Europe Packing List • What To Wear in Europe For (Winter/Summer) Travel

After years of traveling around Europe, we’ve crafted the perfect Europe packing list. It’s not a big deal if you’re struggling with what to pack when you’re going to Europe. Before our travels abroad, we spent months debating what things to pack for a trip to 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, as well as 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

What you should pack for Europe depends on 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. Expect warm summers and cold winters.

European outfits are not as casual as American’s, 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.

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 cities in Europe 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, do some 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. The key to a light packing list for Europe is to consider your plans and weather.


Europe Travel Essentials


Comfortable Shoes

Summer in Munich!

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.

Recommendations


Sunglasses

Sunshine on Lefkada

Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun since you’ll likely spend a lot of time outside. There are a lot of options for sunglasses, and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do 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 will never go out of style. It’s best to stick with solid colors like black, white, or grey. There’s also the option of a v neck for a more stylish look, but it all depends on personal preference.

Grey is a nice color choice as it’s super easy to stain the white ones. Avoid wearing old undershirts or ill-fitting shirts, and it’s easy to blend in Europe.

Recommendations

Women’s

Men’s


Warm shirt

Cozy in Helsinki

Warm shirts 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.

Recommendations

Women’s

Men’s


Wool Sweater

Dancing in Galway

A sweater can make a great travel outfit. They’re comfortable, stylish, and warm. It doesn’t matter the season either, as most 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 even 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.

Recommendations


Down Jacket

In the Austrian Alps

This is an essential travel 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 at home. Our general frame of mind is that you can hardly plan for the weather, so it’s best to be prepared with some form of rain protection.


Activewear

Hiking on the Amalfi Coast

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. If you plan to hike in the Alps, be sure to bring a good hiking backpack or vest.

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 it lightweight with shorts such as Arc’teryx’s Aptitn Shorts and Outdoor Research’s Echo shirts.


Jeans

Planning a trip to Iceland
The Cliffs of Moher

Jeans go with anything, and despite the notion, they are “American” casual, the right pair is attractive. I see jeans everywhere I travel as well, and it’s definitely not just Americans wearing them. You’ll find plenty of Europeans in well-cut jeans that match current fashion trends.

We stick with the classic look in jeans. That means fitted jeans that are a dark color. No fades, light blues, or rips! However, what’s in style is always changing.

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Chinos

The streets of Hydra

A pair of chinos works on both sexes. It’s a classic look when combined with a sweater, dress shirt, t-shirt, or blouse. When it comes to color choice, try to match the destination—darker colors in cooler climates and lighter colors in warmed climates.

Lightweight pants that are made from synthetic material are tremendous to have in your pack. These new “hiking pants” work as more casual pants and will be just as comfortable on the city streets as the mountains.

For women, Tasha likes a pair by prAna called the Halle. For men, prAna makes the Brion Pant. They are a tremendous pair of comfortable pants that belong on the trail or city streets. However, if you’re after a worthy investment, the BEST travel pants for men are made by Bluffworks.

Check Out Our Recommendations

Women’s prAna Halle

Men’s


Leather Boots

Normandy-France
Fall in Normandy!

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.


Sport/Travel Underwear

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.

Recommendations


Wool Socks

Austrian ski holiday
Winter in Lech

We’ve learned to love our feet with a good pair of 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

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 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.

Recommendations


Men’s Packing List for Europe


Dress Shirt

Vinyards of Corfu

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.


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. Try to avoid ones that have too many bells and whistles, like breast pockets or vented backs.

Recommendations


Watch

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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Capris

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.


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.

Shop Our Recommendation


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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Blouse

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.\


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.

See Our Recommendations


Sports Bras

No need for push-up bras when you’re active. I always bring a few pairs of sports bras when I’m traveling. 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


Handbag

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.


A Shawl

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


Sunscreen

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

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.

See Our Recommendations


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

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.


Europe Packing List in the Winter


Peacoat

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

Brittany-France-
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

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.


Down Parka

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.

Shop For Goose Down parka


Thermal Layers

Dolomites
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!

Shop For A Scarf, Hat, or Gloves


Best Things To Bring To Europe


Makeup

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.


Daypack

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

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.

See Our Recommendations


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.

See Our Recommendations


Passport Holder

tipping in europe

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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Camera

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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Earbuds

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

Exploring-France-

We never travel without travel insurance with World Nomads.  Natasha is a bit of a worrywart and would rather stay safe than sorry. World Nomads offers incredible flexibility and great plans! You never know if the worse could happen while you’re abroad, and often your insurance plan at home 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


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?


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 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 cash. So, forget the stupid travel wallet and carry a normal one in a front pocket.


Fanny Pack

This shouldn’t need to be said, but please do not wear a fanny pack. It’s 2021/22.


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 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. 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. Try to wear patterns, black socks, or to match your socks to your pants.


Final Packing Advice For Europe

You don’t need to pack everything on this list! Instead, base the 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!

My advice is to pack a few wardrobe staples and go 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 packing checklist for traveling to Europe. Everyone has a different style and plans!

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 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 “Europe Packing List • What To Wear in Europe For (Winter/Summer) Travel”

  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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