Spain power adapters - what plugs are used in Spain?

Spanish power outlet

What adapter do I need for Spain?

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting Spain all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to use with a Spanish power outlet. If you're not sure which 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 your it will work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage and your plug can fit in a Spanish power outlet then you can use it in Spain.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage but your plug won't fit in a Spanish power outlet then you'll need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Spain such a Type F plug adapter [6]. Please Note that a plug adapter for Spain (or power adapter) is designed to change 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 is unable to 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 use a suitable plug adapter for Spain if your power converter doesn't use the correct Type F plug adapter.
  • If you only need to recharge your USB devices such as tablets or mobile phones then a USB travel power adapter will be ideal and it will work with any voltage, but ensure that you bring one which has a Type F plug adapter otherwise you will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Spain.

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

Background

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. We also suggest reading the Spain Wikipedia page [1] for further details.

Spain power adapters

What is the best power adapter for Spain?

The best power adapter for Spain is a Type F plug adapter [6] which will allow you to use any 230 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for Spain?

What is a power adapter?

Power adapters are small, cheap and lightweight plastic adapters that permit a different shaped power plug from a different region to correctly slot into a wall socket in Spain.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [7].

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

Power adapters will only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt Spanish power outlet and can't convert to a higher voltage. If you need to safely use any 100, 110 or 120 volt device you will also need a more expensive step down power converter for Spain along with the right type of adapter.

Do I need a power adapter for Spain?

It will depend on the shape of plug you are attempting 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?

US plugs won't fit in a Spanish power outlet so you will need to bring a power adapter for Spain, and as the voltage is much higher you will also need to use a power converter for Spain if your appliance or charger 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 location to use their own electrical appliances and devices in Spain by changing the shape of the plug from one shape to another.

Can I use a European plug in Spain?

There is a possibility that a plug adapter that works in another country in Europe won't work in Spain because there are 8 different power outlet types used throughout Europe.

Where can I buy a power adapter for Spain?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for Spain?

Power adapters are typically available in most major 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 but expect to pay 50% 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.

On arrival power adapters can 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.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

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 outlets used in Spain, these are type F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - This ungrounded power socket, also known as a Europlug, can be recognised by 2 round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise this plug outlet by the two 4.8mm circular adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral pins slide into, plus two metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.

What voltage is used in a Spanish power outlet?

The standard voltage used from a Spanish power outlet is 230 volts.

Do US plugs work in Spain?

No - a US plug won't work in Spain because it won't fit in a Spanish power outlet without using a power adapter. Also, the voltage is 230 volts therefore use a power converter for Spain if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance will work with a 50hz power outlet.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Spain?

A step down power converter will allow you to use a 110V appliance in Spain.

Is a power outlet in Spain different to Europe?

Tourists in Europe

Is a power outlet in Spain different to Europe?

Various locations in Europe all use different power outlet types and voltages, with eight types of power outlets used in Europe (types C, D, E, F, G, J, K and L) you might discover that a plug which could be used in Spain might not operate in an electric outlet in another location. When travelling to more than one country in Europe you can either use a multiple power adapter travel set [8] consisting of every type of power adapter, or a smaller single international travel plug adapter [9] as both these options should make sure you're covered for all different power outlet types that you may encounter. Before travelling check our list of power outlets used in Europe to find out which power converters and adapters you might need for your journey.

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

The voltage in Spain is 230 volts, however 120 volts is used in the US. If your US appliance or power charger won't handle dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for a Spanish power outlet which can change the voltage from a 220-240 volt power outlet to 120 volts.

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.

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 iKits 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 the 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 cell phones and tablets 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 also incorporate a power outlet strip to plug in low wattage devices such as laptops, but please be aware these will be unsuitable for high wattage domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Please see 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?

A power converter for Spain will allow travellers to use their 100, 110 or 120 volt electric appliance 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 heavy and expensive power converter [12] converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Spanish power outlet to work with a non-230 volt appliance, however a cheaper and smaller power adapter [11] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to slot into a power outlet found in Spain.

Do I need a power converter for Spain?

If visiting Spain from a different country please check the device can be used with a 230 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter [13] is needed if you are visiting Spain from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device or appliance is incompatible with 230 volts. Read our list of world power outlets guide to see which voltage is used in your country.
  • You don't need a power converter if you already own either a single voltage appliance that works with 230 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices designed for a lower voltage (such as 120 volts) and then used with 230 volts run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device unless a step down power converter [13] is used.
  • You won't need a power converter if you wish to charge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet as these are normally designed for international use and support dual voltage, however you should always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For supplying power to high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example clothes irons or hair dryers) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter [14] which allows the appliance to be used with a 230 volt Spanish power outlet.
  • It will be more cost effective to purchase a robust lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than bringing a heavier high wattage power converter to Spain simply to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these comprehensive guides on how to use curling irons, clothes irons, hair dryers and hair straighteners in Spanish power outlets , along with recommendations on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

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

The 230 volts from a power outlet in Spain is different to a 110 volt US outlet, therefore you need to use a step down power converter [13] if your charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage.

What converter do I need for Spain?

In order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Spanish power outlet you will need to buy a step down power converter [13].

What voltage does Spain use?

Spain uses 230 volts in their normal power outlets.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [13] 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?

One method to see if your appliance is either single or dual voltage is to check for numbers printed on the supplied charger, or on the device itself, normally near to where the power cord sits. This location will depend on the make or model of your device but should also be written in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 120V.
  • 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 say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

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 travelers 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 [15].

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain - Spain Wikipedia page.
  2. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  3. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel.
  4. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel.
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  6. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage.
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  8. Multiple power adapter travel set - 12 piece grounded international travel plug adapter set .
  9. 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.
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  11. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets