Table of Contents

27 Top Germany Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

Neuschwanstein, Germany
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Germany is a country rich in fairy tale folklore, a vibrant art scene, and gorgeous countryside — all in addition to a wealthy history as one of Europe’s most influential nations. To navigate this country, where the weather is as diverse as its subcultures, I put together this packing list.

In this guide, you’ll find what to wear in Germany, as well as what NOT to bring, and answers to other key Germany FAQs.

asher and friends in germany
Me with friends on one of my many trips to Germany
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What to Pack for Germany – 27 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    Especially when visiting touristy cities like Berlin and Munich, a neck wallet is an item you won’t want to travel without. Keep your valuable belongings organized and secure by wearing this handy neck wallet beneath your clothes and out of reach for pickpockets. It has RFID-blocking material so e-thieves won’t be able to scan your bag for financial data.

    Neck Wallet

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  • 2. Jet Lag Relief

    Depending on where you’re coming from, you may experience the unpleasant effects of jet lag upon your arrival in Germany. Prevent and treat those nasty symptoms by taking homeopathic jet lag relief pills and making the most out of your first day in Germany. They are gentle and don’t contain jitter-inducing caffeine like many similar products.

    jet lag relief

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    There have been massive ransomware attacks and billions of dollars stolen in Germany through cyberattacks. The government reported in 2023 that the risk is higher than ever, and you must protect your private data abroad. Anytime you connect to Wi-Fi in public places, such as in hotels, cafes, and airports, you leave yourself vulnerable to potential hackers.

    Keep your sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and passwords, safe by using a VPN when you go online. It will encrypt your connection so that hackers, nosy trolls, and government entities cannot monitor your online activity (or price-gouge you due to geo-locating your IP address!) This will result in discounted flight rates, a safer connection, AND give you access to popular websites from home that may be censored in your host country. The internet is not created equally everywhere and a VPN is a serious no-brainer.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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  • 4. Universal Power Adapter

    You will want a lightweight power adapter that will allow you to plug all of your dual-voltage personal electronics, such as mobile phones, tablets, cameras, and laptops, into a German outlet. This highly-rated Universal Adapter is a great option that will not only have you covered in Germany and throughout most of Europe, but also in over 100 destinations around the world.

    Universal Power Adapter

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  • 5. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    If you plan to use your smartphone for photos, videos, and navigation, you will need to power up your battery frequently during your time spent in Germany. This one is convenient because it’s lightweight and small enough to carry in your back pocket, which is very fitting with Germany’s minimalist style.

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

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  • 6. Travel Insurance for Germany

    Don’t gamble with your coverage. In most cases, your domestic provider does not extend to foreign destinations (including Medicare and Medicaid), and travel insurance is too affordable not to have. It protects your trip investment against the most common mishaps like lost or stolen luggage, flight delays and cancellations, and medical expenses. Germany is an expensive country and you don’t want to risk paying out-of-pocket for a huge hospital bill or bag replacement when it could have easily been reimbursed.

    Our go-to is Faye and we are patrons for life! The customer service is top-notch and they somehow turned an unpleasant experience into a painless one. With claims and reimbursements handled through their mobile app, you can enjoy peace of mind that your trip is fully protected. They even have add-ons for “trip cancelation for ANY reason.” Don’t be a fool and go without it!

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Packing Cubes

    With all the seasonal gear you will be packing, from snow boots to bathing suits, you’ll need to keep all your layers organized by storing your items in packing cubes. This set is great because it comes in a variety of vibrant colors and includes separate cases for shoes and dirty laundry.

    packing cubes

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  • 8. Comfortable Flats

    There’s no question that you’ll be doing plenty of walking on cobblestone streets and hiking paths while in Germany. From strolling through the vibrant cities, visiting museums, and enjoying biergartens – you’ll need comfortable, stylish flats for long days on your feet. These provide comfort and are the perfect breathable shoe to wear all day long.

    Comfortable Flats

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  • 9. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A travel towel is one of the most versatile items you can carry with you. This one is light as a feather and 10x more absorbent than cotton. We use them on a daily basis while traveling for things like drying off, wiping away sweat, covering seats, cushioning delicate items, etc.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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  • 10. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    European bathrooms can be a bit of a shock for those from North America. With a lack of counter space, small quarters, and virtually zero storage room – you’ll be thanking your lucky stars for this hanging toiletries bag! Designed by a travel brand in Hawaii called Eco Sun, it unfolds to expose 4 giant pockets for all beauty and hygiene products, plus 3 external compartments for smaller items that you need to grab without unzipping the whole thing.

    It is a surprisingly elegant system for staying organized on the road. You won’t have to worry about scattering things all over the suite or BnB since the 360-swivel hook basically screams “hang me anywhere!” And possibly the best part – your purchase truly matters because this brand gives back to women’s education support in underdeveloped countries. Check out the color options for both women and men.

    hanging toiletry bag

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  • 11. Activated Charcoal

    Traveling to foreign countries often results in an upset stomach, whether it’s caused by the traveling itself, the tap water, or eating something that doesn’t agree with you. Either way, activated charcoal is an absolute must-have. The charcoal absorbs toxins in your system and helps you carry on with the many fun parts of traveling.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 12. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    If you’ve ever had anything stolen while traveling, you know the importance of luggage locks. We use this set because they’re 10x more secure than a 3-digit system, you can set it up with your birth year or something easy to remember, and they’re TSA-approved. We use them for suitcases, purses, lockers, etc.

    luggage locks

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  • 13. Pre-paid German SIM Phone Card

    You’ll be glad you thought ahead when you can easily use your phone for navigation, google, uber, and more during your time spent in Germany. Instead of paying outrageous roaming rates or international fees through your cell provider, just purchasing a cheap European SIM card will make things much easier for you throughout your trip. All you need is an unlocked smartphone, and you’re good to go!

    Pre-paid German SIM Phone Card

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  • 14. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    The weather in Germany can be unpredictable and sometimes you may experience all four seasons in a single day! In a country where you’ll inevitably be spending a lot of time outdoors, you’ll need to have a sturdy, windproof travel umbrella. This one comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee and will keep you protected from the elements.


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  • 15. Discounted Tickets on German Attractions

    We book our family tours through Get Your Guide because they offer the most affordable and authentic experiences! When in Germany – take a romantic river boat cruise through Berlin, explore the castles of Potsdam, taste regional beer in Düsseldorf, and taste wine in the Moselle Valley.

    Berlin is popular for its Government District and historic art scene, while Munich has fantastic day trips like visiting the fairytale region of Nördlinger Ries, or the castles of Neuschwanstein. When getting around larger cities, it may be easier to book the (cliché but fun!) Hop-On Hop-Off Tours.

    Discounted Tickets on German Attractions

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  • 16. Stylish Backpack

    Fashion in Germany is utilitarian and understated without sacrificing elegance or style. A sleek and sturdy backpack will guarantee you will fit in with Berlin’s hip street style and see you through a long day of sightseeing. This one is well-made and designed to prevent theft with an inside zipper. It is practical and fashionable, plus it has tons of storage space for such a small item.

    Stylish Backpack

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  • 17. Gorgeous Outfit

    In cities like Berlin, you may opt for more casual evening attire, but at some point, you’ll want to go out for a nice dinner or evening on the town. In any case, it never hurts to pack at least one gorgeous outfit like this one that can be dressed up or down with the right accessories. It flatters many body types and my wife has it in multiple colors!

    Gorgeous Outfit

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  • 18. Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    The tap water is safe to drink in Germany, so you’ll want to remain hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. We like to use a water bottle with a Brita water filter since it purifies water and improves the taste of any chlorine or minerals that have been added.

    pink water bottle

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  • 19. Weatherproof Rain Jacket

    Germany has a unique climate, and the weather can be a bit all over the place. Berlin gets hot in July, but it does rain throughout the year. And while September is sunnier, it brings cooler temperatures. With a light jacket in a neutral color, you’ll be prepared for any weather and fit in perfectly with the locals.


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  • 20. Gloves + Hand & Foot Warmers

    One thing I’ve regretted not having in the past is a pair of well-insulated gloves. This set is made of water-resistant material, which is handy to have in a place like Germany since temps can drop to −45.9 °C (−50.6 °F). Hand and foot warmers are an awesome addition because they stay toasty for up to 10 hours, making the frigid air feel way less punishing.

    Gloves + Hand & Foot Warmers

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  • 21. German Phrasebook

    While cities like Berlin and Hamburg are highly fluent in English, it’s not polite to assume. Further in the countryside, you might find yourself relying on your Deutsch to get around. A German phrasebook like this one will cover all the basics for finding your way around, or even making some new friends!

    German Phrasebook

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  • 22. Travel Hammock

    If you plan to spend time outdoors or camp through the German countryside, a travel hammock is a serious life hack. For casual lounging in the Bavarian Alps or outdoor naps in the Rhine Region – this water-resistant nylon design is easy to set up and a great value (ideal for adventurers that like to stop to smell the frisch air!)

    Travel Hammock

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  • 23. Hiking Shoes

    Since a lot of the activities in Germany will require great walking shoes, (even in the cobblestone streets of towns), opt for a solid pair of tennis shoes. This pair by Columbia is made for durability and all-day comfort. They are waterproof and have great traction for slippery areas.

    Hiking Shoes

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  • 24. TSA-Approved Toiletry Bottles

    Don’t forget the toiletry bottles that are TSA-approved (under 3.4-ounces per bottle). My wife and I like these because they have a multi-layer leak-proof design. We don’t have to worry about throwing away our favorite products at the security checkpoint, and we’ve also never had a messy luggage spill since buying these.

    TSA-Approved Toiletry Bottles

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  • 25. Compression Flight Socks

    Getting off a 10-15 hour flight with swollen legs is no fun. If you’ve ever felt pain in your legs or a lack of circulation during long days of flying – I’d recommend bringing some compression socks. Even flight attendants wear these to account for the cabin’s pressure and high elevation.

    Compression Flight Socks

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  • 26. Shawl or Scarf

    With changing weather, a scarf or shawl will be useful regardless of the season. Throw it on over your outfit on a cool summer night, cover your shoulders when entering a modest church, or use it to add some style to a winter outfit. This versatile item is a must-bring for any trip to Europe.

    Shawl or Scarf

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  • 27. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    Some destinations have tacky souvenirs… but Germany is not one of them! You’ll definitely want to bring home authentic goods for yourself and loved ones, like German chocolate, spices, pilsners, Birkenstocks, Christmas decor, and more. Use this “just in case” bag for those inevitable purchases. It is super lightweight and counts as your personal item on the flight home.

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

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What to Wear in Germany

From punk rock warehouse parties to the opera, Germany combines music with style to show off its diversity. Whether your taste is classical or avant-garde, functionality and simple elegance pervade across the country. Berlin by far is the most sartorially diverse city in Germany, whereas tastes swing more conservative in Bavaria.

When traveling in Germany, do as the locals do and opt for comfortable items that fit well and easily match. A neutral color palette with a few bold accents here and there goes over well.

With fashion’s emphasis on the functional, you don’t need to bring too much clothing. Dressing in layers will combat seasonal weather changes, and keeping colors and prints consistent will help you mix and match without weighing down your suitcase.

What should WOMEN wear in Germany? – (Click to expand)

Germany might be known for its understated fashion sense (famed designer Jil Sander hails from the tiny town of Wesselburen), but this country welcomes style in all shapes and colors. Everyone is free to dress in whatever way makes them happy in Germany’s bigger cities. In summer women can’t go wrong with a sundress, denim jacket, and stylish sneakers or flats. For evening, jeans, a sleek blazer, and heels make for an elegant dinner outfit.

What should MEN wear in Germany? – (Click to expand)

Whether you prefer to dress up or dress down, Germany offers something for everyone. Home to brands like Puma and Hugo Boss, this country caters to all tastes. To blend in with the locals, men can’t go wrong with fitted jeans and a comfortable tee shirt with a stylish pair of trainers to match. Leather jackets and black denim are hardly out of place in trendy Berlin or Frankfurt. Clothing should be casual by day, and by night anything goes.

Germany’s weather varies by season and region, so it’s always a good idea to dress according to your main activities (museum visits and city life vs. camping and hiking). Keep the following points in mind:

Weather: Even in the busiest of cities, plan to spend plenty of time outdoors. From biergartens to exploring each city’s unique architecture, you will spend a lot of time in streets or parks. You will spend even more time out in the elements if you venture to the countryside to explore Germany’s stunning forests, mountains, seaside, and lake districts. The opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors are endless. But sometimes, so is the rainfall. Weather varies greatly by season, and sometimes you will see four seasons in a day—so it is always best to come prepared.

Spring – March, April, May

By March, the sun rears its head and people start heading to the parks for a beer. Still, while spring is lively it can remain chilly and rainy. It’s very common for it to start raining suddenly, or for a strong breeze to bring on a chill. To enjoy social activities like grabbing a drink in a local Biergarten, expect to wear a wind-breaking jacket and carry an umbrella in hand.

By April it warms up slightly, and May and June show much milder weather with more consistent sunshine. Bear in mind that average temperatures in the mountains will be a little cooler. Average temperatures in March hover between 33 and 47 (1 to 8 C), rising to 39 all the way to 67 (3 to 19) by mid-May.

Summer – June, July, August

Summer might be just as varied as spring, with bouts of rain and wind here and there. Nevertheless, summer is when you can most reliably expect temperate weather and sunny skies in any part of the country. Temperatures vary significantly in the mountains, but typical of a moderate continental climate, Germany will offer plenty of toasty and sunny days perfect for an afternoon in the park and enjoying the beautiful architecture of Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich.
Average temperatures in the north hover between 21 and 25 (69 to 77), with two major exceptions: the mountains and the northern coast. Mountain temperatures stay in the single digits, from 2 to 9 (35 to 48) degrees. And the seaside is very warm, with temperatures frequently rising to 30-32 degrees (86-90).

Autumn – September, October, November

September is mild, offering summer’s last leg of sun and warmth before temperatures cool down and it begins to rain again. Expect plenty of sunshine throughout most of the country, with the exception, as always, of the mountains. If you are heading to Oktoberfest, you’ll be wise to wear layers, but keep your sunglasses handy.

By October, temperatures will drop and winds will pick up quickly. By November, the days get quite short and it not uncommon for a bit of frost or snow to fall. To feel comfortable in the city or country, a warm jacket, long trousers, and weather proof shoes are a must.

Winter – December, January, February

Winter in Germany earns its cold and bleary reputation year on year-end. In the north temperatures quickly drop to near freezing, hovering around 1 degree (33 Fahrenheit), but the coast welcomes warm waterfronts that keep these temperatures relatively stable.

Further to the south, temperatures will vary but cities like Berlin and Hamburg stay close to the temperatures range of -2 to 4 degrees (28 to 42), with most days rather grey. Meanwhile, Bavaria, where Munich is located, is reliably colder and greyer—witnessing Germany’s longest winters. Here, temperatures stay much closer to the lower end of the national average, usually between -2 to 0 (28 to 32). The elevated region of Thuringia will also see snowfall and further drops still, which leaves no doubt that a German winter requires thick layers, a hooded coat, and mittens.

What NOT to bring to Germany:

  • 1.Fancy evening wear

    Unless you are going to one of Germany’s famed opera houses for a live performance, you don’t need to dress to the nines to have a good time about town. Casual, alternative, or smart—whatever your style, feel free to dress comfortably and be yourself in this diverse fashion capital.

  • 2.Sandals or high heels

    Yes, summer is warm in Germany. But unless you are heading to the beach or lakefront, you are more likely to spend your day in sneakers or flats. Spare the extra space in your suitcase for some souvenirs.

  • 3.Electric hairstyling tools

    Hair dryers, flat irons, and curlers won’t work as well when plugged in to a European power adapter. To truly blend in with the locals, you’re best off keeping your hairstyle simple. Otherwise, you can request a hairdryer to be loaned to you by your hostel or hotel concierge.

  • 4.Excessive medication

    Thanks to the country’s fantastic and affordable healthcare system, you can find most medications at a reasonable price in any pharmacy. Bring the basics (including necessary prescriptions) in your bag and purchase the rest as need.

  • 5.Your credit card

    Ok, you might need your credit card—but certainly not more than one. And you are unlikely to need any travelers’ checks either. Surprisingly, Germany remains one of Europe’s more cash dependent societies, with a notable disdain for paying with plastic. To make sure you can smoothly pay for museum entrances, restaurants, and tourist attractions you’re better off with some cash (in Euros). Go to your bank for a more equitable exchange rate.

FAQs for Germany travel

  • 1. What is transportation like in Germany?

    Germany’s cities and larger towns have excellent public transport systems. Bigger cities, such as Berlin and Munich, combine buses, aboveground trams, underground train networks, and S-Bahn (suburban) commuter rails into a single network. Generally though, people cycle. In bigger cities, you can rent a bike to navigate the city center. Out towards the countryside, the intercity rail network will get you from town to town, but for activities like camping, you may need to rent a car.

  • 2. Do people speak English in Germany?

    Germany is one country where English is widely spoken among city dwellers, particularly those aged 40 or under. Tourists will have no problem getting around Berlin or Stuttgart with English. In smaller towns, you may need to learn a few basic German phrases to get around. In all cases, learning how to say please and thank you goes a long way towards making new friends.

  • 3. Is it safe to drink the water?

    Yes, the tap water is very clean across Germany, and cities like Berlin or Munich in particular boast that their local supply is high in minerals and quite tasty. However, for some reason or another, among Germans it is very uncommon to drink tap water. Most restaurants serve only bottled water, and some people would consider it bad manners if you were to offer them tap water at home. To blend in, go for bottled.

  • 4. What is the best time of year to visit Germany?

    It really depends on the type of activity you would like to do in Germany. If you are an art lover, indoor museums and theatres are enjoyable any time of year—and certainly, the queues to get into popular tourist sites will be shorter.
    However, as German cities are quite walkable, and the countryside offers incredible opportunities to explore nature, your best bet may be to visit in spring or summer. Especially if you’re a fan of cracking open a cold one in your local Biergarten.

  • 5. What is the German currency? Can I use US Dollars?

    Germany uses the euro. As a cash-dependent society, Germany will require you to carry a fair amount of cash in hand. That said, in big cities you can naturally use your credit card in major restaurants, museums, and shops.

  • 6. Do I have to tip in restaurants and bars?

    Serve charges, tips, and VAT (a European tax) are all included in the bill in German restaurants, bars, cafes, and clubs—meaning your bill reflects the final price. Servers also earn a living wage, so there is no need to tip. However, it is customary to “round up” the amount to the next euro on a small cafe bill, for example. A rule of thumb is to add 5-10%, generally ending with a full Euro amount.

  • 7. Do I have to tip in restaurants and bars?

    Serve charges, tips, and VAT (a European tax) are all included in the bill in German restaurants, bars, cafes, and clubs—meaning your bill reflects the final price. Servers also earn a living wage, so there is no need to tip. However, it is customary to “round up” the amount to the next euro on a small cafe bill, for example. A rule of thumb is to add 5-10%, generally ending with a full Euro amount.

  • 8. What do I need to know about Oktoberfest?

    If you needed an occasion to break out your dirndls and lederhosen, Oktoberfest is the right one. As the world’s largest beer festival, Oktoberfest takes place in September and October in Munich over the course of 16 days. The festival opens with a parade, a twelve gun salute, and a signal to all the restauranteurs attending that they can start serving their food and drink. Expect to explore this massive food festival with cash in hand to purchase beer, snacks, traditional bites like roasted sausage, and even trendy international fare. Make sure you drink water between beers and wear comfortable shoes. Munich is a safe town where provided you drink and eat responsibly, you can let loose and have a great time.

  • 9. What is entertainment and culture like in Germany?

    Germany’s art, music, and entertainment spheres are some of Europe’s most diverse. In big cities, there is something for everyone. Germany is a historical capital of opera and classical music, home to both Wagner and Handel. But the country is no stranger to experimentation, with electro music having been popular in German clubs for decades. If you are more of a visual art fan, Berlin and Munich offer a host of classical and contemporary art museums. In summer you will frequently come upon art, music, and food festivals—but don’t forget about football either. This football-loving nation won the last World Cup, and local club matches are very exciting.

  • 10. What is the food like?

    Typical dishes include schnitzel, apple strudel, and plenty of sausages and delicious beer. Germany’s traditional dishes can feel quite heavy when you try them all in one sitting. But healthy and experimental eaters need not worry. Germany has a long tradition of adopting Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine, and Berlin is one of the world’s most vegan-friendly cities. Healthy, meat-free, and dairy-free options are often available if you have any health concerns or dietary restrictions.

  • 11. Who is Checkpoint Charlie?

    If you have been hearing a lot about Checkpoint Charlie, “he” is one of the most important figures in Berlin’s history. This is the name not so fondly given to the crossing point between East and West Berlin when Germany was divided during the cold war, and “Charlie” represents a sad but important moment in Germany’s history following the Second World War. Through many German cities you will see museums, landmarks, and architectural sites that make a nod to the country’s turbulent and controversial history and find that German society is well-aware of it. Germany is a wonderful place to visit to learn about one’s European roots and see how well a country can incorporate its history into building a brighter future.