Barcelona ticks so many different boxes for tourists making it a sought-after destination. The capital of Catalonia is a stylish, chic, cosmopolitan city with great shopping and food, but as well as being modern and trendy it is laden with history and culture. Take in the imposing site of La Sagrada Familia, marvel at Gaudi’s sculptural buildings in the Park Guell and not forgetting the magnificent Cathedral of Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter. Barcelona is not all go, go, go, take a 20 – 25 minute walk from the city centre and you will be relaxing on the beach listening to the waves and enjoying the sun (hopefully!). With Barcelona offering so many different options the big question is what to wear…
The Barcelona weather and what to wear by season.
Deciding what clothes to pack depends on the time of year you go and the weather. Due to Barcelona being by the sea, it really gives the destination a coastal feel. However, it is still very hot in the summer and mainly mild the rest of the year. Let’s tackle the clothes conundrum by season:
What to wear in Barcelona in summer (June – September)
The summer in Barcelona can be scorching, with the hottest months usually being July and August where temperatures can be in the 30’s but average high 20’s. With this in mind you might want to take the following:
These are a must in the summer climate. Wear whatever style shorts you like down on the beach but maybe go for a more stylish tailored pair in the city. Locals do wear shorts in the summer, but it is usually the older age group and you won’t see many of them wearing short shorts!
Tank Tops & Strappy Tops
These are fine to wear, especially on the beach, at beach bars and by the pool. However, Barcelona is a very fashion-conscious city where a lot of the locals take pride in what they wear. With this in mind, maybe try and dress more conservatively when in the city and leave the swim wear for the beach! Also, if you are planning on visiting the magnificent Cathedral (or other religious sites) then both males and females will be expected to cover up their shoulders which leads us nicely onto…
As well as being a great way to cover up if visiting a religious building, it is also a way of protecting your shoulders and body against the blazing sun. With the summer being so hot and humid try and stick to light colours and materials that breath. Our Custom Flagline T-Shirts (which you can customise for Spain or Barcelona) are perfect for your trip to Barcelona. Men in Barcelona tend to wear more fitted clothes than baggy so why not take a look at our unisex t-shirt range which is a slightly slimmer fit.
This really does depend on what you are planning on doing. If you are heading to the beach then sandals or flip flops will do. However, if it is a bit of a trek to the beach then maybe put this footwear in a bag until you get there and wear something more comfortable for the journey. If you are planning on exploring the delights of Barcelona then wear a comfortable pair of flats. You will probably be putting in the steps and with many uneven cobbled streets, that probably means a stylish pair of trainers, a closed toe shoe or some fashionable leather sandals would be the best shout.
Chances are it will still be warm but you may want to take a scarf, shawl or even a light top or cardigan just in case you need another layer. Our Sweatshirts or Hoodies can help! If you are going to a swanky restaurant to sample some delicious Catalan dishes then put on that nice dress and fancy shoes. Denim is very popular in Barcelona but even on a summer evening, jeans might still be on the heavy side. Men - you still want to be comfortable whilst dressing a bit smarter so why not put on a pair of light trousers or chinos with a short-sleeved shirt? Don’t forget one of our Sweatshirts to put on for that wander back to the hotel.
Sun cream and sunglasses. I don’t think I need to explain really when the sun is out for many hours and it is reaching 30 degrees… be careful and protect yourself!
What to wear in Barcelona in Spring (March – May)
Temperatures can vary quite a bit in spring and it depends on the month you travel. You may enjoy warmth of up to 20 but it can also be quite cool and be as low as 8 degrees. So, what to take…
Double check the weather before you go but layers are your best bet. You want to be comfortable whatever the temperature so pack clothes you can easily take off and put back on again which leads us back to…
T-Shirts, Sweatshirts and Hoodies
You might find locals wearing brighter colours in the summer but out of this season darker colours are usually the trend.
Shorts or Skirts with tights?
Some tourists will still be wearing shorts on warm spring days (you are on holiday after all!) but you won’t see many locals dressing this way. If you don’t mind standing out as an obvious tourist - crack on with shorts. If you want to blend in more then maybe cover the legs up. If you girls are going in the colder months but you’re just not ready to wear jeans then go with a skirt with tights or some leggings to keep those pins covered and warm but still looking stylish at the same time.
Chinos or Jeans
As mentioned, denim is popular in Barcelona with both males and females so if it is cool during the day or you’re heading out to a nice bar in the evening, then a pair of jeans will fit the bill. If you hit the jackpot and the sun is out then chinos are that bit lighter and a trouser you can dress up or down - perfect for whatever your plans are night or day.
Unfortunately there is no guarantee that you won’t see rain in the spring months so pack a travel size umbrella. It might still be warm and you might not be wearing anything with a hood so an umbrella can help until the sun decides to make an appearance again!
As mentioned it may rain so rather than fashionable leather sandals you might wear in the summer, take a pair of comfortable trainers or a closed-toe shoe. Fashion is a big scene in Barcelona so maybe go with classier looking footwear that compliments your outfit rather than a bright, garish sports shoe.
What to wear in Barcelona in Autumn and Winter (October – February)
Not surprisingly, autumn and winter are the coldest months with highs of about 18 degrees but more realistically it will probably be around 14 with lows of about 5 to 6 degrees.
Again, like Spring, layers are key. As well as taking your t-shirts, jumpers, hoodies and cardigans don’t forget to take a jacket. Best to check the weather forecast before you travel but a light to medium weight jacket should be fine. Remember to dress up in an evening so make sure that the jacket will go with your chic outfit but thick enough to keep you warm as it can feel cold on an evening.
Scarf / Shawl
Scarves are worn by a lot of locals in the autumn winter season and are very popular. If you are wearing a more muted colour outfit then why not splash a bit of colour into your look with a bright, snazzy scarf? Don’t forget to pack this in summer and spring as well as they are perfect for protecting yourself when the sun gets too much, another layer in the colder evenings or for covering up when visiting certain tourist attractions.
This is the season where you will be safe to wear your denim as it is not as hot or sticky during the day and can be cold at night so get them in the bag!
Leave the shorts at home!
Most winter months will be a bit on the cool side for shorts so stick to covering your legs. Like in spring, wearing shorts in the winter might get you some odd looks from the locals!
What to wear in Barcelona - a summary
Here is just a quick summary of points to consider and remember before you start throwing your clothes in your suitcase.
- Barcelona is a very fashionable city where locals do tend to dress modestly but with style. Wear what you like on the beach but just think a bit more conservatively when in the city or visiting the many attractions.
- The chances are the locals will be wearing bright colours in the summer but more reserved colours the rest of the year.
- It will probably be best to leave your shorts, sandals and flip flops back at home in the winter. Locals won’t be wearing shorts outside the summer season and you will stand out as a tourist if you are wearing yours. Up to you though!
- Don’t wear your beach / swimwear around the city, this isn’t the done thing. There are no laws or rules against this but you might get some strange looks from the locals if you do.
- Remember to cover up if visiting the likes of the Barcelona Cathedral or other religious sites. Most will expect you to have your shoulders covered and would appreciate a tailored pair of shorts or clothing that comes down to at least your knees.
- Some of the streets are bobbly and uneven so put on a pair of flat comfortable shoes if heading out exploring all day.
- Casual during the day but dress up if you are going out in the evenings. If you are planning on hitting the town at night then ladies pack that nice dress and gents chuck in some smart casual clothes in your bag!
- Finally – Barcelona is known for pickpockets so be safe and keep belongings in a secure place. If you dress like a tourist with bright shorts and t-shirts then you will most likely stand out to opportunists so it is maybe best to go with the local trend!
I hope this has helped you decide what clothes to take to Barcelona and that you have a great time in such a beautiful, historic, stylish and cosmopolitan city. Before you go, check out our Custom Flagline range. As well as being stylish and comfortable, it is produced completely ethically and sustainably. Plus, 20% of our profits go to charities so whilst looking good you will also be helping so many good causes all around the world.
(Weather Source: holiday-weather.com)