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(This post was updated in October 2019)

 

Have you booked your trip to Europe and are now need to know what to pack to travel around Europe in winter? 

 

This essential European winter packing list will provide you will provide all the information you need to ensure you pack the right clothes for your European vacation. As ice, snow and freezing Arctic winds can be the norm it is essential to pack the right clothes.

 

After traveling extensively around Europe (including living and working in Switzerland as well as a French ski resort in the Alps) this packing list is based on years of experience!

 

MY ESSENTIAL EUROPEAN WINTER PACKING LIST – TIPS

LUGGAGE 

Think carefully about the luggage you will use. If you are heading to multiple destinations consider how you will be traveling between destinations. 

 

If you are travelling by train it is important to ensure sure you can lift your bag over your head when it is full.  It is safer to put your bag in the overhead storage area where you can keep an eye on it.

 

Unfortunately there is a problem with pickpockets everywhere in Europe including on trains so you need to keep your belongings close. Definitely keep cash/cards and passports on your person. 

 

I recommend purchasing anti-pickpocket products to add a layer of protection to your belongings. After an attempted robbery by pickpockets in Paris I always travel with my anti-theft backpack, day pack and cross body bag. 


 

 

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CLOTHING

The most important thing is to pack clothes that you can layer. It WILL be cold so lots of thin layers with a coat over will keep you nice and warm. Conversely if you get too warm it is easy to simply remove a layer or two!

 

FOOTWEAR

Comfortable, waterproof, slip-proof footwear is essential. You will find it easier and safer to get around particularly on icy or snowy walkways.

 

Remember many of the cities have cobbled stoned streets and they are treacherous when wet. I wear a pair of fur lined boots which keep my feet comfortable, warm and dry.

 

TOILETRIES

Take small travel sized bottles of any make-up, moisturiser etc and check if your hotels supply toiletries as this will save space and weight.

 

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WEATHER FORECAST

Check the weather forecast a week before you depart to ensure you are prepared for the conditions.

WHAT TO PACK TO TRAVEL EUROPE IN WINTER

This is my recommended packing list for a week or longer in Europe in winter. I find that calculating what you need for one week will generally be enough for 2-3 weeks as most hotels offer a laundry service.
 
 
 
4 x Thermal vests – I recommend wearing layers and these are perfect. If would take 3/4 for a week. 
 
 
2 x thermal tights/pantihose. The wind can be bitterly cold so I would wear these under your jeans to provide additional warmth.
 

 
4 x Turtle necks – layer on top of the thermal vest. I recommend not taking bulky sweaters as they take up valuable packing space. These turtle necks will layer perfectly with the vests and a coat over the top.
 
 
 
Waterproof and windproof coat
 

2 x woolly hat, scarf and glove sets  – always take 2 sets so you have a spare set if one gets wet.

 
 
Waterproof boots
 

 
4 x pairs Thermal socks
 
PLUS
 
7 x underwear
3 x bras
 

 

ESSENTIAL EXTRAS TO TRAVEL EUROPE IN WINTER

In addition to my clothes I also always take the following items.

There have been a couple of occasions taking photographs in the cold and my fingers have literally turned blue. Putting my gloves back on with a couple of hand warmers inside is a life saver! Pack lip salve that is specifically for the colder winter weather. Chapped lips an be a real issue in the icy winds.

Don’t forget your sunglasses even in winter as the sun can be bright especially during snowy conditions.


 

I always travel with my iPhone, my MacBook Air, my DSLR and lenses and my Kindle. Inevitably I need additional chargers/batteries/adaptors and the bits and bobs to ensure everything is working when I need it.


 

 

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DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE

I always take out travel insurance as you just never know when you will need it. I highly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance from Legal Nomads. Click the link for a free quote – remember it only takes one slip on a patch of ice to require a visit to the hospital!

PIN FOR LATER – PACKING LIST AND TIPS FOR TRAVELLING EUROPE IN WINTER

The Ultimate packing checklist & tips to travel through Europe in Winter featured by top international travel blogger, Tracy's Travels in Time The Ultimate packing checklist & tips to travel through Europe in Winter featured by top international travel blogger, Tracy's Travels in Time

 

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Author: Tracy

Over the last 50 years I have lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to many more. I enjoy exploring and learning about new places and meeting people on my travels. History, reading, photography, nature and wildlife are my interests and I am ALWAYS researching and planning my next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, I share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help YOU travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information.

5 thoughts on “Essential European winter packing list (plus printable PDF)

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  4. Sharon says:

    This is great information! I haven’t traveled to Europe in winter but I would to go for the Christmas markets some year. Those hand warmers and the warm scarf caught my attention. Pinned this post for future reference!

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