Skip to main content

Last updated: 23 January 2024

What type of plugs and sockets are used in Spain?

When you are going on a trip to Spain, be sure to pack the appropriate travel plug adapter that fits the local sockets. But what do those electrical outlets look like? In Spain, types C and F are the official standards. Like almost all Continental European countries, Spain has standardized on the German plug and socket system.

Type F

  • used almost everywhere in Europe & Russia, except for the UK & Ireland
  • 2 pins
  • grounded
  • 16 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug types C, E & F
Learn more

Type C

  • commonly used in Europe, South America & Asia
  • 2 pins
  • not grounded
  • 2.5 A, 10 A & 16 A
  • almost always 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug type C
Learn more

What is the mains voltage in Spain?

Just like the rest of Europe, the voltage in Spain is 230 volts and the frequency is 50 Hz.

230 V ~ 50 Hz

Background information

Obsolete type C Bakelite wall socket (1950s)

Spain has standardized on type F sockets and plugs. Type C and type E plugs can also be used thanks to their compatibility with type F sockets.

Power plug & outlet Type C

Typically, type C plug sockets are not allowed to be installed in Spain: these outlets are not earthed and are therefore considered dangerous. Only type F power points are permitted because they are grounded and therefore significantly safer.

The only (and rare) exception to this rule is that an old type C outlet should be replaced by a new one. After all, if you hook up a grounded wall outlet (i.e. type F) on a two-wire circuit, the socket will not be grounded, but people will get the wrong impression that it is actually grounded. No need to say, this would be a potentially dangerous situation.

Nowadays, however, type C receptacles are not frequently installed anymore, since older properties are almost always completely rewired when they are renovated or significantly altered.

Power plug & outlet Type E

Obsolete type E plug, i.e. without top and bottom earthing clips nor plastic notches on the left and right.

Neighbouring France doesn’t have the same plug and socket standard as Spain. This used to be a problem because French type E plugs and sockets were initially incompatible with type F. The reason for the incompatibility was that grounding in the type E socket is accomplished with a round male pin, which is permanently mounted in the socket. Type F outlets, on the other hand, are earthed by means of two sprung metal strips on the inside edge of the recessed socket which make a friction connection with similar metal strips on the sides of the plug body.

Old type F plugs did not have a grounding hole to accept the earth pin of the type E socket and old type E plugs did not have top and bottom indentations with earthing clips to mate with the type F socket. Moreover, old type E plugs were perfectly round and lacked a necessary pair of plastic notches on the left and right side to fit the type F socket.

Fortunately, the now standard hybrid E/F plug (officially called CEE 7/7) was developed in order to bridge the differences between E and F sockets, so technically type E and F plugs (not the sockets) have now become 100% identical.

Click here for a global map showing the spread of the different plug types used around the world.

Click here for a detailed list of the countries of the world with their respective plug and outlet types, voltage and frequency.

Check out all plug types used around the world