From visiting the famous Christmas markets to skiing in world-class resorts to seeing Santa in Lapland, Europe is a magical place to be in the winter.
If you’ve backpacked around the continent in the summer, visiting Europe in winter will offer a totally different experience. Thus, seeing Europe in this season is a must.
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The weather in Europe can range from pretty chilly to freezing zero temperatures. Thus, you’ll need plenty of warm, insulated, thermal, and fleece-lined clothing.
But if you’re unsure what to wear in Europe during winter, fear not. In this guide, we’ll list all the essential travel clothes for Europe in winter so you’ll jet off as prepared as can be.
Before we get into what to pack for Europe in winter, remember that the continent’s climate differs from country to country.
Suppose you’re planning a winter wonderland trip where you’ll ski on the slopes or ride through the thick snow in Lapland. In that case, you’ll need warmer clothing than if you’re enjoying a city break in Barcelona.
So, along with following the advice in this guide, research the typical winter climate of where you are heading.
When you start packing for Europe in winter, you’ll likely first think about oversized coats and cozy jumpers. However, in the continent’s coldest parts, you’ll need multiple layers to stay warm.
Typically, you’ll wear a t-shirt, a long-sleeve top, a jumper, and a coat. So make sure you have enough short and long sleeve tees for every day of your trip.
Of course, some days, the weather will be mild enough to omit the long sleeve layer. Still, a general rule for surviving winter in Europe is that you can never have enough clothes!
If you particularly hate the cold or are going on a skiing vacation, include a few thermal base layers too. This Smartwool Merino 250 Baselayer Crew is super effective at regulating body temperature.
Jumpers And Hoodies
Next up, pull out all the comfy jumpers and warm hoodies in your wardrobe, as you’ll be wearing these every day. However, as styles of sweaters and cardigans vary, you’ll need to be sure the ones you are bringing are best suited to winter.
For example, knit jumpers with large gaps between the knitting or crochet styles won’t be sufficient to retain body heat.
The best type of winter jumper is made from wool or fleece, with lots of coverage around the neck, such as roll neck and turtle neck styles.
We also recommend bringing a thermal hoodie, like this one from Geek Lighting. The heavyweight zip-up sweatshirt has a thick sherpa fleece lining on the body and hood.
Every winter Europe trip calls for a good quality winter coat. However, there are various styles of coats, so which is best? The answer depends on where you’re going and what you’re doing.
Suppose you are exploring the city sights and Christmas markets. In that case, this Daily Ritual Teddy Bear Fleece Oversized-Fit Lapel Jacket will keep you feeling toasty in between each glass of mulled wine.
Or for men, this Calvin Klein Hooded RipStop Water and Wind Resistant Jacket is ideal. It is stylish and has an interior fleece bib with a zipper closure for extra warmth.
If you’re planning to take lots of walks and hikes, a long insulated coat like this one from Columbia is a great option. It features faux down insulation, Omni-heat thermal reflective lining, and a water-resistant shell.
Those who don’t cope well with the cold might consider this TIDEWE Heated Jacket. This coat is unique as it features an interior battery pack with 3 adjustable heat settings to instantly create additional warmth whenever needed.
In addition, the anti-static fleece liner traps the heat produced, and the exterior is water and wind resistant, too.
You likely won’t need to pack any shorts for your winter Europe trip. However, you will need plenty of thick and warm long pants, like insulated leggings for women and fleece-lined tracksuit bottoms for men.
Jeans are also a popular piece of winter apparel in Europe. However, if heading somewhere very chilly like Sweden or Switzerland, you might need to wear a base layer. Leggings can make a good base layer for women, and long johns serve the purpose for men.
If you want to dress up a bit for nights in the city, women can pair these VERO MONTE Opaque Warm Fleece Lined Tights with a winter dress and trench coat. For men, wear some long johns under your favorite pair of chinos or smart trousers for an invisible warmth layer.
Sneakers and boots are the two primary footwear you will need for winter in Europe. Many boots are suitable for both everyday walking and hiking. However, if you plan to do activities in the snow, you’ll need hiking boots with high traction to handle icy surfaces.
The SOREL Women’s Explorer II Joan Faux Fur Boots are super versatile, thanks to their suede and faux fur design. Thus, you can wear them anywhere, from hiking trails to the high street.
They also have 100g insulation, are waterproof, and have a high-traction rubber EVA footbed.
If you’re not heading anywhere snowy or icy, you can opt for a more stylish city-style boot like these Dr. Martens. The Chelsea-style leather boots have a fleece lining and the iconic Dr. Martens air-cushioned sole, providing all-day comfort.
For men, these Vostey Chukka Boots will take you from the city to the countryside, thanks to their clever functionality combined with their stylish design. The faux leather boots are water resistant, have durable laces, and have a non-slip rubber outsole.
Winter accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves are essential for staying warm in the coldest season. First, choose a winter hat that covers your ears, protecting them from the icy winds.
A faux fur-lined Russian trooper hat like this one from Tough Headwear is a top choice for trapping heat in the coldest conditions.
For scarves, choose thick cable knit styles like this chunky wrap scarf by Neosan. This oversized scarf comes in various colors and patterns, making any outfit stylish and eye-catching.
Neck warmers are an excellent alternative to scarves as they are fleece lined and provide more coverage around the neck area. Thus, if you’re heading somewhere snowy, a neck warmer like this one from NovForth is a must.
Lastly, these OZERO Winter Thermal Gloves are ideal. They feature touchscreen fingers, so you don’t have to take them off whenever you want to make a call or text. Plus, along with the thermal fleece lining, they have a windproof and water-resistant outer shell.
Europe Winter Outfit Ideas
Now you know the layers you need for your winter vacation, you can start planning your outfits. Here are our top three European winter travel outfits for men and women.
Below you’ll find outfit ideas for men.
European cities are known for their extravagant Christmas light displays and festive markets. If you love the most magical time of the year, you’ll surely spend significant time checking out the winter offerings in the European cities.
European winter fashion combines warmth with style, so start with these SOREL Cheyanne Metro Hi Waterproof Insulated Winter Sneakers in gray quarry. The leather and suede hybrid adds a touch of class, while the 100g insulation will stop your feet from getting chilled on those cold winter nights.
Then, keep your legs warm with these Wrangler Authentics Fleece Lined Carpenter Pants in autumn khaki color. Combine these with this MAGCOMSEN Sherpa Lined Sweatshirt in light gray and this Dockers Weston Wool Blend Scarf Coat in charcoal.
The jacket has a light ultra-loft polyfill for added warmth and comes with a detachable plaid scarf.
From Austria to Switzerland to Italy and France, skiing opportunities are abundant during winter. These countries have some of the most renowned ski resorts, so it makes sense to schedule some skiing during your winter vacation.
However, spending the entire day in the snow can get pretty cold, so you’ll need plenty of insulation. Start with this WEERTI Thermal Baselayer Set, consisting of a fleece-lined top and bottoms. It is lightweight but warm, minimizing heat loss.
Over the top of your base layers, wear these Gash Hao Waterproof Softshell Snowboard Pants in black. They are insulated with fleece lining and have a waterproof, quick-drying soft shell. There are also zippers on the bottom of the legs, designed to stop snow from getting inside the pants.
Pair the pants with this VICALLED Hooded Mountain Ski Jacket with fleece lining and multiple zip pockets for storing your belongings when out on the slope.
Whether taking your own children or fulfilling your childhood dream, visiting the region of Lapland in Finland is a truly memorable experience. Nonetheless, Finland is one of the coldest countries in Europe, so warmth is the priority when planning your Lapland outfits.
Build your look with these Columbia Bugaboot III Snow Boots. The proprietary technology keeps all the elements out. At the same time, the alpine style 200g insulation layer helps you take on the freezing temperatures.
These Yeokou Sherpa-Lined Active Thermal Joggers will keep you warm and comfy. The cuffed ankle design makes it easy to tuck them in your boots to eliminate heat loss.
Pair these with the matching Yeokou Warm Fleece Crewneck Sweatshirt with a thick Sherpa Lining.
Then, complete this winter look with the Columbia Buck Butte Hooded Jacket in graphite/black, which features 100% synthetic down insulation.
Now, let’s see some outfit ideas for women.
If you’re spending your European winter vacation in the city, opt for this EXLURA Smockneck Long Sleeve Sweater Dress in apricot for a touch of elegance. It is body hugging with stylish long puff sleeves and looks fab with a black pair of Opaque Warm Fleece Lined Tights.
Pair the dress with these WEATHERPROOF Calf High Boots in brown. They are insulated with breathable uppers and a non-slip grip, so you’ll stay protected should it start to snow or rain. Finally, add this elegant Grace Karin Notch Lapel A Line Peacoat with a self-tie belt.
If you’re heading out onto the slopes, ensure you have the suitable gear. Start with some thermal leggings and this MERIWOOL Base Layer Shirt made from 8.5-micron 250g/m2 weight interlock-knit Merino wool.
Next, layer up with these BenBoy Fleece Slim Cargo Snow Pants in gray rose, which are waterproof and windproof with multiple zipper pockets.
Then, match them with this GEMYSE Mountain Ski Jacket in rose, which is 100% waterproof, including the zippers. In addition, the jacket has many other cool features like adjustable velcro cuffs and stretchable gloves with thumb holes to retain warmth.
Finally, complete the ski-ready look with these Columbia Slopeside Village Omni-Heat Mid Snow Boots in clay/timber.
If your European winter vacation will feature Reindeer sleigh rides and chasing the Northern Lights, you’ll want to look cute and feel cozy.
These 90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Fleece Lined Leggings ooze comfort and warmth and come in various colors, making your outfit stylish and vibrant.
Choose the Cabernet shade and pair them with this super snuggly KIRUNDO Fuzzy Fleece Buttoned Hoodie in beige.
Stay warm with this Angashion Fuzzy Fleece Lapel Open Front Long Coat in dark camel for your outer layer. The coat goes perfectly with these Globalwin Snow Boots in camel shade, which are insulated to withstand temperatures up to 15F and fully waterproof.
Final Thoughts On Travel Clothes For Europe In Winter
While Europe is beautiful and enchanting during winter, it may come with freezing weather. Still, you don’t need to let the chill in the air affect your vacation.
By packing the right travel clothes for Europe in winter, you’ll feel warm and cozy from morning to night.
Traveling to Europe at different times of the year? Read one of the following guides: