What to Pack for Europe in Summer

June 24, 2024

Europe is a magical destination year round, but there’s something so special about Europe in the Summer. From the beaches of Italy to the English countryside to the rolling hills of France, I’m convinced it’s one of the best times to visit Europe. As the founder of a travel advisory specializing in two European countries, I am lucky to get to go to Europe most summers and therefore have a lot of experience in packing for these trips.

Summer in Europe is the perfect side time to explore historic cities, relax on beautiful European beaches, and beat the heat by escaping to the mountains. 

What to Pack for Europe in Summer

The weather in Europe obviously can vary vastly by region (and sadly more and more European countries are experiencing heat waves!) In places like France, Italy, and England Summers temperatures tend to be in the 70s and 80s with cooler mornings and evenings and hot days.

One thing I always warn En Route to Rêverie clients about is the lack of air conditioning (or air con) in many parts of Europe. While some hotels (especially newer ones) often have AC, it’s certainly not a guarantee with home rentals, shops, and restaurants.

With this in mind, packing the right stuff can help ensure your Summer in Europe fun, safe, and most importantly comfortable! Today I’m sharing items you should consider packing if you’ll find yourself abroad this Summer.

Meghan in Paris Summer Outift

1. Linen Dress

Linen dresses in neutrals are staples that I pack for all of my warm-weather getaways, and especially in Europe. For warm, sunny days, they will help you look put together while also keeping you cool and comfortable. You can dress linen down with sneakers, or dress it up with heels or espadrilles at night.

I always pack an assortment of breezy linen dresses in various lengths and silhouettes so I have options to choose from! Maybe a mini for daytime and a midi or maxi length for the evening. 

I particularly love the linen dresses by Dissh and Reformation. (I size up in both of these brands!) And then of course Madewell and J.Crew as well.

My secret to packing linen are these travel sized bottles of Downy Wrinkle Release, I swear it’s magic! It’t not as good as a steamer of course but great in a pinch.

2. Swimsuit

If you’ll be enjoying the ocean or perhaps a gorgeous pool at your hotel (I’ve booked En Route to Rêverie clients at some fabulous properties with pools this Summer!) you’ll need a chic swimsuit. I tend to stick to classic, elegant bathing suits when I’m in Europe and almost always in black!

This one piece is a favorite of mine, I also own this one piece with an open back, and recently wore this bikini top on a trip to France and loved it!

For a cover-up, I’d recommend an elegant knit beach dress or a classic shirtdress style. The only time you’ll ever see me wearing flip flops are when they’re paired with a swimsuit, and I always recommend this brand.

3. Basic Tees

When packing for a trip to Europe in the Summer, a couple of basic tees always make it onto my packing list. I can pair them with linen trousers or denim shorts, and style them on their own or as a base layer (like with a striped sweater draped over my shoulders or a light jacket).

I like to bring a basic tee in black and white for versatility — this one from MM.LaFleur is a favorite as it has a great fit, a thick fabric that makes sure it travels well and slightly longer sleeves making it really flattering to wear on its own or layered.

4. Linen Pants

Linen pants are one of the most versatile bottoms you can pack on a Summer trip to Europe. While I have a well documented history of loving my denim, light and airy linen pants just make more sense to pack when the temperatures are high.

Wear them with a t-shirt and sneakers for a casual day time look, a sparkly tank and heels for the evening, or over a bathing suit for seaside lunch.  

These trousers from Abercrombie have a cult-like following (size up). Everlane also makes a great pair, as does Reformation.

For a more casual option, I would go with this drawstring pair of linen pants from Reformation.

5. White Sneakers

If you’re traveling to a European city that’s highly walkable or a destination with lots of hills and cobblestone streets, comfortable walking shoes like white sneakers are my favorite footwear option.

My favorite Common Projects sneakers are versatile enough to wear with almost any summer outfit, so you can pack light and even wear them on the plane. These more affordable alternatives also give you the same look for less.

Linen Romper in Provence

6. Flat Sandals

If I was only bringing two pairs of shoes with me to Europe in the Summer, the second pair would be flat sandals. I love flat sandals that seamlessly blend comfort and style, and recently put together all my favorite sandal styles. I also look for sandals with good traction for all those cobblestone streets!

I suggest picking a neutral shade or a soft metallic, so you can mix and match your favorite pair with as many outfits as possible and cut down on bulk when packing.

Related: What Shoes to Pack for Europe

7. Sun Hat

For sunny days by the pool or afternoons spent exploring local markets, a straw sun hat is a must. I love a boater style like this one for daytime excursions but also always bring a packable hat, too like this one for beach and pool days. 

Buy a TopTote holder to make traveling with a hat a breeze. I never travel without mine when I have sun hats in tow!

Related: All My Travel Essentials

8. Hand Fan

Trust me, packing a hat fan for Summers in Europe will change your life. From stuffy museums to crowded public transportation, or really any time you need a little breeze — hand fans are clutch.

I love this one, but if you’re looking for something electric this compact fan fits the bill as well. 

9. SPF

Depending on where you are in Europe, the sun has the potential to be very strong in the Summer. SPF is part of my every day routine and something I take very seriously.

I tend to opt for mineral sunscreen (which is a better alternative to chemical sunscreen) so I was thrilled when Caudalie launched their new daily mineral sunscreen with SPF 50. It’s a must-pack for a Summer getaway! For body sunscreen, I’m also a big fan of Supergoop. I like to keep a bottle in my toiletry bottle, and then something for when I’m on-the-go like this portable powder.

10. Straw Tote

If you’re planning on shopping during your trip, a tote bag is a must. This straw tote is my go-to for summer travels to Europe as the straps are adjustable. Straw bags make it easy to be hands-free throughout the day while still bringing all of your essentials like a wallet, sunglasses, water bottle, or umbrella. If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, this one from Sézane is a new personal favorite (but it sells out quickly!)

11. Sunglasses

I always travel with sunglasses, but especially in the Summer! Not only are they a chic accessory, but a practical one as well. One thing I notice about Europe in the Summer is that in certain places with lots of light-colored buildings, the sun can be absolutely blinding!  This is a favorite affordable pair of mine under $100, but I mostly swear by my collection of Celine sunglasses. They have lasted me for years and years making them a worthy investment.

12. Reusable Water Bottle

This can be a bit of a controversial one as I know some people feel carrying a reusable water bottle is an easy way to spot an American tourist, but I think in recent years this has become more of a norm for Europeans as well! In many places in Europe most tap water (including restrooms) is safe to drink, and there are also public taps you can refill from. I would suggest leaving those big, bulky, stainless steel reusable water bottles at home and instead opt for something a bit more sleek and discreet and keep it tucked away in your bag. Personally, I always need to have water on hand for hot days!

13. Packing Cubes

If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I’m going to do some shopping while I’m in Europe. The great thing about traveling in the Summer is that clothing is just more lightweight and compact making packing easier, but you may still want to consider using packing cubes to stay extra organized and ensure there’s some room leftover to bring home any of your souvenirs.

One of my favorite travel tips to share is to pack a collapsable tote bag in your suitcase, and then use it as your second cary-on item on the way home. I always bring this Tumi Weekender and fill it with all the fragile, valuable pieces I pick up on my travels!

Packing List For Europe in Summer

You can pin the image below or save it to your phone as you prepare for your trip.

Packing list for Summer in Europe travel

Pin this image for later and shop the pictured styles here.

Packing list for Summer in Europe

Pin this image for later and shop the pictured styles here.

Packing list for Italy in Summer

Shop More Items to Pack for Summer in Europe


Heading to France or England? Book En Route to Rêverie with me and get customized recommendations based on your travel preferences to make your next trip the best one yet.

You May Also Like:

This post contains affiliate links. Should you purchase something from an affiliate link, I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work!

comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *