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17 Top Berlin Packing List Items for 2023 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for Berlin
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Berlin is home to some of the most profound moments in world history, from the end of World War II to the eventual tear-down of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Since then, Berlin has transformed into one of the most modern international hubs in Europe. Whether you’re a creative type looking for art galleries, a city slicker in search of a unique trip, or a history buff ready to immerse in the past, Berlin is a well-rounded destination for every traveler.

Below you’ll find essential packing list items to bring on your trip to Berlin, what NOT to bring and some frequently asked questions.

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for Berlin - 17 Essentials

  • 1. Packing Cubes

    Your clothes will stay organized using this 5-piece set of packing cubes. You can roll or fold your clothes up into each zip-up cube, making for an orderly suitcase. The packing cube set also comes with two laundry bags to keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones.

    Packing Cubes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 2. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    A pocket-size portable charger is one of the most useful items you can have while traveling through Berlin. You’ll be navigating metro lines, looking up places to go, and using maps, and a portable charger will help keep you connected when you need your phone on the go.

    charger

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  • 3. Neck Wallet

    This slim wallet has space for all your important travel necessities like your passport, driver’s license, and credit cards. The wallet has a long strap, so you can wear it around your neck, or you can wear it as a crossbody. Either way, the neck wallet is a great way to quickly find your wallet as you travel and keep your items safe from pickpockets.

    Neck Wallet

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 4. LifeStraw Water Bottle

    The LifeStraw water bottle is an environmental way to stay hydrated as you travel. The self-filtering feature lets you have safe drinking water on the go, whether you’re filling up at an airport water fountain or from your hotel sink. Saving on plastic water bottles is a great incentive to keep it with you, too!

    LifeStraw Water Bottle

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 5. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    You can expect rain year-round in Berlin, so it’s best to come prepared with this windproof travel umbrella. The material keeps the umbrella from turning inside out in the wind. This umbrella expands to full size and collapses nicely into a small case you can keep in your daypack or tote.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 6. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    This water-resistant bag will keep your toiletries dry as you travel. It has three large, foldable compartments so you can fit all of your toiletries in one compact bag. It also comes with a small hanger at the top, so you can put it over the bathroom door to free up bathroom counter space.

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 7. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A quick-dry towel is a must-have travel accessory for any trip, especially in Berlin. For random travel situations, from getting caught in a surprise rainstorm to clearing off a wet park bench, you’ll be happy to have it with you. The towel dries fast and rolls up into a small drawstring bag perfect for throwing into your daypack.

    travel towel

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 8. Daypack

    A lightweight daypack will be essential on your trip to Berlin. Between sightseeing in the city and long day trips to castles, this water-resistant daypack will be the best way to store your daily essentials. Instead of packing it in your suitcase, you can also use it as your personal airplane carry-on bag.

    Daypack

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 9. Travel Cable Organizer Bag

    You can keep your cords organized and out of a tangled mess with this zip-up cable organizer bag. There are compartments to keep your electronic cords separate, and it zips into a small square for easy packing. It’s also small enough to put in your personal-size bag on the plane for easy access.

    Travel Cable Organizer Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 10. Universal Travel Adapter

    In Berlin, the outlets are the same as in most of Europe, but it’s best to research your home country’s outlet type to see if you need a universal travel adapter. This universal travel adapter comes with different add-ons labeled by continent or country, so you know where they will work. This way, you can safely use your electronics without causing a short circuit.

    Power Adaptor

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 11. Travel Insurance for Berlin

    Insurance can be complicated when it comes to where you can use it, and whether it’s only in your city, home state, or country. To make sure you have support dealing with hiccups like missing luggage at the airport to injuries abroad, you can use this travel insurance search engine to find a short-term insurance plan that best fits your needs for your trip to Berlin. We use TravelInsurance.com to compare policies from top companies to find the best option for our travel plans.

    travelinsurance.com

    Compare policies at TravelInsurance.com ➜

  • 12. Luggage Locks

    Secure your checked luggage with TSA-approved luggage locks. These locks will ensure no one will go snooping through your bags unless they are a part of airport security. They are also useful for locking lockers in hostels or locker rentals at popular tourist attractions.

    luggage locks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 13. Rain Boots

    You can expect rainy days on any given day throughout the year in Berlin. Having a pair of packable rain boots will let you keep to your itinerary instead of bunkering inside when it rains. These waterproof boots are also anti-slip and perfect for trudging through sidewalk puddles or muddy grass.

    Rain Boots

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 14. Cooling Towel

    Although summers aren’t extreme in Berlin, they can be surprisingly warm and sunny. During a day sightseeing around town or relaxing at the park, you can put water on this cooling towel for it to absorb and use it to pat your face or wear it around your neck to keep cool on a hot day.

    cooling towel

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 15. Face Sunscreen

    Even during the gloomy winters, you should bring high-quality face sunscreen to wear every day in Berlin. On dark winter days, the sun still hides behind the clouds and gives off intense UV rays. Having this compact face sunscreen with you will help protect your skin from sun damage and wrinkles.

    Face Sunscreen

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 16. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    A virtual private network for foreign travelers will keep you connected to your home country’s websites and help protect your identity. Hackers like to target public Wi-Fi networks and can steal your ID and credit card information, so the best way to protect yourself against cyber threats is with a VPN.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    View NordVPN.com Options ➜

  • 17. Hand Cream

    Berlin’s tap water is hard, which can make your hands dry. If you’re visiting Berlin from outside of northern Europe, the change in climate may also cause your skin to react. This travel-size hand cream will keep your hands moisturized and avoid cracked skin.

    Hand Cream

    View on Amazon.com ➜

What to Wear in Berlin

Berlin stays cold for about seven months of the year, so most of what you’ll be wearing will need to be warm and practical. Going from freezing snow outside one minute to entering a warm restaurant the next will call for easy-to-peel layers for your trip. Gloves, scarves, and a thick, hooded jacket are non-negotiables in the winter, while you only need one light jacket in the summer. Throughout the year, jeans, sweaters, and layer-friendly short and long-sleeve shirts will be the base of your outfits by day and night. You can plan to keep footwear simple with stylish waterproof boots and sneakers.
What Should Women Wear in Berlin?- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list.(All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Versatile layers are key to packing for Berlin. Women can plan on wearing jeans most days and will need thermal underwear for the peak of winter. Lightweight sweaters are flattering and thing enough to add on thicker jackets or can be worn alone on pleasant spring and summer days.

Choose from stylish outerwear that’s appropriate for the season, like a leather jacket or puffer coat. Women can also add style to a rainy-day outfit with a colorful hooded raincoat and waterproof ankle boots.

What Should Men Wear in Berlin?- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list.(All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Causal, weather-appropriate attire is the go-to outfit to pack for your trip to Berlin. Long-sleeve henley shirts with boots and jeans are versatile from day to night and easy to layer with thicker jackets and winter accessories. On warmer days, you can swap your henley tees and boots for V-necks and sneakers. Daily accessories like a rain jacket and waterproof watch will be handy year-round, too.

Packing for the Seasons in Berlin

SPRING – March, April, May

Springtime in Berlin is cold for the first half and warms up significantly by May. A beanie, puffer jacket, and waterproof boots will be essential warm layers this time of year. If you’re visiting in May, you can swap your puffer jacket for a sweatshirt and denim jacket.

Spring temperatures average between 34℉ and 67℉ (1℃ and 19℃).

SUMMER – June, July, August

Summers are pleasant and mostly sunny in Berlin. It’s one of the few times of the year you can bring one or two pieces of outerwear, like a crew-neck sweatshirt, for the evenings. Summer days are usually comfortable for wearing jeans, a short-sleeve shirt, and sneakers. You can bring one pair of shorts or a skirt this time of year for days when the sun is out and temperatures are warm, especially in July and August.

Summer temperatures average between 54℉ and 75℉ (12℃ and 24℃)

FALL – September, October, November

The beginning of fall in Berlin carries over the pleasant summer weather before quickly cooling down in October and November. If you’re visiting in September, you can plan to pack summer essentials like jeans, sunglasses, and a fleece jacket for the evenings. For trips in October and November, you can pack more cold-weather attire like a down jacket, scarf, and long-sleeve henley shirts.

Temperatures average between 37℉ and 67℉ (3℃ and 19℃).

WINTER – December, January, February

Winters in Berlin are cold, humid, and snowy. The frigid weather can seep in through your clothes, so make sure you invest in a high-quality coat with a hood. Gloves, beanies, and thermal underwear will be especially useful this time of year. You should also make sure to have a travel umbrella with you this time of year.

Temperatures average between 29℉ and 40℉ (-2℃ and 4℃)

Dressing appropriately for the activity– (Click to expand)

Nightlife: Dressing for a night out in Berlin can be as casual or as edgy as you want. A pair of ankle boots, jeans, and a leather jacket are a great go-to look for Berlin nightlife for both men and women.

Sightseeing: Most of your trip to Berlin will be spent catching trains, walking around the city, and visiting historical sights and popular landmarks. You’ll be most comfortable in sneakers, jeans, and V-neck tops you can layer with a jacket. A daypack and self-filtering water bottle are also great to have while you’re out exploring.

Day trips: Day trips outside of the city range from mountain hikes to castle visits. You can plan to wear active-friendly attire like tennis shoes, joggers, and a comfortable t-shirt. If you’re going on a day trip between late fall and early spring, make sure to layer up with thermal underwear and a down jacket.

What NOT to Bring to Berlin

  • 1.DON’T Bring Beachwear

    Because of Berlin’s cool climate and landlocked location, you can leave your swimsuits and cover-ups at home. On warm summer days, you’ll see locals gathered at parks instead.

  • 2.DON’T Bring Items that Aren’t Water-resistant

    Between year-round rainfall and snowy winters, you’ll need most of your daily essentials to be waterproof or water-resistant. A rain jacket, rain boots, and windproof umbrella will be essentials in Berlin.

  • 3.DON’T Bring Flashy Jewelry

    You won’t find many locals wearing flashy jewelry or designer bags, so if you don’t want to stick out, you don’t need to pack your fine accessories for your trip to Berlin.

  • 4.DON’T Bring Formal Attire

    Day and nighttime attire in Berlin is casual. Denim and leather jackets with jeans are outfits that work for both day and night, so formalwear isn’t necessary to blend in any time of day.

  • 5.DON’T Bring Too many Open-Toe Shoes

    Even in the peak of summer, you’ll only need one pair of sandals at the most for walking around in Berlin. The temperatures drop at night, and you’ll rely on closed-toe shoes for most of your trip.

  • 6.DON’T Bring Oversized Bags

    Less is more in Berlin. By sticking to practical clothes that are versatile and easily layered, you’ll avoid lugging around a big suitcase while you travel through airports and busy streets.

What NOT to Wear in Berlin – (Click to expand)

Berlin’s warmest weather never gets too hot, so you can leave your tank tops and flip-flop sandals at home. Berliners have a casual, edgy style, so women can trade their stilettos for sneakers and men can sport denim jackets instead of blazers.

FAQs about Visiting Berlin

  • 1. What’s the closest airport to Berlin?

    Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) is the city’s main airport. It’s an international hub that’s well-connected to most European cities. It will take anywhere from about 30 to 45 minutes to get from the airport to your accommodations depending on what part of the city you’re staying in.

  • 2. When is the best time of year to visit Berlin?

    When is the best time of year to visit Berlin?

    Berlin is cool most of the year, but you will find a lot to see and do during any season. If you want to spend more time outdoors at Berlin’s parks and walking around the city, summer is warm and one of the sunniest seasons of the year. For Oktoberfest and cool weather, early fall is a great time to plan your trip. During Berlin’s freezing winters, you’ll find colorful lights and Christmas markets pop up throughout Berlin’s town squares. The city brightens up again in mid to late spring with cherry blossom trees in full bloom.

  • 3. How do I get around Berlin?

    Berlin has one of the most well-rounded public transportation systems in all of Europe. It’s a big city, but you won’t need to rent a car during your trip. You can get across town and to suburbs outside of Berlin using the train system. For short distances, Berlin is also very walkable and bike-friendly.

  • 4. What are the best things to do in Berlin?

    What are the best things to do in Berlin?

    Many tourist activities center around history and architecture. From the art gallery painted over the remains of the Berlin Wall to the elegant Brandenburg Gate, there are compelling sights throughout the city. One of the best ways to see all of Berlin’s landmarks like a local is by bike. Berlin also has an area called Museum Island packed with dozens of museums that fit every interest. When the weather is nice, you can relax with local Berliners at green spaces like the Britzer Garten and Mauer Park before heading to one of the city’s bumping clubs at night.

  • 5. Where is the best nightlife in Berlin?

    Berlin has a bustling nightlife, from underground nightclubs to casual beer houses and cocktail bars. Some of the most popular areas of Berlin for nightlife are Augustraße, Hackescher Markt, and Weserstraße.

  • 6. What are the best foods to eat in Berlin?

    What are the best foods to eat in Berlin?

    Berlin has a mix of classic German dishes and international cuisine. Most popular Berlin eats are served with fries and can be heavy. One of the easiest local dishes to find is Currywurst, a pork sausage dish with french fries. Wiener Schnitzel is another must-try dish in Berlin. You’ll also find the German take on Turkish Doner Kebabs everywhere in town.

  • 7. Where is Berlin located in Germany?

    Berlin is in northeast Germany. It sits near the eastern border Germany shares with Poland.

  • 8. Are there any day trips to make from Berlin?

    You have plenty of options for day trips outside of Berlin. Some of the most compelling day trips a train ride away are the historic Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen, Sanssouci Palace, and the historic town of Dresden.

  • 9. Where are the best places to stay in Berlin?

    Where are the best places to stay in Berlin?

    For easy access to Berlin’s main attractions, staying close to the Brandenburger Gate or the Reichstag building are a few of the best areas to stay in for their central location. Other areas with convenient access to shopping, museums, landmarks, and transportation are Museuminsel and Alexanderplatz.