July in Spain: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

A beach in Spain in July
Spanish beaches reach full capacity in July. John Harper/Getty Images  

Spain in July can best be summed up in two words: hot and happening. Warm weather throughout the country makes the famous beaches seem more appealing than ever, and as part of peak tourist season, many popular destinations throughout Spain will be packed to the brims. 

That being said, there's a lot to love about visiting Spain in July. The month sees fascinating cultural festivals and events happening throughout the country, and if anything, the soaring temperatures just give you an excuse to include the beach on your travel itinerary. Here's everything you need to know before heading to Spain in July, from weather specifics to the events you won't want to miss. 

Spain Weather in July

Temperatures are on the high side throughout Spain in July, but can be more or less bearable depending on where in the country you are. Down south, Andalusia is famous for its scorching summer temperatures, especially in inland cities such as Seville and Córdoba, with average highs in the 80s and 90s, and lows generally in the 60s. The same generally tends to be true for central areas such as Madrid, while northern Spain is much milder, seeing averages in the 70s.

Rain throughout Spain in the summer is relatively rare, though northern areas especially can be prone to the occasional light shower or quick thunderstorm. Sunshine is plentiful, swimming conditions are excellent throughout the country, and humidity tends to be on the low side.

What to Pack

If blending in with the locals (or just not looking quite so touristy) is your goal, dressing for summer in Spain can be tricky. You'll want to be comfortable, obviously, but what you may see as summer clothing staples, in many cases, will scream "not from here" when you wear them in Spain (we're looking at you, t-shirts and flip flops).

The Spanish tend to dress quite fashionably, so think in terms of casual-chic pieces made with light, breathable fabric that won't have you suffocating as you explore the country. A solid pair of sandals will come in handy, but keep in mind that locals don't usually wear flip-flops beyond the beach. And when it comes to sun protection, you'll definitely want to throw a bottle of sunscreen (it's expensive in Spain) and a cute pair of sunglasses into your bag as well.

July Events in Spain

Art—both of the visual and performance variety—is the name of the game when it comes to July events in Spain. When you're not sightseeing or relaxing on the beach, be sure to add one of these fascinating events to your itinerary. 

  • PHotoESPAÑA (Madrid, June 5–September 1, 2019): Spain's largest photography exhibition, featuring works by talented photographers from all over the world.
  • Festival de Granada (June 21–July 12, 2019): A world-class performing arts festival, with extravagant spectacles taking place in such legendary venues as the Alhambra.
  • Grec (Barcelona, June 26–August 31, 2019): Theater, dance, music, and circus come together to form this colorful festival lasting all summer long.
  • Madrid Orgullo (June 28–July 7, 2019): Spain's largest gay pride event, with a full week of events celebrating love and diversity.
  • Córdoba Guitar Festival (July 4–13, 2019): An epic musical celebration offering performances by some of the best guitar players in every genre imaginable, as well as classes and workshops.
  • Sanfermines (Pamplona, July 6–15, 2019): Though most famous for its legendary bull run, this centuries-old celebration also features street parties, parades and more. Bullfighting is deeply rooted within global historic traditions. But today, local public opinion leans against the tradition. Though the site includes information for tourists interested in attending the events, TripSavvy trusts its readers to make their own decisions on the ethics of bullfighting as an attraction.
  • Benicassim (July 18–21, 2019): An unassuming seaside town in Valencia hosts this eponymous music festival, with Lana Del Rey and the Kings of Leon among this year's headliners.
  • Heineken Jazzaldia (San Sebastian, July 24–28, 2019): Spain's oldest jazz festival (and one of the oldest in all of Europe to boot), which features performances by icons such as Diana Krall and Joan Baez this year.

July Travel Tips

  • July is the peak of peak season for tourism in Spain. Book your accommodation as early as possible, as hotels tend to fill up quickly (and prices rise to meet the increased demand).
  • On that same note, keep in mind that more people will inevitably equal longer lines. Buy tickets for popular attractions, such as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Alcazar in Seville, online in advance when possible so you don't have to waste time waiting in lines the day of.
  • Though August tends to be the month of choice for Spaniards heading on vacation, some choose to go in July. This means that many small businesses may close up shop for a few weeks in the summer while their owners and employees take a much-needed break.