Light clothes for summer, warm for winter
Madrid’s seasons can be quite extreme. In summer the temperature can regularly top 40°C (104°F) so dressing for the seasons is a must. Bring light, airy clothes if you’re visiting Madrid in June, July or August, and warm layers if visiting during the winter. Madrid can get very crisp and cold in December, January and February, so you might want to consider bringing a hat, scarf and gloves, too. In summer, sandals are a good shoe option to keep your feet cool, while trainers or boots are ideal for cooler weather.
Madrid is sunny all year round, so packing your sunglasses is always a good idea. If you put a pair in your bag when you leave for the day in the city, you’ll most likely be glad to have them later when you’re enjoying a beer on a terrace and the sun is shining down right in your eyes.
Sunscreen is absolutely essential when visiting Madrid during the late spring, summer and early autumn, but because the city can be very sunny all year round, protecting your skin is always a good idea.
Lathering on the sunscreen is especially important if you’re going to be doing sport in Madrid, like running, hiking or cycling.
Madrid is a very walkable city so make sure to bring footwear that is comfortable and able to stand a day of pounding the pavements while seeing the sights.
In summer, those prone to sunburn should definitely bring a hat with them – the more protection, the better. Caps, sunhats and straw hats are all popular summer options.
Like many big cities, Madrid has its pickpockets. One way to better safeguard your belongings is to bring a secure bag with you, i.e one with a zip or other means of tightly fastening it. While they are hardly the coolest accessory, a money wallet is also worth considering to ensure cards and passport are kept close to the body and out of the grasp of any wandering hands.
Travellers from the United Kingdom and countries outside Europe will need to bring a travel adaptor in order to use Madrid’s plugs. A two-pin continental European adaptor is what you should look out for before you set off.
It’s a good idea to get your currency changed before setting off to avoid the overpriced currency exchanges in the airport or city centre.
Depending on where you’re staying, Madrid can be very noisy at night. Bringing a pair of earplugs is a good idea just in case you end up with a street-facing room that’s noisier than expected.
And what not to pack…
If you’re not going to the pool, leave the flip-flops at home. Spaniards are generally pretty smart, and most would never wear flip-flops around the city streets.