Are you wondering what to wear in Barcelona in December? In this guide we cover everything you need to add to put onto your what to pack for Barcelona in December list to help you deal with the Winter weather, deal with Barcelona dress codes, celebrate Christmas and more.
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Weather in Barcelona in December
December heralds in the start of Winter in Barcelona, and Spain more generally, the weather isn’t like it is across Northern Europe. Instead in Barcelona Winters are mild but the weather can be changeble. So what can you expect from Barcelona Winter weather?
As I said above, December is technically the start of Winter in Barcelona, however it is a city that experiences relatively mild Winters.
Even by comparison to the rest of Spain in Winter, Barcelona is known for having more mild and temperate Winter weather conditions. But how cold is Barcelona in December?
How cold is Barcelona in December ?
Although technically Winter starts in December, the temperatures in Barcelona aren’t freezing by any considerations.
On average the temperatures in Barcelona in December however between 15°C/59F and 9°C/48F. So by no means freezing. However it can sometimes feel cooler at night. For this reason layers and a jacket are a good idea for Barcelona in December.
Note: if you want to know how best to pack a capsule wardrobe for Barcelona be sure to check out our packing techniques:
Note: the weather between months changes quite dramatically in Barcelona and between regions in Spain. Therefore if your trip spans a couple of months then please be sure to check out our other monthly:
And if you are traveling to other regions on your trip be sure to check out our other Spanish city and Spain guides:
And be sure to also check out our what not to wear in Spain guide too which will help you not look like a tourist or make any fashion faux pas while traveling.
Does it rain a lot in December in Barcelona?
One of the great things about visiting Barcelona in December, is that although the temperatures start to cool, the rain actually abates somewhat this month.
Whereas in November you tend to see around 5 days of rain across the month, this actually drops to only 3 days in December. Therefore you really don’t need to worry about adding too much waterproof wear to your Barcelona Winter packing list.
Does it Snow in Barcelona in December?
Snow is highly unlikely in Barcelona in December. Therefore if you are looking for a destination where you can have a white Christmas, Barcelona should be taken off your list.
Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.
What to Wear in Barcelona in December
Best Shoes for Barcelona in Barcelona
For me it is easy to overpack on the shoe front, however for Barcelona in December I recommend packing two pairs of shoes one for daytime and one for evenings.
The shoes we recommend packing are:
Sneakers are the best shoe for Barcelona in December. The reason is because you will be doing a lot of walking in Barcelona and as a hilly city. For instance Montjuic home to the amazing fountain shows and Olympic Stadiums, is on a high hill in BArcelona that can be reached by bus, foot or cable car. But even once you arrive the area is hilly.
Therefore to cope with this terrain we recommend packing sneakers. My favorite brand of sneakers for walking are Hoka and AllBirds, however you also can’t go wrong with a plain white sneaker as they go with everything. One of my favorite pairs of white sneakers is the Adidas Cloud Foam shoes.
On top of sneakers I recommend packing some ankle boots too. I prefer to wear these for dinner in Barcelona whether in a fancy restaurant or for tapas.
Again, as Barcelona is a very hilly city we recommend having a flatter boot or having a boot with a thicker but lower heel.
What to Wear in Barcelona in December for women
Although Barcelona is milder than other cities in Spain, I still recommend packing a jacket. The reason for this is because evenings can get cold especially on windy evenings. Personally I don’t think you can go wrong with a puffer jacket in Barcelona in Winter.
Skirts and dresses
As I have mentioned before, in Barcelona really anything goes so select skirts and dress types that you are most comfortable in.
The only place where you will have to be careful in the type of skirt or dress you wear is at the Sagrada Familia which requires a modest dress code i.e. shoulders and knees covered for entry.
For this reason I usually stick with a maxi dress with a sleeve or a midi length skirt or dress that can be worn with sneakers or with boots and tights depending on the weather.
And if you are wearing a dress in the evening in Barcelona in December then I would opt for a sweater dress paired with a pair of tights.
Trousers are a great pick for Barcelona in Winter. Jeans are a great choice at this time of year as the weather has cooled enough to be comfortable in them. And the great thing about Barcelona in December is that you will fit in no matter the style or color of jeans you decide to wear.
On top of jeans I usually pack a plain black pair of trousers. If you want a smarter pant then we love a regular black pant (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel).
For December in Barcelona I recommend packing a mix of short and long sleeve t shirts.
A loose blouse works perfectly for warmer days and cooler nights. And something with a longer sleeve is better for Barcelona in November than a short sleeve one.
Usually I will take 3 layers with me for a week in Barcelona in Winter. This usually comprises of a cardigan that can be used for dinners, a casual hoodie that is good for sightseeing in the day as well as my favorite merino wool sweater.
Merino wool is a great fabric choice when you are trying to pack light for Winter. It is a relatively thin material to pack, however is insulating and repels smell packing it perfect for Winter capsule wardrobes.
A pashmina should be on your Barcelona packing list whatever the month of travel . It is just such a versatile accessory.
It can act as a scarf or extra layer on cooler evenings and can help make your outfit more modest for visits to places such as the Sagrada Familia. Shop pashminas here.
PJs or Nightie
I prefer to have a heavier weight PJ for Barcelona in December.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying.
Sunglasses are essential in Barcelona even in Winter.
What to pack for Barcelona in December for Men
When putting together the packing list for men heading to Barcelona in December, the considerations are really the same as for women and lots of light weight layers are the key to a successful Barcelona Winter packing list.
Therefore key pieces in your Barcelona Mens Packing list in December have to be:
Again a Winter jacket such as a puffer jacket is perfect for Barcelona in December.
As with the packing list for women, chinos and jeans are perfect for Barcelona in December as they are the perfect weight for the weather. Click here to shop men’s travel trousers.
T Shirts and Shirts
A mix of short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts are perfect for sightseeing in December.
However for evenings I would recommend having a button down shirt if you are planning on going to a nicer sit down restaurant. If you are just planning on going for tapas then t shirts are absolutely fine.
As with the ladies packing list we recommend packing several layers for Barcelona can be cool in Barcelona during December we recommend having a couple of weight layers with you. Usually for a 1 vacation in Barcelona at this time of year we recommend a smart jumper, a casual hoodie and a jacket.
I pack these even in Winter.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
What Else to Pack for Barcelona in December
So now you know what to pack for Barcelona in December in terms of clothes and shoes, we will turn our attention to non clothing essentials.
- Universal travel Adaptor – For my American readers you will need an EU Type C Country plug adapter
- Power Pack / Battery recharger
- Crossbody bag – one with plenty of zips that can put off pick pockets is best. Unfortunately there are some issues with pickpockets in Barcelona as there are in many big cities that are tourist attractions. I am not saying this to scare you but because I really think careful bag selection is important for Barcelona.
- Backpack – for storing items on your day trips.
- Sunscreen – even in Winter it is important to protect your skin.
- camera – it is a beautiful city you will want to take lots of photographs
- Toiletries – for our full toiletries packing list check out this post.
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Blister plasters
Spain Winter Packing List
So just to recap here is our complete list of what to add to your Spanish Winter Packing List
- T shirts
- Thicker weight trousers such as jeans or chinos.
- Blouse / Shirt
- Layers such as sweaters, fleeces, jumpers and hoodies
- Warm Nightwear
- Ankle Boots
- Medication and Documentation
- Back Pack
- Crossbody BAg
- Travel Adaptor
- Battery Pack
- Travel first aid kit including blister plasters
- Lip Balm
FAQs about December in Barcelona Packing List
Should I take swimwear for Barcelona in December?
It is unlikely you will need to have swimwear for Barcelona in December. The sea temperature is often aorund 16C which in my opinion is too cold for swimming in.
Also most hotels in Barcelona will shut their outdoor pools for the Winter season. Therefore it is highly unlikely you are going to need swimwear if you are visiting Barcelona in December.
Can I wear shorts in Barcelona in December?
There are no Spain dress code rules that prevent you wearing shorts, it is likely it is too cold to be comfortable in December.
What to wear to dinner in Barcelona in December?
Barcelona is a great foodie city so it is not a surprise that many people worry about what to wear to dinner in Barcelona.
However it really depends on the type of restaurant you are going to as to the dress code. For tapas you can usually dress casually to smart casual while in the higher end Michelin starred restaurants you are more likely to see smart casual dress.
I personally either wear jeans (for tapas) or smarter trousers and blouse or a dress with tights and boots for going out to dinner in Barcelona in November.
What would you add to this Barcelona December Packing List?