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Electrical outlet converter


We will be visiting Spain in December from the United States. I know that their electrical outlets are different than ours in the US. I called the hotel and they have only a few available on a first come first serve basis. I thought I would bring my own. Can someone tell me what exactly I need and where I might find so that we can charge our phones while there? Thank you

Posted by
1997 posts

Any USA to Europe type-c adapter will do, a quick search on Amazon does the trick ;-)

Posted by
4952 posts

I suggest going to this link for a start....

If you then have questions, someone can help.

The bottom line though should be, if you are talking hair dryers, curling irons or other appliances, leave them at home or find a dual voltage model. For electronics, those should be dual voltage already, so in the end, all you should need is an adapter, which you can pick up at Target or WalMart, or online for a couple Dollars.

Posted by
17853 posts

The type C "Europlug" adapter can be obtained from a lot sources - travel shops, Amazon, this website, even ACE Hardware (where it is labeled as "southern Europe") etc.

Actually, the adapter labeled "northern Europe" will work in Spain as well. The difference is the diameter of the two round pins. The northern European adapters have pins that are 4.8 mm (~3.16") diameter, which is the same as the pins in the German Schuko plug, which Spain uses. Italy's plugs use 4.0 mm (~5/32") diameter pins, so the Europlug, in order to be compatible all over the continent, uses the smaller pins, but the Europlug will still work in Schuko receptacles.

Almost all, if not all, USB converters today accept a range of input voltages (100VAC - 240VAC) so no voltage converter is needed, just a plug adapter. (Be sure to call it an adapter. A converter is a bigger, more expensive device that converts the input voltage down to 120V for US appliances.)

Most US "heating devices" (hair dryers, curlers, and straighteners) have what are called polarized plugs - one blade is wider than the other - which, on polarized US power, provides an element of safety demanded by US regulatory agencies (like UL). With one exception, continental European power is not polarized, and the two pin Europlug is not polarizing, so that safety feature will be lost. Do not use appliances with polarized plugs in Europe.

For charging phones and pads, you can also use this European USB voltage converter (charger). It's one piece, so no danger of leaving the adapter in the receptacle when leaving in a hurry.

Posted by
6104 posts

You jdon’t need a converter as most electronics today are dual voltage. You just want a PLUG adaptor, for sale at Rick Steve’, luggage and travel stores. I have seen them at Target too. I always carry a half dozen when traveling. Great Britain has a different type than Continental Europe ‘s 2 round pins which includes Spain .

Posted by
5824 posts

We always travel with a handful of the smallest ones we can find. The fancy multi adapter blocks often don't fit the older recessed plugs in Europe and you don't need all the different types for most trips; just the simple two prong adapters work fine and are under 5 bucks a pop. We tend to leave them here and there so always have a handful with us

Posted by
3489 posts

The simple two-prong adapter used in Spain is not useful in France where modernized sockets requiring a more complicated reciprocal setup are becoming the norm.
If you need to charge several gizmos at once, I suggest a short extension cord that can accommodate numerous connections. It can be helpful in older hotel rooms where the number of sockets is limited and sometimes in awkward positions.

Posted by
5824 posts

I mostly travel in France and have spent months traveling there in the last 10 years and have yet to find a socket that doesn't work just fine with the typical two prong adapter plug. What are these complicated sockets like where this doesn't work?