Packing List for Germany

Packing for Germany? Don't Forget These Essentials

What to Pack for a Trip to Germany

 Wenjia Tang / © TripSavvy 2018

Already packing your suitcase for Germany? Stop for a minute and look at this helpful packing list that features must-have travel goods for your trip to Germany. For rain, for sun, for snow, for Oktoberfest, for Germany's many different seasons - sometimes all in one day - this packing list for Germany is an essential element of planning your trip to Germany.

You can also print this list out and use it while packing - just cross out the listed items after you packed them.

And don’t worry, if you forget something at home you will be able to buy most things in Germany's many shops (as well as picking up unique gifts to take home).

Travel Essentials:

  • Airline Tickets - If you have e-tickets, print out the e-mail confirmation)
  • Passport - Should be valid for 6 months past your date of entry)
  • Wallet - While any old wallet will do, many people feel more comfortable with money belts, especially in the high season (summer and during Christmas markets) when the chance of petty theft is highest
  • Cash - Ideally euros, you don't need much to get started. Just enough to buy a transportation and some snacks before you find a Geldautomats (or ATM) for the lowest fees
  • Smart Phone - This indispensable item has become many traveler's everything - map, camera, guide book, wallet, etc. Be aware of roaming charges with your company and investigate if it needs to be unlocked to use a foreign sim card (the best solution for a long-term stay in Germany). Wi-fi is plentiful in Germany, although still more limited than in places like the USA.
  • Drivers license (if you want to rent a car)
  • Contact numbers - Keep your emergency numbers somewhere outside your wallet. Include personal contacts in your home country, number for your banking institutions, government agencies like embassies, etc. This can be invaluable in case your credit card/passport is lost or stolen
  • Copy of medical history and prescription for any drugs you are carrying - This can help if there are any questions at customs
  • Medicine - While most things you leave behind can be purchased in Germany, you should know that some common over-the counter goods aren't available. You need to go to the pharmacy for things as simple as antacids and they will probably carry different brands than you are used to. If there is anything you can't live without - bring it with you.
  • Toiletries - Ttoothbrush, toothpaste, lotions, shampoo, shower gel, razor, shaving cream, etc.
  • Phrasebook - While the number of people who speak English is always increasing and very high in places like Berlin, it is always best to know some key German phrases
  • Maps
  • Adapters - Electrical sockets in Germany are one of the two European standard electrical socket types: "Type C" Europlug and "Type E" and "Type F" Schuko. Also note that voltageis higher than in North American at 220-240 Volts 
  • Camera
  • Batteries
  • Charger

Always Good to Have:

  • Travel pillow
  • Small first aid kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Sunglasses
  • Ear plugs
  • Wrinkle-free spray
  • Eye-mask
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Converter
  • Diary/Notebook/Blog

What Clothes to Pack for Germany

Summer or winter, rain or shine - make sure to pack the following essential clothing for your trip to Germany:

  • Good walking shoes - While that seems to translate to sneakers for most Americans, note that most Europeans prefer real shoes and boots. For those that wear heels, note that the country's many cobblestone streets make that shoewear a challenge.
  • Layers - The weather in Germany can change quite quickly.
  • Rain jacket or umbrella
  • Scarf - Men and women wear scarfs throughout the year, especially in fall and winter.
  • Sun glasses

Packing List for German Winters

German winters can be very cold with temperatures ranging between 33 F and 45 F. Be prepared for snow, rain, hail and freezing winds:

  • Warm sweaters
  • Winter jacket 
  • Gloves
  • Scarf
  • Boots - Sturdy enough to withstand icy conditions
  • Hand warmers
  • Hat/cap - Something that covers your ears
  • Warm socks
  • Long Johns

Packing List for German Summers

On the other hand, German summers can be quite hot.

Temperatures range between 68 F and 86 F, but it can also be rainy and cool. Make sure to pack the following:

  • T-shirts/Tank tops
  • Skirts/shorts
  • Light sweaters
  • Light rain jacket
  • Long pants/Jeans
  • Bathing suit
  • Sandals
  • Sneakers
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen

Packing List for Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is better when you dress the part. Find out where to buy Tracht (traditonal clothing) and what to wear:

Lederhosen: This actually only refers to the traditional Bavarian pants, but the whole outfit usually includes a white or colorful checked shirt with sturdy buttons, knee-high cable-knit socks, Haferlshuhe which tie up the side and even a jacket and hat. 

Dirndls: Skirt (Rock), bodice (Mieder), apron (Schürze) and blouse (Bluse) in rtaditional colors ranging from black to blue to soft pink with charming Edelweiß (alpine flower)-like decoration