What To Wear in Europe • Ultimate Packing List for Europe

The secret to a superb packing list for Europe is a selection of versatile pieces that match the seasonal weather and region. It also matches local fashion trends, mainly smart casual with neutral colors. Europeans rarely dress to stand out but never sloppily. After a decade of travel in Europe, you can see our recommendations below on what to wear in Europe.

The region is spoilt for choice with shopping options; you can find anything you need. This article is based on useful recommendations. We include our favorite travel clothes, shoes, luggage, and accessories. The idea is to break down all the travel essentials for your trip and give you an idea of what you should carry in your suitcase or backpack.


The Essential Documents To Pack

Cameron In Colodi Tuscany Wearing Western Rise Clothing
What to Wear in Europe – Western Rise Men’s Travel Clothing
  • Passport — This is obvious, but you won’t make it far without a passport.
  • Credit Cards — We use several travel credit cards offering purchase protection, rewards, and no foreign transaction fees.
  • Visa — If required, Make sure you have a visa. USA, U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand citizens receive a free 90-day visa on arrival to the Schengen Area.
  • Driving License — If you plan to rent a car, you will need your driver’s license, plus, having a second form of I.D never hurts.
  • IDP— Along with a driving license, a rental agency may require an IDP. This is necessary if your license is not in English. Even then, it may be a requirement, but we’ve found it to be super subjective to the rental agency. I’ve often rented a car with and without one (U.S. license).

What Luggage To Bring To Europe?

Hardshell Suitcase

Delsey Helium Aero 22" Roller Bag

Travel Backpack

Osprey Farpoint 55L Backpack

I have two bag recommendations for a trip to Europe. You can opt for a traditional hardshell suitcase with four wheels or a travel backpack. Suitcases with four wheels are best as the ability to roll sideways down the aisle of a train or a sidewalk makes life a lot easier.

We prefer hardshell suitcases as they provide better protection and security. Our favorite hardshell suitcase is the Delsey Helium Aero 25″. Travel backpacks are great for young backpackers, digital nomads, or minimalists! They are also great if you want to save on any checked bag fees your air carrier may charge. Packing cubes are phenomenal at organizing and separating dirty clothes, and our favorites are from Peak Design.

If paying for taxis or car rentals makes you hesitant, you’ll want to book accommodation near public transport or have a backpack. The Osprey travel backpacks, men’s Farpoint, and women’s Fairview are our favorites. For more suggestions, read our post on the best backpacks for Europe.

Luggage Recommendations
Hardside Suitcase
Travel Backpack

What To Wear In Europe?

Natasha Sitting On Steps On Island Of Tinos
Strolling Around Greece

What you wear in Europe depends on your plans, destination, and season. Climates and seasons in Europe vary significantly from the Mediterranean to the Alps and the Arctic Circle. Budget and travel style have a significant impact, too — a well-heeled traveler staying in luxury hotels will have a much different packing list than a backpacker.

No one-size-fits-all rules exist, as a hiking trip in Norway is wildly different from island hopping in Greece or sightseeing in Paris. It’s not just the diverse weather in Europe but also the culture, as you’ll find a huge disparity between Spain and Finland.

Natasha In Faroe Islands
Hiking in the Faroe Islands

You can apply some easy rules, though. Europeans do not dress as casually as North Americans, but that doesn’t mean you must wear a suit or dress daily. We suggest casual clothing with comfortable footwear. The key to packing is clothes that can serve multiple purposes.

We like to pack clothes in classic, versatile colors that allow us to mix and match outfits. You can adjust to various weather and climates by throwing in some layers. A traveler should be able to dress for almost any setting or weather if done right.

Cameron is Laying Next To Lac Blanc In Chamonix
Hiking Under Mont Blanc

Finally, don’t forget to pack some athletic clothes for a European trip! There are many amazing adventures and outdoor activities to enjoy around the region. We’ve spent months hiking and skiing in the Alps. It would be a shame to miss out on an experience.

Most people visit Europe in the summer, so come prepared for warm, if not hot, temperatures. Below, we share the staples and make some recommendations on our personal favorites. Please consider this a guideline, as we recommend everyone dress and pack to match their style.


T-Shirt or V Neck

Natasha Sitting Street On Island Of Naxos
Soaking up the sun in Greece

A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like black, white, or grey. We recommend keeping it simple when it comes to tees. Our favorite color is light heather grey, as it’s easy to stain white. A classic cotton tee is always reliable and affordable.

However, a wool shirt is a worthy investment and one of the best pieces of travel clothing. Wool shirts stay fresh longer and do an excellent job of temperature management. Our favorite wool shirts are from Unbound Merino and Western Rise.

T-Shirt Recommendations


Travel Shorts

Natasha At Airport On Way To Europe
Travel Outfit For Flights In The EU

Don’t discount shorts if it’s summertime. Europeans are not opposed to shorts, especially given the heatwaves in recent years. Shorts are also easy to pack, take up less luggage space, and can be easily washed. We have two recommendations for travel shorts. Men cfan check out the Western Rise Evolution Shorts. They’re super comfortable and lightweight and have fantastic features like zippered security pockets. Tash loves her Lululemon Cinchable Waist Shorts for many of the same reasons.

Travel Short Recommendations

Women’s

Men’s


Activewear

Natasha Hiking The Path Of The Gods On Amalfi Coast
Hiking around the Amalfi Coast

Europeans are passionate about their sports, and you’ll find no shortage of ways to get active while traveling around the continent. We always suggest packing at least one active outfit. There is no shortage of hiking trails, so don’t count out your favorite hiking clothes.

Several daypacks for travel will work nicely on a hike or in the city. As for the shoes, we’re pretty loyal to the ultra trail running Salomon Speedcross shoes, but we recommend the more versatile ON Cloud 5 for everything else. Regarding clothing, we love Vuori Shorts and Outdoor Research Echo Shirts. Pack a sports bra if you like one for activities; our favorites are from Handful (*Use code TWP20 for 20% off! ).


Linen Shirt

Cam in A Linen Shirt

Our go-to summer shirt is a classic white linen shirt. Linen is as practical as it is stylish. It’s great as it tends to dry faster, feel lighter, and cope with sweat better than its cotton counterparts. Pair a linen shirt with sandals, shorts, jeans, or shoes, or even go barefoot.

It’s a versatile shirt that looks great on both sexes and works at the beach or a restaurant. They’re the perfect shirt for summer in Southern Europe. It’s tough to find decent linen shirts online, but we love the quality of Everlane’s linen shirts.

Linen Shirt Recommendations

Women’s

Men’s


Jeans

Natasha In Front of Hotel 7132 in Vals Switzerland Wearing Jeans
Sunny Days in Switzerland

Jeans are a fashion staple but aren’t the best packing or most comfortable travel pants. However, travelers have options such as DU/ER jeans. The organic cotton jeans look sharp, but a subtle blend of polyester and spandex allows the jeans to stretch and resist wrinkles.

Fit is exceptional, with a slim fit throughout the leg. You can comfortably wear the jeans on long travel days without any discomfort. Thanks to the synthetic blend, they’re great for lengthy trips as there is no need to wash the jeans.

DU/ER Performance Slim Fit Jeans


Travel Pants

Natasha Enjoying The View In Vals Switzerland

A pair of chinos or travel pants is great for traveling around Europe. Our first choice is a reliable pair of “travel pants” made of synthetic materials. These pants are often stain-resistant, dry quickly, weigh less, remain fresh for multiple wears, and are more comfortable than traditional pants or chinos.

We love that these technical pants, previously only made for hiking, now resemble chinos. They’re a classic pair of pants that can go with a sweater, dress shirt, T-shirt, or blouse. When choosing a color, try to match the destination and season. However, light tan pants tend to be the most versatile.

For women, we suggest the Kuhl Freeflex Pants for outdoor adventures and the Everlane Utility Barrel Pants for a more stylish city/town look. Men should check out the KUHL Renegade Rock Pants for outdoor adventures and the Western Rise Evolution 2.0 Pants for everything else.

Travel Pants Recommendations

Women’s Pants

Men’s Pants


Wool Sweater

Cameron And Natasha On The Beach In Scotland
A summer day in Scotland / what to wear in Europe

Sweaters are a great travel outfit staple. They’re comfortable, stylish, and warm. The season doesn’t matter either, as many parts of Europe remain cool year-round. They’re also a great mid-layer in the winter. This is very much destination-specific, so it’s best to research the particular destination.

I have several sweaters, but my favorites are organic materials like wool or Alpaca. It’s become my favorite travel souvenir, and we treasure the sweaters we’ve picked up while traveling. The one pictured above is from a boutique designer in Scotland.

Wool Sweater Recommendations


Shell Jacket

Cameron on the summit of Monte Paterno summit in Dolomites
Hiking in Italy / what to wear in Europe for hiking

No matter the season, a rain jacket is crucial for traveling around Europe (and the rest of the world). Much of Europe receives frequent showers yearly, especially if you plan to visit the British Isles! The Mediterranean is notably dry in the summer months with plenty of sunshine. So, on a trip to Greece, you can probably leave the rain jacket at home.

We suggest a hard-shell hiking jacket for the outdoors/hiking. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof. Any rain jacket will do, but the top-dollar ones designed for the outdoors will hold up and help in inclement weather. They also do an exceptional job at blocking the wind, which can be unrelenting.

Shell Jacket Recommendations


Down Jacket

Cameron Standing In Montafon Region Of Austria
In the Austrian Alps

A packable down jacket is one of the most versatile travel items we carry in our luggage. It can handle cold winter weather when layered, but it’s also light enough to be worn on a cool evening. It’s a lifesaver for that impromptu trip to Iceland or the Faroe Islands. The Alps and Nordic countries are still very cool in the summer, so having a warm jacket is always appreciated.

We find they’re handy in the shoulder seasons around spring and fall. Summers are pretty mild everywhere, and unless you have plans for many high-alpine adventures, you likely won’t need the warmth of a down jacket.

See Our Recommendations For Down Jackets


Swimsuit

Tasha Driving A Boat In Corfu
Boating in Greece

Europe has some of the best beaches and seaside towns in the world. When you add the fantastic spas, hot springs, rivers, and pools, there is no shortage of places to get wet in Europe. A swimsuit is an obvious addition to any packing list.

For a fantastic women’s swimsuit brand, we recommend Londre and Carve Designs. They make high-quality swimsuits for women. Many of their pieces are stylish yet supportive. So, if you plan to go surfing, bodyboarding, kitesurfing, or play beach volleyball and want to ensure your ta-tas stay intact, these swimsuits are for you.

Vuori makes fantastic lightweight Cruise Board Shorts in various prints and colors. They’re super comfortable, quickly dry, and the cut is perfect. We don’t like board shorts that are too long or loose, as they look sloppy.

Swimsuit Recommendations

Women’s

Men’s


Wool Underwear

Watching The Sun Set In Hydra
Sunsets in Hydra

You can never have enough underwear or socks. We love wool undergarments on the road as they dry quicker and have antimicrobial qualities. This means they stay fresh longer and keep you more comfortable. After a lot of testing, our favorites are from Icebreaker. They make several versions and cuts for men and women to match personal tastes.

What’s best about wool underwear is that they can be washed in a bathroom sink at night only to dry by morning the next day, so you could feasibly travel with only one or two pairs of underwear. They are pricey, so we can’t don’t recommend everyone replace every pair. We still travel around with several regular cotton undies, but a couple of pairs of these for dirty clothes emergencies come in handy.

Wool Underwear Recommendations


Wool Socks

Cameron Hiking On The Approach Rdige To The Matterhorn

We’ve learned to love our feet with a good pair of socks. You will want to keep your feet dry while walking around. Most importantly, wool socks stay fresh for several days as they have natural antimicrobial properties.

We travel with several pairs of wool socks on any trip. They make every style and cut, so finding your desired pair is easy. Our recommendations for socks are Darn Tough, Smartwool, and REI Co-op. If you still want some classic cotton socks, check out Bombas.

Our Favorite Wool Socks


Comfortable Shoes

Natasha At The Market In Munich
Summer days in Munich / what to wear in Europe

We suggest everyone should pack a pair of comfortable shoes. Hitting the sidewalk and letting a city unfurl around you is one of the best ways to get familiar with a beautiful European city. However, I wouldn’t recommend packing clunky hiking or athletic shoes, which many tourists like to bring. You’ll stand out like a sore thumb in Europe.

Europeans are not opposed to sneakers, just trainers outside the gym, so opting for a pair of casual sneakers is excellent. Considering most of Europe’s cities are walkable, be prepared to spend a lot of time in them. We love Allbirds, but any comfortable casual shoe will work.

Our Recommendations For Shoes


Leather Boots

Natasha In The Faroe Islands
Blundstones getting us around the Faroe Islands

Regarding cool temperatures in Europe, we love to wear our Blundstones. Women can wear them with chinos and a blouse, while men can pair them with just about anything from jeans to a suit. With the right boots, you’ll be ready to climb the Alps, stroll through The Louvre, or eat to your heart’s content in Italy. Boots are seasonal, and I’ll leave mine at home for a trip to Europe in the summer unless we’re heading to the Nordic countries. The photo above was taken in the Faroe Islands in July.

Blundstone Chelsea Boots

Women’s

Men’s


Sunglasses

Sitting On A Beach In Lefkada

A stylish pair of sunglasses is an excellent addition to a European outfit. Everyone owns at least one pair of sunglasses. However, it’s best to ensure they have UV protection for the health of your eyes. We always travel with two pairs of sunglasses as we’re pretty active.

A pair of Smith Optics for hiking and outdoor adventures and a couple of stylish sunglasses to wear at the beach or around town for the day. There are no better fashion accessories that are critical to your eye health. We cannot imagine traveling anywhere without a pair of sunglasses.


Men’s


Dress Shirt

Cameron At The Bar Of Gritti Palaca In Venice
Apertivo in Venice / What to Wear in Europe for Men

I’d look ridiculous wearing a T-shirt or flannel to a nice European meal. Men should pack at least one or two dress shirts for a European trip. We suggest you stick with a classic color like blue or white that will never go out of style. Wear these in conjunction with linen shirts. A solid dress shirt has more structure and feels appropriate for nice evenings.

The type or age of the travelers doesn’t matter either, as almost everyone will find use in a dress shirt. Western Rise makes travel dress shirts that resist wrinkles but lack a cotton shirt’s structure. Since they aren’t worn during the peak heat of the day, a classic cotton dress shirt works. Spier & Mackay, Taylor Stitch, and Banana Republic dress shirts offer great value and look sharp.


Suit

Cameron In A Suit On Paros
We got married in Greece!

Hanging out in a classic European city like Rome, Paris, or Amsterdam demands a suit. Whether standing at a cafe bar, sipping cocktails in Copenhagen, sitting down for a fantastic meal in London, or catching a show at the Paris Opera, there is no denying it’s best done in a suit.

For European summer fashion, linen suits are loved by locals across the Mediterranean, from France to Greece, and you’ll look right at home in one. However, it’s well known that blue is the most versatile suit color. Just make sure it is well-fitted. Of course, you won’t fit a suit in a backpack.

Consider this an essential for travelers in a proper suitcase. I wouldn’t say it’s the finest suit in the world, but Bluffworks makes a pretty sharp-looking travel suit that can admirably survive travel demands. I buy my real suits from Spier & Mackay for a half-canvas or full-canvas construction that falls wonderfully.


Women’s


Tank Tops

Natasha Petting A Kitty On Tinos

A few comfortable tank tops or camis are perfect for summer. Pack solid colors so that they can work with everything. Tank tops and camis are super functional clothes worn under a blouse or alone with jeans or capris.


Versatile Dress

Natasha In Dress On Hydra Island

For those European summers, having a comfortable sundress is a tremendous idea. Not only is it more comfortable, but it’s also cute. Ladies, it’s the perfect time to bust out your favorite summer dress. My favorite sites for dress shopping are Salty Crush, Lulus, and Free People. My only recommendation is to avoid ridiculous gowns that you see on social media. Another great option is a black dress for nights out. Dresses are a travel staple and take up almost no room in your suitcase.

Dress Recommendations


Romper, Playsuit, or Overalls

Natasha In A Romper Near Lake Como

Rompers are our favorite travel outfits for women because they’re stylish, comfortable, and practical. You can’t go wrong here, and we suggest throwing at least one or two rompers in your suitcase for Europe. They’re great for a night and super cute for casual days. We love Patagonia’s Fleetwith Romper and prAna Railay for travel, but you can shop on Free People and Lulus for more great options.

Romper/Jumpsuit Recommendations


Sun Hat

Sunhat On A Remote Beach in Corfu

If you are considering what to pack for a European beach trip, we recommend grabbing a stylish beach hat! Try to keep it in a practical size that travels well and doesn’t crease in a suitcase. If you pack a large hat, it will always be in your way, and you’ll likely ditch it by the end of your trip.


Black Flats

Natasha In Milos Sipping Some Wine

A pair of black flats is always great to have in a suitcase. They’re stylish, comfortable, and take up minimal luggage space. Stay away from heels. Many towns in Europe have uneven streets, and you don’t want to break an ankle trying to look good. Just let the locals impress you with their walking skills in heels.


Handbag

The Nymphenburg Palace In Munich
Exploring Munich

Europeans love their accessories, and that does not stop with the handbag. Tasha likes to bring one bag with a little bit of size to make it through the trip. If she’s going out, she’ll carry a small clutch. Why a more oversized bag? Well, you will likely want to buy souvenirs and stash them somewhere.

The Le Pilage is an iconic travel tote from the luxury bag brand Longchamp. It’s a classic carry that offers as much function as it does style. Thanks to its use of nylon and structure, the bag can fold to the size of a paperback book.


Belt Bag

Natasha In Tblisi Old Town
Running around Tbilisi with my belt bag from Lululemon!

Do yourself a favor and put Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag on your Europe packing list! I bought one a year ago and now go everywhere with it. Before, I was stuffing my phone in whatever pocket I had, or in my bra, or even worse – my husband’s pocket. I hated it. I couldn’t stash all my cards and makeup because I didn’t want to travel with a large purse.

And that’s where a travel belt bag came in. These small belt bags are perfect for going through the airport or venturing around a new city. There are many colors to choose from, and although they don’t look as stylish as a purse, they don’t look out of place. Plus, they are much more secure than a traditional purse, as the way they wrap around the torso would detract from any pickpockets.


A Shawl

The Winter Garen In Helsinki
Winter in Finland

There are many churches in Europe, so a shawl is a great item to cover your shoulders when entering a cathedral or church. This is important if you plan to visit some of the famous cathedrals of France, Spain, and Italy. Shawls or scarves are fabulous for travelers. They can spice up an outfit you’ve already worn three days in a row and can be thrown into a bag or purse to pull out when the sun sets and the weather gets chilly.


Summer Accessories For Europe


Travel Towel

Sitting On A Beach In Corfu

We always recommend bringing a travel towel when you’re on the road. Europe is no exception. Backpackers will need one if they plan to stay in hostels. Also, if you head to the beach or on a hike, having a towel in your day bag never hurts. Consider a towel one of your necessities for backpacking Europe.

The biggest complaint about travel towels is that they often feel nothing like the plush cotton ones we are accustomed to at home and in hotels. However, with the PackTowl, you can forget about all of that because they set out to create a towel that mimics its cotton counterparts with the technical features of a travel towel.


Sunscreen

Floating In The Blue Lagoon Of The Island Of Paros

Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF during the summer. Order some online before leaving the house, as you need it underneath the sun. Sunscreen is one of those things to remember to pack when traveling to Europe, as it’s easy to forget.

We highly recommend getting an eco-friendly sun cream like Sunbum as it does not contain harmful chemicals. They’re mineral-based and usually only cost a few dollars more to help protect our oceans. If you’re not swimming in the sea or lakes, go with a reliable name brand.

Sunscreen Recommendation


Canvas Beach Tote

Walking To Beach On Paros Island In Greece

No matter what, you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. This is to throw in anything like towels, books, speakers, sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. As full-time travelers, we often use our daypacks for trips to the beach since a travel tote is unnecessary.

However, it’s tough to beat a standard canvas tote as they travel well and can fold flat/lie in your luggage. They aren’t just great for the beach but tremendous for local markets and shopping. As more travelers stay in Airbnb rentals, they cook and visit local markets on the road.

See Our Recommendations


Sandals

Natasha And Doggie On Greek Island of Ithaca
Playing with the dogs of Greece

Sandals are meant only for the beach in Europe, especially for men. However, with all of the gorgeous beaches in Europe, sandals are acceptable beach attire everywhere, and they’re far more comfortable on the sand.

For nights out on the town, we advise men to wear shoes. However, stylish sandals are great for women, no matter the time. We both travel with sandals from Olukai that have lasted for years. They have leather accents and feel stylish enough. They’re super comfortable, too, and they get us around the beach. Women should also check out the Sanuk Yoga Sling for an affordable, lightweight, stylish sandal.

Sandal Recommendations


Packing List For Europe in the Winter


Overcoat

A Classic Cafe In Rome

It depends on where you’re traveling, but most of Europe’s cities are stylish. Overcoats are great jackets to wear in Europe. They provide warmth and look fabulous. While we love our down jackets and parkas for their warmth and convenience, they aren’t the best looking, and you’d look pretty silly wearing one with a dress or suit.

Overcoat Recommendations


Winter Boots

Natasha On The Street In Helsinki
Exploring Helsinki during the holidays

These are only necessary if your vacation involves cold-weather snow activities. Things like sledding with the family, skiing or snowboarding, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and trekking through the forest are all good reasons to pack a good pair of heavy-duty, non-slip boots cut higher than the ankle. You don’t want a foot full of snow!


Down Parka

Sitting At A Picnic Table In Norway In Winter
Winter in Norway

Down parkas are our favorite jackets for European winter travel. However, Europe’s climate varies a lot! In the winter months, you’ll find easy-going weather in Sicily, but head up to Finland or Norway, and you’ll freeze your ass off. In mild winter destinations, you can get by with a packable down jacket or a great fleece jacket, as they are warm and lightweight.

As much as you may want to bring a few different winter jackets for options, it’s best to settle on just one since winter jackets are cumbersome. On our trips to Norway and Finland in the winter, we very much appreciated our parkas.


Thermal Layers

Dolomites Superski Pass Trentino
Snowboarding in the Dolomites

Thermal underwear is essential for remaining warm and dry. Your base layer is the first key to wicking away moisture and keeping your body heat from escaping. We always wear quality base layers when active in cold temperatures, such as hiking, snowboarding, scrambling, or camping.


Scarf, Hat, Gloves

Natasha Petting Icelandic Horses
Playing with the Icelandic Horses

This is a travel staple and a great wardrobe choice for women and men traveling in Europe. They act as an accessory to your outfit and are super comfortable, giving you an added layer of warmth. Regarding fashion and comfort, cool weather in Europe is all about layering.

With such a varied climate, you must consider your itinerary and time of year. I’d suggest stylish gloves with e-tips in most of Europe’s major cities. If you get lost, the e-tips or e-touch is essential as you’ll often have to look at your phone when exploring a new city for directions.

While mittens are the only way to go in a frigid environment, they’re superior to gloves as they keep your fingers together and reduce surface space to the cold air. If you have plans for Nordic countries in the winter, these are a must!


Don’t Forget To Pack Items For Europe


Europe Guidebook

As Lonely Planet Pathfinders, who used to do assignments for the guidebook company, we love to have a physical guidebook when traveling. We spend enough time attached to our phones in everyday life and planning our trips. Once we reach a destination like Europe, we put the phone away and pick up a guidebook to help with our trip.

Guidebook On Europe


Daypack

You’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else for a full day out when traveling. We’ve tested out a ton of daypacks and backpacks over the years, and our favorite is from Peak Design. Granted, the most European way of doing things is not to carry a backpack. As photographers, we always need a daypack for travel, but we leave it in the hotel room most days when exploring Europe.


Toiletry Bag

We suggest you keep your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes. It almost feels like a toiletry bag is essential for any trip. Plus, it’s not uncommon to find small or cramped bathrooms in Europe. Buying a hanging toiletry bag is an excellent option if you are limited on counter space. This bag style tends to have a better organization system with various sections for storage than the traditional option. We love the Peak Design Wash Pouch. It contains a hidden hook to hang and features terrific organization.


Water bottle

Traveling with fresh water in hand is important as it is easy to get dehydrated when out. Plus carrying a water bottle is great for the environment as it reduces plastic waste. Our favorite is the Grayl GeoPress purifier bottle. Purification is unnecessary in most of Europe, but we always have it for an impromptu trip to somewhere more remote, and they’re great for hiking.


Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are phenomenal for the organization of any backpack or suitcase. They are one of those packing essentials that should be in every bag as they keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. Cubes also keep clothes folded and protect them from wrinkles. Our favorite packing cubes are currently from Peak Design.


Jewelry Case

We don’t travel with all our best jewelry for obvious reasons, but that doesn’t mean we don’t travel with any jewelry in Europe. We love having necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings when we dress up on the road. A travel jewelry box is the best way to keep this jewelry safe and organized!


Passport Wallet

A travel passport wallet is an affordable travel essential. Your passport is a vital travel document you must carry for a decade. Protect your passport in a wallet to ensure its longevity and save the headache of replacing it. Several options can protect the passport or replace your wallet. We recommend a great wallet from Herschel Supply Co.


Ear Plugs

These are small but essential travel necessities for Europe as they can be crucial to your sleep. Whether flying in business class or in a hostel, a good pair of earplugs will help you sleep. You also never know if you may have noisy neighbors or have a room on the ground. When you need them, they are a lifesaver.


Electronics To Pack For Europe


Travel Adaptor

A universal power adaptor is essential for any trip to Europe. We recommend picking up one before arriving in the country. Once in Europe, finding one that is not overpriced or poor quality can be challenging. We’ve tried a bunch of adapters, but this one from Ceptics has to be our favorite in our travels. It has multiple plugs and USB ports. It also works as a surge protector.


Kindle Paperwhite

While I love having a good real book when I travel, sometimes it’s just not practical because of the weight — keep them at home. A Kindle is an essential travel accessory for travelers who love to read. As much as we love an actual book, they are too heavy and take up too much room in my suitcase. We recently upgraded to the Kindle Paperwhite and love it. It’s small, has touchscreen functions, and has a backlight to read at night without a harsh glare.


You Need This on Your Europe Packing List


Travel Insurance

Walking Through The Streets Of Honfluer
Strolling around France

We never travel without travel insurance. Heymondo offers incredible flexibility and great plans! You never know if the worst could happen while you’re abroad, and your insurance plan at home often will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having peace of mind with a good backup plan helps us sleep at night.


Packing Tips For Europe

Natasha On The Island of Naxos
Enjoying the Greek Island of Naxos

Determining when and where you will be is important before deciding what to pack in your suitcase. Don’t forget to take into account seasons in Europe and regional climates. For instance, having a thick down jacket in the Mediterranean may be overkill in the winter.

Check the forecast before you pack your suitcase! 

You get all four seasons in Europe, and there can be a large discrepancy between the season. Yet, some destinations, like the British Isles, have similar weather throughout the year. I’ll never forget how cold I was on the streets of London in the middle of the summer. That’s why I always suggest packing in layers and bringing at least one warm-weather outfit wherever you go.

Europeans are stylish, so please, no hiking clothes unless you want to be pegged as a tourist. Somewhere along the line, the idea came about that backpacking in Europe means you’re some adventurer tackling mountains, not cities.

Take that into consideration when you are planning for dinner and night dates out. Find clothes that are versatile, comfortable, and look good. It doesn’t matter if you’re crafting your backpacking packing list for Europe. A nice outfit will still come in handy.

I would also pack a few pairs of shoes for any European trip. Good walking shoes are essential, as well as shower sandals if you’re staying in hostels, flats or heels for women, and a pair of loafers or something similar for men. You’ll be walking around cities quite often, so always consider that.


What Not to Pack for Europe?

Natasha Enjoying Summer In Austria

You’ll likely be spotted as a tourist anyway, so don’t stress over how to dress in Europe. It’s also worth noting there are many regional differences as the continent is culturally diverse. You won’t know the cultural norms unless you’re a repeat visitor.

There aren’t any rules on clothing in Europe, and we’ve rarely felt out of place. The idea of being treated as an “Ugly American” tourist has much to do with the individual travelers and their attitudes. Approach Europe open-mindedly, and you’ll receive the same treatment no matter what you wear.


Tons of Cash

If I can give you just one packing tip for Europe, it would be to chill out on the cashTravel to Europe with enough money to get you by for a day or so. We don’t recommend you travel with excessive cash in your luggage.

ATMs are prevalent everywhere and often give a flat exchange rate. Also, avoid ATMs that official banks do not operate as they utilize shady menus and practices to provide garbage exchange rates. This saves you the liability of walking around with tons of cash.


Bright Neon Colors

Before I left for my first trip worldwide, I colored my hair brown to “blend in.” While I wanted to blend in, I still brought hot pink and lime green shirts to Denmark, Germany, and Holland. I stuck out like a sore thumb. Neutral colors work best. And don’t color your hair darker, like twenty-year-old me!


Flashy Jewelry

When you travel anywhere, we suggest leaving valuable jewelry at home. When you travel with expensive items, save them for special occasions and store them in the hotel safe. Sometimes, we store large sums of cash or expensive items in the hotel’s master safe.


Baseball Caps

Boys – please don’t get caught in a baseball hat in Europe like you are going to a sports bar for a Football game. You will 100% be pegged for as an American tourist – and not in a good way. You’ll see some Europeans in flatbill hats from the American Hip-Hop culture. However, that is by no means the average European.


White Athletic Socks

Europeans do not wear white socks or mid-calf socks with shorts. Wear patterns and black socks, or match your socks to your pants.


Final Packing Advice For Europe

Natasha Hiking in Switzerland

You don’t need to pack everything on this list! There are no hard rules here, and packing doesn’t need to be stressful, nor do you need to buy all new stuff. We have a lot of suggestions, and we’re certain you’ve got similar items in your closet at home. Many obvious things are missing, like a toothbrush, cosmetics, or your passport!

I advise packing a few wardrobe staples and going easy on the luggage. It will keep your luggage light while having a multitude of outfits for different occasions. The key is finding versatile items and having an idea of the season/climate of your trip. Everyone has a different style and plans!

Plan For Your Trip

About Natasha Alden

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years, across 7 continents, experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

1 thought on “What To Wear in Europe • Ultimate Packing List for Europe”

  1. In October we r going on a walking tour Lake Como area. During the day we will hike in remote areas as well as taking ferries. What types shoes for walking and what type clothes. We r a group of 20 and obviously tourists but I hope to blend in when we stop for lunch and in small towns. Would knit skirts be appropriate. Thank you.

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