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Ultimate Female Packing List for Barcelona in Fall/Winter

packing for Barcelona in fall and winter

This packing list for Barcelona in fall has been prepared by Chris Ciolli. See all of our packing list posts here.

Barcelona in the fall and winter is most often cold. It’s not frigid, freeze-your-fingers-off weather like in parts of Northern and Eastern Europe, but it’s not a warm winter escape, either. Don’t be fooled by the sunshine and palm trees, you’ll need to cover up to stay warm. That said, very rarely does it dip below freezing in the city proper, and rarer still does it snow, so you can skip the fuzzy boots, heavy wool coats and snowsuit, which is a big relief for most travelers.

Here are some tips on what to bring along on your fall or winter trip to Barcelona to stay stylish and comfortable and make the most of your trip.

Clothing

As far as the rest of Europe is concerned, Barcelona is a pretty casual city. That said, locals don’t often wander around in tracksuits and sneakers and pretty much no one wears sandals past November. During the fall and winter months, dressing in layers is a good strategy, as temperatures vary quite a bit by geographic area and time of day. It’s usually colder at the top of Montjuïc than in the city center, and it’s much warmer in the middle of the day than first thing in the morning, or after last call.

1 lightweight coat (think something that will keep you warm in 40, 50 and 60 degree weather without being too heavy to carry around)

2 cardigan sweaters – For layering. Breathable fabric is best, as are solid colors that coordinate with multiple outfits.

1 blazer

5 long sleeved topsFor layering

1 sweater

1 pair jeans

2 pairs slacks, skirts or winter shorts.

2 dresses

2 pairs tights that coordinate with your dresses, skirts or shorts

2 bras, one light, one dark, that go well under tops and dresses you bring along.

1 week’s worth of underwear and socks

>> The team at Her Packing List recommends shooting for a smaller clothing list. Perhaps 3 long sleeve tops and only 1 dress.

Shoes

Heed the advice of experts. Barcelona is a walking city. Make sure your shoes are comfortable. Because even if you plan to take transport and taxis you’re likely to be walking and standing on your feet a fair amount of time in the Catalan capital.

1 pair boots, comfortable for walking that go well with your dresses

1 pair comfortable heels for going out

1 pair comfortable flats for walking (please don’t walk around in sneakers, everyone will assume you’re a tourist or someone escaping from the gym without showering).

1 pair flip flops for pools and shared bathrooms.

Toiletries

Even name brands you know and love will be slightly different. While buying toiletries after you get here is definitely an option, if you have sensitive skin or allergies, you’re better off bringing your own stash of products from home.

Shampoo and Conditioner – Barcelona’s water isn’t great, and most places it’s really hard. Keep this in mind when deciding what products to bring along.

Soap or body wash

Deodorant

Brush or comb

Hair ties

Hair product

Bobby pins

Face wash

Makeup remover

Makeup

Lotion

Sunscreen

Prescription Meds

Tampons – They’re available, but bringing your own means not having to struggle through a conversation in broken Spanish (or English) in a busy supermarket about where to find them.

>> The team at Her Packing List recommends trying the Diva Cup.

1 microfiber towel — If you’re staying with a friend or at a hostel it will come in handy.

Razor

Tweezers

Accessories

The right accessories are more important than they seem. Far from just bringing a look together, the right accessories can keep you warm, dress-up an outfit, and protect your valuables.

Sunglasses — You’ll want them. Not just to protect your poor eyes from the overpowering sun, but also so you can gawk at things or people without anyone knowing.

1 belt that coordinates well with the clothing you bring.

1 scarf that coordinates well with your clothing and coat

1 umbrella for rain (it does happen)

1 large shoulder bag that you can wear across your body. Barcelona is a pickpocket capital, so it should securely zipped shut and be easy to organize.

1 smaller purse that zips or clasps closed with a strap that can be worn across your body.

Jewelry—go with inexpensive, but fun pieces.

Electronics

Electronics are more expensive in Barcelona than at home for most visitors, so you should definitely bring your own.

1 Digital Camera (I prefer to use my iPhone for most trips).

1 Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop Computer — to use the Internet, write, Skype and upload photos.

E-book reader for comfortable reading on the plane, the metro and buses.

European converter to charge electronics.

Chargers for your phone, camera, e-book and computer.

Miscellaneous

Here are some practical odds and ends you should add to your packing pile.

Reusable water bottle with filter. Barcelona’s water tastes terrible. Bottled water in supermarkets is cheap, but filling up your own bottle with tap water is even cheaper, not to mention more convenient.

1 padlock to lock up stuff if you’re staying in hostels or shared apartments.

Room in your suitcase. Trust me when I say you’ll want to shop in Barcelona. From Spanish leather goods to wine, cheese and hand-made items, you’ll be happy for the space later on.

Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones for light sleepers — Barcelona is a noisy city year-round, all week-long, especially in the more centrally located neighborhoods.

Coin-purse for change – Euros are coins up to 2 Euros, so a separate compartment for change is very useful, as you use it for all sorts of things. Paper money starts at 5 Euros, so tons of things are paid for in change, and you’ll find that lots of little places, the bar or coffee-shop around the corner, for example, never seem to want to make change from large bills.

Barcelona apps and guidebooks. Instead of a guidebook, download a guidebook or app to your phone before you go. Many have maps that can be used with no data connection. It’s much subtler to be looking at your phone like everyone else than whipping out a massive guidebook to find your way around the city.

A good read set in Barcelona. There’s Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s Shadow of the Wind or the Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones. My personal favorite is Barcelona by Robert Hughes, part history, part travel guide, mostly discourse from a cranky art critic.

* * * * *

About the author: Chris Ciolli is a Barcelona-based writer, translator and artist. A Midwesterner at heart, she’s been living in Spain for over 8 years, and flitting around Europe whenever the opportunity presents itself. She writes about Barcelona at BarcelonaforIdiots.com and her experiences everywhere else at Midwesternerabroad.com. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Esti says

    We all wear sneakers in Spain – definitely not something that would make you look like a tourist. What we don’t usually wear is running shoes 🙂

    • Dulce Rexach says

      Well, it depends what age you are….you won’t see a mature spanish lady either in sneakers or running shoes.

  2. Sonja says

    Fun fact: About the same amount of rain falls yearly in Barcelona and London – 600 mm in the former, a little less (!) in the latter. But whereas in London it drizzles softly for about 150 days of the year, the same amount of water falls during only 50 days in Barcelona – in torrential, merciless downpours, especially in September and October.
    So – although it’s not the first thing that might come to your mind – you might want to bring raingear, especially a good pair of rubber boots, if you want to visit the Catalan metropolis, especially in fall and winter.

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