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Europe from December to February is like Winter Wonderland!
Snow laden trees and paths, mounds of white on the driveways, the occasional shimmering icicles hanging from cathedrals in Prague and Florence, hot coffees served in the cafés of Paris and the most beautiful Christmas markets of Germany and Austria!
Amidst all this beauty, I’m sure all you ladies out there want to look your best while being comfortable. Winters in Europe can turn out to be harsh and bitter cold but don’t worry, I got you, ladies!
Here’s the ultimate Europe winter packing list that I’ve put together for all you female travelers out there to make your winter travel a tad bit easier.
But, before I dive into the main packing list, I thought I’d cover a few travel and packing tips that you could keep in mind.
#1 Check the weather!
This is a travel tip that I think should be applied before any trip you undertake. That way, you are limiting any weather surprises that might pop up. In this case, the weather across Europe can vary since it’s a vast continent, and it is famous for being unpredictable. Hence, I would advise all of you to check the weather forecast for the period of your trip before you start packing, at least to get a heads up.
AccuWeather usually publishes a weather forecast at the start of any season.
I’ve made this handy table that will give you a rough idea of the temperatures in the different zones in Europe. As is the norm, it usually varies from cold days to colder nights.
#2 Plan your days well
I know this seems like a no-brainer but hear me out. Temperatures aren’t the only thing decreasing during winter in Europe, so are the daylight hours.
As you go up North in Europe, remember to plan your day keeping in mind that you will get shorter hours to go around.
You’ll get approximately 8 hours of daylight during Dec-Jan in Paris, France, while the sun goes down at around 4 pm itself in Helsinki, Finland.
So, look up approximates before planning hours of sightseeing only to be disappointed by the sunset.
#3 Layer! Layer! Layer!
Layering is your lifeline. It’ll keep you warm, and in case of a change in weather, you can always remove one piece of clothing and still carry off the look well.
Knowing what to wear and what to layer on top of one another will also make you look chic.
#4 Neutrals for the win
Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring, especially when it comes to wintertime fashion. Blacks, greys, browns and blues are your best friend.
A black winter coat will make you stand out in a snow-white field, and brown boots look really chic. And the best part? Neutrals are also very easy to mix and match.
If you are craving colour, you could always opt for a pop of colour to incorporate in your outfits – maybe a red hat, a green scarf or a yellow purse.
#5 The top sights and tastes
Here are a few suggestions worth exploring during the winter. Although Christmas markets are aplenty in various parts of Europe, make sure to add Bremen, Germany to your itinerary if it’s not already there.
Mainly as Bremen provides you not just one, but two Christmas markets! One held in the Old Town market Plaza, and the other is the Medieval-themed version called Schlachte-Zauber, along the waterfront.
Don’t forget to indulge in glühwein or mulled wine, sizzling bratwurst, gingerbread cookies and some sweet Eierpunsch. Apart from these, you could also check out the list below:
Hot chocolate: Bruges, Belgium
Coffee dates: Vienna, Austria
Café dates: Paris, France
Christmas Scenery: Hallstatt, Austria
Igloo hotels and reindeer: Norway
Now, let’s get to the main section of this article – I’ve added a few options of the pieces that you could carry along:
EUROPE WINTER PACKING LIST
The base layer can include leggings, pantyhose, thermal underwear set or any other innerwear that will keep you warm.
A comfortable pair of warm, high-quality long johns will do you wonders. Long johns are long, thermal underwear constituting two pieces with long legs and long sleeves.
A good pair of these will ensure that your layering is limited to two or a maximum of three layers instead of piling on 4-5 layers during the harsh winter conditions.
One pair is absolutely necessary as they come in very handy. You could also try Hemp if you’re allergic to wool.
Fun fact: Merino wool is softer and gentler on the skin than regular wool and comes from a unique kind of sheep called, you guessed it, Merino sheep.
Wearing warm and comfy long-sleeved tops, turtlenecks or cardigans can help with reducing the overall number of layers worn because they cover your torso and neck area pretty well.
Button-Down Knit or Lightweight Sweater Cardigan
Don’t underestimate the warmth of a good pair of jeans. Nowadays, jeans come with an additional layer meant for winter wear. Carry at least one pair to wear it with a cami top.
If you’re feeling extra dressy or have a date night planned on one of the days, you could opt for either a sweater dress or a tunic dress and a pair of leggings. Cuteness meets warmth.
Coat it up
All the cute, Instagram-worthy outfits in your suitcase will be of little use because ultimately everyone will see but one thing, your coat.
That’s why it’s important to pack one that you’re not only comfortable in but one that you don’t mind filling your feed with. They can be quite expensive as well so make an informed choice when you’re purchasing one.
Apart from this, you could also opt for the good ol’ sweater if that’s something you’re comfortable with.
A chic pair of boots are all the travel shoes you need, and they really enhance the outfit. Gone are the days when ugly rubber gumboots were your only choice, now, you get quite a good selection of winter boots. Even snow boots look trendy nowadays.
Accessories can make or break an outfit, and like I mentioned earlier if you’re entire outfit comprises neutral colours, you could opt for a pop of colour with your accessories.
Skully Beanie or Chunky Faux Fur Beanie
An umbrella will come to be very useful for those unpredictable times when it suddenly starts to snow or rain (and yes, that has happened before)
Protect from within
Winters = dry skin and chapped lips. So, don’t forget to moisturize your skin and lips to protect them from the harsh cold weather.
You definitely need to carry one of these regardless of the weather. I make sure I do!
The lower the temperature outside, the hotter the temperature we want for bathing but hot water can strip the moisture and oils from your skin, leaving it parched, dry and scaly. Here’s something you can use to take care of your skin even while bathing.
Last but not least, I hope all you wonderful ladies enjoy your winter trip to the continent! Happy and safe travels!
Check out these additional Europe packing lists and resources: