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You’ve bought your plane ticket, and you’re coming to Barcelona in the spring. Time to pack your strappy dresses and flip-flops! Or not? Planning your outfits for Barcelona can be tricky because the weather is less predictable than in summer or winter. This practical, stylish guide will help you get your suitcases ready for March, April, May, and June. You’ll learn general weather expectations, advice on how locals dress, and tips on how to not stand out as a tourist. For example, if it’s sunny outside, locals don’t immediately throw on their shorts. Read on to know more – what to wear in Barcelona in the spring!
<<Coming for another season? Read my introductory How to Dress in Barcelona According to Season. It covers men’s fashion in Barcelona too!>>
In Barcelona, there are all walks of life. 5-10% of the people break the fashion “rules” below. With social media and the Internet, a global dress code has ensued, and regional tastes are more diminished. If I had to describe it, Barcelona dress code is kind of an “urban cool” mix. Having said that, Barcelona is NOT as dressy as locals in Paris, or even Seville in southern Spain. It also depends on the neighborhood. Go to the Zona Alta of Barcelona (Sarrià, for example) and locals have a more tailored appearance, coifed hair, etc. Go to El Raval, and locals are casual: sporty jogging pants, hoodies, etc. You get my drift.
The official spring season for 2019 is March 20 – June 21. So, it’s going to vary – what to wear in Barcelona in March, April, May, or June. Think of March is like an extension of winter. Locals do NOT bring out their floral prints or Easter green colored dresses once it’s sunny outside. In mid-March, many people are still wearing their winter coats! April and May are warmer, and June is the warmest. Locals generally stick to dark colors in the winter, then lighten up as it gets warmer. Here are my suggestions. Click through the image to go directly to Amazon:
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Two long-sleeved tops. If you go to Barcelona in March or April, plan on wearing long sleeves still. May or June sunny weather is hit or miss, so definitely pack at least one or two long-sleeved tops for those months. Pick a fabric with a medium or lightweight like this:
Criss-cross casual top
Two short-sleeved tops. If you’re in Barcelona in March, it’s pretty cool but is mostly sunny. If you’re sitting in a sunny plaza, you’ll feel like wearing your short-sleeved top. But once you walk through narrow streets and in the shade between tall buildings, you’ll feel cold! Bring one or two short-sleeve tops, but always have a sweater, hoodie, or jacket with you. Want a top that can go from day into night? How cute is this is cold-shoulder short-sleeved blouse?
A medium or light jacket. If it’s March, go for a medium-weight jacket that you could use from day to evening. If it’s April or May, a lighter jacket would work – like a denim jacket. This would be helpful especially for the evenings when it cools down. Check out this faux leather jacket for March. It doesn’t seem very thick, and you can remove the hood.
One layering sweater or hoodie. It’s smart to dress like an onion in Barcelona. You can use a sweater or hoodie instead of a jacket on a warmer day. Here’s a versatile wrap sweater that you can wear over a blouse. Or for nighttime, a lace cami would make it look dressy:
A dress if you like to dress up a bit or even hitting the nightclubs. Going to bars at night is still dressy-casual, so you don’t need to look so “finished”. Try a versatile ruched bodycon dress that you can wear casually while along the beach, or dress up with some heels if you’re hitting the bars:
Two to three bottoms:
Jeans and/or trousers. I’m not going to get into what jeans look best on you. Jeans are so so so subjective, and you probably own a few pairs that you love already. BUT, if you’re looking for celeb style, Instyle has put together some real photos of celebs in these tried-and-true jeans on Amazon here. (I am definitely digging Kate Middleton’s cut of jeans. How about you?) For kicks, check out this page of Celebrity Jeans on Amazon, Also, here’s a mid-rise version of Kate’s high-rise skinny jeans (#want):
A skirt. If you want to feel a bit feminine and flowy, put a skirt in your Barcelona fashion repertoire. I’m sure this fold-over skirt looks good on any figure. It’s got a stretch waist! It’s medium weight and would be easy to move around in. Be sure to pair your dresses and skirts with tights underneath – unless it’s exceptionally warm for spring. This is most likely in May.
Okay, shorts are fine – but in May in warm weather. If it’s sunny, go for it. Stay pretty modest. A full summer outfit: tank top, short shorts, and sandals aren’t really the norm.
Here are some cozy travel shorts by Unionbay that would go with everything:
Shoes. Locals don’t really wear tall boots during the day, but short boots. If it’s March, go for boots or shoes that cover your foot well (no flats basically). Or, opt for a casual shoe that goes with anything, like this quality sneaker by ECCO.
If it’s April or May, you can probably go with the ballet flat-style shoes, if you dig that style. Be aware that it can rain anytime, so water may sneak in those suckers. With that being said, these look like the ultimate travel ballet flats by Naturalizer. This company is notorious for making comfortable shoes!
NOTES ON SANDALS:
Locals don’t wear sandals unless it’s hot. If you’re coming in June, check the weather first because “hot” would be rare, but you never know. Bring an alternate shoe that covers your toes for evening time.
Also, Americans, my compatriates: flip-flops aren’t acceptable anywhere unless you’re going to the beach or swimming pool. I grew up in Southern California, and flip-flops are almost an all-year essential. Not in Barcelona.
Basic tank tops. If it’s March, another layer would be helpful for extra warmth under a light top or blouse. If it’s April or May, you may not need it. If it’s June, you might be able to wear them alone if it’s hot. Or use them as a camisole at night or if it’s chilly. Check out this 4-pack of tank tops with 2,500+ Amazon reviews:
Underwear. This is a steal! This 5-pack of seamless v-thongs to go under your skirts. Check out these undies that get 148+ 4-star Amazon reviews.
A crossbody purse. This is super important because Barcelona petty theft is real. Mind you, I’ve gotten robbed once. I had another attempt last year! Check out my post on how to not get robbed. Better yet, get an anti-theft purse – check out my buying guide on Anti-Theft Travel purses. I have the one by Travelon below and use it for everyday wear. It has lots of pockets, it’s stylish, and it’s really easy to clean. The best part? It’s locking zippers for when I’m in the center of Barcelona! Check out this Travelon anti-theft tailored crossbody bag:
Light tights if you’re wearing a dress or skirt, tights are essential. 99% of locals don’t go bare-legged unless it’s June and/or it’s really hot. Check out these No-Nonsense cozy footless tights.
Pro fashion tip: Pair your dresses with a boyshort / biker short in case your skirt or dress catches a breeze! You’ll feel more comfortable especially if you’re going to be active, walking around the city. Don’t want any peek-a-boo situations! Check out these highly-rated pack of boyshorts:
One or two scarves. Spanish and Catalan women look really know how to style themselves with scarves, and it’s a must in the wardrobe to finish your outfit. Check out these cute scarves. They caught my eye because they’re beautiful. I looked closer and saw they were designed in Spain!
Need to see it all in one place? Here you go…
1) Check the weather forecast.
It’s a given, right? Nope, people forget to check or get lazy. Or they just look outside, see the sun, and assume it’s hot. The Barcelona sun is tricky like that!
It rains in Barcelona, but not excessively. So you won’t need any wellies, rain boots, or even raincoats. If you want to be safe and bring an umbrella, this umbrella folds up so tiny – you can take it anywhere! I’m planning to pick one up when I go back to the US. Strong and sturdy, this travel umbrella gets thousands of positive reviews:
2) As I mentioned, March is like an extension of winter.
Here’s a general idea of the Barcelona climate, according to Holiday-Weather.com.
|March||12ºC / 53ºF||8ºC / 46ºF||15ºC / 60ºF|
|April||13º C / 55º F||10ºC / 50º F||14ºC / 57ºF|
|May||16°C / 61°F||14°C / 57°F||14°C / 57°F|
|June||20ºC / 68ºF||18ºC / 64ºF||26ºC / 79ºF|
3) Dress like an onion.
It’s cool, then sunny, then cool in the evening. I didn’t really get it when I first moved here, did I? My first year of living in Barcelona, I got sick constantly. Family who visited me would also get sick. And my theory is that you’re constantly going walking under the shade, sitting in a sunny plaza, then going back down to the metro. Too many weather changes! My suggestion is to always keep an extra layer handy (a sweater, jacket, scarf) if you plan on staying out past 7pm because it does cool down. You’ll be glad you did!
So there you have it: my tips for dressing in Barcelona in the spring. Do you live in Barcelona, and do you have any additional tips? What do you notice about how tourists dress? Or are you visiting Barcelona? Hit me up with questions!
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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