Using Your Electrical Appliances in Spain

The '100-240v' tells you this device can be used anywhere in the world
••• The '100-240v' tells you this device can be used anywhere in the world. (c) Damian Corrigan

Spanish plugs use 220-240 volts and the physical connection may be different from what you have at home. Read on for information on if your electrical appliances will work in Spain and what to do if they won't.

Modern electronic devices, like laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and e-readers, will work. In fact, any USB device will be fine. But older devices, particularly things like hair straighteners and hairdryers might be more problematic.

Bringing Your Own Electrical Appliances to Spain...

...from the UK & Ireland* You will have no problems plugging in your electrical appliance in Spain except for the physical fact that it won't fit! Note that though the British shaver plugs and sockets look like the European ones, they are not the same.

..from Australia & New Zealand Same as for UK (though the adapter you need will be different).

...from South Africa Same as for UK (though the adapter you need will be different).

...from elsewhere in Europe Most of Europe uses the same power supply and the same plugs as Spain, so no adapter is required.

...from North, Central and South America and Japan American appliances use 110V, however, many are adapted to work on both sides of the Atlantic.

*Also Cyprus, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong

What Type of Adapter Will I Need?

If your appliance IS compatible with the Spanish power supply all you need to do is change the physical plug so that it will fit in the wall in Spain. A cheap adapter can be bought in advance (from Currys or Boots) or (even cheaper) in Spain in stores like El Corte Inglés.

 

If your appliance ISN'T compatible with the Spanish power supply you'll need an adapter which changes both the physical plug that goes into the wall and the voltage that your appliance gets. 

  • Voltage converters for Heating Appliances Good for hair straighteners, hairdryers, and irons. These are the most likely devices to need a converter.
  • Converter for Motorized or Electronic Appliances For other devices. But today's laptops, cameras, and mobile phones generally don't need a converter.

If you're not sure, do this!

To know if your appliance will work in Spain, do this simple check.

  1. Take a look at the picture and find the similar information on your appliance (it will either be on the plug or on the appliance itself)
  2. Look at the green arrow in the photo. You can see that this product will take 100-240V. This means that the appliance will work in both the US (which takes 110V) and Spain (and indeed the rest of the world, most of which uses 220-240V).
  3. If your product is similarly labeled, your product will also work in Spain. The only problem is that the plug won't physically fit - for this you will need an adapter. 
  4. If your appliance doesn't mention compatibility with 240V, then you'll need to adapt the power your appliance receives from the wall. You will need to buy a voltage converter.

    Products bought in Japan and Central & South America will have the same problem - always do the above check.