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Power plugs in France Vs Italy Vs Spain

Hi! Are the electrical plugs in France, Italy and Spain the same? Just wondering if we need different power plugs for each place.

Posted by
2771 posts

Switzerland is the only outlier on the continent.

You can actually use the one that RS currently sells in Switzerland as well.

Posted by
8162 posts

You can always pick them up when you get there if you err. I like to travel with a handful of the simplest plugs. Some of the wall sockets are recessed which makes 'universal plug' kits often useless. The cheap simple connecter that will fit into the recessed sockets as well as flat sockets works best. And cheap is good for something that you are likely to leave behind accidentally.

Posted by
19146 posts

The plug adapter (called a Europlug adapter) referenced by Jeremy will work fine for USB chargers use to charge phones, some cameras, etc. However, there are limitations to its application.

The Europlug adapter is not a grounding plug adapter. It should not be used with any US appliance that has an American "three prong" grounding plug.

The Europlug adapter is limited by European electrical codes to applications of under 2½ amps (a little less than 600W). It is not legal to use it with a hair dryer.

For grounding plugs and higher wattage applications, this is the type of adapter to use in all continental European countries except Italy (not all applications) or Switzerland. In Switzerland, this adapter is suitable for grounding and higher wattage applications.

One other limitation for the Europlug adapter. American "polarizing" plugs (with only two blades, with one wider than the other) are intended for use only with polarized power. Except for Switzerland, when using a the three pin, grounding adapter I referenced, European power is not polarized. For fire safety reasons, you should never use an American device with a polarizing plug on European power - it's unsafe. I know you won't listen to my advice, so when you do use an American appliance with a polarizing plug in Europe, don't leave it plugged in. Unplug it when it is not actually turned on.

Posted by
1941 posts

France, Spain and Italy have the same type of electrical outlets. An adapter that works in one country will work in the others. The voltage and frequency are also identical: 230 volts / 50 hertz.

Check anyway that your electrical devices are designed to operate on 230 volts. This is the case for the majority of modern devices such as chargers, computer power supplies, etc. And this must be clearly specified.

Posted by
55 posts

For hair driers I'd just buy one locally. Too worrisome to try to plug it into a voltage converter. All my plug adapters are just physical converters without any voltage conversion. I make sure to take only devices rated for the higher voltage, as most are. I just order the cheap pack of grounded adapters from amazon.

Posted by
8162 posts

good point about grounding plugs. The ones we have bought in france are round and fit into the round recessed grounded outlets. And never use a converter; I personally managed to shut down power in an entire wing of a hotel with one. Most hotels and rentals provide hair dryers. If you don't have a convertible hair dryer then just buy one on the road you can use internationally. I had a convertible one for years that I think I paid 8 bucks for and it worked fine until hotels started providing actual hairdryers instead of those odd plastic tubes with tepid air designed to pretend to be hair dryers.