When you ask some people why they don’t travel to Europe during winter, the very first answer they give is how hard it is to pack for winter. I agree it can be a bit challenging but if you have the right Europe winter packing list, then you will be close to mastering the art of packing for Europe in winter.
As obvious as it, I will still mention it – it might be incredibly hard to pack light since most of the winter items are relatively heavy so it’s quite important to pack only the essentials while traveling in winter to avoid the extra luggage fees! yeah, this is the moment you realize how much you took traveling in summer for granted – but never the less, I hope this packing list for winter in Europe will help you pack better and eventually travel better during winter.
Europe winter packing list
Packing list for winter in Europe – Clothing
The clothes you pack for winter in Europe will be different from the ones you pack for summer. In summer you can get away with just wearing a tank top but winter requires a lot of layering. And depending on which country you’re visiting in Europe, you might end up packing 3- 5 layers and these are only for a single “wearing”. If you come from tropical countries where “layering” is not a thing, welcome to Europe winter where it’s the daily norm. If you don’t know yet what I am talking about, read on and I will explain.
The Baselayer/ First layer – Long-sleeved tops or shirts
The first layer of clothes is the first piece of material that is right on your skin. This needs to be tight on your skin as it provides your very “first” warmth. It can either be this really comfortable woolen Merino longsleeved top for women or this one for men. The number of baselayers you pack entirely depends on the amount of time you’ll spend traveling in winter. For the bottom base layer, I would recommend not leaving behind these comfortable woolen leggings – they are a girl traveler’s best friend or buying this full set thermal base layer. And for the guys, this Rocky thermal base layer set will blow your mind.
The Mid layer – Sweater or Fleece
As you pack for winter in Europe, you’ll need to pack mid-layer clothes for more warmth. This could be a really warm sweater or a woolen fleece. I recommend buying this Patagonia fleece ( here’s the Men’s version) but some people swear that this Columbia fleece works wonders for them. If sweaters are your gem, then this warm sweater will be perfect for Europe winter.
The Outer layer – Winter Jackets/ Coats
This is where the heavy stuff comes into play. Those long jackets you might have seen in Christmas movies are what I am talking about. But if you don’t fancy the long coats, then bring along a waterproof jacket (here’s the men’s version) for when it rains or even just to keep away snow and maximize your body warmth – the longer the better to help warm your legs aswell. If you can even get one with a hood, then that will be a double win.
Also, make sure that you buy a neutral colored jacket or coat so that you can easily wear it with other clothes – black or dark blue would be perfect and just one winter jacket will be enough.
For jeans, you don’t need to carry as much as the tops, 2-4 pairs of jeans are enough even for a trip of 2 weeks. All you have to do is to pack ones that are of neutral colors so that you can easily recycle them. These Signature by Levi Strauss Jeans are so comfortable, you’ll want to buy 10 of them.
Leggings are a must-have in any girl’s luggage whether it’s packing for winter or summer. The only difference is that in winter, you’ll need to pack the thick ones for utmost warmth and comfort. These thick and warm Merino woolen leggings are the best in cold weather.
I would advise you to pack really comfortable underwears – ones that won’t need to be adjusted with tonnes of clothing on top – so these Merino wool underwears for women will be warm and super comfortable and if you’re a guy, buy yours from here.
Woolen socks must be added on a Europe winter packing list as they will keep your feet really warm and dry. These woolen socks are the ones I recommend when traveling to Europe in Winter. They might be a bit pricier than any other socks on the market but they are worth every penny and you can count on them to keep your feet dry at all times. But if you want ones that are budget-friendly, then these are of great value.
It might seem weird to some that I am adding swimsuits to a list of what to pack for winter in Europe but don’t judge me yet, I am gonna explain. During winter in Europe, most swimming pools, especially in high-end hotels, are heated so you’ll need a bathing suit for that. You might also want to spend some time in the jacuzzi or better yet in an indoor swimming pool so that’s why a swimsuit is one of the items to pack for Europe in winter.
What to pack for Europe in winter – Winter accessories
Do not forget a scarf while packing for Europe in winter. A good quality scarf like this one will add you more warmth. The bigger the better as it can also double as a blanket when you just want to cozy up back at your hotel.
Unless you want your hands to freeze to death, then you don’t need to take gloves, otherwise, I would advise you to pack gloves while going to Europe during winter. I recommend buying these gloves as they’re not only very warm but also touchscreen sensitive which means that you won’t need to take them off every time you want to use your phone.
They say the part on a human body that gets affected the most when it’s super cold are the ears and they’re definitely right. A knit cap won’t only help to keep your head warm during snowy Europe but also your ears from freezing. If you don’t have one yet, don’t worry- you can buy it on Amazon from here.
Don’t want to pull your knit cap right down to your ears, then buy yourself Earmuffs. They are great when it comes to protecting your ears from the cold. These earmuffs are super warm, comfortable, foldable and adjustable.
Waterproof Winter boots
This is actually more of a necessity than an accessory as there is no way you can go out in European winter without them. But you also have to note that not all boots are perfect for winter. Winter boots must be comfortable, easy to walk in even on ice, waterproof, lightweight and above all warm. So if you’ve been in the market for such amazing winter boots and couldn’t find any, here are ones that will survive Europe’s winter – and here is the men’s version.
Europe winter packing list – Travel essentials
Packing for Europe in winter doesn’t mean that you just have to pack only winter clothes, there are other general travel essentials that should be included on your winter travel checklist.
There is no better way to organize your stuff while traveling than using packing cubes. Even when traveling in Europe during winter, packing cubes won’t only help you organize your travel items but also help you pack light. Four packing cubes will be enough – one for tops, one for the bottoms and jackets, one for the general travel essentials and the other one for toiletries and accessories. These are the best packing cubes to add to your Europe winter packing list.
There is no better place to take perfect winter photos like in Europe. It would be such a shame to miss out on capturing Instagram worthy shots of winter in Europe – so don’t forget to pack a camera before you go. Yes, I know smartphones have great cameras these days, but a photo taken by a good quality camera can’t be matched.
If you’re not sure about which camera to buy, this list of the best cameras for travelers will help you make a decision.
Extra batteries and memory cards
You won’t need to worry about running out of memory when photographing beautiful snowy Europe when you carry extra memory cards. The same goes for batteries, you’ll need to carry some extras to be on a safe side. For maximum storage, either buy two of this 65 GB storage memory card or this mega 256 GB memory card.
Microfiber lightweight travel towel
If you’re planning to stay in hostels during your time in Europe, I’d advise you to pack a quick-dry travel towel. Though some hostels might provide one, you can’t be 100% sure which ones will and which ones won’t. So it’s better to have your own. This Microfiber travel towel is a perfect choice since it is lightweight and dries quickly.
Universal Travel Adaptor
The biggest percentage of Europe uses the same travel adaptor with the exception of the UK and Ireland. If you plan to visit just the other European countries, then this Europe travel adapter will be enough.
But if your Europe Itinerary has the UK or Ireland on it plus any of the other European countries, then it’s better to buy this universal travel adaptor that you can easily use everywhere you travel to.
It is a known fact that winter drains the battery of electronics much faster than in summer. So be sure to pack a power bank to charge your phone every time the battery dies out.
First Aid kit
Before traveling to Europe in winter, you’ll need to pack a First Aid kit for emergencies that might arise. Remember it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Just make sure that the one you pack has all the essentials and that it is small and light enough to fit in any kind of daypack. This first aid kit actually fits all the qualities mentioned above plus it is really cheap for what it offers.
Well, it’s not that you’re going to physically pack it in your backpack but before you head to Europe in winter – you’ll need to buy travel insurance. The travel insurance I recommend is Worldnomdas because it covers a number of items and the claiming process is fairly easy.
There you have it, friends, that was the Europe winter packing list. So if you were wondering what to pack for Europe in winter, I hope this guide gave you an idea of what not to leave behind.
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- The most beautiful castles in France to visit
- The best places to visit in Paris
- 10 best places to see the northern lights in Europe
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