US to Spain power adapters - do I need a power adapter for a Spanish power outlet?

Spanish power outlet

What adapter do I need for Spain?

Use a Type F plug adapter [4] for Spain if the plug you intend to use doesn't fit into a Spanish power outlet.

The type of plug adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting Spain all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to charge with a Spanish power outlet. If you're not sure what voltage your device can use then read the section below on how can you tell if you have a dual voltage or single voltage device before going any further.

  • If you're from America travelling to Spain then you will need to bring a plug adapter to fit a US plug in a Spanish power outlet. Because the voltage is different in Spain use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and check that it will work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage and your plug will fit in a Spanish power outlet then it will work in Spain.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage but your plug won't fit in a Spanish power outlet you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Spain such a Type F plug adapter [4]. Please Note that a plug adapter for Spain (or power adapter) changes the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Spain, but but is unable to convert the voltage from 230 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device can't run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll also need a power converter for Spain to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Spain if your power converter doesn't use the correct Type F plug adapter.
  • If you only need to bring one or more USB devices such as a tablet or a cellphone then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it will work with any voltage, but ensure that you choose a USB travel adapter which has a Type F plug adapter otherwise you will still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Spain.
  • Excess use of a mobile phone during a trip to Spain could create an additional drain on the battery, we suggest packing a power bank [9] if you want to keep your mobile phone charged throughout the day whilst visiting an unknown location.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts used in Spain you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Before using your device in Spain check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Spain power adapters

Power adapters for Spain

If you are packing for a trip to Spain it is useful to know if you can use any essential gadgets like cell phones or tablets when you're there. Without knowing which power socket to expect you could end up either weighing your bags down with too many adaptors or bring the wrong power charger, leaving you having to borrow a suitable power adaptor on arrival that might be incompatible and cause damage to your device. Varying different standards and voltages can all lead to confusion when planning to stay in another country for the first time traveller. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets used throughout the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your electronics in Spain. This page has links to step-by-step instructions showing you how to supply power to your devices when staying in Spain using the standard F or C type Spanish 230 volt 50Hz power outlets, most Spaniards typically use Type F plugs in their plug outlets. Power sockets will vary depending on which country you are travelling to so we recommend reading the power adapters list for a complete list of regions and countries.

What is the best power adapter for Spain?

The best power adapter for Spain will be a Type F power adapter [4] which allows you to use any 230 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for Spain?

What is a power adapter?

A power adapter is a small, cheap and lightweight plastic adapter that permits a different type of power plug from a different region to easily slot into an electrical outlet in Spain.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [10].

Can a power adapter convert the voltage from a Spanish power outlet?

No, a power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt Spanish power outlet and is unable to convert the power to a higher voltage. If you need to safely use a 100-120 volt appliance then you will also need to bring a step down power converter for Spain.

Do I need a power adapter for Spain?

It depends on the type of plug you wish to use in Spain and the location you are travelling from.

Will I need a power adapter if I'm visiting Spain from the US?

A US plug won't fit in a Spanish power outlet so you will need to bring a plug adapter for Spain, and as the voltage is different you will also need to bring a power converter for Spain if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage to prevent damage or overheating.

What does a power adapter for a Spanish power outlet do?

A power adapter enables visitors travelling from a different country to use their electronic and electrical appliances and devices in Spain by adapting the shape of the power plug from one type to another.

Can I use a European plug in Spain?

As there are 8 different power outlet types used throughout Europe there is a chance that a power adapter that works in another territory in Europe doesn't fit in a Spanish power outlet.

Where to buy a power adapter in Spain

Arriving at an airport

Where to buy a power adapter in Spain

On arrival power adapters could be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

Where to buy a power adapter for Spain in the US

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where to buy a power adapter for Spain in the US

Spain to US power adapters will most likely be available in most major US International airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists such as Hudson News or Brookstone, but expect to pay more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

It will be more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street electrical stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Home Depot or Fry's normally sell a limited range of travel adapters to popular locations but for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Electrical adapters for Spain

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Retractable pins avoid catching in luggage

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Most models are designed to function in over 150 different countries.
  • All in one design - small and lightweight, under $20.
  • Some models will include charging ports for USB electronics built in.
  • Fairly easy to use.
  • There are some universal travel adapters that have a surge protector, this will protect any electronics from being overpowered by an unstable power grid.
  • The pins retract so don't catch against other items in your luggage.
  • The universal travel power adapter will potentially be of use when you return to America as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so will fit in a Spanish power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Universal power adapters can't be used with a high power electrical appliance; for example hair straighteners, microwaves, kettles, vacuum cleaners or hair dryers.
  • Shutters and other moving parts could be fragile on some models making them prone to failure.
  • Only provide power to one plug.
  • Not completely universal; adapters might not work in some countries with less popular outlets.
  • They lack a built in voltage converter meaning they're not suitable for non-230 volt electrical devices in Spain.
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB charger with changable heads

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Perfect when you only need to power devices which use USB.
  • You will only have to pack one unit instead of packing lots of domestic power chargers which costs roughly under $15.
  • USB wall chargers come with interchangeable adapter heads making them useful in a large number of different locations. The interchangeable adapter heads are usually lightweight and small making them easy to store.
  • Has surge protector built in.
  • The charger will still be of use domestically.
  • The swappable heads fit in Types A/B, E/F, G and I power outlets so will work with a Spanish power outlet.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • They only have USB outputs so you won't be able to charge any electrical appliances, only USB powered ones.
Travel Power Strips

Power strips feature multiple USB ports

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Able to power more than one electronic appliance or device at once using just one power outlet, costing under $40.
  • Certain travel power strips offer voltage conversation for low wattage devices. So therefore if the appliance isn't dual voltage it will still be used with a Spanish power outlet by using only a travel power strip. This makes them a lightweight and cheap substitute for a dedicated voltage converter.
  • Normal modern power strips also include multiple USB charging ports.
  • Voltage from power grids in certain countries could be unstable, a power surge can damage your electrical items. There are some power strips which have a surge protector, this will protect any electronics from being overpowered.
  • The power strip should potentially be of use domestically as a power strip and USB charger.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in Spain.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • Unlike dedicated power converters, the voltage converter on a travel power strip doesn't support high wattage appliances such as hair dryers or curling irons.
  • Because of the weight of a travel power strip it might be unsuitable for packing in hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips could be excessive if you only bring a small number of appliances which need charging.
Power Plug Adapters

An easy to use Type F plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Affordable, with prices between $5 to $10.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Using a Type F plug adapter [4] will work in Spain.
  • Lightweight and compact.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • One adapter for each plug - for each separate appliance you want to use you'll also need to use a separate power plug adapter.
  • Adapter only alters the shape of the plug to fit in a Type F Spanish power outlet but doesn't modify the voltage used in Spain. If your device doesn't work with 230 volts and isn't dual voltage you will still need to bring a separate voltage converter.
  • If you intend to visit more than just Spain you might need to pack multiple power adapter types.
  • You will also still need to bring a separate domestic USB charger if you wish to charge any USB device.
  • Hotel rooms in Spain might only have a single wall outlet available, so you will only be capable of charging one appliance at a time.
Plug Adapter Sets

Cost effective plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • As prices are roughly between $15 to $20 an adapter set works out cheaper than purchasing multiple individual plug adapters costing almost $10 each.
  • Ensures you are covered for all countries.
  • The most flexible option if you are travelling to multiple locations.
  • Includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N plugs so will operate in Spain.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Will involve some planning - prior to any trip you will need to choose which plug adapters to pack in advance, if you don't know every country you'll be visiting you'll need to bring every plug adapter in the set.
  • Lots individual adapters to bring.
  • All remaining power adapters will be redundant and using up space.
  • Not every plug adapter types are typically included with the set (especially rarer adapters) - so ensure that your set includes an adapter that is compatible in Spain.
  • Only alters the shape of the plug to allow it to fit in a Spanish power outlet but not the voltage.
Voltage Converters

A voltage converter with surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • A power converter only converts the 230 volts from a Spanish power outlet and not the actual shape of the plug to slot in a Spanish power outlet, therefore you'll still be required to bring the right type of power adapter for Spain.
  • The size and weight of most models of voltage converters makes them too heavy for carrying in hand baggage.
  • Redundant when get back from Spain.
  • Often better value and more practical to bring a dual voltage travel appliance than to buy a more expensive power converter just in order to bring your existing single voltage domestic appliance in Spain.
  • Costly, between $120 to $130.
  • If you plan on travelling from the US visiting Spain then you will require a power converter as the voltage is 230 volts.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Spain

Type F Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Spain Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included F A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 70+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type F Spanish power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Type F plug adapter required to fit in a Spanish power outlet Yes
Useful when you return to America Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 230 volt AC appliance in Spain Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Estimated price under $10 between $15 to $20 between $10 to $15 between $35 to $40 between $15 to $20 almost $100
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Spain power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Spain?

Type C and F power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Spain?

There are two different types of power supply used in Spain, types F and C with the primary power supply being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can identify the power outlet by the two round holes next to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type F - This sunken circular wall socket can be recognised by two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm adjacent to each other where the live and neutral pins slide into and a pair of thin grounding clips above and below.

Do US plugs work in Spain?

No; an American plug won't work in Spain because it can't fit in a Spanish power outlet without using a plug adapter. The voltage is different so you will need to use a power converter for Spain if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage and check that your device is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Spain?

To use either a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in a Spanish power outlet you will need a step down power converter.

Is a power outlet in Spain different to Europe?

Tourists in Europe

Is a power outlet in Spain different to Europe?

Various countries throughout Europe all use different standards of voltages and power outlet types, with eight types of plug sockets used throughout Europe (types C, D, E, F, G, J, K and L) you could find a plug which works with a Spanish power outlet might not function correctly in an outlet in another country. If you intend on visiting more than one destination in Europe you can either bring a multiple power adapter travel set [15] that consists of every type of power adapter, or a more convenient international travel plug adapter [16] as both these options ensure you're covered for all different power outlet types that you might find in each location. Before travelling check the list of power outlets used throughout Europe to understand which power adapters and converters you need to bring for your journey.

Is the voltage in Spain the same as in the US?

The voltage in Spain is 230 volts, whereas Americans use 120 volts. If your American appliance or power charger isn't dual voltage then you will need use a power converter for Spain which allows a 120 volt US appliance to work with a 230 volt outlet.

Is a plug socket in Spain the same as in the US?

A US plug won't fit in a Spanish power outlet so you will need to use a plug adapter for Spain. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage use a power converter for Spain and check that it works with 50hz.

What is the electrical frequency used in Spain?

The frequency of the alternating current from a Spanish power outlet is 50 Hz.

Is there good access to power outlets in Spain?

The population of Spain has excellent access to electrical power throughout the country.

Is electricity reliable in Spain?

Though stable electrical power can't be guaranteed, electricity in Spain is reliable and there is no pattern of persistent power cuts.

Should I pack a portable charger for Spain?

USB power bank

Should I pack a portable charger for Spain?

While power cuts aren't regular and electricity is available to the entire population, travellers are still advised to bring a power bank to recharge their cell phone.

  • During a trip increased reliance on mobile phones for storing itineraries, taking pictures, social networks, sat nav and staying entertained could syphon off power before the end of the day. As well as the inconvenience of missed photograph opportunities this could possibly leave you in an unknown location without adequate power to make an emergency call or being able to use a satellite navigation app to find your way back to accommodation.
  • Using a power bank [9] in Spain eases those concerns as it allows you to keep your smart phone fully powered without needing a wall charger.
  • Use at least a 10,000mAh portable charger [9] which can supply enough energy to power around three full charging cycles whilst a 20,000mAh power bank [20] should keep an average mobile phone charged for around 7 days.
  • As long as your laptop supports USB-C charging then bringing a portable charger for a laptop [21] marked with PD (power delivery) that supplies 20Wh or more can be used to extend the battery life of that laptop in Spain.
  • Please note that some airlines prohibit batteries on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must be kept in hand luggage only so please check ahead with the airline.
  • Consumer power banks aren't strong enough for use with high powered items that generate heat, although a rechargeable hair dryer [18] or gas hair straighteners [19] can be used for travelling.
Do solar powered chargers work in Spain?

A solar backpack recharging in the sun

Do solar powered chargers work in Spain?

The climate in Spain could be suitable for a solar power bank [23] but it could take time to recharge. The smaller surface area of the cells means a solar power bank will need to be left in powerful daylight for an extended period of time in order to provide enough power for a single charge cycle, and this might prove inconvenient to continually pack and unpack a solar power bank and wait whilst it recharges in a sunny area.

  • The bigger solar panels used on a solar backpack [22] will give the bag the ability to create more power within a shorter period of time.
  • Phones that have been directly plugged into a USB charging port of a backpack will trickle charge the power during sunny periods in Spain, but could be inconvenient to have it constantly connected to the bag during the day if it is to be needed frequently. A backback with solar cells is constantly exposed to daylight therefore could be topping up a power bank [9] throughout the day, unlike a small solar power bank which requires unpacking facing the sunlight.
  • A solar bag which is suitable for Spain needs to have a solar cell efficiency of at least 22%, can generate a minimum of 6 watts of energy and be used with a 10,000mAH power bank or stronger.
  • They are available in backpack, rucksack and laptop messenger styles making them perfect for work, domestic and travel use.
  • The durable and flexible solar cells used in solar powered bags are made to survive scratching and bending, unlike normal rigid solar panels.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Spain chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Spain?

If you are travelling to multiple countries and bringing along more than one device then the best international travel adapter for Spain is a multiple USB port charger which includes swappable plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [2]. There are two standards of plug sockets in Spain (F and C) and bringing this ensures that you are covered for type C. As these chargers come with interchangeable pins and can handle 100 to 240 volts will mean you can travel to multiple countries around the world simply by changing the heads. If your device supports Fast Charge (please note not all USB devices can) then you will benefit from much quicker recharging times with one of these types of travel adapters along with compatibility with certain power hungry devices like tablets. This means you can charge more than one device at once without needing to bring seperate travel chargers for your Spanish trip. By only bringing a single international travel charger will keep the overall weight down, making it ideal to fold up and store in hand baggage while travelling. Because of their versatility these types of travel adapters can be used at home not just abroad so when you're not on holiday they can sit overnight charging multiple tablets, smartphones and e-readers without using up an additional wall outlet.

For those travelling to Spain we suggest searching for this type of versatile power adapter online; the travel adapter illustrated is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [2] which has been tested successfully with multiple USB devices in numerous different countries around the world on a daily basis.

What USB charger do I need for Spain?

Why use a travel USB charger for Spain?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you only need to bring a single charger to charge multiple devices. Rather than bring 4 separate power chargers it's now only necessary to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger to power up to 4 individual devices which cuts down on the size and weight of your luggage.
  • Most travel USB power chargers should include interchangeable plug heads for various regions. This is perfect when visiting multiple countries which are likely to use different outlets to Spain.
  • A good USB charger is compact, rugged and lightweight; ideal for rigors of travel instead of than risking packing a domestic charger which might be impossible to replace in Spain.
  • USB chargers can accept the 230 volts used in Spain power outlets plus other voltage standards across the world.
  • There is a possibility that some hotel rooms in Spain might only have one wall outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single wall outlet with family or other traveler instead of having to wait to recharge one device at a time.
  • Because of their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the worry out of visiting an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets found in airports are often scant and the demand for charging multiple devices from other passengers before a flight can be high, therefore a USB charger with multiple ports and the capability to fast charge is ideal.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a quality travel charger allows for unexpected spikes and prevents damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded cell phone in Spain could prove to be problematic and costly.
  • Higher priced USB travel chargers should also incorporate a power outlet strip to plug in low wattage devices such as laptops, but be aware these will be unsuitable for high wattage domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Please read the section on using travel appliances with a Spanish power outlet for useful guidelines on the most suitable power adapter for using a high wattage appliances with a Spanish power outlet.
  • Some tablets and cellphones could pull more than the normal 500 mA (milliamps) supplied by a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Higher priced USB travel chargers will support fast charging should some of your devices draw extra power.
  • On returning home travel USB power chargers can also be used by recharging multiple cellphones and tablets on an overnight basis using a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Spain?

The is the most compact option for travellers from any country wanting to charge devices using USB, however for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs the following power strips provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power strips offer surge protection which can be useful for visitors of counties with unstable power supplies. These travel adapters are supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Spain and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling compact power converter for travellers originating from North America visiting Spain.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Likewise having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from America using type B plugs and gives almost the same functionality as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers a generous 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for most travellers from around the world visiting Spain.

Power converters for Spain

What does a power converter for Spain do?

Power converters allow travellers to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electric device with a 230 volt Spanish power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Spain?

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Spain, but an expensive and bulkier power converter [24] converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Spanish power outlet to work with a non-230 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for Spain?

If you are visiting Spain from another country ensure that your device can accept a 230 volt power supply.

  • You need a step down power converter [14] if you are travelling to Spain from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance isn't compatible with 230 volts. Read the WikiConnections world power outlets page to discover the voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you are already using either a single voltage device that works with 230 volts or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Devices which are designed to work with a lower voltage such as 110 volts and used in a 230 volt power outlet run the potential risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse.
  • You shouldn't need a converter if you wish to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a mobile phone or tablet as these are normally support dual voltage and designed for international use, but always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • For powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (such as hair straighteners and clothes irons) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter [6].
  • Investing a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance will be more practical and cost effective than carrying a heavier high wattage power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance in Spain.
  • For more information read these travel guides on travelling with clothes irons, curling irons, hair straighteners and hair dryers with a Spanish power outlet which includes advice for affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter for Spain if I'm visiting from America?

The voltage from a wall outlet in Spain is different to a 110 volt US outlet so please use a step down power converter [14] if your charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage.

What converter do I need for Spain?

You need to buy a step down power converter [14] which allows you to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Spanish power outlet.

What voltage does Spain use?

Spain uses 230 volts in their standard power outlets.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [14] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Spanish power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Spain before plugging that into a Spanish power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 230 volt Spanish power outlet.
What is the difference between a converter and a power transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a converter and a power transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.
What voltage is my device?

Dual voltage hair dryer

What voltage is my device?

The best way to see if your appliance is dual voltage is to check for numbers printed on the existing power adapter, or on the unit itself, normally on the rear of the unit or near to where the power cord plugs into. This location will depend on the make or model of your appliance and could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might say a specific number - such as 240V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a large range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

Substantiations

How we compared products

Typical figures based on top 5 popular electrical adapters for each form-factor from different manufacturers with prices as of October 2018.

  • Power Plug Adapters - Ceptics Grounded Universal Plug Adapter, TESSAN Grounded Universal Travel Power Plug Adapter, Tmvel Universal International Power Adapter Plug, EnriQ Plug Adapter, Ckitze Travel Power Plug Adapter.
  • Universal Travel Power Adapters - BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter, NEWVANGA International Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, Bluegogo Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, HAOZI All-in-one International Power Adapter, UROPHYLLA Universal European Adapter Dual Fuses.
  • Travel USB Wall Chargers - iKits 4-Port USB Wall/International Charger, LENCENT 4 Port USB Travel Adapter, PISEN USB Wall Charger, Anker 27W 4-Port USB Wall Charger PowerPort 4 Lite, USB Plug Travel Charger Adaptor, Turata 4 Port Universal World Wall Charger.
  • Travel Power Strips - BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip, TESSAN 3 Outlet Surge Protector travel Power Strip, Portable Travel Adapter Power Strip Charging Station, GR-8 Power Compact & Slim Travel Charging Station, NTONPOWER Portable Charging Station.
  • Plug Adapter Sets - Ceptics GP-12PK International Travel Worldwide Grounded Universal Plug Adapter Set, Ceptics World Travel Adapter Set - 11 Pack, BESTEK Grounded Universal Plug Set, OREI 7 World Travel Adapter Plug Set, Ceptics Adapter Plug Set for World Wide International Travel Use.
  • Voltage Converters - Power Bright VC2000W Voltage Transformer Step Up/Down converter, LiteFuze LT-3000 3000 Watt Voltage Converter Transformer - Step Up/Down, SEYAS 1000W Auto Step Up & Step Down Voltage Transformer Converter, Rockstone Power 5000 Watt Heavy Duty Step Up/Down Voltage Transformer Converter, KRIEGER 1700 Watt Voltage Transformer Step up/down 120V / 230V AC outlet American European Converter.

Weight, dimensions, number of AC outlets and number of USB powers were all based by calculating and rounding an average figure for each attribute where known.

Key to electrical adapter comparison

  1. Compatible number of countries based on data from the International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs page (cited November 2018).
  2. Assuming only a single plug adapter from the plug adapter set will be used at any one time in a compatible location.
  3. Depending on if the power strip supports voltage conversion for low wattage items. All travel power strips tested do not convert voltage for high wattage appliances.
  4. Including the device itself, any supplied plug heads and power cords.
  5. Some travel power strips featuring less AC outlets may be small and lightweight enough to be suitable for hand luggage.
  6. Number of items if bringing an entire set of plug adapters for use in multiple locations to cover all eventualities (unless bringing only the necessary single plug adapter).

What type of adapter do you need for Spain?

Which type of adapter will you need to bring to Spain?

The type of power converter which is suitable for Spain is dependant on your requirements. Before deciding the right one to bring we recommend using the following checklist:

What are the types of electrical items do you want to use with a Spanish power outlet?

Make a list of items to bring

What are the types of electrical items do you want to use with a Spanish power outlet?

  • There are three different types of electrical devices or appliances:
    • Low wattage electrical items which plug into a power outlet - for example a laptop.
    • High wattage appliances which plug into an electrical outlet - for example clothes irons or hair dryers.
    • USB powered devices which charge with a USB port - for example mobile phones and iPads.
  • When you only want to take just USB powered devices to Spain then a simple travel USB charger is perfect as you will only need to bring one charger with appropriate charging cables rather than packing multiple domestic chargers.
  • Travel power strips are perfect for providing power and voltage conversion for several low wattage devices of any voltage, but won't work with high wattage appliances (such as hair irons) which require voltage conversion, potentially overloading the power strip.
How many devices will you be taking to Spain?

Family may need to charge devices too

How many devices will you be taking to Spain?

  • Try adding up how many items you intended on bringing with you to Spain (such as tablets, laptops, cell phones, eReaders, hair dryers or clothes irons).
    • Remember to allow for more electrical devices at a later date. Do you intend on purchasing a new laptop computer soon?
    • There is an increasing amount of rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers that utilise a USB port as a power source. The if you buy a new device it might need a USB adapter so remember to ensure your travel adapter has enough spare ports to support these too.
  • Are you bringing family to Spain that will need to charge their iPads?

Do your devices only work with 230 volt power outlets?

Are you only charging USB devices?

Are you only bringing USB items

Are you only charging USB devices?

How many Spanish power outlets are available?

Are multiple wall outlets available

How many Spanish power outlets are available?

  • Accommodation might only offer a single wall outlet. This will be a problem if charging batteries of multiple devices such as tablets, phones or laptops overnight as you can only recharge a single device at a time then need to keep swapping after each device has charged.
  • If you wish to charge more than one device simultaneously then look to packing a travel power strip or travel USB wall charger that can power multiple USB ports and power outlets.

How much can you afford?

  • A cheap power adapter starts at under $10 which will charge one device from a Spanish power outlet (providing that works with 230 volts or it is dual voltage), but investing in anywhere between $15 to $20 means you can charge multiple devices at once and be able to use them in various different countries.

Are you planning on visiting anywhere abroad in the future?

Is Spain the only country you intend on visiting?

How long will it take to fly to Spain?

Using a phone after a long haul flight

How long will it take to fly to Spain?

  • For long journeys think about bringing an appropriate charger which is ideal for airports that can be used with different power outlet types, one which is small enough to pack in carry-on luggage and can be used to top up tablets and phones.
  • As not all flights actually have power outlets for customers please consider bringing a battery portable charger [9] which will recharge on the go. After arriving you may need to use a phone to make a call, sending emails , using sat nav or viewing your itinerary; ensure that your phone has enough charge remaining.
Are you only bringing hand luggage?

Are you bringing just hand baggage

Are you only bringing hand luggage?

Do you still need use your charger when returning to America?

Are you visiting another country with good access to electrical power?

  • Electricty in Spain is generally stable however if you want to go to other countries you may need a power adapter which will protect your appliances. The power will often fluctuate in some areas which might possibly cause damage to your devices, you will need to use a power adapter which offers built in surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • You can prepare for power cuts and countries with limited electrical coverage by using a solar backpack [22] or portable charger [9].

What can I connect to a Spanish power outlet

Travel appliances that can connect to a Spanish power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Spanish power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Spanish power outlet

Mobile phones which can be connected to the Spanish power outlet

Apple iPhones that work with a Spanish power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Spanish power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a Spanish power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Spanish power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travellers visiting Spain, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [25].

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain - Spain Wikipedia page.
  2. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, estimated cost under $15.
  3. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage, priced at between $5 to $10.
  4. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage, priced around $5.
  5. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel, between $70 to $80.
  6. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, under $150.
  7. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, under $25.
  8. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  9. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go, between $30 to $35.
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  11. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices, estimated price between $15 to $20.
  12. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries, costing between $35 to $40.
  13. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, costs around $15.
  14. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet, costing between $120 to $130.
  15. Multiple power adapter travel set - international travel plug adapter set , costs around $15.
  16. Portable international travel plug adapter - AC Wall Charger with 2 USB sockets and outlets for US, UK, Australia and European power plugs which works in over 150 countries, under $10.
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  18. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling, costs under $160.
  19. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, costs between $20 to $25.
  20. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days, estimated price between $45 to $50.
  21. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, estimated cost under $130.
  22. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, costs between $80 to $90.
  23. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device, between $20 to $25.
  24. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, costs under $100.
  25. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets