Excited to study abroad in Spain, but less excited to pack for your international adventure? We know the feeling, which is why we’ve put together a CIEE-approved, go-to study abroad packing list for Spain. We’ve got you covered no matter when or where you travel throughout Spain with CIEE Study Abroad!
Your All-Season Essentials
Whether you plan to live and learn in Spain during the winter, spring, summer, or fall, the following items are a must.
In fact, we recommend you safely pack these essentials in your carry-on to ensure they arrive with you in Spain:
- Passport + a photocopy (just in case)
- Visa + a photocopy
- A second form of valid ID (e.g., driver’s license or government-issued ID)
- Cash (Spain uses the Euro) and a credit card accepted in Spain
- Plane tickets
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of CIEE enrollment
- Prescription medications, enough for the stay if possible
- Preferred over-the-counter medications
- Prescription eyewear
- A reusable water bottle that you can fill up at the airport and use when on the go in Spain
You will also be glad you packed:
- Comfortable walking shoes, ideally closed-toe and waterproof
- Camera to capture Spain in high-def
- Adapters to charge your current tech in Spain’s electrical outlets
Remember, this study abroad packing list is a general guide. Be sure to consider your personal needs and preferences when packing.
You will want to try to pack light and know that you can always purchase forgotten items once you arrive. And by all means, leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs. Your bag is guaranteed to be heavier on your return trip home!
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Your Study Abroad Packing List (10 Essential Items!)
Packing by the Season
Your Winter Wardrobe
Preparing for one of our January programs in Spain? Then this section is for you. The first thing to note: the weather in Spain during the winter varies depending on the region.
Generally, the northern and central regions of the country, such as Madrid and Barcelona, have a continental climate with cold temperatures and some snowfall. The average temperature in Madrid during the winter is around 7°C (44°F) and in Barcelona around 8°C (46°F). Rainfall is also more frequent in the northern and central parts of the country during the winter as compared to the South.
The southern regions of Spain, such as Andalusia, have a Mediterranean climate and tend to be milder during the winter with temperatures averaging around 14°C (57°F) in cities like Seville or Malaga. However, temperatures can drop to around 8°C (46°F) at night.
Your wintertime Spain study abroad packing list should ideally include:
- Warm clothing: Spain can be quite chilly in the winter, especially in the evenings and early mornings, so pack warm layers such as sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, thermals, a coat or jacket, as well as a scarf, gloves, and a hat.
- Rain gear: Winter can get rainy, so pack an umbrella or a waterproof jacket with a hood.
- Swimwear: The Mediterranean region of Spain is known for its beaches and warm weather, even in the winter. If you plan on visiting the beach during your stay, you’ll want to pack a swimsuit. Toss in a towel, too.
- Sunscreen: The sun shines on Spain in all seasons, so don’t forget to protect your skin.
Your Spring Style
If you’ll be participating in one of CIEE Spain’s spring programs, we’ve got good news: though the springtime weather varies by region, it’s generally pleasant with mild temperatures and increasing daylight hours.
In the northern and central regions of the country, such as Madrid and Barcelona, temperatures begin to rise, with average daytime temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). Nights can still be cool and some rainfall is to be expected.
In the southern regions of Spain, like Andalusia, the weather is milder and more stable with average temperatures of around 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F) during the day and around 14°C (57°F) at night. Rainfall is less frequent than in the winter, but some occasional showers can be expected.
Spring is a great time to visit Spain, especially in the south region, as the weather is pleasant and the crowds are not as large as in the summer. It's a perfect time to explore the outdoors, take a hike, visit the beaches, or enjoy the many festivals that take place during this time of the year. Nature is also in bloom, making it a colorful season to visit.
Your springtime Spain study abroad packing list should feature:
- Light clothing: Spring in Spain is generally mild but can get warm during the day, so pack light layers such as t-shirts, shorts, and dresses.
- Rain gear: Expect unexpected rain showers. Bring a lightweight rain jacket and an umbrella.
- Swimwear: If you plan on visiting the beach during your stay – and we definitely recommend that you do – then pack a swimsuit.
- Sunscreen: Protect your skin while enjoying Spain’s beautiful spring. Bring sunscreen.
- Insect repellent: With spring comes bugs, so it's good to have insect repellent on hand for your outdoor excursions.
Your Summer Selection
If you’ll be attending one of our highly popular summer programs, then lucky you!
Summer in Spain can be quite hot, especially in the southern regions of the country such as Andalusia, where temperatures can reach up to 40°C (104°F) or more in cities like Seville or Malaga.
The northern and central regions of the country, like Madrid and Barcelona, are also warm, with temperatures averaging around 30°C (86°F) during the day and dropping to around 20°C (68°F) at night. Humidity can also be high during this time, making it feel even warmer. In coastal areas, sea breezes can provide some relief from the heat.
Overall, though, Spain’s summers are perfect for beach-goers, outdoor activities, and enjoying the many festivals and events that take place throughout the country. In the midst of the hot days of summer, it’s important you stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.
Your summertime Spain study abroad packing list should include:
- Light clothing: Lightweight clothing such as t-shirts, shorts, and dresses are perfect for the hot summer days. Pack breathable, light-colored clothes suitable for the heat.
- Swimwear: Will you be visiting the beach? Of course, you will! Don’t forget your favorite swimsuit and beach towel.
- Sun hat and sunglasses: Spain’s summer sun can be intense, so pack a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes.
- Sunscreen: You will likely spend a lot of time in the beautiful summer sun, so bring sunscreen to stay skin-safe.
- A small fan or a portable USB-powered fan: Some spots may not have air conditioning, but how nice it will feel to have a reliable fan to cool yourself?
Your Fall Fit
If you’re taking advantage of one of our fall programs, expect Spain’s weather to be generally mild and pleasant, with temperatures gradually cooling down as the season progresses.
In the northern and central regions of the country, such as Madrid and Barcelona, the fall weather is mild with daytime temperatures averaging around 20°C (68°F) and dropping to around 10°C (50°F) at night. Rainfall becomes more frequent as the season progresses, but it is still manageable.
In the southern regions of Spain, like Andalusia, the weather is mild as well, with temperatures averaging around 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F) during the day and around 14°C (57°F) at night. Rainfall is less frequent than in the northern regions, but occasional showers can be expected.
Fall is a great time to visit Spain. The leaves on the trees change colors, making it a picturesque time to explore the countryside, and many outdoor activities are still possible. The weather is also mild enough to enjoy the many festivals and events that take place throughout the country.
Your fall Spain study abroad packing list should ideally feature:
- Layered clothing: Spain’s weather in the fall can vary quite a bit, so it's important to have layers. Pack items like a light jacket, sweater, long-sleeve shirts, and pants.
- Rain gear: The occasional rain shower can pop up this time of year, so pack a lightweight rain jacket and an umbrella.
- Swimwear: You can hit Spain’s beaches with gusto, even in the fall. So, bring a swimsuit and beach towel.
- Sunscreen: You will likely spend a good amount of time outdoors, whether walking in the city or out on an excursion. Bring sunscreen to avoid getting burned.
Start packing for Spain!
With this Spain study abroad packing list handy, you’re ready to pack up for the experience of a lifetime!
Still need to find your dream study abroad program? Explore all our Spain study abroad programs today!