The 10 Essentials And More: Backpacking Europe Packing List

Let’s go backpacking through Europe! While this sounds like a fantastic idea, and can be a really easy way to travel, proper packing for the trip is essential. The type of pack I choose is as important as its contents.

My backpacking through Europe packing list must include clothing, toiletries, electronics, and room for any souvenirs I plan to bring home. I need a pack that is sturdy enough to travel with me, but light enough to allow me to be comfortable carrying it everywhere. I could opt for one with wheels if I plan to travel in town versus meandering through the countryside.

I am sure there are many questions that you have about your next trip and I hope I can answer at least a few of them for you.

What Kind Of Backpack Should I Choose?

The number one item on my backpacking Europe packing list is the perfect pack. If the pack is too heavy or bulky, it can be quite painful or you can get tired. Stopping to constantly adjust the pack takes away time I have to enjoy my vacation.

A pack that is lightweight but sturdily constructed is the best choice. A backpack with an extendable handle and wheels is a great option for when I’m in the city. A good choice in backpacks makes a huge difference.

What Kind Of Clothes Should I Pack?

As I have already said, lightweight items are the key to a good backpacking through Europe packing list. I suggest packing approximately 8 items of clothing for a 9-10 day trip; 3-4 shirts and 3-4 pairs of either longer style shorts (clothing that shows the knee is not allowed in some places) or pants.

This does not include undergarments and socks. Make sure to choose items that can be mixed and matched, especially if you plan to bring any jewelry. I always bring one outfit that is a bit dressier for a night on the town.

My clothes also need to fit the weather for the areas I’m going to visit as well as the time of year. Some parts of Europe are colder in the morning and evening hours, so I will want a light jacket and the ability to layer a few pieces of clothes that can be removed in the heat of the day.

Finally, you will also want very comfortable walking or hiking shoes. Seriously, the few dollars you spent getting a less comfortable shoe will not compare to experience (and potentially money) you will waste by not being able to fully enjoy and embrace your trip.

What Electronics Should I Bring?

A backpacking Europe packing list is not going to be complete without my camera. I want to capture the memories. I bring my DSLR with a standard, zoom, and wide angle lens, but I am really into photography. If you take a DSLR, don’t forget a few extra memory cards in case one gets corrupted or you just take so many photos.

how to backpack through europe 3

My list also includes my phone, the charger for both it and my camera, and of course an outlet adapter to ensure that I will be able to use the chargers once I arrive.

Many electronic items that you will bring now come with the ability to use 110 or 210-230 volts. If you aren’t sure about your device, or what the power will be where you’re going, it’s always best to have a power converter/adapter on hand.

If I am planning to backpack, there is no need for a laptop. There are many internet cafes in Europe where I can pop in to check e-mails or browse the web for a nominal fee. And with the amount of free WIFI available, my phone normally provides everything I need.

Anyways, it’s imperative that I keep my electronics safe from theft while traveling, so the less I bring, the easier they are to keep track of.

How Do I Pack It All?

backpacking europe packing list

My Europe backpacking list items need to fit neatly into my bag. I start by putting things I won’t need frequently at the bottom of the bag. Lay all shirts together and roll up tightly to take up less space (and minimize wrinkles!).

Do the same for pants/shorts. Socks/ underwear can be tucked in around other items (expert tip: socks and underwear make great protection for your camera). Toiletries should be in small 3ml bottles (anything you need over this amount can be purchased later) and assembled in a clear, zip baggie.


Lightweight clothing, toiletries, and minimal electronics are what to pack for any backpacking trip to Europe. Unlike packing for a more casual trip to Europe, adding unnecessary bulk and weight will cause frequent stops that limit your ability to fully enjoy your vacation, and can be downright frustrating altogether.

Planning your list well ahead of time will ensure you have what you need without overdoing it and will reduce stress to ensure a successful trip. Proper placement of the items in the bag will add to your comfort and cut down time spent searching for things you know are there but can’t seem to find. Enjoy your trip and maybe I’ll see you on the street somewhere!

Love it? Share it!

Charlie studied Computer Science at Berkeley and thought he had the rest of his life planned out: work for a few tech startups, meet the girl of his dreams, and settle into the valley. That is until he studied abroad in Norway during his junior year. He now dedicates his life to backpacking the world and finding that amazing place in some obscure part of the world which hasn't yet been discovered - and telling you all about it.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: