How to Dress in Barcelona According to Season

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Don’t know what to pack for Barcelona? Dress for the season so you’re comfortable in the underground metro, on a coffee shop terrace, or in the shadowy streets of El Gotic. Let’s talk basic Barcelona fashion, shall we?

What to wear in Barcelona

Not sure how to dress on your trip to Barcelona? Local tips on how to dress so you look stylish and feel comfortable.

A Spanish girl friend told me, “I can tell who’s American by just looking at their back side.” How could she tell? Perhaps it was because Americans as a group are a multicultural bunch — blonds with fair skin, black-haired Asians with yellow undertones, Latin Americans with thick curls.

Fancy Paving along Passeig de Gracia in BarcelonaBut it’s also obvious because of their clothes: sporty North Face jackets and white running sneakers. That was a long time ago, but being able to point out tourists can be pretty easy.

I’m going to generalize how people dress in Barcelona for the sake of having a visitor blend in — without looking like an obvious tourist.

Of course the eclectic fashion in Barcelona, Spain, has an array of diverse cultures. You have the fashionistas, the hipsters, the pijos, los hippy, and more. And then there’s the majority, the laid-back people who like to dress comfortably but stylish also. 

Let’s start our Barcelona street fashion mini-lesson, starting with the cold season:

Winter

The weather in December, January and February

 Every winter gets warmer and warmer in Barcelona. The average temperature is about 11°C / 52°F in December, with January and February at 10ºC / 49ºF, being the colder months. Overall it’s sunny and sometimes, it’s partly cloudy. There are occasional rainy days.
IMG_3736

A typical wintery day on the streets of Barcelona. Photo by axio via Flickr

What to wear

Medium-weight coats are great as well as the more casual puffy jackets and coats. Even if the sun is shining, and maybe it’s warmed up a bit in the afternoon, people will still have on their winter jackets. It doesn’t matter what it feels like! It can be 25ºC/77ºF under the sun, but once you hit a block of shade under a building, all of a sudden it’s cold and breezy.

In the afternoon when temps go up, I’ve seen people just wear heavy sweaters under the sun. But if you’re out all day, it’s wise to have an extra layer just in case. On very rare days, mittens and gloves are necessary, but just in the morning until about 9am.

With colors, think rich, dark shades. Black, gray, midnight blue, and fifty shades of brown! If you look at the general fashion panorama of clothing in a crowd, you’ll see lots of dark colors. Going for an all white / snow bunny look is NOT Barcelona style.

Photo by Lisa Widerberg via Flickr

Photo by Lisa Widerberg via Flickr

Women

A warm scarf (of any color) is a great accessory because you can darken or brighten a whole ensemble. Jeans or thick leggings will keep your legs warm. And leather boots are always in style. Sporty shoes like a classic style like low-top Converse or a sleek athletic shoe.

Try three layers: a blouse, a medium sweater and a coat or a warm jacket. Put on some comfortable boots or urban cool athletic shoes, and you’re set.

Winter Packing List Suggestions

Here are a few practical and fashionable items to put in your suitcase!

Faux fur urban jacket

  • Hundreds of raving reviews from happy, warm women!
  • Big, roomy pockets to put your metro card or keys 
  • Elegant touch of faux fur that peeks from the interior
  • Adjustable waist to accentuate your curves, which gets hidden in the winter
  • A hood in case you get caught in unexpected rain

See the latest prices for this jacket!

Alternatively, I love this one, and will probably buy it for next winter:

Fitted Faux Fur Jacket

Fitted Faux Fur Jacket

  • Readers love it for its sexy shape and ridiculous warmth for being so light
  • Removable faux fur trim! So you can change out the look
  • A feminine, slimming silhouette (check out the back view when you click)
  • Waterproof and windproof

See the latest prices for this sexy jacket!

Winter-y fleece seamless leggings

  • Readers say they don’t lose their shape and has become their favorite legging
  • They’re sturdy enough for warmth but thin enough for that wanted flexibility
  • Light and easy to pack
  • Can wear it under dresses, tunics, pants. Or alone because it’s not see-through!

Check out the latest prices for these leggings

Men

Jeans or a medium-weight pants like corduroy will keep you warm. Dark leather shoes or dark sports shoes work also. Try a medium-weight jacket like a leather jacket or sports jacket over a shirt and sweater. Since guys dress a little more casually than gals, it’s more of an urban sporty, and not wide and baggy.

Barcelona street fasion

He is so stylin’. Photo by jts via Flickr

[For a more in-depth guide, check out What to wear in Barcelona in the winter post. Brrrr…]

Spring

The weather in March, April, and May

There are longer hours of sunshine, and the temperature is 12°-16°C / 53°-60°F.

March is kind of a milder extension of winter – cold in the morning but a little bit warmer during the day. In 2018, it even snowed a few times in parts of Barcelona, which is very rare.

In the beginning of April, it’s still cool, mornings are about 15ºC / 60ºF going up to 19ºC / 67ºF. At the end of April, it starts to get warm and lovely, and the flowers are starting to bloom.  But it’s not so warm that you can go in the sea, although I’ve seen people do it! Some days are gray and overcast, so spring showers can be common.

What to wear

People are still wearing dark colors in March, although the brighter colors are beginning to creep in their spring wardrobes by April. There is often a light breeze running through the city (depending if you’re close to the beach), so having a sweater, hoodie or jacket will come in handy.

How can I point out tourists in the spring in Barcelona? Because they wear colorful, light-colored strappy dresses or bright-colored shorts and sandals in April. While, yes, it could be a totally glowing day without a cloud in the sky, but locals just aren’t ready to show off their sexy shoulders just yet. And it’s not shorts season!

calm down

Casually dressed locals shootin’ the breeze. Photo by zoetnet via Flickr

Women

A big tip is to dress like an onion! That is, dress in layers so you can easily take off a jacket when indoors. Jeans, leggings, skirts with tights on the bottom, and medium jackets and medium sweaters on top. Cardigans are handy because you can easily take it on and off in a pinch.

In March, it’s not warm enough to go bare-legged with a skirt. You’ll rarely see locals wearing shorts or short skirts until it’s really warm or hot. April is a little bit warmer, but you still won’t see a lot of exposed flesh, only from tourists.

Flat shoes come back! You can wear the strappy sandals if it’s warm, but maybe it’s paired with a long skirt or pants. Don’t dress full summer! Women love their scarves here, so lighter fabrics in colors across the board also come in handy.

Street photography - Barcelona, Spain

A stylish tourist at the turn of the winter-spring season. Photo by luboanev via Flickr

Spring Packing List Suggestions

An easy-to-take-off cardigan sweater

  • Over 1,200 reviews say this basic must-have that fits well
  • Cardigans are versatile to slip on and off
  • Fitted and tapered at the waist for a feminine shape
  • Comes in over a dozen colors

See latest prices for this spring cardigan

A versatile cotton dress

  • Readers say it’s thin and light, but stretchy and soft
  • A tunic top that’s light and wrinkle-free to pack
  • For the early spring (March + April) probably a long-sleeved
  • Can be worn alone, with jeans, leggings, or tights for the club

Check out prices for this dress

Infinity scarf with a secret pocket

  • Readers say it’s light, soft, and practical for travel
  • It’s a way to add flair an outfit
  • Easy to carry with you when there’s a breeze
  • It has a pocket to hide keys, a hotel card, or euro bills

Check out prices for this scarf!

Men

Jeans or casual slacks are good in earth tones and dark shades work well. A casual button-down shirt or a polo-style shirt are okay during the day. T-shirts are okay, but keep it tasteful, guys. Certain graphic tees in English can be a dead giveaway!

T-shirt Tell Your Boobs to Stop Staring at my Eyes

Please, NO. Photo by be-extreme via flickr

Summer 

The weather in June, July and August

June temps are all over the place but can vary from warm (20ºC – 26ºC / 68ºC – 79ºF) to hot already.  Average June temperature is 24ºC / 75ºF.

July is hot (24ºC – 30ºC / 75ºC – 86ºF). August is the hottest month – expect to feel sticky and sweaty. (It’s typical for people to run their errands in the morning, eat lunch, take their siesta break. Then reappear after 5pm.) Temps can go up to 32º-ish C / 90º-ish F degrees (or more!). When you add the humidity factor, it’s even worse, and you might have trouble sleeping at night.

What to wear

Usually by late June, people have brought out their sleeveless tops and shorts. Sandals and T-shirts are more common. In general, people wear mid-thigh to knee-length shorts. Some nice leather sandals are good. Flip-flops are okay if you’re heading somewhere quick like the supermarket (or better yet, the beach), not so much in a restaurant setting. In June, you’ll need another layer on top for evenings.

Women

All colors are a go! Make sure your clothes are light and airy. Strappy dresses, tank tops, medium-length shorts and skirts are everywhere. No daisy dukes (unless you’re a teen, in 2016 and -17, I’ve seen butt cheeks practically hanging out of shorts). In July and August, you probably won’t need another layer at night.

In general, women are conservative when showing off skin in the city. You won’t see locals wearing their swimsuit tops around. You can wear jeans if that’s your thing, but it might feel very sticky (I never do.)

Summer Packing List Suggestions

Cute harem shorts

  • Readers say they love these shorts and they’ll order more, pockets can even hold a phone
  • Comes in 12 colors and 40 prints
  • Comfortable, light, with pleats for a flattering fit

Check out latest prices for these cute harem shorts!

Pickpocket-proof sleeveless top

  • Readers say they’re able to hide their passport, credit and cash when traveling
  • Zippered pocket upfront, no way a thief can steal your valuables
  • Slim, sexy fit, can go with almost anything
  • Comes in versatile colors: 3 white, grey, or black

Check out prices for the pickpocket-proof top!

Light, flowy dress with pockets


  • Readers say it’s perfect and can be dressed up for going out
  • Sleeveless and not-clingy, necessary in the Barcelona humidity
  • Pockets to quickly stash things like coins or cards (and they’re deep!)
  • Easy to take off at the beach and easy slip-on

Check out prices for this flowy dress!

Sexy Swimsuit

  • Cute to wear at the bar too!
  • Inexpensive and affordable

Check out prices for this cute swimsuit!

Men

Men wear short-sleeved shirts, and tank tops are hard to pull off without looking shabby. They also wear long shorts and sneakers or leather sandals. Sporty is more acceptable in the summer, just don’t pair your outfit with a visor, or baseball cap. I know the American casual look is to wear their clothes baggy, but locals wear clothes more fitted, and that doesn’t mean feminine, just slimmer.

la macho

Photo by zoetnet via Flickr

Caution! A few years ago, signs from the city hall were popping up around Barcelona, constituting what was acceptable and respectful clothing in public places. It’s considered tacky to walk down Las Ramblas in a bikini top. Don’t you agree?
tourists

Please, only dress this way when you’re very close to the beach. Photo by zoetnet via Flickr

Fall / Autumn 

The weather in September, October, and November

It’s still warm in September as the temperatures drop very slightly from summer. The true fall weather doesn’t really start into late October or early November. September has an average temperature of 25º C / 75ºF. October 18ºC / 64ºF. November 13ºC / 55ºF. Like spring, the climate is a mixture of warm during the day and cool at night.

What to wear

September is still a month where you can get away with dressing for summer. Late October or November (when it cools) is when the muted colors come back into season, and you can bring out your light scarves and boots. Think earth tones and darks again. You’ll probably be warm enough with two layers: a short- or long-sleeved shirt or blouse and a layer over that. It can be cool at night, so a jacket or a thick sweater would work.

Women

In September, you can still wear your tank tops, short shorts, and strappy dresses. You can probably enjoy dressing light the whole month. In late October, you can shift to long-sleeved tops and blouses as it cools down. It’s the season to go back to the dark colors and break out the stylish scarves, and boots. In the evenings, always have a sweater or jacket as it temperatures drop.

[For a more IN-DEPTH GUIDE, check out What to wear in Barcelona in the FALL post]

Street photography - Barcelona, Spain

Layers, layers…the best part of dressing up for fall!

Fall Packing List Suggestions

Emerald fall dress

  • Readers say it’s a staple piece, it’s form-fitting and soft
  • A versatile dress with pockets + easy to pack
  • Comes in over a dozen different colors
  • You can dress it up with jewelry, or dress it down, wear tights underneath

Check latest prices on this cute fall dress!

Extra large cashmere shawl / scarf

  • Readers say they wore it on airplanes as a blanket and dressed up their evening outfits
  • Thick cashmere so you can wrap it in 71 cool ways as a shawl or scarf
  • Comes in 9 different colors, but the camel is sooo elegant, no?

Check latest prices for this versatile shawl

A vegan leather moto jacket

  • Over 650 raving reviews. Ladies LOVE this jacket – check out their real photos! 
  • Fitted and slimming, you can wear it with a light sweater underneath
  • Comes in 6 different colors

Check latest prices for this cool moto jacket!

Men

A light jacket or medium-weight sweater are good for this transitional season. Dark leather shoes or sneakers are good. A few more ideas for guys: down vests, light sweaters, and some chinos, maybe? American guys, try a slimmer fit like I mentioned!

More tips

Going out / partying. In general, women are not that much dressier at night. Yes, you can put on your stilettos if you’re going to the opera at the Liceu. But I would not kill myself running around in heels, especially if you’re bar hopping. Find out how to dress when going out to clubs and bars here.

Storing your wallet and other goods. I know that a backpack is essential if you’re touring Barcelona all day. Or you can buy an anti-theft purse – check out my Buyer’s guide on the best anti-theft purses on Amazon!

Check out my post on how to not get robbed in Barcelona for more tips!

It’s your whole “appearance package” when blending in. Sometimes it’s hard to not be categorized as a tourist because you’re sitting casually in a plaza looking at maps, taking photos, etc. I carry my huge DSLR camera around town too. But I try to look dressy casual in general. Remember, the more casual and sporty your look, the more likely you’ll probably stick out.

Barcelona, Spain

It’s hard not to take photos of this gorgeous city.

Again, dress modestly. In Barcelona, locals don’t go overboard with showing flesh, especially in the city during the day. Save your saucy Barcelona outfit for the beach or hitting the clubs!

Dutch fans in Barcelona

Could this be this fashion police? Photo by Joffley via Flickr.

And at least wear suspenders or a belt if you’re pants are falling, and you’re not following my other rules. 😉

The 7 differences / Las 7 diferencias

Anyone got a coin? Photo by SantiMB.Photos via Flickr

One more thing for the Barcelona dress code…just make sure you at least wear something!

Bold Barcelona Fashion Scene

He didn’t forget his man purse. Photo by maubrowncow via Flickr

Granted, you may never look like an olive-toned Spaniard with hair of color castaña (chestnut),  you can be one step closer to not being the noticeable tourist that makes you stick out like a sore thumb.

Don't know what to wear in Barcelona? Here's how to dress according to season. Plus a packing list!

What to wear in Barcelona according to season

Am I right? Anything to add? Now go get your Barcelona outfits ready!

About the Author Justine

California native, churro aficionado, and mom of 3, Justine Ancheta writes fervently about Barcelona and Spain. Since 2008, she's been eating burnt onions (calçots) and tripping on cobblestones in the Gothic Quarter. She shares tips on popular attractions, exposes offbeat non-touristy spots, and gives insight on exploring Barcelona with kids. Her next Catalan culture challenge: top level of a human castle (castellers).

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Leave a Comment:

11 comments
Cotia says February 11, 2014

I’d say the heat goes up to more like 33-35 degrees in the summer, especially in August 🙂

Reply
usanoemail says February 11, 2014

Es una guía muy práctica si se visita Barcelona. Especialmente en verano cuando la humedad es bastante elevada.

Reply
usanoemail says February 11, 2014

No había visto antes nada parecido en relación al vestido pues cubre todas las estaciones. De nuevo: ¡muy práctico!

Reply
What to wear in Barcelona in the winter - Latitude 41 says November 24, 2015

[…] label it smart urban style. Classic but not boring. If you’ve seen my post on how to dress in Barcelona according to season, I still stand by my advice of wearing neutrals: grays, browns, blacks, and splashes of white. You […]

Reply
treavor says August 25, 2016

I’m from Los Angeles and I will say, the Spanish lack fashion. They are messy and way to relax in their clothes. To them wearing something nice is ironing their clothes.

Reply
    Justine says August 26, 2016

    In general, I have to disagree. Yeah…summertime, they’re a bit more casual. Did you just find that to be true in Barcelona?

    Reply
    Meritxell (BCN) says November 25, 2016

    … if you were from Milan, maybe Paris… perhaps we could discuss fashion sense. Coming from LA it’s simply not possible. Americans in general, Californians in particular (no pun intended) have no sense of fashion, putting on a t-shirt and shorts is certainly not fashionable.

    Reply
      Gina says October 14, 2017

      Americans have no fashion sense at all, that’s why New York is only one of the fashion capitals of the world 😂 I love sweeping generalizations.

      Reply
Kumar says August 23, 2017

Helpful article and comments for my first trip to Barcelona. One question, what is wrong in looking like a tourist when you are one? Why would you stick out like a sore thumb by the way you dress if you are courteous and respectful of the people/place/culture you are visiting? Not a rhetorical question but some insight from people in the know would be useful.

Reply
    Justine says August 24, 2017

    Hey Kumar. For one, dressing like a tourist can make you a target for a pickpocket at first glance. Other than that, you’re right. Who cares?? Most tourists in Barcelona are pretty respectful. I’m sure you’re an exemplary visitor 🙂

    Reply
7 of the Best Summer Destinations in Europe - Everyday Wanderer says May 5, 2018

[…] to Barcelona, one of the best summer destinations in Europe. With lots of great information, from what to pack to where to see the most amazing, panoramic views, you’ll find plenty of information and […]

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