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Need a packing list for Europe in winter for an upcoming offseason getaway? You’ll find everything you need to pack for your winter vacay right here.
First of all, congratulations on choosing such an iconic place for your winter holiday, whether you’re roughing it on a backpacker’s budget, or exploring cities in style Europe is a sort of rite of passage for travelers.
Whether you’re traveling the East or the West, and everything in between, your packing list wont different too much during the winter season. While you’ll need to dress slightly warmer in the north, and can choose lighter clothes in the south, your packing list will be similar no matter which countries you’re visiting.
The below packing list can be used for anything from a 1 week getaway to a 3 month backpacking trip. You’ll save your shoulders much stress by packing light and embracing your new best friend hand washing, or alternatively using laundromats if you have the cash.
Read on to learn what to wear in Europe in Winter.
When to Visit Europe: Weather and Seasons
What to wear in Europe in Winter (December, January, February): A coat and boots are a given when traveling Europe in winter as you’ll want to keep yourself warm while sightseeing. The closest north you’re visiting, the warmer you’ll want your clothing to be. While if traveling the south you’ll be able to get away without wearing gloves as long as you’re not overly sensitive to the cold.
Winter is actually a great time to visit Europe as you’ll see snow, have less crowds and may even get to visit a Christmas market or two.
What to wear in Europe in Spring ( March, April, May): Spring in Europe is a pretty time to travel, with temperatures thawing and flowers starting to pop up around the region. While it can still be cold, especially in the northern countries, you can get away with less clothes during this time.
What to wear in Europe in Summer (June, July, August): Summer is the most popular time to visit Europe, with tourists coming from all over to sightsee and gather in cafes. In the South and some parts of Central Europe temperatures can hover around 35C / 95F meaning you’ll want to seek shade and wear as little as possible. In the north however you’ll feel a lot more comfortable during this time.
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water in summer and remember to lather on the sunscreen.
What to wear in Europe in Fall / Autumn (September, October, November): As the summer heat gradually declines a rash of color spreads itself among the trees. Much like Spring, temperatures will be comfortable and crowds will lessen and you’ll find yourself more comfortable out and about. During fall a coat is still recommended especially if visiting the north and center of Europe.
What to Wear in Europe in Winter
How to dress for winter in Europe
- Coat x 1-2: Pick warmer styles if visiting the north.
- Cardigan or pullover x 1-2
- Tops x 5-8
- Pants x 2-4: You’ll fit in well wearing jeans here.
- Leggings x 1
- Boots x 1-2: Much like the coat, pick warmer boots if spending more time in the north.
- Sneakers or flats x 1: Something suitable for hikes, or days where you don’t feel like wearing boots. Optional.
- Scarf and gloves x 1-2: You can probably get away with not packing gloves if you’re headed for the south of Europe. These can also be purchased on your trip if you decide you need them.
- Woollen hat x 1-2
- Underwear x 5-10: You can handwash these so there’s no point in bringing a lot of underwear.
- Bra x 3-6
- Socks x 2-4: Can come in handy to keep you warm in hotel rooms and on particularly cold days.
What to Pack for Europe in Winter: Other Items
In Europe you could easily go either way, backpack or suitcase, there are positives and negatives to both options. Backpacks will be more useful if you expect a lot of rain, but it can be easier to pack and remove your winter clothes from a suitcase.
You can easily pick up supplies in a chemist once you arrive, and many locals can speak and understand English. To save space only take the necessities and you can purchase additional medicine if needed during your trip.
You’ll need to pack your basics like toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner and deodorant. I’d recommend getting travel sized bottles where you can. A razor and soap can also be carried in your toiletries bag but make sure your razor is put in your checked bags while flying.
Camera – Make sure you pack your camera and any lenses you need, alongside a few memories cards (8-16gb), your charger and 1-3 batteries.
Phone – bring your phone and charger.
Additional – If your country has different plugs you’ll need to pack an international plug adapter so you can use your electronics.
Bankcards & Passport:
Bring one MasterCard and one Visa to decrease your chances of not being able to find an teller machine that accepts your bankcard.
Also make photocopies of your passport leaving one with family, and one kept safe in an area separate to your passport. This will be helpful in case of theft, alternatively take a photo on your phone.
You’ll Need Travel Insurance | Europe Packing List for Winter
However the most important reason why I recommend travel insurance is for the medical coverage. Medical bills can multiple while getting into an accident abroad and can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands. Without travel insurance that could send anyone (and their family) into a large amount of debt. I personally wouldn’t risk traveling without travel insurance for this reason, and find the cost to be so small anyway that its not something I’d consider avoiding.
You can visit the website to see prices for your exact trip instantly here.