Europe Packing List: The 10 Things You Cannot Forget

Avventura! Aventure! Abenteuer! Adventure, adventure, adventure! When I travel to Europe, adventure is always what I seem to find. What I do not want, however, is to waste an incredible opportunity because I forgot to pack one or more travel necessities.

Based on my experiences, I have devised a list of Europe travel essentials that will make packing for your next European trip simple. No matter where I go, these 10 things must be in my bag to ensure a comfortable, successful, and, most importantly, adventurous trip.

Wondering What To Pack For Europe?


First, and personally most important, is my favorite hiking shoes, although many people prefer walking shoes. I typically explore a city on foot as I get to know the city so much better this way. I want to see a city the way the locals do.

I want to visit each town as though I am planning to move there; delving into the food, the culture, and the history. Having that perfect pair of walking or hiking shoes at the top my Europe packing list makes sure my feet don’t sore or I don’t get a blister and can thoroughly enjoy the trip the way I want to.


The best type of clothing to pack for Europe is light and comfortable items that can be layered. I honestly often wear t-shirts that fit nicely under a sweater or jacket. I really like active wear as it dries quickly and keeps me cool in case it’s warm.

Going fancy? Bring a couple lightweight polo or Oxford shirts and a pair of khakis, but most of my time is spent walking or traveling, which calls for ultimate comfort instead of fashion.

europe packing list

A lightweight jacket or sweater is also an European travel essential. Because of latitude of many part of Europe, it can get very cool in the mornings, humid in the afternoons, and cool again in the evening. Layering and then adding a lightweight jacket keeps me warm if the temps are lower early or late in the day.

These items are also thin enough that I can easily shed them during a warmer afternoon. They don’t add much weight to my travel backpack, and I can always throw them back on later if temperatures drop again during the evening.

If you know if may get cold, I love lightweight down jackets as they can pack down to almost nothing. Add a light rain jacket on top of it and you will be prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you - and you didn’t add much weight to your pack!


So I see that everyone including myself packs too much, particularly in this department. Since I want to feel that I am fully immersing myself in the places I visit, another item on my packing list for Europe is my camera. I personally love my DSLR because it takes incredible photos even if you don’t feel that you are the best photographer. But don’t forget your smartphone; smart phone cameras are getting so good that it may be all you need, especially if you take HDR images with it. Your phone also won’t take up much room and you can protect it much easier than a DSLR.

Don’t forget your phone. You can either purchase an unlocked phone and a local SIM card, which is very affordable in Europe. Personally, I don’t like being so in touch when I travel as it takes me away from my trip. I bring my normal phone and stay connected when I get free WIFI somewhere, which is becoming ever easier to do. I don’t even bring a laptop as I can do pretty much everything I need from my phone.

europe packing list

If you want an excellent tip, use your favorite map app to find your next location when you have free wifi. You can turn your phone onto airplane mode and your GPS will still work - and it’s all for free!

Also, don’t forget your European plug adapter or power converter to charge your devices! As many things can be charged with a USB port, I typically bring a multiport USB wall charger.


europe packing list

All in all, I want packing for Europe, and the trip itself, to be as stress-free as I can make it. Trust me - you can minimize the things you bring and still have everything you need. Don't end up dragging this with you where ever you go!

If you pack correctly, you can be rest assured you are on your way to a trip of your lifetime and you will have the right gear and clothing to make the most of it.

I hope you find this summary helpful and you don’t make some of the mistakes I have made in the past, either dragging around a bag that is too heavy or worse, forgetting your camera! If you didn’t want to read this whole article, here’s a short version of things you absolutely can’t forget:

A Quick Europe Trip Packing List:

  1. Comfortable hiking / walking shoes.

  2. Thin, lightweight clothing to layer

  3. Light jacket. A rain jacket is the most versatile. Add a down jacket if you expect some cold weather

  4. Personal electronics: camera, phone, usb chargers

  5. Plug adaptor and/or power converter

  6. Travel sized hygiene essentials (Razor, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo/soap)

  7. Water bottle

  8. Passport

  9. Money belt or hidden pockets

  10. Sunglasses

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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.

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