Travelling to Barcelona: Your Ultimate Packing Guide


One of the most enchanting cities in Spain, it’s no wonder that so many tourists visit Barcelona each year. Whether you’re visiting on a city break, part of a longer backpacking trip, or having a romantic trip here with your other half, there’s something for everyone. Gaudi’s incredible architecture, a tantalising culinary scene, and some of the best city beaches in Europe are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to do in Barcelona. Now if you need a rest after a full-packed day, there are many inexpensive Vacation rentals in Barcelona for you to relax and sleep.

In this post, we’ll check out how to pack for your trip to Barcelona. Hopefully, it’ll help you plan your holiday and really make the most of your time in the Catalan capital.

Protect yourself from the sun

One of the reasons Barcelona is so popular is that it gets great weather all year round. In summer, there can be 10 hours of sunshine per day, and the average in December is even 4. So, you’re going to need some sun protection! Bring a high factor sun cream so that you give yourself the best defence against burns from the relentless sun! But sun protection doesn’t just mean cream – consider a hat too. It’ll keep you shaded, especially if you’re out walking most of the day! 

Protect yourself from the rain

Although Barcelona is sunny on most days, rain is not unheard of. Especially at certain times of the year. Autumn and spring can be especially rainy, with Barcelona getting most rainfall in April, May, and October. So, if you’re travelling at this time of year, make sure you’ve got a raincoat. An umbrella is a good idea too, and although you can pick one up during your travels, it’s likely to be pricier. Especially if you get it in a touristy area! It’s still a good idea to bring it at other times of the year. It’s better to be prepared and not need it than getting soaked!  

Get your swimsuit (for the beach)

Barcelona has some of the best beaches in Europe, and the good news is that you don’t even have to travel far out of the city centre to get to them! Make sure you have the beach essentials – towel, swimsuit, and plenty of sun cream. Lying on the golden sands and taking a dip in the cool water is something you can easily spend a whole day doing! 

Don’t just turn up with anyone old swimsuit either – the locals make an effort, even on the beach. If your swim shorts or bikini are looking particularly tired, get yourself a new one. It doesn’t have to be expensive! 

If you’re travelling with kids, it’s a good idea to bring extra equipment for activities. Think beach tennis, volleyballs, or buckets and spades. However, these can be quite hefty and inconvenient if you’re travelling with just hand luggage. Don’t worry though, you can easily pick these up once you arrive!   

Don’t go mad on holiday clothing (for the rest of the time)

Although a swimsuit is a great idea, leave your shorts on the beach (well – put them in your backpack when you leave)! If you are dressed as a tourist in Barcelona, you’re going to stand out like a sore thumb. Most locals won’t wear shorts. If you’re thinking of the best way to dress, go for smart casual and you can’t really go wrong.

Even if you’re enjoying Barcelona’s vibrant nightlife, you don’t need to dress out like you might in London, Paris, or Milan. For women, leave the high heels as they’ll get caught in the cobblestones of the Gothic Quarter. Men – if you’re wearing a shirt, keep it short sleeved and pair it with some nice jeans. 

Barcelones tend not to go for bright colours, no matter what the season is. Make sure you pack lots of blues, greys, blacks, and browns. Unless you’re trying to make a statement with your outfit that is! 

Be sure to have Comfortable Footwear

Barcelona is a beautiful city with lots of attractions. The trouble is, lots of these are very far apart from each other. Of course, you can use the city’s excellent public transport system, but you won’t get to see as much. For fit and able-bodied tourists, walking is the best way to see the city. If you’re planning Sagrada Familia, Bunkers de Carmel, and a stroll through the meandering Barri Gotico, you’re going to clock up a lot of kilometres. And flip flops just aren’t going to cut it! Much better to have a pair of comfy trainers that aren’t too out of touch with the rest of your outfit. 

Remember, comfortable footwear doesn’t just mean shoes. Make sure you get some socks that can handle the long walks too. In the heat, cotton socks will trap the moisture and you’re more likely to get blisters. Wool blend are better! 

Keep your valuables safe with a Neck Wallet/Money Belt

Unfortunately, Barcelona does have a bit of a reputation for theft and it’s not unfounded. Tourists are often targeted on Las Ramblas, but there are ways not to stand out from the crowd and keep your belongings safe. Neck wallets and money belts are great for keeping your money, any important documents, and even your phone safe from unwelcome attention. We’d recommend that even if you get these, you keep any important valuables back at your accommodation, in a safe if possible! 

Just be wary on Las Ramblas and in busy parts of the city – but don’t be put off visiting this awesome city! 

Now that you know exactly what to pack for your Catalan Adventure…

It’s time to book your trip. As well as knowing exactly what to pack, find out more about the Catalonia capital with Free Walking Tours Barcelona. As the name suggests, you’ll be able to check out free walking tours in the city, but so much more than that! There’s info on other tours across the city and lots of the best places to eat, drink, and have fun. So, make sure you check it out before you arrive in Gaudi’s City! 

Daniel Hall

Travel writer, blogger, and English teacher interested in learning new languages and cultures and trying a cooking class everywhere I go! I also enjoy reading, writing, playing and watching football, and comedy.