Ultimate Packing List for Europe • What To Wear in Europe

After years of traveling around Europe, we’ve crafted the perfect Europe packing list for those wondering what to wear in Europe. It’s not a big deal if you’re struggling with what to pack for Europe. Before our travels abroad, we spent months debating what things should go on our packing list for Europe.

Everyone’s been there before a trip, and we often get asked by readers what should be on their packing list for Europe.

What’s great about this Europe packing list is that it’s a good base packing list for two weeks in Europe and a fantastic Europe packing list for winter, spring, fall, and summer! The idea is to break down all the European travel essentials for your trip and give you an idea of what you should carry in your suitcase or backpack.

 The Ultimate Europe Packing List

What To Pack for Europe?

Cabin — Dog Sled — Winter in Norway
A jacket is one of the essentials for traveling Europe in the winter / This photo was taken in Norway

What to wear in Europe depends on your specific trip. Specifically where you plan to travel, the season, and what you plan to do once there. Europe’s seasons and climates are varied, similar to North America’s. Expect warm summers and cold winters.

European outfits are not as casual as Americans, but that doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit or dress every day. An easy tip for packing for a Europe trip is to keep things versatile and simple. Granted, you’ll likely be spotted as a tourist anyway, so don’t stress over how to dress in Europe.

what to wear in Europe

It’s best to avoid items like zip-off cargo shorts, hiking shoes, branded t-shirts, baseball hats, neck wallets, or the worst offender, fanny packs. There is no quicker way to spot a tourist than any one of these things. Of course, Europeans are well known for their own bad quirks like popped collars on polos, jorts, and fedoras.

Most European cities are walkable, so you’ll inevitably end up walking a lot. It’s important to pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes or boots. Before determining what clothes to pack for Europe, research and consider your plans before arriving. A hiking trip in Norway is wildly different than island hopping in Greece. Also, it’s best to pack a rain jacket or umbrella, especially if you head to the British Isles.

Generally, most people visit Western and Central Europe in the summer, so come prepared for warm, if not hot temperatures. Below we suggest items to pack for Europe. Considering your plans and weather is the key to a light packing list for Europe.

Europe Travel Essentials

Comfortable Shoes

Summer in Munich! Allbirds are one of those definite Europe travel essentials

On every packing list for Europe should be 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 city in Europe.

A comfortable pair of shoes for both men and women are essential when packing your bag for Europe. However, I wouldn’t recommend packing clunky hiking shoes or athletic shoes many tourists like to bring. You’ll stand out like a sore thumb in Europe.

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



Sunshine on Lefkada

Protect your eyes from the sun since you’ll likely spend plenty of time outside. There are many sunglasses options; everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to ensure they have UV protection for the health of your eyes.

Europeans are big into their name-brand sunglasses, so wearing a pair helps you blend in with the locals. We love to invest in quality polarized sunglasses, and Rayban Wayfarers are undoubtedly the most classic option for travel. We also love our Smith Lowdowns for an athletic style.

T-Shirt or V Neck

Soaking up the sun in Greece

A classic tee shirt or tank is comfortable and acts as the perfect base to layer. They are wardrobe staples; we can not imagine a trip without a couple in our bag. A stained or old shirt looks a little slobbish, so it’s a great time to pick up some new shirts before a trip. Graphics are a good way to make a statement, but they lack the versatility of solid colors that can be mixed and matched on a trip for more outfits.

Our spot for t-shirts and clothing essentials is Bombas. All of their shirts are super comfortable; for every item you purchase, they donate one to someone in need. They have a wide range of cuts from a slight crop to v-neck and an inclusive line of sizes from XS to 2XL.

Shop For Shirts From Bombas



Warm shirt

Cozy in Helsinki

When thinking about what to wear in Europe it’s best to bring at least one warm item, even if you’re traveling in the summer. Warm or heavy work shirts make for a great mid-layer for both men and women. They provide warmth and go well with vests as they’re easy to layer. Even in the summer, Northern Europe, the Atlantic region, and the Alps will experience cool evenings, so it helps to have a warm shirt. A quality piece of “workwear” is both functional and stylish.

I love to go with a chambray style shirt, workwear, or a quality flannel. Admittedly, flannels with the classic plaid look are very much North American style.




Wool Sweater

what to wear in europe
Dancing in Galway

A sweater can make a great travel outfit, and if you are traveling in Fall, Spring, or Winter, it is one of those essentials for Europe travel. They’re comfortable, stylish, and warm. The season doesn’t matter, as most of Northern Europe is temperate and remains cool year-round. This means comfortable daytime temperatures during the day and chilly evenings in the summer. They make for tremendous spring wear in Europe.

I have several sweaters, but my favorites are from organic materials like wool or Alpaca. It’s become my favorite travel souvenir, and I treasure my Scottish wool and Peruvian Alpaca sweaters. Traveling to pick up a sweater may not be the most practical thing. However, you can still find a great sweater at home. I love this recycled one from Patagonia, one of our favorite outdoor brands.


Down Jacket

In the Austrian Alps

This is an essential Europe packing list item that everyone should throw in their bag. A packable down jacket is one of the most versatile travel items we carry in our luggage. When layered, it can handle cold winter weather, 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. Useful in Europe as the Alps and Nordic countries are still very cool in the summer, so having a warm jacket is always appreciated. A nice one is stylish in mountain towns around the world.

Rain Jacket

Cameron on the summit of Monte Paterno summit in Dolomites
Climbing in the Dolomites

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 throughout the year, especially if you plan to visit the British Isles!

Of course, 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 home. You can hardly plan for the weather, so it’s best to be prepared with some rain protection.


Hiking on the Amalfi Coast / Athletic wear is important when thinking about what to bring to Europe

Many outdoor activities in Europe require some activewear to enjoy. So, when you’re wondering what to wear in Europe, consider packing at least one active outfit. Not to mention it’s great to stay in shape while traveling. Bring a good hiking backpack or vest if you plan to hike in the Alps.

Several daypacks for travel will work nicely on a hike or in the city. As for the shoes, we’re pretty loyal to Salomon and have covered hundreds of miles in the shoes. With clothes, try to keep them lightweight with shorts such as Arc’teryx’s Aptitn Shorts and Outdoor Research’s Echo shirts.


You’ll find plenty of Irish in well-cut jeans, but nothing baggy or ripped. That being said, the young Irish are well aware of the current trends. Jeans are a fashion staple but aren’t the best packing pants. However, travelers have options, such as DU/ER jeans. The organic cotton jeans look sharp, but the blend of polyester and spandex allows the jeans to stretch. They look like quality stone-washed denim without the weight and stiff feeling.

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. An easy favorite for anyone seeking new travel clothes.

Shop For DU/ER Performance Slim Fit Jeans

Travel Pants

The streets of Hydra

A pair of chinos work for both sexes. It’s a classic look combined with a sweater, dress shirt, t-shirt, or blouse. Regarding color choice, try to match the destination—darker colors in cooler climates and lighter colors in warm climates.

Lightweight pants made from synthetic material are tremendous to have in your pack. prAna makes fabulous pants, such as the women’s Halle Pant and the men’s Brion Pant. They are both a tremendous pair of comfortable pants that belong on the trail or city streets.

For more classic pants, it’s nearly impossible to beat the Western Rise Evolution 2.0 Pant. They are ultralight tech pants great for daily errands and travel. While more formal pants like a pair of chinos, the feature-rich Bluffworks Ascender Chinos are fabulous.

Check Out Our Recommendations

Women’s prAna Halle


Leather Boots

When considering what to wear in Europe think about your feet. These are great all year round as you can never go wrong with a pair of leather boots. Women can wear them with a pair of chinos and a blouse, while men can pair them with just about anything from jeans, chinos, and even a suit. With the right pair of boots, you’ll be ready to climb the Alps, stroll through The Louvre, or eat to your heart’s content in Italy.

I’m a leather boot fiend and love a classic boot. For an affordable option, check out Clark’s or Timberland for leather boots. However, if you want quality and boots to last a lifetime check out Chippewa, Danner, or Red Wings boots manufactured by hand in the United States. Boots are a seasonal thing, and I’ll leave mine at home for a trip to Europe in the summer.

Check Out Our Recommendations

Sport/Travel Underwear

Watching the sunset in Greece

You can never have enough underwear or socks. Pack plenty of both underwear and socks, but consider several pairs of sport or wool undergarments. They hold better up for longer as they dry quickly and are antimicrobial, so they don’t smell. It will save you in a pinch if you run out of clean underwear.

What’s great about these are they can be washed in a bathroom sink at night only to dry by morning the next day, so feasibly you could travel with only one or two pairs of underwear. They are pricey, so we can’t afford to 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 Socks

Austrian ski holiday
Winter in Lech

We’ve learned to love our feet with a good pair of travel socks. You will want to keep your feet nice and dry while you walk around. Most importantly, wool socks stay fresh for several days as they have natural antimicrobial properties. We travel with a couple of wool socks from Darn Tough, Smartwool, and Farm To Feet.

Our Favorite Wool Socks

Backpack or Suitcase

Nomatic Backpack

Whether you’re backpacking around Europe, skiing in the Alps, or traveling for business, you will be need something to keep some form of luggage. I travel with the Osprey Farpoint and the Nomatic Bag and love it for its durability and ability to zip up the straps when flying. Cameron has converted to a stylish duffel bag and hasn’t looked back since.

Men’s Packing List for Europe

Dress Shirt

I’d look pretty ridiculous wearing a T-shirt or a flannel out to a nice meal in Europe. Men should pack at least one or two dress shirts for a trip to Europe. I like to stick with a classic color like blue or white that will never go out of style.

Another great option for summer wear is a linen shirt. It’s a timeless look and handles the heat of Southern Europe much better than cotton. I got a great deal on linen shirts from J. Crew and have loved their quality. It can be tough to find quality linen shirts, and these really surprised me.



Strolling Around the Faroe Islands in a Bluffworks suit

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’re not going to fit a suit in a backpack. Consider this an essential for travelers in a proper suitcase.


Technical Shirt

Vorarlberg Austria
Hiking in Austria

A technical long-sleeve shirt looks great and is typically well-constructed. It will help if you look for a nice blend of synthetic materials that allow quick drying and ventilation in the hot sun. A long sleeve shirt like this allows for greater comfort, moving from chilly mornings into hot days.

It’s a great travel shirt as it avoids wrinkles, resists stains, and looks better than a relaxed tee. Avoid ones with too many bells and whistles, like breast pockets or vented backs.



The right watch is the perfect accessory for men. I’m not a fan of big gold or silver watches and find them to be overstated. Opt for something more stylish and modern, like this leather and silver watch.

As a plus, they’ll match a pair of brown boots lending to more versatility in everyday life. I just picked up this one from Michael Kors and think it’s a perfect blend between casual and formal.

Women’s Packing List For Europe

Tank Tops

A few comfortable tank tops and shirts are always in my bag, and they’re perfect for summer in European clothes. Pack solid colors so that they can work with everything. They’re super functional clothes that can be worn under a blouse or alone with a pair of jeans or capris.

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This all depends on the season, but a pair of capris are perfect for European cities in the spring or summer. Women gravitate towards light colors during this time so go with a white or pastel-colored Capri.

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Versatile Dress

For those European summers, it’s a tremendous idea to have a comfortable sundress. Not only is it more comfortable, but it’s also cute. Check out Salty Crush for cute travel dresses for Europe. The other option is to pack a nice black dress for nights out. It’s a travel staple and takes up almost no room in your suitcase.

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Sun Hat

It gets sunny in Europe, and unless you’re walking around museums, you will be outside most of the day. Make sure to protect your face with a nice sun hat.

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You’ll need a light top to pair with your capris or jeans. Most women should shy away from graphic tees or short sleeve shirts; instead, use a light blouse to keep cool during the day. It’s a perfect item to wear in the summer as the right blouse is super cool and comfortable.

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Black Flats

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

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Sports Bras

Hiking in Austria

No need for push-up bras when you’re active. I always bring a few pairs of sports bras when I’m traveling and my absolute favorite brand is Handful! It’s easy to forget to bring a sports bra as you might not be headed to the gym, but they’re tremendous for active or hot summer days.

See our Recommendation


Museum hopping in 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 bigger bag? Well, chances are you will want to buy some souvenirs and stash them somewhere.

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A Shawl

Why you should stay in Hostels
Miran, a Bosnian hostel owner and myself in Bosnia

There are many churches in Europe, so a shawl is a great item to have to cover your shoulders when entering a cathedral or church. This is really important if you plan to visit some of the famous cathedrals of France, Spain, and Italy.

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Travel Checklist For Europe in Summer

Travel Towel

We always recommend bringing a travel towel when you’re on the road. Europe is no exception. If you plan on staying in hostels or more budget accommodation, you’ll often need your own. Also, if you head to the beach or want to take a hike, it never hurt to have a towel packed away in your day bag. 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.

See Our Recommendations


Things to do in Paros

Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF during the summer. Order some online before leaving the house as you will 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 that 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 ocean or lakes, go with a reliable name brand. You can learn more about eco-friendly travel products here!

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Beach Tote

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 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.

See Our Recommendations


Sandals are meant for the beach in Europe, but considering how much gorgeous coastline the Mediterranean as you’ll probably need a pair. A good pair of sandals are great for walking around an Italian seaside town in the Mediterranean.

Bathing Suit

Cliff jumping in Cyprus? Sailing in the Mediterranean? You’ll want some nice beach essentials in your summer packing list for Europe! If you’re heading to the Mediterranean, obviously the number one thing you need is a swimsuit!

For women, one of the best brands for swimsuits we’ve found is Andie Swim. They make amazing swimsuits that fit as nicely as they look. Many of their pieces are stylish yet supportive.

Cameron has the new Quicksilver’s Amphibian shorts. The material looks like tough fabric, but they’re super lightweight and durable. Best of all, they look great and can be worn as regular shorts.

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Beach Cover Up

Greek beaches

A cover-up is one of those vacation clothes you should always travel with. Not only do they look cute, but they will also protect you from the sun’s harsh rays. Many establishments don’t allow beachgoers to wear just a swimsuit, so this is where the cover-up is essential when heading to a restaurant on the coast.

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Europe Packing List in the Winter


London Three Day Itinerary Walking

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

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Warm Fleece

November in France!

Of course, what you wear all depends on where you are traveling in Europe! Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover fleece is the best fleeces for travel, in our opinion. The fleece has a classic relaxed cut, perfect for walking on the beach or an evening bonfire.

It’s a double-sided fleece that provides plenty of warmth while remaining soft and comfortable. They also make a great gift for travelers as they’re a wardrobe staple.

See Our Recommendations

Winter Boots

Winter in Norway

These are only necessary if your vacation involves cold weather snow activities. Things like sledding with the family, skiing or snowboarding,  snowshoeing, dogsledding, 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, as you don’t want a foot full of snow!

We just bought our first pairs of Sorels since we moved to Canada.  They are the best boots for a snowy European winter in Finland, Norway, or the Alps. They are expensive, but you’re getting waterproof boots rated for -40 weather for that price.

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Down Parka

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 will be able to 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. We have many winter jackets, but the warmest we’ve found are Triple Fat Goose down parkas. On our trips to Norway and Finland in the winter, we very much appreciated our parkas.

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Thermal Layers

pizza in Italy!

Underlayers are what will be the closest to your body. They provide your first stage of warmth and will maintain your body heat. These include long-sleeved thermals and underwear. In cities, I’ll even layer them under regular pants like jeans.

We’ve tried a few different brands but have recently settled on Kora for our favorite pairs of thermals. Kora makes high-performance technical clothing out of quality Yak Wool from the Himalayas. They are high priced but totally worth it as they last for ages!

We recommend they fit snug for the base layer and are made from a noncotton material like nylon or wool. We both wear wool thermals from Helly Hansen, Smartwool, and yak wool from Kora.

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Scarf, Hat, Gloves

Icelandic Horses
Exploring Iceland

This is a travel staple and a great wardrobe choice for both women and men traveling in Europe. They act as an accessory to your outfit, and they’re super comfortable, giving you an added layer of warmth.

Again, when it comes to both fashion and comfort, spring in Europe is all about layering. Scarves are especially great for travelers: They can spice up an outfit that 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.

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

While mittens are the only way to go if you’re 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!

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Best Things To Bring To Europe

Beautiful Zermatt


This one is for the ladies, and I wanted to note it for anyone still wondering what to pack for a trip to Europe. If you’re coming from America, the makeup in Europe can be expensive compared to prices in the States.

My first trip to Europe was almost a year-long, so I made sure I had enough mascara, eyeliner, and face powder to get me through that year without spending a fortune for my favorite brand.


You’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else that you need for a full day out when traveling.

See our Recommendations

Europe Guidebook

As Lonely Planet Pathfinders who regularly go on assignment 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.

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Travel Pillow

We’ve suffered through enough red-eye flights never to forget to pack a travel pillow for international flights. My favorite travel pillow is the Cabeau Evolution Pillow, but we break down more of our favorite travel pillows here. Although, if I’m feeling a little overpacked, it’s the first thing I cut on my carry-on packing list for Europe.

Water bottle

Soaking up the sunshine in Greece

Traveling with fresh water in hand is important as it is easy to get dehydrated when out. We like to use insulated stainless steel water bottles because they keep drinks cool. Carrying a water bottle is great for the environment as it reduces plastic waste.

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Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are great for any backpack or suitcase. They keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. I’ve had these Eagle Creek cubes for three years now and think they were worth the investment to stay organized and create space in my luggage.

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Passport Holder

I suggest traveling with a theft-proof purse that is black and stylish to hold belongings for the women. Cameron has a great passport wallet that holds his passport and credit cards, so he never leaves it anywhere.

See Our Recommendations

Ear Plugs

These are small but essential travel necessities for Europe as they can be crucial to your sleep. Whether you’re flying in business class or sleeping 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.

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Hanging Toiletry Bag

It’s always a good idea to keep your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes. So we love always travel with a toiletry bag; however, European bathrooms can be cramped and small. If you are limited on counter space, a great option is to buy a hanging toiletry bag. This bag style tends to have a better organization system with various sections for storage than the traditional option.

See Our Recommendations

Electronics To Pack For Europe

Travel Adaptor

A travel adapter is a must-pack for Europe. You will definitely need an adaptor for your electronics on your checklist for Europe. We always keep one handy in our carry-on bags. That way, we can charge electronics on arrival or at the airport.

You’ll need the British “Type G” three-prong adaptor for the United Kingdom. However, most of Europe uses the Type C, F, and E adaptor. Check out the one I have, which is good for all of Europe. The exception is if you’re going to Switzerland, where you may need the Type J Adapter.

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Enjoying the view in the Swiss Alps

A high-quality camera is an important packing item for Europe if you want some great shots while on your vacation We travel with many cameras. Still, the one we universally recommend is the RX 100.

They make several models at different price points, but it’s simple to use a point-and-shoot camera that anyone can operate. It also takes superb images with a 20mp resolution and full manual controls.

Kindle Paperwhite

Packing for Greece

While I love having a good real book when I travel, sometimes it’s just not practical because of the weight. I’ve recently switched to a Kindle Paperwhite, which is small and compact, plus it has a backlight for reading at night without a harsh glare. The Paperwhite version is great as they mimic a real book, and you can read them in the sun.

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Many of the big tourist sites have self-guided tours. Like the Museums and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I find it’s always nice to have your own personal earbuds to stick into your ear for these tours. No one wants to stick dirty headphones over their head or use disposable ones that you’ll toss away after. Just wasteful.

Laptop and Hard Drive

As a blogger, my laptop is my life. It’s one of the few possessions that I own, so of course, I travel around Europe with one. I’m an Apple person, so naturally, I have a Macbook Pro to get me around. If you’re in the market, I’d suggest reading up on our favorite travel laptops.

We travel with three (yes three) Seagate external hard drives to house all our photos and videos. That may be excessive, but we take a lot of photos and videos. Most travelers will need something simple like a thumb drive for storage.

Power bank

I love traveling with a power bank to make sure my phone never dies. Most of the time, I don’t need to use it on long flights as some of the nicer airlines provide entertainment systems with USB ports! We also make sure to find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a major pain in the ass.

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You Definitely Need This on Your Europe Packing List

Travel Insurance

Rainy fall day in France

Travel insurance should be on every Europe packing list. We never travel without travel insurance with Heymondo. Natasha is a bit of a worrywart and would rather stay safe than sorry.

Heymondo offers incredible flexibility and great plans! You never know if the worse could happen while you’re abroad, and your insurance plan at home often will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having the peace of mind that we have a good backup plan helps us sleep at night.

Packing Tips For Europe

Enjoying the Greek Island of Naxos

It’s important to determine when and where you will be traveling 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! 

Many places in Europe can get hot during the summer, only to turn to freezing temperatures in the winter months. Northern Europe can be a bit milder. I’ll never forget how cold I was on the streets of London in the middle of their 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 Europe packing list. A nice outfit will still come in handy.

I would also always pack a few pairs of shoes for any trip to Europe. Good walking shoes are essential, as well as flip-flops 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 a bit, so always consider that.

What Not to Pack for Europe?

Happy in Austria

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 cash to get you by for a day or so. We don’t recommend you travel with an excessive amount of cash in your luggage.

ATMs are prevalent everywhere and often give a flat exchange rate. Also, try your best to 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. Needless to say, 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, make sure to 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. Just ask the front desk if you want to wear jewelry sticks with simple pieces that don’t draw much attention.

Baseball Caps

Boys – please don’t get caught in a baseball hat in Europe like you are going to a sports bar for the Football game. You will 100% be pegged for as an American tourist – and not in a good way. You’ll see some Europeans in flat bill 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 mid calf socks with shorts. Try to wear patterns, black socks, or to match your socks to your pants.

Final Packing Advice For Europe

Hiking in Switzerland

You don’t need to pack everything on this list! Instead, base this Europe packing list on where you’re headed and what you’ll be doing in Europe.

Of course, there are no hard rules here, and packing doesn’t need to be stressful, nor do you need to buy all new stuff. We make suggestions here, and I’m sure you’ve got similar items in your closet at home. There are also a lot of duh items missing from this list, like a toothbrush or your passport!

I advise packing a few wardrobe staples and going easy on the luggage. They’re timeless, and with the right selection, you can mix and match clothes. This 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.

Use this post to determine your very own Europe packing checklist for traveling. Everyone has a different style and plans!

Plan For Your Trip

About Natasha

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 “Ultimate Packing List for Europe • What To Wear in 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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