What to Wear in Spain in Fall
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Planning an autumn vacation in Spain and wondering what to pack? The process can be a bit daunting if you haven’t been to Spain before. You might be asking: What do the locals wear in Spain in September? What to wear in Spain in October? How to pack for Europe in November?
Here are some top tips that will have you packing your luggage with ease and enjoying every minute of your holidays!
Packing List for Spain in Fall
There are three main things to consider when packing your bags for Spain and deciding what to bring.
- Weather: what will the temperatures be like? Rainy? Windy? Warm?
- Comfort: what will you be most comfortable in when walking and standing all day?
- Style: we all want to look good and fit in with the best dressed locals.
And of course the fourth item is the size and weight of your luggage. You want to keep it as small and light as possible. What to pack for a week in Spain is about the same for what to pack for 5 days or 3 weeks. Just find a way to do some laundry whether that is in the sink, at your hotel or rental apartment.
What to Wear in Spain in Fall: Weather
Early autumn in Spain will likely still be quite warm, and as the year progresses it will get cooler and rainier. Of course, what to wear in Galicia will differ from packing for Granada even at the same time of year.
Spain is a large country and the weather in the north is often quite different than the temperature in the south. You’ll also see temperature differences between the northern coastline, the inner plains near Madrid and the southern beaches of Andalucia not to mention the many mountain ranges.
Check the weather forecast before your trip and also take a look at averages for temperature and rainfall for the places you plan to go. This will give you an idea of the weather you can expect.
What to Wear in Spain in Autumn: Be Comfortable
When traveling and sightseeing you will probably be on the move, on your feet and walking quite a bit. Thus the majority of your clothing items should be comfortable when packing for a trip to Spain.
In my opinion the most important item for traveling to Europe is a pair of comfortable shoes. Since you will be walking a lot you will be very unhappy if your feet hurt. Invest in a pair of comfortable sneakers or boots (or sandals in early autumn) if you don’t have them already. Click here to see some of our favorite shoes for a warm weather trip to Spain.
Comfortable quick drying clothing is also a must when traveling. Of course you’ll want your clothing to dry if you get caught in an autumn rainstorm but I recommend light, quick dry garments so that you can wash your clothes and hang them to dry overnight. Check out these light, quick dry and comfortable underwear.
Layers are always a good idea. It might be sunny and warm in the daytime and cool and breezy at night. Have a warmer layer available so you won’t be shivering on a chilly day. Here are some of my favorite light jackets that are perfect for a fall trip.
What to Wear in Spain in Fall: Style
Wondering what do Spaniards wear in the fall? Good news! You probably don’t need to worry too much about trying to fit in with a specific style while traveling in Spain. There are a variety of fashion styles and trends but you shouldn’t need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe before your trip. What you wear at home should be fine, but stay on the conservative and dressier side of things rather than cleavage baring tops and micro miniskirts.
In touristy areas you may see lots of people wearing all kinds of clothing but they are not locals. You will also see many tourists wearing leggings as trousers. Although Lululemon is pricey it is not meant for street wear. Yes, leggings are extremely comfortable but they are not really seen as appropriate attire in Europe except if you are exercising. Perhaps cover your rear with a tunic like this one or a longer jacket. But this is just advice, so feel free to wear what you like. Just check that your leggings are not sheer.
Jeans are popular all around the world and are perfect for fall. I’d recommend darker washes and stretchy fabric for comfort and to hold their shape over several wears. Pair your jeans with a cute comfortable top like one of these, then pack a jacket to go over the top.
Trousers are also a good idea if you prefer them to jeans, and some people like capris. Pair them with a cute top and comfortable shoes and you are set to go anywhere.
I usually pack at least one dress or skirt when traveling in case I get tired of wearing jeans. In the fall you might want to pair a dress with tights or leggings to keep warm. Here are a few cute fall floral dresses that can be worn on their own or with tights.
Not a fan of florals? Here are some more minimalist options that would be ideal for autumn.
A scarf is an essential piece for fall and winter in Europe. Not only can they be warm and cozy but they are super stylish draped around your neck. They are perfect to pair with layers to add that extra warmth. Double wrap or tie it loosely depending on how cold the weather is. For early fall and trips to southern Spain you might want a cotton scarf while in the north or later in the year a warm woolen one will be better. Here are a few warm scarves you might like:
Remember to check the forecast to get an idea of the weather before you start to pack.
Packing List for Spain in Fall
Following is a packing list for one to two weeks in Spain in autumn. One way to travel light is to plan to do laundry or hand wash your items regularly. Here is the list for what to pack for Spain in September, October and November.
3 short sleeved tops
2 long sleeved tops
2 dresses or skirts, plus tights or leggings
Jeans or trousers
5 pair underwear
2-3 pairs shoes
Daypack or purse
Electronics, chargers and adapters
Things to Take on a Trip to Spain: Toiletries
You’ll want to pack basic toiletries for your trip but remember if you need extra shampoo you can easily find it in Spain. Especially if you plan to pack only a carryon you will not be able to bring a large quantity of liquid products. Of course, many hotels and even apartment rentals provide basics like soap and shampoo.
Another thing to consider is any medication or special products you might need like allergy pills or prescription meds. These can be more difficult to purchase in Europe so be sure to bring enough and pack them in your carry on.
Ladies should also be prepared with sanitary supplies in case the stores are closed when you suddenly need them. Also Spain might not have the brand or style you prefer, so if you are particular then be sure to pack some in your bag. For example, an American friend told me that she had never seen the OB style tampons before she came to Europe. Another European friend had never seen the plunger style tampon before and and had no idea how to use them.
Women in Europe tend to wear minimal makeup so you can leave your full cosmetics kit at home. I’d recommend paring down to foundation or concealer, mascara, eyeliner and a duo lip/cheek tint. If you want to glam up at night go for a bold lip or some sparkly jewelry.
A few basic toiletries you should always pack include: toothbrush and toothpaste, sunscreen, shampoo, lotion, lip balm, pain killers, bandaids, nail clippers and tweezers.
Packing for Spain: Purses & Daypacks
Another key item on your packing list includes something to carry your stuff around with you while you sightsee. I recommend two options for travel in Europe: a daypack backpack or a cross body purse. You may also want to pack a small clutch or bag for going out at night.
Most cities in Spain are very safe but you should always be aware of your surroundings and keep a good grip on your stuff. Pickpockets and bag snatchers are unfortunately still a factor in cities like Barcelona. You shouldn’t have any trouble if you take a few simple precautions.
- Don’t leave items like purses, wallets or cellphones sitting on a cafe table or dangling off your chair while you eat or drink. It is very easy for a thief to distract you and take your item. Keep your phone in your front pocket, inside your bag or in your hand. Keep your bag on your body even when sitting down. I usually put it in my lap if I am in a place that isn’t very secure like an outdoor cafe in a crowded plaza or on a packed metro. Inside of a restaurant I might wrap a strap around my leg or the chair legs. In a bar or club keep your bag with you at all times.
- While traveling on public transport or standing in a crowd be mindful of your possessions. Hold your backpack or purse in front of you with a hand on it. If someone bumps you or distracts you it might be a trick to get you to forget your bag so they can snatch it. Just be aware. I’ve never had a problem in many years of solo travel but just be mindful and don’t be a target.
- Think twice before casually carrying a big fancy camera. Usually it is totally fine but just watch what others are doing and perhaps put it away when not in use.
- When sightseeing don’t carry all of your cash and credit cards. if possible, leave some behind in a secure location like the hotel safe. Or at least try to split up your hoard by carrying some in a secure pocket and others in your wallet. You could consider garments with secret pockets like these theft preventing underwear and this bra with hidden pockets.
I hope the above tips don’t scare you, they shouldn’t. Just be mindful and aware to hopefully prevent theft and you shouldn’t have any issues.
Anti-theft travel purses are made to help prevent theft by snatching, cutting or otherwise accessing your bag. They have reinforced straps and fabric to prevent cutting or ripping and the zippers lock shut. Plus the bags are sturdy, roomy and great for travel.
Here are a few of the top anti-theft travel purses you might want to consider, click the links to see other colors.
- Travelon Cross Body Bag: locking zippers, cut proof materials, and space for your stuff
- Pacsafe Citysafe Handbag: wire reinforced strap and material, RFID blocking pocket
- Travelon Classic Messenger Bag: roomy size with pocket for a water bottle
Packing for Fall in Spain: Luggage
Think twice before traveling to Spain with your largest luggage. Spanish towns and cities are full of cobblestones, hills and even stairs. Many hotels and apartment buildings do not have elevators. If you imagine carrying your bags up 3 flights of stairs or lifting it on and off trains you might consider traveling light with smaller luggage. Click here for some of our favorite lightweight luggage for your trip to Spain.
Wheeled bags are very popular nowadays and with good reason. They make it easy to tote heavier weights without straining your back. But if you think you will be walking through hilly Spanish towns over cobblestones while happily pulling your wheeled luggage, think again. Cobblestones are rough on wheels, they can break and it can be kind of a pain to go over the lumps and bumps. If possible, think about a backpack. Here are some backpacks that are popular with travelers.
If you think you might be mainly taking taxis from the train station or airport and staying in larger hotels, or if you don’t mind carrying your wheeled bag by hand sometimes, then check out these suitcases.
Another thing to bear in mind when traveling in Europe is whether you will be visiting multiple cities and traveling by train or low-cost airline. These airlines have quite strict rules about size and weight of luggage, so be sure to check in advance for all the airlines you plan to use. If you will be traveling by train or bus you will need to handle your luggage on your own. It pays to bring the smallest and lightest bags you possibly can.
One way to travel light is to plan to do laundry or hand wash items in the sink. Most European rental apartments will not have a dryer, but you can hang items to dry on a line inside or outside and they will probably dry pretty quickly.
Remember that you don’t need to pack for every contingency. You can probably purchase anything you forgot in Spain.
I hope this packing guide helps you decide what to bring when traveling to Spain. Have fun!
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