What you wear during your summer vacation to Germany is going to vary dramatically depending on the type of trip you’re going on.
For example, what you wear exploring the streets of Hamburg is very different to what you’ll wear if you’re heading out hiking along The Rheinsteig.
As such we’ve broken down each of the items you’ll want to consider packing below, with notes to ensure that you pack light but also pack everything you’re likely going to need.
Shorts & Skirts
Germany isn’t as hot in the summer as some of its European counterparts with an average daytime temperature of around 19°C (66°F).
However, you’ll still find many locals and tourists wearing shorts or a skirt both in the daytime and in the evening.
We like to look for a pair of shorts that’s got good pockets (ideally with zips) so we can store a bank card and our mobile phone in them safely and access them quickly as and when required.
While denim shorts are an option, they aren’t ideal if you get caught in the rain (which can happen in the shoulder months) since they take a long time to dry.
Instead, we look for a pair made of cotton, ideally with some stretch in the waist.
Trousers & Leggings
Alongside a pair of shorts or two, we also recommend packing a pair of trousers or leggings.
Depending on where you’re going in Germany and subsequently the activities you plan to take part in will likely drive the decision as to the exact style.
For example, if you’re hiking during the summer you’ll want a pair of lightweight trousers. However, for evening dining and entertainment you may want something a little thicker and more formal such as dark denim jeans or chino pants.
You’re also going to want to pack a number of different t-shirts for your trip to Germany to wear both in the daytime and in the evening.
Personally, we aim to pack neutral colours that work well with a combination of different bottoms so we can create different looks depending on what we’re doing that day.
If you’re visiting Germany in the height of summer then a short-sleeved t-shirt is likely going to be the only style you need.
However, during the shoulder months, you may want a couple of long-sleeve options, especially for an evening.
Button Up Shirt / Blouse
Alongside t-shirts, we also recommend packing at least one more formal shirt.
In most cases, this will come in the form of a button-up which can be paired with a skirt or a pair of trousers for more formal evenings.
Of course, button-up shirts are also a great choice for higher daytime temperatures too since they are frequently made of breathable, light materials.
Dresses, Jumpsuits & Playsuits
Dresses, jumpsuits, and playsuits are all great choices when visiting Germany for both daytime and evening wear.
These types of garments are versatile, comfortable, and stylish, and they can be easily dressed up or down to suit the occasion making them perfect for those travelling with hand luggage only.
During the daytime jumpsuits or playsuits are often practical and stylish choices for sightseeing, shopping, or heading to the beach.
However, we wouldn’t recommend them if you’re going to be taking part in any outdoor activities such as hiking.
These casual one-pieces are comfortable to wear in warm weather and can be easily paired with sandals or sneakers for a relaxed yet stylish look.
If you’re looking to wear these items in the daytime then we recommend looking for a lightweight and breathable fabric, such as linen or cotton, to help keep you cool and comfortable.
If you’re planning on dining out at a nice restaurant, attending a theatre performance, or going out for a night on the town, then dresses especially can be made more formal with the addition of heels and accessories to create a sophisticated, yet stylish look.
Jackets & Cardigans
A light jacket or cardigan is something you’re going to want to have on your Germany packing list, even when visiting in the summer months.
The exact style of jacket you require will likely depend on what type of trip you’re going on.
For those looking to spend the majority of the time either hiking or at the beach, then something casual is going to be just fine.
However, if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing both during the day and at night then you may want something that’s as stylish as it is practical.
When choosing what footwear to pack for your trip to Germany, it’s important to consider the type of holiday you’re going on and subsequently the activities you’ll be taking part in.
Whether you’re planning on doing a lot of walking, participating in outdoor activities, or just need comfortable shoes for sightseeing, there are a few key factors to consider when selecting the right pair of shoes for your trip.
One important factor to consider is the type of terrain you’ll be walking on.
If you’re visiting the major cities of Germany such as; Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg then a pair of comfortable and stylish walking shoes may be a good choice.
We recommend looking for shoes with a sturdy and supportive soles, and that have ample cushioning to help reduce fatigue and keep your feet comfortable. Sneakers, loafers, and oxfords are all good options for city walking.
However, if you’re planning on participating in outdoor activities, such as hiking then it’s important to choose a pair of sturdy and supportive hiking boots with good traction and ankle support.
Meanwhile, if all you plan to do during your trip to Germany is head to the beach, then you’ll likely want to pack some sandals, flip-flops and / or water shoes that are comfortable, durable, and easy to put on and take off along with a pair of trainers or more formal shoes for an evening.
We’d still recommend bringing a coat to Germany, even when visiting in the summer.
Germany can get quite chilly, especially on an evening, as such having a warm coat is essential to staying both comfortable and dry.
If you’re visiting in the shoulder months when it’s a little cooler then we recommend looking for a coat that is made from a thick and insulating fabric, such as wool or down, and that has a hood or other features to protect you from any wind and rain you might experience.
Meanwhile, in the peak-summer months, a rain jacket should be just enough.
The benefits of a rain jacket are that it’s lightweight and significantly more compact when compared to a heavy coat, as such it can be easily packed in your luggage without taking up too much space.
We recommend bringing a sunhat to Germany when visiting in the summer since it can help protect your face and head from the sun’s UV rays.
A sunhat can also help to keep you cool and comfortable during the peak sunshine hours, by providing shade for your head and face.
A pair of sunglasses should also be on your Germany packing list when visiting during the summer months.
That’s because sunglasses are a practical and stylish way to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays and keep you comfortable during your trip.
A bathing suit is an essential item to include on your Germany packing list, especially if you’re planning on visiting any beach towns or spending time near the water.
Germany is home to some incredible beaches that we recommend exploring during your summer trip.
Alongside your traditional suitcase (unless flying hand luggage only) you’re also likely going to want a travel bag.
This could be either a small daypack, a backpack, a tote bag or even a fanny pack – which bag(s) is right for you will likely depend on what you’re doing during your trip.
What your travel bag contains will likely vary dramatically depending on what you’re doing during your trip to Germany, some of our go-to travel essentials include;
- Credit cards
- Travel insurance details
- First aid kit
- Mobile phone charger / power bank
- Memory card
- Guide book
Of course, if you are flying carry-on only, then you’re going to want to be conscious of the airline’s requirements.
As such you’ll likely want to unpack once you’ve arrived at your accommodation and then use that bag as your day bag to save you from wasting any space or weight on bringing another one.
On the other hand, if you’re bringing a suitcase then you’ll be able to bring one or more bags to suit your needs.
However, keep in mind that many of the historical cities within Germany will have a vast number of cobblestone streets that can make moving luggage incredibly difficult – as such taking a taxi from the airport (where applicable) can often be favourable over public transport in many cases.