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Headed out for a winter wonderland trip around Europe? Here is a cozy and practical Europe in winter packing list for ladies and gents too.

Can I also say thank you to everyone who read my backpacking Europe packing list? I got great feedback and thought, “why not make a winter guide”. Maybe it’s because I am ready for winter adventures!!!

I have lived my entire life in warm climates with minimal seasons. I’m talking hot AF summers followed by dry winters. I get super jealous of all the people enjoying their white wonderlands, while I’m home crossing my fingers for a snow day. Why is it that we all want what we can’t have?

It should come as no surprise that I am all for a European getaway this winter. Europe in the winter is a magical place from ice festivals and legit reindeer villages to the charming Christmas markets where the smell of Gluhwein fills the air and lights dazzle in the night. Ahhhh, I love winter.

This post is going to lay out all the packing essentials for men and women! I’ve also included my favorite winter destinations in Europe and tips for surviving the cold. By the end of this, you should feel 100% prepared for your European winter getaway.


Europe in Winter Packing List

Frosty days in Frankfurt are survived with waterproof boots, cabin socks, cozy sweater, and raincoat for spur of the moment showers.


Is it worth traveling to Europe in the winter?

Europe in winter is not much cheaper than summer. If anything, it’s more expensive if you plan to visit winter festivals and Christmas markets around the continent.

Don’t get me started on New Years’. Between the shopping, wine, treats, and holiday parties you can spend a decent amount of money. Did I mention it’s all totally worth it and you should definitely go?


Europe in Winter Packing List

My boyfriend and his brother Armando who lives in Minnesota, therefore, winters in Europe don’t phase him. All he needs are basketball shorts, a scarf, and a light jacket haha.


What are the best backpacking destinations in Europe?

BY THE WAY, if you’re looking for guides on where to go in Europe you should glance at (ok read all of) these guides below.

I have traveled through Europe four times now both in the summer and winter and prepared useful travel tips and guides to get you started.

If you’re looking for:

Christmas Markets go to Budapest, Hungary and/or Frankfurt Germany.

History fix go to Berlin, Germany.

Medieval charm go to Prague, Czech Republic.

New Years Parties go to London, England.

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mens packing list for europe in the winter

People survive winter by layering as clearly demonstrated by Sandro.


How do people in Europe survive winter?

There are so many great things about exploring Europe in the winter. From a clothing perspective, they survive the same way any other winter destination does. By layering. Thermals, parkas, gloves, oh my!

Europe in Winter Packing List

Yes, winter in Europe is generally cold, but when you’re walking miles a day you will be surprised how nice that frosty temperature feels. Then some days you will be so cold, all you will want to do is stay cozy in your hostel bed. That’s why layering is key!!

Europe in Winter Packing List

Gluhwein is scolding hot wine sure to warm you up. It’s a Christmas Market staple. Make sure you pay extra to take home a keepsake cup like the red ones you see in this picture.


Backpacking Essentials Everyone Needs?

These have been mentioned many times in other guides. Feel free to scroll past if you’re well aware of my backpacking essentials. If you’re new here, HELLO, and this section is a must-read for you.

  • Large Bag aka mama bag to hold all your possessions.
  • Waterproof Day Bag for when it starts to snow. You don’t want your valuables getting wet. I love this backpack. It has tons of compartments (three front zippers and main compartment which can hold a laptop) and folds down quite nicely for easy packing in your large bag. It also has two expansible mesh sides for water bottles and/or umbrellas.
  • Packing Cubes are my secret weapon when it comes to packing light. I swear by them. They are not even that expensive. Some come with compression capabilities like these and others are more useful for organizing though I would argue they still save a ton of space pre-compression.
  • Portable Phone Charger and cord if you plan to be out for long periods at a time.
  • Camera duh! Unless you balled out on the latest iPhone and have no desire to shoot photos and video in manual mode, then you can probably bypass a camera. If you are using your phone then consider upgrading your cloud storage to backup all your photos.
  • Plug Adapters are a must unless you want to buy all your hot tools and chargers abroad. The only time I recommend that is if you travel to Europe a lot. I have hair straightener with a European plug, but that’s not to say I still don’t travel with plug adapters. Now, some hotels have built-in converters, which is nice. Best to be safe though.
  • Umbrella/Raincoat because rain and snow in Europe in the winter is utterly unavoidable.
  • Locks are always useful if you’re staying in hostels with lockers. Some come with key fob automation but some are old school and require a padlock. I would grab a large padlock and a couple of smaller ones for your actual luggage.
  • Sunglasses are still needed in winter. If you’re headed down further south you will definitely hit sunny days, which means you need to protect your eyes.
  • Moisturizer might be more necessary in the winter. Between the frosty wind and hot showers, your skin can quickly dry up and crack. My hands always take a beating in the winter. It’s important to lotion your face, hands, booty, whatever even if it’s covered. Those hot showers will get you.
  • Chapstick is essential in cold weather. My lips are always dry despite drinking a gallon of water a day. It was not until I found Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm that my lips finally started to look alive. I apply it before bed and throughout the day for hydration and shine.
  • Passport or else you won’t make it very far.
  • Copies of Important Documents to be safe in the event you lose your credit cards and passport. I make a copy of them to keep on hand plus a digital copy in my emails. There have been times when we rented a scooter and they wanted to hold our passports. That’s a hard no for us, so instead, we settled on a copy of our passport.
  • Travel Insurance: It blows my mind how often I used to travel without travelers’ insurance. Good thing nothing bad ever happened. Now that I’m old and wiser, I absolutely purchase travelers insurance. I used Geo Blue on my last trip which has high medical coverage.


Europe in Winter Packing List

Thankful for my purple hair to give the cold damp day a pop of color.


Best European Winter Coats

You will get warm at times if you’re drinking mule wine and walking miles a day. In that case, it’s nice to have the option to remove a warm jacket vice versa. These are my go-to jackets for warmth and foldability. I hate a stiff, bulky jacket. At the very least it needs to be able to be tied around my waist.

  • Fleece: After your shirt layers, comes the fleece layer. My fleece is warm enough for everyday use and has deep pockets to store my gloves, beanie, etc.
  • Raincoat for when it rains but you still want to stay warm. This raincoat comes with a material lining for added warmth.
  • Parka if you’re visiting the northern countries. You will be super-duper cold and a long parka is necessary.
mens packing list for europe in the winter

Grow a beard in winter. Keeps you warmer.


Best Boots for Europe Winter

Picking the right boots is everything. You need comfort, warmth, dryness, and cuteness. It’s a checklist so long you might as well be one of those people on House Hunters. I scavenged the internet in search of the best boots for cold winters in Europe and found a few pairs that are my favorite (tried & tested).

Functional, Warm and Stylish Boots for Men & Women

Yes, even you fellas want to look cute (ok handsome) in the winter. That’s why I love these Timberland Mid Ankle Boot. They are waterproof, insulated, and look stylish. They are not chunky like many weather-proof boots and come in various shades from matte brown to all black.

I also really love these Men’s UGG Caulder Snow Boot. They are insulated with lamb fur with a rubber sole and water-resistant exterior.

For you ladies, Timberland makes a great boot for women. These slim boots sit right above the ankle with a fold-down option meaning you can turn the boot into a low-ankle bootie exposing the lamb fur lining. They come in five different colors including a rich burgundy.

Europe in Winter Packing List

This outfit head to toe consists of a beanie, thermal shirt, turtleneck, scarf, gloves, long chiffon skirt, thermal pants, thin socks, cabin socks, and waterproof boots. Boom! Winter outfit complete.


Women’s Packing List for Europe Winter

As with all my packing guides, I like to throw in fashionable pieces. Deciding what to wear is half the fun. This is what you will typically find in my suitcase whenever I’m headed to Europe in the winter.

  • 1-2 Scarves: I will bring one big scarf that’s basically a blanket and wrap it up to my nose. Ahhhh, it’s so cozy. I also bring a thinner scarf on warmer days when I don’t need to wear a heavy jacket. Scarves do wonders in keeping you warm, even without a jacket.
  • 1-2 Beanies: I love beanies. They not only make a huge difference in keeping you warm, but they also make for a great outfit accessory. I love buying various colors and ones with slogans (i.e. Mischief Managed).
  • Jackets: As I mentioned above you will want a large jacket, fleece, and in some cases, a parka.
  • Gloves: If you’re going somewhere with lots of snow, then bring two pairs of gloves. One will essentially act as thermals. These are the thin layers that I use, topped with a thicker pair.
  • Boots: Given how bulky winter attire is, you may only be traveling with one pair of shoes. That’s why you need versatile boots that satisfy the cuteness, warmth, dry, and comfort test.
  • Cabin Socks: These are hands-down the softest socks I have even slid on to my cold feet. Think slipper in sock form. My feet are always cold. Always. That’s why I wear a regular ankle cut sock under these cabin socks. If my feet are warm, I don’t need to wear thick legwear. I can get by with leggings under a sweater dress or jeans without thermals. So yeah, get yourself some cabin socks.
  • 2-3 Thermals: You absolutely need a couple of pairs of thermals to wear under your jeans and shirts. Because these can be rolled and stuffed easily compared to jeans, I recommend doubling up on the thermals and only a couple pairs of jeans.
  • 1-2 Jeans: Because you are wearing thermals under your jeans you don’t need to wash them as often. You could get by on wearing the same pair of jeans for 3-4 days assuming you don’t roll around in the dirt.
  • 2-3 layering sweaters: If you don’t want to bring a fleece jacket you could get by wearing a thick sweater. I absolutely love this one and practically live in it every year.
  • 2 Dresses: I personally love sweater dresses. Paired with a long coat and stockings, then you have yourself one cute winter outfit. If you’re staying through the holidays then consider a nice sweater dress to dress up and/or down as needed.
  • Black tights: We spent New Year’s Eve in Budapest so I knew I wanted to glamify my outfit without consuming space. I decided on these glittered black tights.
  • 2 Pairs of Leggings: Leggings or thermals, whatever you want to call them. They will make a huge difference in keeping you warm. You can also wear them with dresses or large sweaters on warmer winter days in Europe.
  • 4 shirts for bed: You would be surprised how many times I forget to pack sleeping attire. I pack a few shirts (2-4 depending on trip duration) and use them for both sleeping and working out. I’ll sleep in the shirt and when I wake up, I’ll keep it on through a workout.
  • 2 pairs of Jogger Pants: Sweatpants are great for lounging and traveling days. Just like my shirts mentioned above, I also use sweatpants as both sleeping and gym clothes.
  • Toiletries: Toiletries vary depending on your needs. I wouldn’t focus too much on the basic essentials, because you can get those all around Europe (i.e. contact solution, soaps, toothpaste, etc.). My biggest advice would be to pack tampons if you’re devoted to a certain brand because you will find many in Europe to be cardboard and crazy expensive compared to the U.S. I know that’s TMI but you will thank me for sharing.
  • Swimsuit: For those hot springs. Iceland and Budapest are popular winter destinations for hot spring goers. Budapest has its sauna parties will into winter.


mens packing list for europe in the winter

Brothers but clearly opposite when it comes to dressing for winter. The left brother is wearing ear warmers and right is wearing a beanie. Which do you prefer?


Men’s Packing List for Europe Winter

Ok fellas, it’s time to talk about you. You might notice this to be redundant on the typical winter wear like scarves and beanies, but I promise I’ve incorporated some unknowns you will appreciate. This entire men’s packing list was made with my boyfriend in mind. I find he always gets hot before I do, so the men’s products are warm with removable options.

  • 1-2 Scarves
  • 1-2 Beanies
  • Gloves: These ones have touch screen capability on the index finger to use your phone.
  • 2-4 Thermals: You want top and bottom thermals. They can even be used as sleeping attire. My boyfriend would sleep in this thermals then dress them under his clothes in the morning.
  • Boots: I discuss the boots above. They really are the best option if you want comfort, practicality, and style.
  • Cabin Socks: If you find your feet typically be warm then you can skip the cabin socks. My boyfriend brought one pair but wore them in the hostel.
  • Long Wool Socks: If you prefer something thinner than cabin socks but still warm.
  • Toiletries: Surprise but men need to moisturize too, even if you have a beard. The skin under all that hair can still get dry. I recommend bringing some beard products, face scrub, and moisturizer to keep your beard tamed and skin hydrated.
  • 1 collared shirt: Sandro brought one for the holidays. We planned a Christmas dinner and NYE party and wanted to look nice. Rather than an entire suit, a simple button-down worked great and didn’t take up a ton of space.
  • 1-2 pairs of pants
  • 2 Jogger Pants
  • 3 layering sweaters: I love these pullovers. They look sharp but are super warm.
  • 2 turtlenecks: If you don’t want to wear a scarf you can opt for turtlenecks instead.
  • Ear Warmers: My boyfriend loves beanies but his brother was a big fan of these ear warmers. They both serve the same purpose – it comes down to your preference. I think this fleece ear warmer headband is nice.
  • Thermal boxers: These breathable boxers will add a layer of warmth with wicking and odor-resistant properties.
  • Fleece
  • Swimming trunks: Just like the ladies need a swimsuit for the hot springs, so do the men. If you don’t make it to the hot springs, you may have an indoor pool at your hotel.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: What to Pack for Chicago in the Fall



mens packing list for europe in the winter

Warm’ish winter days in Italy means I can get by with thermals and a cozy scarf.


How to Pack Light for Winter Travel

I’ll wrap this packing list up with a few packing tips. Winter clothes are bulky and take up way more space than summer clothes. If you’re like me and hate checking luggage then you will want to pay close attention.

Always roll your clothes, and if needed, wear your thickest coat on the plane.

For an even better solution, I recommend using these space savers. This one works like a charm and it comes with its own pump to get all that air out.

Unlike bulky coats which are difficult to shove in a day bag and/or tie around your waist, you’re pretty much left to carrying it over your arm, or head if you are really lazy. We’ve all seen that person walking around with the hood of their coat on their head. That’s why I truly believe warm accessories are the quick solution to getting warm and cool. Most are small enough to throw in your day bag, so pack more scarves, thermals, beanies, socks, and gloves rather than tons of jackets. This will save you space and keep you warm.

As for toiletries, condense your soaps into small containers like contact lens cases. You will be shocked by how far you can stretch your face wash.

Europe will always have a special place in my heart. Every time I visit, I learn something new – from best practices to personal reflection. Travel opens your mind and changes you for the better. That said, I hope you apply these tips and have a wonderful time.

Psst. . . Looking for more European adventures? Check out these guides:

Have you ever traveled through Europe? What tips worked or didn’t work for you? Share in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission (at no cost to you) when you purchase through these links, which helps me keep my lights on and order pizza from Dominos! I am extremely grateful. Thank you.

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