socks for outdoor activities as well as some thinner but insulating merino wool socks. Shop merino wool socks here.
I always travel with sunglasses even in Winter.
What to pack for Spain in Winter for Men
When putting together the packing list for men heading to Spain in Winter, the considerations are really the same as for women and lots of light weight layers are the key to a successful Spain Winter packing list.
We recommend packing the below:
A practical warm coat with some insulation a is a good idea for Spain in Winter. We don’t think you can go wrong with a puffer style jacket.
As with the packing list for women, some heavier weight trousers are required. Chinos and jeans are perfect for Barcelona in Winter as they are the perfect weight for the weather.
T Shirts and Shirts
A mix of short sleeve and long sleeve t shirts are perfect for sightseeing in this month.
However for evenings I would recommend having a button down shirt if you are planning on going to a nicer sit down restaurant.
As I mentioned above, lots of light layers are the key to putting together a succesful packing list for Spain in Winter.
We recommend having a sweater for evenings, a casual hoodie for sightseeing during the day and either a fleece or jumper. Again we don’t think you can go wrong with having at least one merino wool sweater with you.
Useful even in Winter.
A hat, scarf and touch screen compatible gloves are a good pick for Winter.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
We recommend some thermal socks for Winter and slightly heavier weight nightwear.
What Else to Pack for Spain in Winter.
So now you know what to wear in Spain in Winter, we will turn our attention to what to pack for Spain in Winter other than clothes.
- Sunscreen – this is an essential no matter the season of travel.
- Travel Adaptor for European plug sockets. For my American readers you will need an EU Type C Country plug adapter
- Compact Travel umbrella.
- Power Pack / Battery recharger
- Toiletries – for our full toiletries packing list check out this post.
- Crossbody bag – one with plenty of zips that can put off pick pockets is best. Unfortunately there are some issues with pickpockets in cities such as Barcelona and Madrid as there are in many big cities that are tourist attractions. I am not saying this to scare you but because I really think careful bag selection is important for traveling to cities in Spain.
- Backpack – for storing items on your day trips.
- Camera – it is a beautiful city you will want to take lots of photographs
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Blister plasters
Spain Winter Packing List
So just to recap here is our complete list of what to add to your Spanish Winter Packing List
- Waterproof and Wind resistant Coat or jacket
- Scarf, Gloves, Hat
- T shirts
- Thicker weight trousers such as jeans, woolen trousers or corduroy trousers.
- Merino Wool Thermal socks
- T shirts
- Layers such as sweaters, fleeces, jumpers and hoodies
- Warm Nightwear
- Ankle Boots
- Medication and Documentation
- Back Pack
- Travel Adaptor
- Battery Pack
- Travel first aid kit including blister plasters
- Lip Balm
FAQs about Winter in Spain Packing List
Should I take swimwear for Spain in Winter?
The sea temperature drops dramatically in Winter and many hotel pools on the mainland will shut for the Winter season. Therefore it is unlikely you will need swimwear if you are on the mainland.
Can you wear jeans in Spain in Winter?
Yes you absolutely can wear jeans in Spain in Winter. In fact o are no reason why you can’t wear jeans in Winter in Spain. In fact I find them a really great choice especially for the cities in Winter.
Do you need a jacket in Winter in Spain?
Yes, I personally would never travel to Spain in Winter without having something like a down coat with me. Layers are your best friend for Spain in Winter, no matter the region you are visiting.
What to wear to Spain in December?
As with any Spanish Winter packing list, the key thing to remember about what wear in Spain in DEcember is to have lots of light layers with you. That is because the conditions both across the country and through the course of the day can change dramatically.
Therefore we recommend having Spain in December oufits that comprise of layers such as cardigans, sweaters and hoodies teamed with t shirts, blouses, and shirts paired with a heavier weight jacket.
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 in high end restaurants.
For Tapas the attire tends to be more casual depending on the type of tapas bar you are in.
I would usually stick to a dress with a top layer such as a pashmina and sandals for dinner in Spain personally. I like sandals that have a more traditional Spanish style and no thin heels.
What would you add to this Spain Winter Packing List? We’d love you to let us know in the comments below!