Barcelona, Spain is a wonderful city that is a must-see on your travels. The city is located just a few hours from the French Border and has a mixture of cultures just within the one city. Something that you may not know is that the region of Barcelona’s dominant language is not even Spanish, it’s Catalan. It is actually a different form of Latin spoken and altered throughout the years. Spanish is, however, spoken within Barcelona and most often you will still find a taxi driver or shopkeeper who speaks simple English.
What to Bring
If you go to Barcelona, no matter what time of year there will be a few simple items that you’ll definitely need. If you are a seasoned traveler these items may already be a staple in your luggage. If you are new to the travel world you might be have overlooked one or two of the suggestions below.
European Adapter: This is one of the biggest if you plan to use anything electronic when traveling. Spain uses the common European 220V, so be sure you have the correct adapter when you arrive. If you forget to bring one or lose one you can ask the front desk for a loaner, they often have one (or many) you can borrow for your stay. Just remember to return it for other travelers to use.
Walking shoes: These should also be shoes that can look decent with nice clothes as well, if you would like to save some packing room at least. Barcelona is one of those cities that you can explore on foot and discover new things around every corner. Unlike some North American cities that are sprawled out, where public transport and taxis are a must, you won’t find that in Barcelona. The city layout lets you find historical and beautiful sights within walking distance of each other.
Sunscreen: Since it is so close to the Mediterranean Sea and in the southern part of Europe you’ll likely need sunscreen year-round. Especially if you are fair and come from wintry climates. Barcelona is often warm and sunny. Of course, you can always find some there but it might be a brand you don’t like and can be very expensive. When I was there I went into a store and was surprised to find only two types. I bought a spray can because I was traveling alone and needed to be able to apply it myself. When I got back to the hotel to put some on I sadly discovered it was spray cream that I still had to rub in. And it was very expensive. So avoid the stress of looking for sunscreen while on vacation and just bring some that you know you like from home.
Dress clothes: During the day the dress when walking around can be quite casual. However, when going out to dinner or going out to a club it is better to dress formally or slightly nicer than you would during the day. The city is built on beauty and respect, so when you walk into a restaurant with nice attire the people will see that you are giving the city and their establishment some importance.
Ear Plugs (Optional): If you plan to stay in a hotel or hostel within the city you may want to have a pair of earplugs. You should know just like any city that it is going to have the occasional horn or siren throughout the night. This noise increases in the summer months as the night comes to life with events and parties in the streets. So it may be something to keep in mind if you are a light sleeper.
One Warm Item: Chances are if you travel in the summer you will not need this, but in the winter and spring months the chance of rain or wind may be higher. Bringing a light thin jacket, small cotton sweater or a wrap would be enough to stay comfortable. I always carry a light weight sarong wrap in my purse in case I get cold.
Swimsuit: This might seem like an obvious one but some people who travel in the winter often don’t think they need to bring it. It actually stays rather warm and sunny even in the winter. It may be more cloudy or windy but there are countless numbers of beaches and pools that are open for the entire year. Swimsuits take up such little room in your luggage it’s worth packing it and not using it than having to go buy one while there.
So when it comes to traveling to the city of Barcelona, if you want to make your trip unforgettable, don’t forget these items! It is a beautiful city with so much to see. So get to packing!