Putting together a 2-week Europe packing list can prove incredibly difficult regardless if it’s your first trip to the continent or if you are a seasoned traveller.
Especially if you’re trying to travel light and minimalistically, prioritising things for your trip to Europe can be a bit tricky. We have travelled extensively all over Europe and have refined this ultimate packing list in order to ensure that you have everything you need, but also not too much!
So if you’re after the perfect packing list for Europe, then look no further. We’re here to make sure that you’re perfectly well-equipped for your trip without bringing one item too many in your limited space!
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Europe Packing Tips
Before I jump right into what you actually need to pack for Europe, we do need to discuss a few things in order to ensure that you are completely prepared to leave on your trip to Europe.
One of the most important things to be aware of is the season where you’re travelling, along with the region. Europe is vast with an array of varied climates and what you need to bring to be prepared largely depends on where and when you are visiting.
What you eventually end up taking with you really inevitably comes down to if you’re visiting Europe in winter or summer, northern or southern Europe.
Another thing to keep in mind when you’re planning out a packing list for visiting Europe is just how much you plan to bring with you.
It can be really hard to know what you’ll need or use on your trip, especially if you haven’t travelled much in Europe before. However, it is always a great idea to try to limit the amount of stuff you cart around with you.
Packing light can be a lot more pleasant in almost every aspect of travelling, from not having to worry about the weight limits on airlines or hauling your bags up stairs, through train stations and luggage racks.
Packing light also has the added benefit of making your things a lot easier to pack up and move when you move destination. It is unlikely that you will plan to stay in just one location on your trip and you don’t want to have to unpack and repack a bunch of different things every few days – not only is this simply a pain, it can also be very stressful.
The packing list below is quite minimalist, however, in times of travelling for similar-length trips to Europe, I’ve found that it is beyond sufficient.
When it comes to selecting items of clothing, especially, try to stray away from anything that you cannot mix and match and, often, opting for darker colours can be a great option.
Thinking more in the mindset of bringing a small capsule wardrobe rather than individual outfits to wear will help you be able to pack light while also mixing and matching to create a new look every day.
The other tip when it comes to packing light is to find accommodation that offers laundry facilities. Planning to do a wash while on the road will allow you not to have to bring so many things considering the fact that you can do a load of laundry mid-way through your trip.
Many hotels and hostels offer laundry services or, alternatively, you could find an Airbnb that has a washing machine you could use yourself. Laundromats are also always an option, though I can’t imagine it’s the preferable option considering the limited amount of time you have when it comes to exploring Europe.
Finally, when it comes to bringing items such as a hairdryer, curling iron or straightener, I would recommend refraining from this.
The vast majority of accommodations will have at least a hairdryer on-site and, especially if you’re travelling to Europe from North America, the voltage in the plugs is completely different and you risk completely ruining your devices should you use them, even if you are using an adaptor.
All in all, there are a number of things that one needs to take into consideration when figuring out what to pack for Europe. Follow the guidelines below and you should be perfectly well-equipped for your trip!
Ultimate Packing List for Europe
This ultimate Europe packing list is perfect for those looking to pack light and be a bit more minimalist in their adventure. While this certainly isn’t a complete bare-bones packing list for those who want to, say, travel carry-on only, it is good for those looking to not bring everything but the kitchen sink.
This is intended that you pack in a larger main piece of luggage (whether that be a travel backpack, wheeled backpack or traditional suitcase) along with a smaller piece of carry-on luggage such one from Level8.
This checklist is also appropriate for all sexes and genders, just pick and choose some things as they don’t apply to you.
Figuring out what kind of clothing to bring is arguably the most important and most difficult thing about packing for Europe.
As mentioned earlier, it’s always a great idea to opt for neutral colours and items that you can mix and match to ensure that you can have some variety in your outfits without having to bring too many things and take up necessary valuable space in your luggage.
- 4 Tops
- Depending on the season or region of Europe you’re visiting, either bring a mixture of long-sleeve and short-sleeve tops, just long-sleeve or just short-sleeve tops to wear in Europe.
- I always recommend bringing one or two nicer tops or button-down shirts along with more casual t-shirts or tops. We like Bluffworks t-shirts as they’re both practical and also look good!
- 2 Pants
- Bringing one pair of jeans and one pair of another type of trouser is a great idea or one pair of lighter jeans and one pair of darker jeans. Having at least one pair of pants that can be dressed up is always a good idea
- You can browse some of our the best options in our best pants for travel in Europe guide.
- 1 Dress/Skirt
- I, personally, love Bluffworks’ dresses, which have concealed pockets, a classic and flattering cut and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the situation. Oh, it also is wrinkle-resistant and fully machine washable.
- 1-2 Shorts
- If you’re visiting Southern Europe or simply travelling in the summer months, then having one or two pairs of shorts can be a great idea, especially when you need to keep cool or are heading to the beach.
- 1-2 Tank Tops/Base Layers
- If your trip is during winter, having a tank top or light base layer will keep you warm without having to result in a bulky coat or jacket.
- 1 Sweater
- Depending on the season or region, a cosy wool sweater or a light cardigan is a great idea when packing for 2 weeks in Europe. It can also be a good idea if you bring one that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion (are you seeing a trend here?).
- 1 Warm Jacket
- Of course, you likely don’t need to include a jacket at all if you’re travelling to, say southern Spain or Malta in July, however, depending on the season, a warm, lightweight jacket is always a good idea for your trip.
- We recommend a packable down jacket (click here for men’s version), however, we have written a detailed guide for the best jacket for Europe depending on your needs.
- 1 Rain Jacket
- 5-10 Underwear
- How much underwear you bring really depends on at what point in your trip you want to do laundry. If you want to avoid washing at all, then go ahead and bring 14 or 15 pairs of underwear. They do take up valuable space, however.
- 5-10 Pairs of Socks
- Like underwear, how many socks (and the kinds of socks) you bring really depends on your shoe preference and just how often you want to do laundry.
- 1-2 Swimsuits
- Bringing a swimming suit is a great idea even if you’re not going to a seaside destination. You never know when you may go to a bathhouse, sauna or pool on your Europe trip no matter the season.
- If you happen to be travelling to a beachy destination like Italy or Spain, consider bringing 2 pairs so you have time to dry each suit between wearings.
- 2 Bras
- I, personally, like to bring one regular bra and one sports bra, but this really depends on your needs and preferences.
- 1 Pajamas
- If you’re not a pajamas person, then don’t bother. I am, so I bring them. One pair for 2 weeks is sufficient.
Shoes take up A LOT of space in your luggage so limiting the footwear you bring on your Europe trip can be the ticket for maximising the space in your bags.
We have a complete guide on the best shoes for Europe to help you pick the right footwear for you. This is just what we recommend bringing when you’re compiling a packing list for 2 weeks.
- 1 Pair Sneakers
- 1 Pair Nicer Shoes/Sandals/Boots
- Choose your second pair of shoes depending on your style and the season you’re travelling in.
- 1 Pair Hiking Boots (optional)
- 1 Pair Rubber Flip-Flops
- Small, compact, and helpful for everywhere from the beach to a hostel shower to a public pool, a pair of flip flops should always make it into your luggage!
Whether fashion accessories or handy electronic gadgets, some of these are absolutely essential items to bring with you on your trip to Europe!
- The most important accessory of them all!
- 1-2 Scarves
- Perfect for add a splash of style to any outfit, sipping over your head or shoulders if you’re visiting a church, using as a makeshift blanket, and also for its traditional use, a scarf is absolutely necessary to bring with you no matter the season.
- A warm hat to keep you toasty in the winter in Europe is always welcome, as is a sun hat to protect you from the harsh rays during summer in Europe.
- An essential item on any winter packing list!
- Handbag/Day Pack
- A solid anti-theft handbag like the PacSafe Cityscape or day pack is perfect for keeping your valuables safe and secure while you’re out and about sightseeing and exploring.
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Buying water and using plastic water bottles is a thing of the past. There are an infinite number of great water bottles for travelling to choose from like a Hydro Flask and you’ll never need to buy a single-use plastic bottle again.
- If you’re more serious about your photography than simply relying on your phone, then bringing a good camera is a great idea.
- We love the Sony A6400 for its high-quality images at a decent starting budget and there being several great travel lenses to use with it. Make sure to bring extra memory cards!
- You always need to have something good to read, but don’t want to pack a bunch of heavy books to bring with you – a Paperwhite Kindle solves all of these problems and it is an absolutely essential item if you love to read.
- Smartphone / SIM Card
- Plug Adaptors
- Finding a universal plug adaptor with a number of different USB drives is a fantastic option and is an absolutely essential item when travelling to Europe from elsewhere in the world!
- Power Bank
- Finally, a power bank will give you peace of mind should your phone die while you are out and about or if you forget to give something a much-needed charge when you need to use it.
- Charging Cords
- Making sure you have an adequate number of charging cords for all of your devices will ensure that you can make sure everything can get the best battery life possible.
- Travel Insurance
- Shampoo/Conditioner in reusable bottles
- Save your money and landfill space and forgo the travel-sized toiletries for refillable bottles of your shampoo and conditioner. We love GoToobs.
- You might want to bring earplugs if you’re staying at a hostel or budget accommodation where street noise can be an issue or for your flight.
- To avoid unnecessary spills in your toiletry bag, we recommend using a bar soap rather than a shower gel, but this is really up to you
- Keep your dry skin nice and hydrated!
- Limited makeup
- Bring as little makeup as you need. Personally, I limit myself to one lipstick, one eyeliner, mascara, a small eye shadow palette, foundation and a few brushes. I also make sure I have facial cleansing wipes for makeup removal and just to wash my face at the end of the day.
- Contact Lenses/Solution
- If you’re a lens wearer, you need to pack this!
- Bandages/Antiseptic Cream
- Blisters and cuts happen, best to be prepared rather than have to hunt for a pharmacy to find these things while travelling.
- Ibuprofen, paracetomal (acetomeniphan), other OTC medications
- While you can get ibuprofen and the other over-the-counter pretty much everywhere, it’s always nice to have it on hand should a headache threaten to put a damper in your Europe trip. Ditto with other OTC medications you take regularly.
Piecing together the Europe packing list for 2 weeks doesn’t have to be all that difficult if you take into consideration all of the things outlined above. Think minimally and pack light and you’re sure to have a fantastic time on your adventure — wherever it may be that you’re going!
Are you trying to figure out what to pack for two weeks in Europe? Was this packing list helpful for your trip? Let us know in the comments!