What to pack for a city trip to Eastern Europe

From the icons like Prague, Budapest and Moscow, to the lesser-visited gems like Riga, Tallinn and Belgrade, Eastern Europe is home to some of the world’s most incredible cities. You’ll find it all, including gorgeous landscapes, fascinating cultures, rich history and delicious food. If you can’t wait to explore these dreamy cities, you’re probably wondering what to pack for a trip to Eastern Europe. Read on to find out what to wear in Eastern Europe plus all the essentials you can’t forget.

Versatile clothing

The Balkans and Eastern Europe are famed for their unpredictable weather. It can be hot and sunny one minute and pouring rain the next, so it’s best to be prepared for anything. 

If you’re wondering what to wear in Eastern Europe, start with casual, comfortable layers. Think t-shirts, long-sleeved tops, shorts, trousers, jeans, sweaters, and a rain jacket. If you’re travelling in summer, you’ll need more lighter clothing like skirts, dresses and shorts, and if you’re travelling in winter you’ll need to rug up with thermals, jeans, woollen sweaters, scarves, beanies and gloves. In general, wear casual, comfortable clothing and feel free to bring a fancier outfit for nights out on the town. 

bridge spires Prague Czech Republic

In any season, make sure you have plenty of conservative clothing options. Many areas of Eastern Europe have conservative dress codes, and you’ll need to have arms and legs covered when you visit religious sites like churches and temples. Bring a scarf for extra modesty or if you need to cover your hair at religious sites (for women).

While most cities in Eastern Europe are less conservative than rural areas, it’s still important to dress modestly and smartly in most places – gym wear or sloppy clothes will stick out to the locals here.

GET INSPIRED BY: Highlights of Eastern Europe

snow covered rooftops Tallinn Estonia

Comfortable shoes

The most important shoes to bring are comfortable walking shoes or runners, as you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking around cobbled streets on your city trip to Eastern Europe. You can also bring a pair of sandals or flip-flops for the beach or pool, or hot summer days.

Swimwear

Eastern Europe is filled with stunning pools, beaches, waterfalls and lakes within or right near the cities. From the thermal baths of Budapest to the beaches of Dubrovnik, you can’t resist diving in. Bring your swimsuit and a quick-drying towel. You might also like to bring a sarong to wear after your swim. 

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old fortress ocean Old Town Dubrovnik Croatia

Sun protection

Whether you prefer a cap or a big floppy hat – make sure you bring a hat. You’ll also need sunglasses and plenty of high SPF sunscreen in any season. While the sun can get swelteringly hot in summer, it’s also strong in winter and if it snows, you can damage your skin and eyes from snow glare, so come prepared.

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Rain protection

It can also rain a lot in Eastern Europe, even in summer. Bring a rain jacket in any season (a lighter one for summer and a warmer one for winter), or a small travel umbrella so you’re never caught out in the rain.

full moon over Hungarian Parliament Budapest

Medical kit

It’s always handy to bring a small medical kit on your trip to Eastern Europe. Besides your own personal medications, you can also bring strong insect repellent (the mosquitoes are everywhere in summer), hand sanitiser, painkillers, electrolytes, antiseptic ointment, bandaids, eye drops and travel sickness tablets. Be sure to consult your doctor before your trip for specific travel health advice.

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Toiletries

If you want to bring your favourite shampoos and moisturisers, we recommend pouring them into smaller reusable travel bottles, to save on space and waste. You might also like to try out solid toiletries. You can get shampoos, soaps, moisturisers, makeup and even toothpaste in solid or bar form… So no more liquids exploding in your bag! 

village shops Split Croatia trip to Eastern Europe

Electronics

Everyone has different travel gadgets they like to bring on their holidays. For a trip to Eastern Europe, we recommend your smartphone (with a camera) or a separate camera, to capture all those incredible memories. You’ll also need extra memory cards, spare chargers and waterproof cases. 

Power strips and portable chargers are also very handy, plus you’ll need travel plug adaptors for your specific destinations (or you can bring a universal travel adaptor). If you’re in need of some entertainment on long plane or coach rides, bring along some headphones to listen to music or an e-reader, rather than bringing a lot of heavy books.

Prague city square Czech Republic trip to Eastern Europe

Day bag

You’ll need a secure, lightweight backpack or cross-body bag for your daily city essentials like your sunscreen, water bottle and camera. Choose one with lots of pockets to keep your belongings safe and organised. Even better if it’s waterproof!

GET INSPIRED BY: Prague, Vienna and Budapest

Reusable water bottle

Save money and reduce your waste by bringing a reusable water bottle you can refill every day on your trip to Eastern Europe. Be sure to check if the tap water is safe to drink in each destination, or use filtered water often provided by hotels or drinking fountains around the cities.

RELATED CONTENT: Is it safe to drink the tap water in Europe?

people canoeing down Ljubljana River Slovenia

Money

To access your money on your trip to Eastern Europe, it’s best to bring credit and debit cards and cash. You can check the local currency of your destination and get some cash before you go, or bring UK pounds or euros to exchange when you get there. Credit and debit cards are also the best way to withdraw money from ATMs on your trip – just make sure you let your bank know you’re travelling.

Are you dreaming of a trip to Eastern Europe? Which countries are at the top of your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below…

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