People sometimes ask what to wear when they come to Europe. Since I am American this tip is generally for americans coming to Spain, Can work for northern Europeans too. Some people want to try to blend in. Some dont. Heres how to look like a tourist and totally stand out:
Wear a baseball hat. Put on shorts in April when we are all still in sweaters. Wear beach sandles in the middle of Madrid. Once I saw some american girls all dressed in little skirts and sandles in March and April and they were beginning to wonder why everyone was looking at them funny.
Wear a Fanny Pack, (Bum bag for you Brits)
Oh and dont forget, Spaniards love to make fun of the birkenstock sandles with socks fashion. (behind your back of course) Especially white socks. Im sorry, I agree its comfortable, maybe we could convince Spaniards that it really is fashionable too...
So what to wear? Dress in Layers, you may be warm in the day but the evenings can be quite cool in Spring and Fall.
WOMEN. Women wear casual shirts (long-sleeved and short-sleeved), shorts, skirts, Capri pants, dresses, gym shoes, sandals, and swimwear. You will want to add a sweater or jacket if you are heading out near the water in Costa del Sol. Women will be denied entrance into churches if arms are bare or skirts are too short. Shorts are not permitted in religious institutions. A nice evening outfit is suitable if you plan on eating in an expensive restaurant.
MEN. Men favor casual shirts (short-sleeved and long-sleeved), shorts, slacks, tie, dinner jacket, gym shoes, sandals, and swim trunks. Men who desire to dine in expensive restaurants will need to wear a coat and tie. Men may not be permitted into religious sites while wearing shorts.
Miscellaneous: Spain uses 220 volt, 50 cycles, AC for its electricity. Travelers will need electrical converters to operate American appliances. A plug adapter is needed because the electrical plugs have a different configuration than those in the United States.
During summer days, dress in lightweight sport and casual clothing. Spain’s dress is "smart." Swimwear is seen in and around the resort areas, but people usually do not wear swimsuits away from the beach. Evenings may be cool, so a jacket is needed for night activities. Luggage cannot exceed 44 pounds per passenger. If you are purchasing the Ambassadair ground package, then your trip includes porterage for one bag per person. If the flight is on an L-1011 aircraft, American Trans Air requires that all suitcases with wheels are checked at the ticket counter—the airline will not permit them to be carried on the aircraft.
Luggage and bags:
There's a craZy obsession in this city among adults and children alike for any kind of bag or case that's attached to wheels and pulled along. There are plenty of unlicensed wheelie-case drivers in the city, so I suggest that we need not encourage more!! Of course, on a more practical note, be prepared for plenty of stairs in the metro, so make sure you are able to carry your luggage at least!!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The weather in Madrid tends to be chilly or hot - the seasons are fairly distinct (August being uncomfortably hot). But it also seems to be showing evidence of our climatic change on the planet... at the moment, and for much of my time here so far, sudden downpours can appear even on a hot sunny day. If you use umbrellas, you may want to bring one along, or a suitable jacket.
Comfortable shoes for walking are essential. The nature the city, with it's many winding streets, occasional steep hills and the endless stairs in the Metro system means your feet will thank you for it!!
Depending on your personal preference, and the kind of places you want to visit, you may consider that shorts and sandals are less seen in the city, even in the heat... it's considered more suited to the beach. Some of the pricier discotecas/salas - nightclubs may refuse entry to men wearing trainers or jeans. Just for your information... of course, it all depends on what is comfortable and important for you!!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Suncream!! The sun can be fierce here!
Miscellaneous: Spanish dictionary/phrase book...
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Don’t expect the weather to be warm and sunny in early spring or fall just because it is Spain (well, we had luck... my Dad, my brother Stefan and his girlfriend Eva sitting on Plaza Mayor). Madrid is situated on a rather high altitude and it could get chilly, especially during the nights. Summer in Madrid is very hot and dry (30-40 degrees Celsius!). All the locals (if they can) leave the city during the month of August. A good time to go is from around Easter to the beginning of June. Then the weather conditions are very good, rain is rare and the air is more or less clean. Madrileños are very stylish and fashion-conscious people. Tourists should do the same and not wear bermuda shorts or even beach wear in the 3-million-inabitant-metropoly. Such an outfit makes it even easier for pickpockets to select their prey…
Luggage and bags:
extra bag to bring stuff back in
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: when i was there in june there were some cooler rainy days, but other than that nice weather, if ur going to walk alot brink hiking shoes. If you're going to go to the gym while your there your workout gear.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Of course your pesonal hygeine supply in case they don't carry ur exact brand.
Photo Equipment: Lots of film and camera...and of course if u have one a video camera
Miscellaneous: Power outlet changer
Luggage and bags:
A small portable satchel in black to carry small camera and metro passes, for night and day.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A comfortable pair of black shoes for night, you never know when you are going to a disquotech after dinner. Also some restaraunt frown on tennis shoes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Pack plenty of your prefered hangover medicine, aslo stock up on bottled water during the day. You can buy it to "take away" from many bars but it is best to have plenty in case you forget.
Miscellaneous: Madrid is very loud so earplugs for afternoon napping and early (before 1am) night sleepers. Also for late risers (after 10 am) and those with hangovers.
Almost as an oxymoron you need an alarm clock. While in Madrid you will get used to sleeping late, until that unfortunate morning when you have to go home --an set that clock!
Madrid in Autumm can be hot especially in the afternoons. Their nights are breezy & cool. No need to wear jackets when you're out walking the streets at night.
People are pretty well-dressed here i.e. in a smart-casual kind of way. After all, some of the HOTTEST and HIP clothes these days are designed by the multi-talented Spanish designers from the design house of MNG Mango and Zara.
The following is a rough guide on what I'd pack along with me for an Autumn vacation to Madrid:
(1) 1 pair of jeans (in black or denim blue).
(2) 1 short skirt OR skorts
(3) 1 pair of shorts/ bermudas.
(4) 2 summer dresses.
(5) 3 or 4 cotton t-shirts/ tank tops
(6) 1 pair of sandals
(7) 1 pair of evening shoes
(8) 1 little black dress (which can double up for day and evening events). After all, the party animals who patronize 'JOY' - Madrid's #1 night haunt - DO dress-to-kill. So, knock 'em dead (the guys, I mean) with your amazing dress sense! :-)
(9) 2 nightgowns/ pyjamas.
(10) 1 bathing suit.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: DON'T forget to transfer your precious Clarifying toners and astringent, foaming cleanser, Advanced Night Repair/ Vibrant night creams et al into small plastic containers - to save luggage space.
Photo Equipment: You are looking at a technophile, baby!
Yes, I've gone digital and high-tech. These days, I never leave home (read: Singapore) without my Canon digital camera (as slim as a credit card)... and my Nokia mobile phone (with a spy camera and video cam attached).
Miscellaneous: Actually, you DON'T NEED to pack too many clothings because dresses/ clothes are pretty INEXPENSIVE here in Spain.
Go to Spain with a half-filled luggage and you WON'T be disappointed. If you choose to go in October, better still. It's SALE time...
Luggage and bags:
BE PREPARED FOR LOST LUGGAGE!!! ESPECIALLY IF YOU´RE COMING FROM VENICE!!!!! Would you believe my luggage got lost once I arrived in Madrid!? Good thing I just happened to forget to pack my toothbrush in my luggage and shoved it in my purse on the way out, running late! There was about 20 of us that came from Venice through Zurich to Madrid on the same flight all the way and only 6 got their luggage when we got to madrid. NO LIE! Pack some overnight things with you just in case. And it was funny because my chaufer wasnt surprised at all why i was late getting to him when i told him they lost my luggage! Neither the hotel.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Adventure Travel
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Like I said, Im not crazy about Europe´s idea of bath towels, so I brought my very own American-made face clothes with me.
Luggage and bags:
If you come from nothern Europe like me (where we have 6 months winter),do not take too warm clothes with you.
It was + 20c.deg,when I was there i november.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring good walkingshoes.You would probably do a lot of walking
Luggage and bags:
Small bag because you have to take it off and on the
bus. Pack a sweater and raingear. July is extremely hot but when it rained, it got chilly. Dresses for women are in order in a restaurant or nightclub
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable shoes with low heels.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Make sure you have enough supply of your prescription medication
Photo Equipment: Many churches do not let you take photos. Buy postcards
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Madrid is a modern metropolis so as it comes to clothing "anything goes." But it is appreciate if you dress in clas. no flip-flops, short skirts or short trousers, jeans are ok as well as a airy summerdress. its especially respectfull if you visit churches. Or just take a minimal on clothes and do some shopping at Zara. In winter pack an overcoat and gloves.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I went in November and it was pretty mild - 10-15 degrees celcius, so light jumpers and jackets should be fine. And don't forget the sunglasses, you will still need them.