What to pack for your trip to Barcelona
Article updated 14 November, 2018.
You're coming to Barcelona but you have no idea what to pack? Never fear, we will guide you through it. To the wardrobes!
Packing can be a real nightmare. To help you we have put together a list of all the clothes and items you might need during your holiday in Barcelona.
- Our article on weather in Barcelona might also be useful when you’re deciding what to take with you.
The essential items to pack
Barcelona is a Mediterranean metropolis where the style of dress is relaxed. However, it is a city and not a seaside resort, so you should try to cover up a bit even if you’re on your way back from the beach.
- Advice: Bring walking shoes that allow you to comfortably make your way through the streets.
- Avoid at all costs the classic bathing shorts + towel over the shoulder or bedraggled clothes look, as you will be immediately identifiable as a tourist and will certainly attract the attention of pickpockets.
Instead opt for trousers or bermuda shorts and a t-shirt or polo shirt, even a light one. Women can walk around the city in dresses, shorts, or skirts (even short ones) without any problem, but to really enjoy the city it is important to wear comfortable shoes.
Particular attention should be paid to the bag you will carry around on your Barcelona adventure. Backpacks are to be avoided as they make you a perfect target for pickpockets.
- Opt instead for a bag with a strong strap and/or pockets closed inside your trousers or jacket to keep your wallet in.
Just like during the day, the style is relaxed in the evening. Although it depends on the place: there are certain nightclubs or restaurants where you will feel better if you are more dressed up. For example in Opium, Bling Bling, Sutton or restaurants such as Bocagrande or Nuba.
A few items to remember
Regardless of the season or your fashion style we advise you to bring the following to Barcelona:
- Earplugs: the streets of the old city are noisy (especially in Summer). Also, the layout of apartments in Barcelona often means bedrooms give onto small courtyards from where all your neighbours can be heard.
- A night mask: in old buildings the shutters are often old fashioned and let some light in.
- A water bottle with filter: very useful if you want to drink from the fountains that are dotted around the city without also drinking all the calcium in it.
- Towels (and possibly bed linen) if your accommodation doesn’t provide them (check the small print!)
- Avoid bringing valuable jewellery with you, to avoid theft.
Packing for a Summer trip to Barcelona
In Summer the weather in Barcelona is hot and humid. Wear light clothes in linen or cotton and t-shirts. The sun is strong so a light shawl or short sleeves will help prevent sunburn on your shoulders.
Also go for running shoes or comfortable sandals, bermudas, polo shirts or light dresses. The looser your clothes the better they will trap the breeze and keep you cool. Avoid tight fitting clothes, synthetic materials or dark colours.
In August the air can be suffocating. A little mister will help you cool down in extreme heat.
In terms of accessories don’t go out without your sunglasses or even a hat!
Of course it’s obviously important that you don’t forget your beachwear: swimsuit, sun screen, after-sun (+ biafine in case of burns) and beach towel are all vital. If you’re coming by car it’s also a good idea to bring a parasol.
Packing for a trip to Barcelona in Winter
In Barcelona in Winter it’s a good idea to being a good jacket, a scarf and even gloves if you tend to really feel the cold.
Generally the coldest time of year strikes during two weeks in February. The rest of the time the temperatures are mild, as the sun is shining and warms the city up. You should therefore be prepared to wear multiple layers so you can add or remove them throughout the day depending on the temperature.
Your shoes should be comfortable and warm: ankle boots or low boots are the best options for women.
Packing for a trip to Barcelona in Spring or Autumn
In mid-season the weather can be very unstable. It can be warm one day and raining the next: bring light t-shirts, light jumpers, comfortable shoes, a light jacket and also a raincoat and/or umbrella.
You should also bring your swimsuit: in recent years there have still been lots of people in the beach during the October school holidays.
Advice for the road
- Do not forget your camera. The light in Barcelona is photogenic in all seasons. Keep it with you in your hand baggage.
- Finally, leave space in your suitcase for the return trip. Barcelona is full of shopping temptations and gift ideas!
Happy packing and have a great trip!
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