Recently, I set off on my first to Spain. Over almost three weeks, I went from Gibraltar (with a side trip to Morocco) and Barcelona, because I had to go to Barcelona. As in, there is too much art and architecture and history there that whenever one is within a few-hour drive of Barcelona, one should go to Barcelona.
In my four days there, I had just enough time to hit the must-see sights — the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, the Picasso Museum — and eat lots of paella. And my trip taught me a few things. First, I really need a larger suitcase, or I just need to up my packing game, because dragging around two smaller suitcases, a small backpack, and a tote just for me was no bueno.
Second, Barcelona’s temperate climate — with summer getting up into the 80s and the winters around the low 40s — makes it easy to pack. Keep in mind, if you are traveling throughout Spain, the weather in Barcelona will be cooler than the South, so the key is layers!
Here’s what to pack for Barcelona:
No matter how warm the day is, it tends to get chilly in the evening, especially by the water, so a light but warm jacket like this Papin Leather Jacket is essential. I brought one of my main wardrobe staples — my black leather jacket — which was great for blocking the wind coming off the water.
I like my hotel rooms cold and my sweatshirts cozy! When traveling, I think there’s nothing better than getting back to your hotel room after a long day than snuggling into a cozy sweatshirt like this Maison Labiche sweatshirt with a good book (and maybe a few glasses of vino).
When traveling, I like to wear skinny jeans because they are so universal. And a jean with a bit stretch like these Hudson jeans are good for lots of walking and wearing all day long and are essential if you’re going to eat your weight in paella (which you should, of course)! Speaking of, you must must must go to 7 Portes for said paella. Preferably the seafood paella because it’s just that good!
Just because I’m traveling doesn’t mean I’m should have to sacrifice style. But when walking miles and miles a day on stone and brick and concrete, comfortable shoes like these Vince Blair shoes are key. That said, you don’t want to overpack (like me), so find a pair that will go with most of your outfits!
While you definitely want to have really comfortable walking shoes, you don’t want to wear the same pair of shoes all day every day. I say bring a nicer pair of flats (Loeffler Randall always had good options) for when I’m going to a nice dinner, but don’t want to wear heels. Speaking of dinner, Casa Lolea came recommended by my friend who lives in Barcelona and it was fantastic. All I have to say is black truffle risotto. That’s all you need to know.
I can’t go anywhere without sunglasses! It doesn’t matter what season — especially if you are going to be walking around outside a lot, make sure to bring a pair of sleek and chich sunglasses (an affordable pair like these Le Specs are perfect so you won’t care if you lose them) that fit you well and goes with everything.
Barcelona is a city where downtime is a pastime so make sure to give yourself time to do nothing. As in spend one full day by the pool or on the beach. And, if you are hitting up the beach, bring a coverup that can double as a normal outfit (I’m partial to this Chloe Maxi Dress) since you’re in a stylish city after all!
Try to take a bag that is just big enough for what you need to carry like this Dome Satchel. I don’t want to carry around anything more than I need — but I do like to put my camera in my bag, so it has to be big enough for that. I also prefer that the shoulder strap be on the thicker side so it doesn’t cut into my shoulder.
I LOVE my travel wallet. This one by Cuyana is perfect for longer trips where you have printed tickets, several currencies, and passports. I wouldn’t always take the entire thing with me out during the day depending on what we were doing that day, but it was great to have all my important things in one spot.
I do my best reading on flights and when I have jet lag. It’s the best non-screen way to try to get on your destination’s time if you can’t sleep in the middle of the night. I like to read something on the lighter side if I’m trying to get in vacation mode, so I think fiction or a funny memoir is the way to go!
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