Clothing and Customs in Spain

Clothes & Customs

In the summer months (June, July & August), bring light cottons, T-shirts or other loose tops and some kind of cap for your head - anything that provides protection from those punishing sun rays.

During the winter months in central Spain, a warm overcoat and gloves will be needed to protect you from sometimes fierce cold and winds. Otherwise, no special recommendations are necessary - just check the average temperatures for the time of year you're going to be here and be yourself.

Madrid is not as relaxed as most coastal areas where shorts and sandals are concerned, but certainly it's not so rigid that you'll look out of place if this is your choice of summer clothing. MadrileƱos are well accustomed to seeing tourists in shorts. In coastal areas shorts and sandals are an absolute must.

If you're coming on a business trip, dress correctly for business - the Spanish will appreciate it, even if they themselves are jacket and tie-less.

Aside from the indications above, the Spanish dress like any other Western Europeans, although there is perhaps a greater tendency to use formal dress for evening meals or other nightlife events.

Globalization means that the shops here are practically the same as in the rest of the world, with major high street names and brands such as Zara, H&Amp;M, Mango, C&A, Bershka and more all dotted around the centre of the city, and more upmarket designer brands such as Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Victorio & Lucchino, Adolfo Dominguez, Dolce & Gabanna and Chanel all present in the Salamanca district of the capital.

Perhaps the exception to the above are the 'Olde Worlde' type shops or Charming Shops which sell products much more particular to Spain. We list several of these types of shops here.

As regards other customs, smoking is popular in Spain, having been banned on the Metro in Madrid only a few years ago (a ban which is sometimes still not respected on the platforms). Don't be surprised if you go out for a meal with Spanish friends and they light up even between courses.

In the evening the Spanish like to go out for a 'paseo' - a stroll with friends or family, often stopping at a bar or three for the occasional tapa. As mentioned previously, it isn't unusual for them to dress quite formally for these walks and evening drinks.

Please use the links to the left to find out all you need to know for your visit to Madrid.