Backpacking and Packing Lists for Europe: The Ultimate Guide

Are you planning an unforgettable backpacking adventure through the enchanting landscapes of Europe? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with the ultimate backpacking and packing lists for Europe. Whether you’re embarking on a short two-week escapade or a longer journey, we’ve got you covered. From essential gear and clothing to important travel insurance tips, this article will ensure you’re well-prepared for your European backpacking expedition. So pack your bags and let’s dive into the ultimate guide for backpacking in Europe!

Backpacking And Packing Lists For Europe

Key Takeaways:

  1. The Right Backpack: Choose a lightweight, durable backpack with comfortable straps for all-day wear.
  2. Day Bag: Bring a smaller, lightweight day bag for day trips and hikes.
  3. Padlocks: Use padlocks to secure your bags and hostel lockers, and to lock your backpack during travel days.
  4. Universal Travel Adapter: Ensure you can charge your electronic devices with a compatible travel adapter.
  5. Camera: Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the picturesque sights of Europe.
  6. Travel Towel: Pack a quick-drying and compact travel towel for hostel stays and on-the-go.
  7. Power Bank: Keep your electronic devices charged with a portable power bank.
  8. Change Purse: Have a small coin wallet to organize and easily access different currencies.

Remember to pack light and choose versatile and practical items for your European backpacking adventure.

Backpacking and Packing Lists for Europe

Are you planning an exciting backpacking adventure in Europe? Well, look no further! I’m here to provide you with the ultimate packing list to ensure you have everything you need for a successful trip. With my years of experience as a seasoned travel writer and backpacker, you can trust that these recommendations will make your journey a breeze.

The Right Backpack

Let’s start with the most essential item for any backpacking trip: the backpack itself. When choosing a backpack, prioritize lightweight, durability, and comfort. Look for one with comfortable straps that you can wear all day without feeling strained. Your backpack will be your loyal companion throughout your European escapades, so choose wisely.

Day Bag

In addition to your main backpack, it’s crucial to have a smaller day bag for day trips and hikes. Carrying your large backpack around all day can be tiresome and impractical. Opt for a lightweight day bag that can comfortably fit essentials like water, snacks, a camera, and a jacket. You’ll appreciate the freedom and convenience it offers.


To keep your belongings secure, don’t forget to pack a few padlocks. They are inexpensive and incredibly useful for securing your bags and hostel lockers. You can also use them to lock your backpack during travel days, offering you peace of mind about the safety of your possessions. Safety first, always!

Universal Travel Adapter

Europe has a variety of plug types, so a universal travel adapter is a must. Don’t let your electronic devices run out of power while exploring picturesque European cities. Choose a travel adapter compatible with the plug types used in Europe, ensuring you stay connected and capture memories with your devices.


Speaking of capturing memories, make sure to pack a camera to document your incredible journey through Europe. Whether it’s a DSLR or a smartphone with a high-quality camera, having a reliable device to capture the beauty and uniqueness of Europe is essential. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on those breathtaking moments.

Travel Towel

When staying in hostels or constantly on the move, a quick-drying and compact travel towel comes in handy. Look for a lightweight towel that takes up minimal space in your backpack. It will be your lifesaver when you need to dry off after a refreshing swim or have a hot shower in a hostel. Practicality is key!

Power Bank

Keeping your electronic devices charged is crucial during your travels. Don’t rely solely on available outlets; have a power bank as your backup power source. This is especially valuable during those long days of exploration when you don’t have easy access to charging points. Never miss capturing a moment or getting directions with a dead phone again!

Change Purse

Dealing with different currencies in Europe can be a bit challenging, but having a small change purse or coin wallet will make it much easier. It will keep your coins organized and easily accessible, allowing you to handle transactions swiftly. No more digging through pockets or searching for loose change in the depths of your backpack.

These are just a few of the essential items you need to consider when packing for your backpacking adventure in Europe. Remember, pack light and opt for versatile and practical items. Trust me, it’s better to have a well-thought-out packing list than to lug around unnecessary weight. Happy backpacking across Europe!


Here’s a quick visual summary of the essential items for your backpacking trip in Europe:

Essential Items
Day Bag
Universal Travel Adapter
Travel Towel
Power Bank
Change Purse

Backpacking Europe Packing List — Travel Europe Packing Guide (2023)
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Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance for Your Backpacking Adventure

Packing for a backpacking adventure through Europe can be an exciting and exhilarating experience. As seasoned travelers know, there are several key considerations to keep in mind when preparing for such a journey: selecting the right backpack, packing essential items, planning an itinerary, and ensuring your safety throughout the trip. However, one aspect that is often overlooked but should never be forgotten is travel insurance.

The Importance of Travel Insurance

When embarking on a backpacking adventure, health and well-being should always be a top priority. While no one anticipates accidents or emergencies, it is crucial to be prepared for the unexpected. Comprehensive travel coverage can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost/stolen belongings.

As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Having the right travel insurance can make a world of difference during your backpacking adventure. So, don’t forget to consider the following points before setting off on your European escapade.

Choosing the Right Travel Insurance Plan

Not all travel insurance plans are created equal, especially when it comes to backpacking adventures. It’s essential to select a plan that suits your specific needs and provides adequate coverage. Here are a few reputable options to consider:

  • Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site offers information on the best travel insurance for backpackers, providing valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

  • The Broke Backpacker provides a comprehensive guide to cheap backpacker travel insurance, ensuring you find an affordable option without compromising on coverage.

  • SafetyWing is a travel insurance company that caters to digital nomads and long-term travelers, offering flexible and comprehensive plans for all your backpacking needs.

  • Heymondo is a reputable travel insurance company that provides coverage up to $10,000,000 USD, giving you the security you need for your European adventure.

  • InsureMyTrip specializes in backpacker travel insurance, offering plans designed to manage the unpredictable nature of long-duration trips.

  • World Nomads provides flexible options for backpackers, including long-term coverage and excellent customer service.

Understanding Your Coverage

It’s important to carefully review the coverage details of your selected travel insurance plan to ensure it aligns with your needs. While each plan may differ, there are a few common areas of coverage to consider:

  • Medical Expenses: Make sure your plan covers medical emergencies, hospital stays, and any necessary medical evacuations.

  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption: In the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as illness or natural disasters, having coverage for trip cancellation or interruption can alleviate financial burdens.

  • Emergency Assistance: Look for a plan that offers 24/7 emergency assistance, so you can reach out for help whenever needed.

  • Lost or Stolen Belongings: Protect your valuables by choosing a plan that includes coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged belongings.

Always remember to read the policy terms and conditions thoroughly to understand what is and isn’t covered by your travel insurance. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises and ensure you have the necessary protection throughout your backpacking adventure.

Key Takeaways:

  • When backpacking through Europe, don’t forget your travel insurance for comprehensive coverage and peace of mind.
  • Consider reputable companies such as SafetyWing, Heymondo, and World Nomads for backpacker-friendly insurance plans.
  • Review the coverage details of your chosen plan to ensure it meets your specific needs.
  • Be aware of the policy terms and conditions to understand what is covered and what is not.
  • Always prioritize your health and well-being while traveling, and be prepared for the unexpected.

Traveling through Europe on a backpacking adventure is an incredible experience that will create memories to last a lifetime. By prioritizing your health, well-being, and financial protection through appropriate travel insurance, you can embark on your journey with confidence and peace of mind. So, before you set off on your European escapade, remember Don’t forget your travel insurance for your backpacking adventure!

– Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site: Best Travel Insurance for Backpackers
– The Broke Backpacker: The BEST Cheap Backpacker Travel Insurance

How to Pack for 2 Weeks Backpacking in Europe

When embarking on a two-week backpacking adventure in Europe, efficient and strategic packing is key to a successful trip. As a seasoned travel writer and backpacker with extensive experience exploring Europe’s diverse landscapes, I have honed my expertise in creating comprehensive packing lists that prioritize practicality, versatility, and maximizing space in your backpack. In this guide, I will provide step-by-step instructions, tips, and recommendations to help you pack for two weeks of unforgettable exploration in Europe.

The Essentials: Clothing and Accessories

Packing the right clothing and accessories is crucial for a comfortable and stylish backpacking journey through Europe. To optimize space, it is recommended to bring seven tops or a combination of five tops and two dresses, three bottoms, and two outerwear items that can be layered. This versatile combination will allow you to create various outfits while still keeping your backpack lightweight.

While it’s important to pack fashionably, practicality should also be a priority. Consider the climate and activities you have planned during your two weeks in Europe. Ensure that your clothing choices are suitable for different weather conditions and can be mixed and matched effortlessly.

Here are some essential items to include in your backpack:

  • Shoes: Pack two to three pairs of shoes that offer comfort and versatility. A pair of sturdy walking shoes, such as sneakers or hiking boots, is essential for exploring cities and engaging in outdoor activities. Additionally, bring a pair of sandals for warmer days and a stylish option for evening occasions.

  • Scarf: A lightweight scarf is a versatile accessory that can elevate your outfits and provide warmth when needed. It can be used as a cover-up, a headscarf, or even a picnic blanket.

  • Purse: Opt for a daytime purse that is both functional and secure. Look for a bag with multiple compartments to keep your belongings organized and consider one with anti-theft features for added peace of mind.

  • Bathing Suit: If your itinerary includes destinations with beaches or swimming opportunities, don’t forget to pack a bathing suit. It’s always nice to take a refreshing dip or sunbathe by the crystal-clear waters of Europe.

  • Jewelry: Limit your jewelry to one set of accessories that can complement multiple outfits. Consider packing lightweight pieces that won’t weigh you down or attract unnecessary attention.

To stay organized throughout your trip, consider using packing cubes. These handy tools will help prevent overpacking and keep your clothes, shoes, and even souvenirs neatly separated in your backpack.

Key Accessories and Gear

In addition to clothing, there are a few essential accessories and gear items that will enhance your backpacking experience in Europe.

  • Backpack: Choosing the right backpack is crucial for your European backpacking adventure. Look for lightweight, durable, and comfortable options that have multiple compartments and adjustable straps for a personalized fit. A well-designed backpack can make all the difference in terms of comfort and functionality during long days of exploration.

  • Day Bag: A smaller day bag is a must-have for day trips and hikes. It allows you to leave your large backpack at your accommodation while carrying only the essentials such as water, snacks, a camera, and a light jacket.

  • Universal Travel Adapter: Europe features a variety of plug types, so be sure to bring a universal travel adapter to keep your electronic devices charged throughout your journey.

  • Camera: Don’t forget to capture the breathtaking scenery and unforgettable moments during your backpacking trip. Pack a camera or ensure your smartphone has excellent photo capabilities to document your European escapades.

Staying Safe and Practical Tips

When backpacking in Europe, it’s essential to prioritize safety and practicality. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Padlocks: Pack a few padlocks to secure your belongings in your backpack and hostel lockers. This small precaution can provide an extra layer of security and peace of mind.

  • Washing Clothes: As you’ll be traveling for two weeks, it’s a good idea to wash your clothes every one or two weeks. Most accommodations in Europe offer laundry facilities or nearby laundromats, making it convenient to freshen up your wardrobe.

  • Online Resources: When preparing for your trip, consult reputable online sources that provide packing tips specifically for backpacking in Europe. Websites like Travel Fashion Girl and The Savvy Backpacker offer comprehensive packing lists tailored to various travel styles and specific needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Focus on packing a combination of versatile tops, dresses, bottoms, and outerwear that can be layered and mixed and matched.
  • Bring 2-3 pairs of shoes, including walking shoes and sandals, suitable for different activities and climates.
  • Don’t forget essentials like a lightweight scarf, a functional daytime purse, a bathing suit if relevant, and a set of jewelry.
  • Use packing cubes to prevent overpacking and keep your belongings organized.
  • Choose a lightweight, durable, and comfortable backpack that suits your needs and preferences.
  • Pack a smaller day bag for day trips and hikes to avoid carrying your large backpack throughout the day.
  • Bring a universal travel adapter to keep your electronic devices charged.
  • Capture your journey by packing a camera or utilizing your smartphone’s excellent photo capabilities.
  • Consider using padlocks to secure your belongings in bags and hostel lockers.
  • Plan to wash your clothes every one or two weeks during the trip.
  • Consult reputable online resources like Travel Fashion Girl and The Savvy Backpacker for comprehensive packing lists and tips tailored to backpacking in Europe.

Remember, the key to packing for two weeks of backpacking in Europe is to travel light while ensuring you have all the essentials for a comfortable and memorable adventure. By following these tips and recommendations, you’ll be well-prepared to immerse yourself in Europe’s captivating beauty and create lasting memories of your journey.

Backpacking And Packing Lists For Europe


Q1: How do I prepare my backpack for a trip to Europe?

A1: To prepare your backpack for a trip to Europe, start by choosing the right backpack that is lightweight, durable, and comfortable to wear. Pack essential items such as a day bag, padlocks, a universal travel adapter, a camera, and a travel towel. Don’t forget to pack a power bank, a change purse, and versatile clothing options. Prioritize packing light and maximizing space in your backpack.

Q2: What should I pack for Europe?

A2: When packing for Europe, consider bringing 7 tops or a combination of 5 tops and 2 dresses, 3 bottoms, and 2 versatile outerwear items for layering. Pack 2-3 pairs of shoes, a scarf, a daytime sightseeing purse, a bathing suit if relevant, and a set of jewelry. Use packing cubes to stay organized and prevent overpacking. Include essential items like a camera, a universal travel adapter, a travel towel, and a power bank.

Q3: Is travel insurance necessary for a backpacking adventure in Europe?

A3: Yes, travel insurance is highly recommended for backpacking adventures in Europe or anywhere else. It ensures that you have comprehensive coverage for health and well-being, as well as protection for your belongings. Make sure to choose a reputable travel insurance company that offers suitable coverage for backpackers.

Q4: How should I pack for a 2-week backpacking trip in Europe?

A4: When packing for a 2-week backpacking trip in Europe, aim for versatility and packing light. Pack 7 tops or a combination of 5 tops and 2 dresses, along with 3 bottoms and 2 outerwear items for layering. Don’t forget to pack 2-3 pairs of shoes, a scarf, a daytime sightseeing purse, a bathing suit if relevant, and a set of jewelry. Choose items that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. Consider using packing cubes to stay organized and make the most of your backpack space.

Q5: Are there any online resources for backpacking packing tips for Europe?

A5: Yes, there are several online resources that provide valuable packing tips for backpacking in Europe. Websites such as Travel Fashion Girl and The Savvy Backpacker offer comprehensive packing lists, suggestions for women-specific packing, and advice on choosing the right backpack. These resources can be helpful in preparing for your backpacking adventure in Europe.

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