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What To Wear For Sightseeing In Europe


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Kirbie Gagliano



When planning a sightseeing trip to Europe, it’s important to consider what to wear to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Europe is known for its diverse climates and varying weather patterns, so dressing appropriately will allow you to make the most of your trip, regardless of the season or destination.


Exploring historic sites, wandering through cobblestone streets, and visiting museums and landmarks are all part of the sightseeing experience in Europe. To make sure you’re prepared for these activities, it’s crucial to choose practical and comfortable clothing and accessories. This article will guide you through the essentials for sightseeing in Europe, helping you look stylish while staying comfortable.


Keep in mind that Europe consists of different regions and countries, each with its own distinct climate and cultural expectations. While this article provides general guidelines, it’s always a good idea to research the specific destination you’ll be visiting to tailor your wardrobe accordingly.


So, whether you’re strolling through the charming streets of Paris, exploring historical landmarks in Rome, or admiring the art in Barcelona, here’s what you need to know about what to wear for sightseeing in Europe.


Comfortable Shoes

One of the most important items to prioritize when sightseeing in Europe is comfortable shoes. With the amount of walking and exploring you’ll be doing, it’s essential to have footwear that provides good support and cushioning.


Opt for a pair of well-fitting sneakers or walking shoes that have been broken in prior to your trip. Avoid brand new shoes that might cause blisters or discomfort. Look for shoes with good arch support and cushioning to prevent foot fatigue. Remember that you’ll be walking on various surfaces, including uneven cobblestones, so choose shoes with a sturdy sole to provide stability.


Keep in mind the weather conditions of your destination. If you’re visiting during the warmer months, consider breathable shoes made from lightweight materials to keep your feet cool and prevent excessive sweating. In cooler weather, opt for closed-toe shoes to keep your feet warm and protected from the elements.


It’s also a good idea to bring a pair of sandals or flip-flops for warmer or beach destinations, as they provide a comfortable option for casual outings or relaxing by the water.


Remember, comfort is key when it comes to footwear for sightseeing in Europe. Prioritize practicality over fashion, but don’t worry – there are plenty of stylish and comfortable options available to suit all tastes.


Layered Clothing

When exploring Europe, especially in regions with unpredictable weather, it’s essential to dress in layers. Layered clothing allows you to adapt to changing temperatures throughout the day and ensures that you’re comfortable, regardless of the weather conditions.


Start with a base layer made of lightweight and moisture-wicking materials. This layer helps to regulate body temperature and keeps you dry, whether you’re sweating from walking or encountering unexpected rain. Opt for fabrics like merino wool or breathable synthetics, which have excellent moisture-wicking properties.


Add a middle layer, such as a long-sleeved shirt or sweater, to provide warmth when temperatures drop. Look for lightweight and versatile options that can be easily packed and layered with other pieces. Cardigans or lightweight jackets are great choices as they can be easily tied around your waist or stowed in a bag when not needed.


Finally, top off your layered look with a waterproof and windproof outer layer. A jacket with a hood or a waterproof shell will protect you from rain or chilly winds. Look for lightweight and packable options that won’t take up too much space in your luggage.


Layering allows you to adjust your clothing according to the temperature and weather conditions. If it gets too warm, you can remove a layer or two to stay comfortable. On the other hand, if it gets colder, you can easily bundle up by adding more layers to retain heat.


Additionally, layering provides versatility in your outfit choices. You can mix and match different pieces to create different looks while ensuring you’re prepared for any sudden weather changes.


By dressing in layers, you’ll be ready to tackle anything from sunny days to unexpected rain showers, keeping you comfortable and ready to enjoy your sightseeing adventures in Europe.


Lightweight Jacket

When packing for your sightseeing trip to Europe, don’t forget to include a lightweight jacket in your luggage. Even in the summer months, evenings can be cool, and it’s always a good idea to be prepared for unexpected changes in weather.


An ideal lightweight jacket for Europe is one that is versatile, packable, and provides protection from wind and light rain. Look for options made from water-resistant materials that can easily be folded and stored in a daypack or tied around your waist when you’re not wearing it.


A popular choice is a lightweight rain jacket. These jackets are designed to be water-resistant or waterproof, making them perfect for those unexpected showers that can occur during your sightseeing adventures. Make sure the jacket has a hood to keep your head dry as well.


If rain is not a concern, you can opt for a lightweight windbreaker. These jackets are typically made from breathable materials that block out the wind without making you feel too warm. They’re great for cooler days or for layering with sweaters or hoodies underneath.


Consider choosing a jacket with multiple pockets, as they can come in handy for storing small essentials like your phone, wallet, or keys. Additionally, look for jackets with adjustable features like a drawstring hem or cuffs, as they allow you to customize the fit for maximum comfort.


Remember that the jacket you choose should be versatile enough to go with different outfits and suit various occasions. Look for neutral colors like black, navy, or gray, as they tend to be more versatile and can easily be paired with any ensemble.


Having a lightweight jacket will ensure that you’re prepared for any weather conditions that come your way during your sightseeing adventures in Europe, allowing you to focus on exploring and enjoying your trip.


Scarf or Shawl

When traveling to Europe, a scarf or shawl is a versatile accessory that can elevate your outfit and provide practical benefits. Whether you’re visiting during the cooler months or want to add a stylish touch to your ensemble, having a scarf or shawl on hand is a must.


A scarf or shawl can provide an extra layer of warmth when the weather is chilly, especially in the evenings or in regions with cooler climates. Opt for a scarf made from lightweight materials like cashmere or wool, as they offer both warmth and comfort without adding bulk to your luggage.


In addition to keeping you cozy, a scarf or shawl can add a touch of style and sophistication to any outfit. It can instantly update a basic t-shirt and jeans combo or add a pop of color to a neutral ensemble. Look for scarves or shawls with vibrant patterns or bold colors that complement your wardrobe and reflect your personal style.


Aside from being a fashion statement, a scarf or shawl can also serve practical purposes during your sightseeing adventures. It can be used as a makeshift blanket or pillow during long train or plane rides, or as a cover-up when visiting temples or churches that require modest attire.


Another advantage of packing a scarf or shawl is its versatility. It can be worn in multiple ways, such as draped over your shoulders, wrapped around your neck, or even tied as a headscarf or belt. This means you can create different looks using the same accessory, making it an essential item for packing light.


Lastly, a scarf or shawl can come in handy for protection against the sun or wind. It can be used to shield your neck or face from the sun’s rays during hot summer days or to cover your head during windy conditions. It’s a practical accessory that can enhance your comfort and protect your skin.


So, whether you need an extra layer of warmth, want to add style to your outfit, or require a versatile and practical accessory, don’t forget to pack a scarf or shawl for your sightseeing adventures in Europe.


Daypack or Crossbody Bag

When exploring the sights and attractions in Europe, having a functional and convenient bag to carry your essentials is essential. A daypack or crossbody bag is an ideal choice, providing you with hands-free convenience while keeping your belongings secure.


A daypack is a versatile option that offers ample storage space for your belongings. Look for a lightweight and water-resistant backpack that can comfortably fit your essentials, such as a water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, a small umbrella, and a camera for capturing those memorable moments. Opt for a backpack with multiple compartments to keep your items organized and easily accessible.


A crossbody bag is another popular choice for sightseeing in Europe. These bags offer convenience and security as they can be worn across your body, keeping your hands free and your belongings close to you. Look for a crossbody bag with zippered compartments and adjustable straps for added comfort. It should be big enough to hold your essentials but not too bulky to weigh you down.


When choosing a daypack or crossbody bag, consider factors such as durability, comfort, and security. Select bags made from durable materials that can withstand the rigors of travel. Look for padded straps or ergonomic designs that ensure maximum comfort, especially if you’ll be carrying your bag for extended periods of time.


Security is also an important consideration. Look for bags with anti-theft features like RFID-blocking pockets to protect your passport and credit cards, as well as lockable zippers to deter pickpockets.


Additionally, consider the size of the bag and its compatibility with your personal style. Opt for neutral colors that can easily blend with different outfits and are less likely to draw attention to your belongings. Ensure the bag complements your overall look, whether you prefer a more casual or stylish aesthetic.


Having a daypack or crossbody bag will ensure that you have all your essentials with you while exploring the sights in Europe. It will allow you to navigate crowded areas with ease, keep your belongings secure, and have a comfortable and convenient travel experience.



When preparing for your sightseeing adventure in Europe, one essential accessory that you shouldn’t forget is a good pair of sunglasses. Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, but they also add a touch of style to your overall look.


Europe is known for its beautiful architecture and vast outdoor spaces, including parks, beaches, and open-air markets. These locations can be quite sunny, especially during the summer months. Having a reliable pair of sunglasses will not only shield your eyes from bright sunlight but also provide protection against harmful UV rays.


When choosing sunglasses, opt for a pair that offers 100% UV protection. Look for sunglasses with labels indicating that they block both UVA and UVB rays to ensure optimal eye protection.


Consider the style and shape of sunglasses that suit your face shape and personal style. There are plenty of options available, from aviators to cat-eye frames, round lenses to oversized styles. Find a style that complements your facial features and enhances your overall look.


In addition to functionality, sunglasses can also be a fashion statement. Choose sunglasses with frames and lenses that match your personal style and can be easily paired with different outfits. Neutral colors like black, brown, or tortoiseshell are versatile and can be worn with a variety of ensembles.


Don’t forget to have a protective case for your sunglasses to keep them safe when not in use. A microfiber cloth is also handy for cleaning the lenses and keeping them smudge-free.


Whether you’re exploring historical attractions, dining al fresco, or simply strolling through picturesque streets, sunglasses are a must-have accessory for sightseeing in Europe. They will not only protect your eyes but also elevate your style, allowing you to enjoy your trip with optimal comfort and flair.



When planning your sightseeing adventure in Europe, don’t forget to pack a hat. A hat serves both as a fashion accessory and a practical item to protect you from the sun’s rays.


Europe boasts a wide range of climates and weather conditions, and regardless of the season, it’s important to shield yourself from the sun. Wearing a hat is a simple and effective way to protect your face, neck, and scalp from harmful UV rays.


When choosing a hat, consider the style that suits you best. There are various options, including wide-brimmed hats, straw hats, fedoras, bucket hats, and baseball caps.


A wide-brimmed hat offers the most sun protection as it shades your face, ears, and neck from the sun. It’s a versatile option that can be dressed up or down, suitable for both city sightseeing and beach outings.


A straw hat is a classic choice for summer in Europe. It’s lightweight and breathable, helping to keep you cool while adding a touch of elegance to your look. Pair it with a flowy dress or a casual outfit for a chic summer vibe.


A fedora or a floppy hat adds a fashionable and trendy touch to your ensemble. It can be paired with casual or dressier outfits for a stylish flair. Opt for a hat made from a breathable material like cotton or linen to ensure comfort.


If you prefer a more sporty or casual look, a baseball cap or a bucket hat may be the right choice. These hats provide shade and protection while adding a laid-back vibe to your outfit.


Choose a hat that fits your head comfortably and has an adjustable or fitted band to ensure a secure fit. Consider collapsible or packable options that can be easily folded and stored in your bag when not in use.


Remember that wearing a hat also offers protection from the wind, especially if you’re exploring coastal areas or regions known for their strong breezes. It can help keep your hair in place and prevent it from getting tangled.


So, whether you’re strolling through sun-soaked streets or enjoying outdoor attractions, don’t forget to bring a hat to shield yourself from the sun and add a fashionable touch to your sightseeing adventures in Europe.


Comfortable Pants or Skirts

When it comes to choosing the right bottoms for your sightseeing adventures in Europe, comfort should be your top priority. Opt for pants or skirts made from breathable and stretchable materials that allow freedom of movement while keeping you comfortable throughout the day.


For those who prefer pants, opt for lightweight and breathable options like cotton or linen. These fabrics help to keep you cool and comfortable, especially during the warmer months or in destinations with high temperatures. Look for pants with an elastic waistband or a drawstring for added comfort and flexibility.


Consider packing versatile pants such as travel or hiking pants that are designed to be wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying, and easy to clean. These pants often have multiple pockets, providing convenient storage for small essentials like your phone, wallet, or travel documents.


If you prefer skirts, choose ones made from lightweight materials such as cotton or flowy fabrics like chiffon or rayon. Maxi skirts are a popular option as they offer comfort and coverage, while still allowing for ease of movement. A-line or midi skirts are also great choices as they can be dressed up or down and are flattering on various body types.


Keep in mind that Europe can have conservative dress codes, especially when visiting religious sites or more traditional areas. Ensure that your skirts are of an appropriate length – generally, knee-length or below is considered acceptable.


In addition, consider the climate and weather conditions of your destination. If you’re visiting during the cooler months, pack pants made from warmer materials like wool or corduroy. Layer them with leggings or thermal tights for extra warmth. Opt for skirts that can be paired with tights or leggings for added comfort and protection against the cold.


Regardless of your choice between pants or skirts, prioritize comfort, functionality, and versatility. Select neutral or versatile colors that can be easily mixed and matched with different tops and shoes to create various outfits. This will help you pack light while ensuring you have options for different occasions.


Whether you’re exploring vibrant cities, wandering through ancient ruins, or discovering hidden gems in quaint towns, comfortable pants or skirts are essential for a pleasant and enjoyable sightseeing experience in Europe.


Moisture-Wicking Clothing

When embarking on a sightseeing adventure in Europe, it’s important to consider the type of clothing you wear, especially in regions with warm or humid climates. Moisture-wicking clothing is a game-changer, as it helps to keep you dry and comfortable, even in hot and sweaty conditions.


Moisture-wicking fabrics are specially designed to pull moisture away from your body and quickly evaporate it, keeping you cool and dry. These fabrics are typically made from synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, which have excellent moisture-wicking properties.


When choosing moisture-wicking clothing, opt for lightweight and breathable options. Look for tops, t-shirts, or tanks with moisture-wicking capabilities that will prevent sweat from clinging to your skin, so you can feel fresh and comfortable throughout the day.


Moisture-wicking clothing is also ideal for activities that involve a lot of movement, such as hiking or biking. It helps to regulate your body temperature and minimizes the risk of chafing or discomfort caused by sweat-soaked clothing.


Another advantage of moisture-wicking clothing is its quick-drying properties. If you happen to get caught in unexpected rain or need to do laundry on the go, this type of fabric will dry much faster than traditional cotton or other natural fibers.


In addition to tops, consider incorporating moisture-wicking bottoms into your wardrobe. Look for shorts, pants, or leggings made from moisture-wicking fabrics, so you can stay comfortable from head to toe.


Moisture-wicking clothing is not only functional but also stylish. Many clothing brands offer a wide range of designs and colors to suit your personal style, so you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for comfort.


Remember to choose the right fit for your body type and activity level. Whether it’s a loose-fitting top or a form-fitting tee, select the style that makes you feel comfortable and confident as you explore the sights of Europe.


In summary, moisture-wicking clothing is a must-have for sightseeing in Europe, especially in regions with warm or humid climates. It keeps you dry, comfortable, and odor-free, allowing you to fully enjoy your sightseeing adventures while staying fresh and stylish.


Swimwear (if applicable)

If you’re planning to visit coastal areas, beautiful beaches, or destinations with thermal baths or swimming pools during your sightseeing trip to Europe, it’s important to pack appropriate swimwear. Having swimwear on hand allows you to fully enjoy and take advantage of the water activities and relaxation opportunities that Europe has to offer.


When choosing swimwear, consider the activities you’ll be participating in and the overall culture and norms of your destination. Europe is home to a wide variety of beach cultures, each with its own style and expectations when it comes to swimwear.


If you’re visiting popular beach destinations or coastal areas where swimming and sunbathing are common, it’s best to bring a traditional swimsuit. This can include bikinis, one-piece suits, or trendy swim shorts for both men and women.


Consider the level of coverage that you feel comfortable with and the local customs. In some European countries, topless sunbathing is common and widely accepted on certain beaches, while in other places, covering up is more widely practiced.


For thermal baths or spa visits, it’s important to check their specific dress code. Some establishments require specific types of swimwear or may provide rental options on-site. In these cases, you can either pack your own appropriate swimwear or prepare to rent or purchase upon arrival.


Keep in mind that swimwear made from quick-drying and chlorine-resistant materials is ideal if you’ll be spending a lot of time in the water. Look for swimwear with adjustable straps or drawstrings for a customizable and secure fit.


If you’re unsure about the swimwear norms of your destination, it’s always helpful to do a little research before your trip. Check online forums, travel websites, or consult with locals or your accommodation for advice on swimwear etiquette.


Remember to pack a beach cover-up or a lightweight sarong to wear over your swimwear when walking to and from the beach or pool. This can also provide some extra sun protection or privacy when needed.


Having the appropriate swimwear ensures that you’re ready to take a dip, soak up the sun, or relax in the waters of Europe during your sightseeing journey.



When preparing for your sightseeing adventures in Europe, one item that should be at the top of your packing list is sunscreen. Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is crucial, especially when spending long hours exploring outdoor attractions or lounging on beautiful European beaches.


Before selecting a sunscreen, it’s important to understand the sun protection factor (SPF) and how it affects your skin. The SPF indicates the level of protection a sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which cause sunburns. It’s recommended to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to shield your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.


Consider your skin type and the level of sun exposure you anticipate during your trip. If you have fair or sensitive skin, it’s advisable to opt for a higher SPF and reapply sunscreen more frequently. Waterproof or water-resistant sunscreens are also practical choices, especially if you plan to engage in water activities or perspire heavily.


When applying sunscreen, it’s important to cover all exposed areas of skin. This includes your face, neck, ears, arms, legs, and even the tops of your feet if you’re wearing open-toed shoes or sandals. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to any areas that might be exposed due to clothing shifting or moving throughout the day.


Consider bringing travel-sized or mini bottles of sunscreen for easy portability. These can be stashed in your daypack or bag for convenient reapplication on the go. If flying, remember to comply with airline regulations concerning the size of liquids for carry-on luggage.


Remember that sunscreen should be reapplied at regular intervals, especially after swimming, sweating, or drying yourself with a towel. Follow the instructions on the sunscreen label for the recommended reapplication frequency.


In addition to sunscreen, consider other protective measures like wearing sunglasses, a hat, and lightweight, breathable clothing that covers your skin. These measures complement the use of sunscreen and further enhance your protection against the sun’s harmful rays.


Whether you’re exploring historic landmarks, wandering through picturesque landscapes, or basking in the sun on European beaches, sunscreen is an essential item to keep your skin safe and healthy during your sightseeing adventures.



When planning your sightseeing trip to Europe, it’s always wise to pack a compact and lightweight umbrella. Europe’s weather can be unpredictable, and having an umbrella on hand ensures that you’re prepared for sudden rain showers or unexpected changes in weather.


An umbrella is a practical and versatile item that can provide protection from rain, wind, and even harsh sunlight. Look for a compact umbrella that is easy to carry in your daypack or handbag without adding too much weight or bulk.


Consider the size of the umbrella when both open and closed. A small, collapsible umbrella is ideal for travel as it can easily fit into your bag when not in use. Automatic umbrellas are also convenient, as they can be quickly deployed with the push of a button.


Choose an umbrella made from a durable material that can withstand windy conditions. Look for features like a strong frame and a vented canopy that helps prevent the umbrella from turning inside out during gusty winds. A waterproof or water-resistant umbrella is also beneficial, ensuring that you stay dry even during heavy rainfall.


An umbrella serves as more than just protection from the rain. It can also shield you from the sun’s rays, providing you with a portable shade on hot and sunny days. When exploring open areas or waiting in line outdoors, using the umbrella as a sunshade can offer some relief from the heat and help prevent sunburn.


Having an umbrella not only keeps you dry and protected but also prevents your clothes, electronics, and other belongings from getting wet. This is especially important if you’ll be carrying items like cameras, smartphones, or travel documents that can be damaged by water.


Remember that Europe can have varying weather patterns, even within the same day or in different regions. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before heading out and bring your umbrella along if there’s a chance of rain or if the weather seems uncertain.


In summary, packing a compact and lightweight umbrella is a practical decision when sightseeing in Europe. It ensures that you’re prepared for unexpected weather changes and allows you to enjoy your adventures without being deterred by rain or excessive sun.


Practical Accessories

While planning for your sightseeing trip to Europe, don’t forget to pack practical accessories that can enhance your overall experience and provide convenience during your adventures. These accessories can make a significant difference in your comfort level and ensure that you’re well-prepared for whatever comes your way.


Here are some practical accessories to consider:


Travel Adapter: Europe uses different types of electrical outlets, so a travel adapter is essential to charge your electronic devices and keep them powered throughout your trip. Look for an adapter that is compatible with the outlets in the countries you’ll be visiting.


Portable Charger: Exploring Europe often involves long days of sightseeing, and you may find yourself using your phone or camera frequently. A portable charger ensures that you can recharge your devices on the go, so you don’t miss out on capturing those memorable moments.


Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is essential while sightseeing, especially in warmer climates or during physical activities. Bring a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day and minimize single-use plastic waste.


Microfiber Towel: A lightweight and quick-drying microfiber towel is a fantastic accessory to have. It can be used for drying off after rainfall or unexpected splashes, or as a picnic blanket or a makeshift blanket during long journeys.


Power Bank: A power bank is essential for charging your electronic devices when on the go, especially if you’re using navigation apps or relying heavily on your phone for communication or photos. Opt for a compact and high-capacity power bank that can keep your devices charged throughout the day.


Ziplock Bags: Ziplock bags come in handy for various purposes while traveling. They are great for storing snacks, keeping wet items separate from your belongings, organizing small items like charging cables or cosmetics, and preventing leaks from toiletries.


Travel Wallet: Keep your travel documents, passports, credit cards, and currency organized and safe in a travel wallet or passport holder. Look for one with RFID-blocking technology to protect your sensitive information from potential identity theft.


First Aid Kit: It’s always wise to have a basic first aid kit containing essentials like band-aids, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications. This way, you can address minor injuries or health concerns quickly and easily without disrupting your plans.


Remember to adapt your practical accessories based on your specific needs and the nature of your sightseeing activities. It’s also helpful to research the specific destination you’ll be visiting to ensure that you have all the necessary items for a smooth and enjoyable trip.


By packing practical accessories, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for any situation, making your sightseeing adventures in Europe more comfortable, convenient, and stress-free.



As you embark on your sightseeing journey in Europe, it’s crucial to consider what to wear to ensure comfort, style, and practicality. By packing the right clothing and accessories, you can make the most of your trip and create unforgettable memories. From comfortable shoes to protect your feet from endless walking to layered clothing to adapt to changing weather conditions, each item plays a vital role in enhancing your sightseeing experience.


Don’t forget to pack essentials like a lightweight jacket, scarf or shawl, daypack or crossbody bag, sunglasses, hat, and comfortable pants or skirts. These items provide both functionality and style, allowing you to explore Europe’s diverse landscapes, historical sites, and cultural attractions with ease.


Remember to prioritize sun protection by bringing sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses. These items will keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays and make your sightseeing experience more enjoyable.


Additionally, practical accessories like an umbrella, travel adapter, portable charger, and reusable water bottle are essential for convenience and preparedness. They ensure that you’re ready for any weather or situation that may arise during your travels.


By carefully considering your clothing and accessory choices, you can optimize your comfort, style, and practicality while sightseeing in Europe. Remember to adapt your wardrobe based on the specific climate and cultural norms of the regions you’ll be visiting.


As you explore the charming streets, iconic landmarks, and cultural treasures of Europe, may you be well-prepared and fully immerse yourself in the incredible sights and experiences that await you. Bon voyage!