What to Pack for Germany: the Ultimate Germany Packing List for Women & Men

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Last Updated on: 19th June 2023, 06:41 pm

Are you planning a trip to Central Europe and wondering what to wear in Germany?

A trip to Germany can encapsulate a lot of different kinds of travel in a short time span. While many will focus on the cities like Berlin and Munich, others will choose to explore nature in Germany’s parks.

Here’s everything you need to pack for Germany to be prepared for your trip, including my advice for a Germany packing list for women and men.

My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2023

These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.

Protect Your Trip via Safety Wing

Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide and Viator.

Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.

For English-speaking private airport transfers, book through Welcome Pickups.

For road trips and independent travel, rent a car through Discover Cars.

Find information and cruise reviews on Cruise Critic.

For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.

Book an affordable family or romantic photography session on your trip through Flytographer (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 10% off your first photoshoot).

For travel guidebooks to have with you during your trip, I always pick one or two from Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.

What Kind of Suitcase to Bring?

Germany - Berlin - Suitcase and Day Bag packing to leave
My backpack and day bag after packing for Berlin

For your main suitcase, you’ll want to decide whether to bring a roller suitcase or a backpack. This depends on a lot of factors. For my trips to Germany, I like bringing a backpack because this enables me to enjoy Germany’s great intercity transportation options and explore more of the country. However, if you’re going to be staying put in one city for the majority of your trip, you may choose to bring a roller suitcase.

You also need to decide if you’re traveling carry-on only or checking a suitcase. You can get both kinds of suitcases in versions small enough to travel as carry-on, but I also know backpackers whose backpacks are large enough that they must be checked. Remember that not every backpack is carry-on sized.

See also
27 Pictures of Dresden to Inspire Your German Wanderlust

My personal preference is to use a carry-on sized backpack because I use so much public transportation in Germany that I don’t want to have to drag around a large suitcase. However, if you’re planning on taking taxis to and from the airport, then this is less of an issue.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding on a Suitcase

  • Do you have private or shared accommodations?
  • Are you staying in a hostel where your suitcase needs to fit into a small locker?
  • How fast-paced is your itinerary?
  • Will you be based out of one or two cities for a long period?
  • When you travel, do you tend to overpack and not use all your items?

Backpack Recommendations

For my trip to Germany, I used my Bergans Skarstind 48 which is similar to this Bergans backpack. This backpack is easy to wear, and the fact that it is taller than it is wide makes the distribution of weight along my torso easy to handle. It’s also small enough that I can easily wear it on city trains without too much hassle. This backpack is small enough to be a carry-on as long as I leave the top compartment empty. When I am not flying, I use this compartment and it adds about six inches of height to the bag.

For those unfamiliar with Bergans or who are Osprey diehards (which I used to be) then I would choose something similar to this Osprey Women’s pack. For men, I would choose something in the same size range (40-48 L).

If you’ve never backpacked with a real travel backpack, you may wonder what is different about it from a standard backpack or a weekender bag. The main difference is that the weight is distributed so that it’s not a burden. Basically, you can put the same weight in all three types of bags, but the ergonomic design makes the backpacking bag easier and more pleasant to carry. Since Europe is a place where you’ll end up carrying your luggage for a long period of time on transit days, this can really save your shoulders, back, and neck from a ton of unnecessary pain. You can check prices and reviews here.

See also
The 17 Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany

Roller Suitcase Recommendations

When I travel and check a bag, which I do from time to time, I opt for a larger roller suitcase. If you are going to bring a roller bag, I suggest getting a soft shell one that can squish. My personal roller suitcase is the awesome Osprey Sojourn.

I lived out of just this bag and a backpack for eight months, and I even took it on a multi-country bus trip last summer for six weeks through the Balkans and didn’t have any trouble. German intercity buses tend to have included checked bags and good storage under the bus, so this suitcase wouldn’t pose any problems in Germany. If you’re going to be on a lot of public transportation and need a roller bag, you will want a suitcase that can handle some abuse without getting damaged. This bag has been crammed, pushed, squished, scratched, and jammed into the smallest and weirdest of cargo spaces and still looks and works great. You can check prices and reviews here.

What to Use During the Day?

Serbia - Belgrade - Day Bag Pacsafe
My favorite day bag of all time!

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’re going to want a reliable and safe day bag to carry around things like your camera and wallet. This bag is also important for transit days since it will carry the things you need access to while on the move. I have two primary day bags that I use whenever I’m in Germany.

Features to Look for in a Reliable Travel Day Bag

  • Fashionable enough that the bag doesn’t scream “tourist”
  • Safety features that protect you from the kinds of low-level crime targeted at tourists
  • Room for the specific tech you’re bringing like a laptop, tablet, camera, etc.
  • Comfortable to wear on long days sightseeing
  • Small enough to fit under an airplane seat if your main bag is a carry-on
  • Sized right for the kind of trip your taking
  • Collapsible if necessary

Day Bag Recommendations

After two and a half years of full-time travel, I’ve gone through a few different styles of day bags. I use mine daily, so I’m always on the hunt for the best one to fit my needs. Here are my three favorite kinds of personal travel bags:

See also
17 of the Most Instagrammable Places in Dresden, Germany

Option 1: Safety First & Technology Friendly

Serbia - Novi Sad - Stephanie
Wearing my favorite day bag with a huge smile on my face.

For the past six months, I’ve been using my new Pacsafe Citysafe laptop backpack as my primary travel day bag, and it was the perfect bag for traveling in Germany for a month. It’s small enough to fit under the seat in front of me when flying into Berlin and traveling from Berlin to Dresden and back on the bus.

Things I love about the Pacsafe Citysafe that make it a great bag to pack for Germany:

  • I can fit my camera for touring days and my laptop for workdays.
  • It has interlocking zippers which are great to avoid pickpockets in busy tourist areas where the petty thieves tend to target obvious foreigners.
  • It has a pocket for your wallet and passport that has RFID protection so my credit cards can’t get scanned from afar.
  • It has side pockets for carrying my reusable water bottle or when I buy a soda.
  • It’s big enough to use for groceries when I want to save money by shopping at the store.
  • It’s a sleek black bag, which is perfect for Germany, especially Berlin where black is in vogue.

You can check prices and reviews for the Pacsafe Citysafe here. Pacsafe also makes smaller bags that still have a ton of safety features to keep your belongings safe on the road. I especially like the Slim Crossbody if you want to find a small purse for your trip.

Option 2:  Sleek and Collapsible

Azerbaijan - Ganja - The Bottle House
Taking my Longchamp bag out around Ganja, Azerbaijan this past summer.

For my first trip to Germany, I used a large Longchamp bag that I purchased in Vienna. This bag rolls up completely, so I can store it away when necessary. However, it’s large enough to fit what I need to take out with me to explore a city for the day: wallet, camera, snacks, etc. It’s also durable!

I used my Longchamp bag almost every day for two years and it’s still going strong. This is also a great bag to roll up and bring just in case, whenever you want to have a more traditional-looking purse as opposed to a backpack. Because it’s collapsible, you can bring it on every trip and use it as needed. You can check prices and reviews here.

See also
How to Enjoy The Perfect Day Trip to Potsdam from Berlin


Option 3: Large and Functional

Wizz Air Carry On Only Airport Mirror Selfie
Taking my SwissGear selfie in the Budapest airport last year.

Another option I’ve used in the past is a traditional backpack with a laptop slot. For this, I have this SwissGear Travel Laptop Backpack. It’s a great travel daypack because the laptop slot and the middle pocket is large enough to fit my camera and work as a camera bag. This bag is great for someone looking for a reliable bag that can fit everything they need on a smaller budget. You can check prices and reviews here.



How to Keep Your Bags Organized

Germany - Berlin - Souvenir
A reusable tote bag is one of a few clutch items you’ll be happy to have to keep yourself organized in Germany

Keeping your stuff organized on the road is always important, but it’s extra important in Germany because your bags are much more likely to get serious scrutiny at Germany’s airports. Additionally, because you’ll be using so much public transportation here, you want your bag to always be easy to get in and out of. This is easier when everything is organized into smaller sections.

Regardless of what kind of suitcase and day bag you go with, you’ll need smaller organizational bags to keep them in line. Here’s what I use on my trips:

  • Packing Cubes: I take 1-2 large packing cubes for clothes and 1 medium packing cube for underwear, bras, swimsuits, and pajamas.
  • Small Cosmetic Bags: I have five small makeup bags that I use to keep different items together. Mine are organized into make-up and jewelry, wet toiletries, dry toiletries, medicine kit, and tech odds and ends.
  • Laundry Bag: I use the one that came with my packing cubes.
  • Coin Purse: Euro coins add up! There’s nothing worse than finding the equivalent of $10 USD in coins as you pack up to leave, knowing that you’re basically throwing money away.
  • Canvas Tote Bag: Great for grocery shopping, quick errands, or lazy days.
  • Ziplock Bags: These babies are clutch! I take 1-2 empty gallon ziplock bags and 3-5 empty small ziplock bags for random organizational emergencies. These seem to happen on every trip, and I’m always grateful to have them with me.
See also
27 Fabulous Germany Puns & Germany Instagram Captions

What to Wear in Germany for Women

Germany - Berlin - Beer Tour
Berliners tend to wear simple, dark clothes.

Here’s what women should pack for Germany. If you’re planning on doing hiking or trekking, you will want to bring items appropriate for your activities. In Berlin, the women dress chic and casual in dark colors. Once I went out with a group of Berliners and I was the only one not wearing black, brown, gray, or navy blue. You should wear what you feel comfortable in, with breathable fabrics that hang-dry well. This list assumes you will be on the road for more than a week, and that you will hand-wash your clothes or take them to be laundered.

Clothes to Wear in Germany in Summer, Spring, and Autumn

Germany - Dresden - Stephanie
  • 3-4 shirts or blouses
  • 1 tank top
  • 1 tee shirt
  • 2-3 dresses (If you don’t wear dresses or skirts, then pack additional shirts and jeans to wear instead).
  • 2-3 pairs of leggings (optional). I love wearing leggings while traveling because I can wear a cute dress but still be very comfortable, and they’re great for layering because Germany can be chilly in the spring and autumn.
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 skirt (optional)
  • 1 sweater, cardigan, or kimono for light layering (I found that even in May, I wanted to have layers available).
  • 1 jacket (I brought my jean jacket, but something that can handle light rain would also be a good idea since it rained frequently during our two weeks).
  • 1 pajama top
  • 1 pajama bottoms (or use one of the leggings)
  • 1 swimsuit (Optional depending on weather and plans).

Shoes and Sandals

I travel with three pairs of shoes. When traveling in Germany, I like to have two sturdy shoes good for exploring the cities on long days, and one pair of comfortable slip-on jellies or sandals for when I’m back in my room or apartment.

  • Comfortable Closed-Toed Walking Shoes (I use boots like these or like these. Pack hiking shoes if you’re planning on hiking. Otherwise, any closed-toed shoes will work). Expect long days walking on pavement or cobblestones. At the end of everyday sightseeing, my feet were completely beaten up.
  • Comfortable day shoes (I have had a pair of these Tevas for the last two years, and I’ve worn them so much they have a hole in the right sole. For cold weather months, I opt for the second pair of boots. Both the sandals and the boots are perfect for travel because the rubber souls make them extra durable and comfortable at the same time).
  • Extra Easy Slip-on Sandal or Flip-Flops (I use these Croc Jellies because they work for hostel showers but are also wearable outside. I’m currently on pairs #2 and 3. I own them in blue and pink).
See also
10 Reasons You Must Travel to Germany in Autumn (Besides Oktoberfest)

Underwear and Socks

  • 7-8 pairs of underwear: I like to have enough for one week before having to do laundry, but you can bring more or less depending on your needs.
  • 1-2 bras: If you’ll be doing a lot of hiking, you might want one of these to be a sports bra.
  • 1-2 bralettes: this is something I added in this year, and I’m obsessed with them. They’re super comfortable like a lightweight sports bra. If you have larger breasts, and you want to be able to relax at your hotel or hostel without feeling like you’re dressed inappropriately, add a couple of bralettes to your suitcase.
  • 7-8 pairs of socks: Even in the summer where I’d normally want to wear sandals more often, I find myself needing to wear socks and boots in the cities. Combining walking tours, long days sightseeing, with using public transportation, and I find that I need extra support, and therefore the extra socks.

Jewelry and Accessories

  • 1-2 items of each kind of jewelry you prefer. For me, that’s a few pairs of earrings, one bracelet, my two rings, and a necklace.
  • Sunglasses (regular or prescription if required). You’ll be outside in Germany more than you expect.
  • Hairpins, Bobby Pins, or Barretts (1-3 styles depending on your hair needs)
  • Headbands or Hair Wraps (1-4 depending on your needs)
  • Watch (optional)

What to Wear in Germany in Winter for Women

Germany - Berlin - Christmas Market at Gendarmenmarkt
Here’s what you’ll need to stay warm in Germany in winter.

Germany is a very popular winter vacation destination. The country is practically synonymous with Christmas, and for good reason! During my last trip to Germany, I was there long enough that I got to experience Germany in autumn, but it also started to get extremely cold by the end of my time there. Just as Christmas market season started, the weather had turned.

Here’s what you need to stay warm in a country where you’ll frequently be outdoors on public transit and perusing the beautiful outdoor markets.

  • A Winter Coat: You need that can handle the cold like this North Face parka. I found that my leather jacket and jean jacket were perfect for autumn, but they were not good enough for spending hours outside in the Christmas markets and beer tours I went on towards the end of the month.
  • Thermal Layers: This ultra lightweight down layer is my new #packinggoals. I don’t own one, but my friend Allison does and she wore hers while we were stuck at a Serbian bus stop in the cold early morning. I was so jealous, and this is on my future packing lists for anywhere I go that’s cold. It’s great because you can wear it on its own when you need a quick layer of warmth, but you can also wear it under your coat when it’s really cold outside.
  • Shoes: Upgrade your regular city boots to a waterproof version.
  • Socks: Upgrade your socks to thick, warm wool socks.
  • Gloves: In Germany, you’ll be doing a lot of navigating on your smartphone, especially when you need to use public transit. I found it incredibly annoying to have to take my gloves off every few minutes, so I upgraded to tech-friendly gloves like these. They’re also clutch for using your phone to take pictures.
  • Winter Scarf: You want a thick knit scarf that you can pull up and cover your face when necessary
  • Leggings: You’ll want to be covered from head to toe when you’re outside. Regular leggings are great for late autumn, but for winter swap them for leggings that are lined with fleece for extra warmth. You can wear them under dresses or even slip them under your jeans.
  • Hat: A fleece-lined knit cap will keep you warm, and you’ll fit right in with the locals.
See also
London or Berlin: Which European Capital is Right for You?

What to Wear in Germany for Men

Germany - Berlin - Beer Tour Bar
Here’s what guys should wear in Germany.

Just like the women’s packing list, men will want to wear simple, sophisticated clothes to fit in. Dark colors are best for the cities, especially Berlin.

Clothes to Wear in Germany in Summer, Spring, and Autumn

Germany - Saxon Switzerland National Park
The types of clothes you bring will also depend on your planned activities. Bring more outdoor-oriented items if you’ll be doing more hiking.
  • 4-5 everyday shirts
  • 1 collared shirt
  • 3 undershirts
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts (summer only and avoid overly touristy looking khaki shorts or cargo shorts).
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1 pair of wrinkle-free dress pants (if you want to do anything nice out in the city)
  • 1 light jacket that can handle rain
  • 1 tee shirt and shorts for sleeping
  • 1 pair of swim trunks (optional depending on weather and plans)

Shoes and Sandals

  • Comfortable Closed-Toed Walking Shoes (Sneakers, hiking shoes, or boots, depending on your preference).
  • Comfortable day sandals. If you are the kind of guy who doesn’t wear sandals, bring a second pair of walking shoes.
  • Extra Easy Slip-on Sandal or Flip-Flops (especially important for anyone staying in hostels).


Underwear & Socks

  • 7-8 pairs of underwear
  • 7-8 pairs of socks

Jewelry & Accessories

  • Sunglasses (regular or prescription if required)
  • Watch (optional)
  • Any personal jewelry

What to Wear in Germany in Winter for Men

Germany - Berlin - Street Art Tour Berlin Wall
Even in winter, you’ll spend a lot of your time outside, so pack for it!

Similar to the list above for women, men traveling to Germany in winter will want to prepare to be outside more than is typical in North America. Between outdoor sightseeing and public transportation, it’s vital that you be prepared to be outdoors in the cold.

  • A Winter Coat: You need that can handle the cold like this North Face parka. I found that my leather jacket and jean jacket were perfect for autumn, but they were not good enough for spending hours outside in the Christmas markets and beer tours I went on towards the end of the month.
  • Wool Baselayer: You’ll want an extra boost of warmth under your shirt as a wool baselayer.
  • Shoes: Upgrade your regular city boots to a waterproof version.
  • Socks: Upgrade your socks to thick, warm wool socks.
  • Gloves: In Germany, you’ll be doing a lot of navigating on your smartphone, especially when you need to use public transit. I found it incredibly annoying to have to take my gloves off every few minutes, so I upgraded to tech-friendly gloves like these. They’re also clutch for using your phone to take pictures.
  • Winter Scarf: You want a thick knit scarf that you can pull up and cover your face when necessary
  • Hat: A fleece-lined knit cap will keep you warm, and you’ll fit right in with the locals.
See also
Dresden Street Art: 15 Famous Pieces and Offbeat Gems

Toiletries and Skincare

Germany - Saxon Switzerland National Park Selfie
Make sure to bring what you need, since some items are more expensive than back home.

Not every one of these applies to every person, but here’s a general list of what I always take with me. Remember that if you’re flying carry-on only, you’ll need to bring any liquids in travel-sized bottles that fit into a clear, ziplock bag. The limit for carry-on liquids is 3.4oz (100ml).

Haircare & Bathing

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner. Some people swear by solid shampoo, but I just refill the same travel size bottles.
  • Dry Shampoo for the days when you don’t want to shower.
  • Small hairbrush
  • Travel-sized hairdryer with European plugs (I’ve blown multiple hair dryers trying to use voltage converters. I’ve given up and only travel with a hairdryer with European plugs while in Europe).
  • Hair products specific to your hair type
  • Soap
  • Razor
  • Shaving Cream (optional)
  • Nair or Veet (for when I get lazy)


  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturizer (travel is brutal on your skin). A moisturizer with SPF is awesome but is not a substitute for sunscreen since you’ll be outside so much.
  • Night Cream to help your skin recover
  • Body lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Vaseline. Here’s why you should always pack vaseline!


  • Makeup
  • Makeup removing towelettes

Dental Care

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss


  • Contacts, contacts case, and solution (if needed)
  • Glasses and prescription sunglasses (if needed)



  • Full-Sized Travel Towel. Most bloggers I know hate their microfibre travel towels, but I opted for a big, beautiful microfibre towel that’s perfect for the beach or a hostel. Seriously, no one loves their travel towel as much as I do.
  • Tissues, Toilet Paper, or Kleenex
  • Travel Sized Hand Sanitizer for all those days on public transit.
  • Nail File
  • Nail Clippers
  • Tweezers (2 pairs. One for my makeup kit and one for my toiletries kit).
  • Laundry Detergent Powder (I like to have enough for 3-4 loads of laundry. If I’m traveling longer than this, I can always get more on the road).
  • Something to deal with that special time of the month. If you have to deal with a period on the road, pack whatever you need depending on your preferences.
See also
How to Get from Dresden to Berlin The Cheap and Pleasant Way


Medicine Kit

Germany - Stolpen - Town
Bring what you need, but you can pick up any emergency items while in Germany.

Over the counter medication from pharmacies is pretty easy to find in Germany, so you don’t need a huge, all-disasters-covered style medicine kit. However, there are a few things you’ll want to have with you. A basic kit will include:

  • Your prescriptions
  • Anything you take weekly (for me this would be things like antacids).
  • Any vitamins you take regularly.
  • Your OTC pain medicine of choice.
  • Bandaids (After accidentally stabbing my thumb with my razor in the Lisbon airport and having to pretend like I wasn’t bleeding to death while eating a steak, I vow to never leave home without band-aids).
  • Travel-sized Vaseline (Vaseline should be in every single person’s luggage for every single trip. Period). Yes, I listed this twice on this packing list. Vaseline is THAT important.
  • If you’re flying transatlantic or anticipate jetlag or sleep issues, I love having melatonin with me on every trip.


Technology and Accessories

Germany - Berlin - Cat and Laptop
Cat not included.

As a full-time travel blogger who also has two podcasts, my tech needs are out of control. Here’s the technology that I traveled with to Germany.

  • Laptop (I use a MacBook Air)
  • Laptop Charger
  • Laptop Cover (I have a navy blue one similar to this)
  • Smart Phone (I use a Samsung8, which I love. If you want to pick up a sim card while in Germany, make sure you have an unlocked phone. Your cell company can unlock it ahead of your trip if it’s not already).
  • Phone Cover (An OtterBox is basically like carrying your phone around in a pillow).
  • Headphones. This is especially important since you’ll be on so much public transit.
  • Phone Charger (I used this phone charging cable)
  • Backup Charging Bank
  • DSLR or Camera (I use my Nikon D810)
  • Spare Camera Battery (I use this spare Nikon Battery that goes with my camera)
  • Camera Battery Charger (This is the one that goes with my Nikon)
  • SD Cards (I recommend having a primary and a backup at a minimum).
  • Dropbox Account for Backing Up Photos
  • Two Universal Outlet Adapters with USB Ports. Germany uses the same outlets as the rest of Europe. Remember that North American appliances will fry unless they can handle 220V. Check on each one before using it! I’ve fried so many hair dryers.
  • Kindle Paperwhite for reading without having to haul around books
  • Kindle Cover (Mine is like this one, but there are lots of options).
  • DJI Osmo Cell Phone Gimbal for shooting video. (Not for everyone, obviously, but if you want to make videos on your trip, this gimbal changed my life).
See also
27 Fabulous Germany Puns & Germany Instagram Captions

Important Documentation

germany - Rakotzbrücke Devil's Bridge - pixabay
Bring your driver’s license if you want to rent a car and drive out to Rakotzbrucke
  • Your Passport & either quick access to a soft copy or a couple of hard copies. Make sure to take it with you to buy a sim card.
  • Passport Holder
  • Your Driver’s License (If you plan on renting a car in Germany, you will have to have this. It’s also handy for ID checks when you don’t want to keep your passport with you at all times. My ID got checked pretty regularly).
  • Your Travel Insurance Policy Information:  I never leave home without travel insurance. You just never know what kind of trouble you’ll run into on the road. I’ve had several broken phones, a nearly stolen wallet, car rental accidents, etc. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. I always get a higher level so that I have coverage for more of my technology in case anything gets lost or stolen. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any urban exploration in Berlin or climbing or hiking in the parks.  Have your travel insurance available in a soft copy, and forward your policy info to your primary emergency contact.
  • Health Insurance Plan: Everyone who enters Germany must have an adequate health insurance plan, meaning it is mandatory to be insured in the healthcare system upon entering the country. This is essentially a good thing since once you have your health insurance plan you will be safe from enormous medical bills that might come your way while in Germany (or any other foreign country for that matter, since a health insurance policy should cover all the Schengen area). The cost of health insurance plans and their coverage differ from one to the other, so it is always better to get a full set of information before deciding on a particular policy. For more information about Germany’s Health Insurance System visit Germany-Visa.org.
  • Credit & ATM Cards (make sure to call your banks to let them know you’re traveling if they require it).  Have either quick access to a soft copy or a couple of hard copies. Never travel with only one card or access to one account. I have two checking accounts and four credit card accounts. This way when things happen on the road (and they do), I don’t get stuck. You never know when your credit card company is going to flag your ATM withdrawal in a foreign country as suspicious and block your cards. In Germany, they will check your ID if your card isn’t signed, so make sure to sign it or have your ID on you.

I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them.  It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any urban exploration, hiking, or sports. 


Germany - Dresden - Slaughterhouse-Five
Bring a copy of Slaughterhouse-Five to read, especially if you want to go on the Kurt Vonnegut tour in Dresden!
  • The Lonely Planet Germany guidebook or the Rick Steves Germany guidebook for your trip. I’ve been looking for hard copies here since I don’t like getting stuff delivered to me in Bulgaria, and I can’t find one. Get your guidebook ahead of time.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five  Vonnegut wrote this novel about his experiences in Dresden during the war. You can get a paperback, Kindle, or Audible copy. I’ve been listening to it on Audible while I walk around Dresden, but it’s a great book for you to read before traveling anywhere in Germany.
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Germany and France in World War II, but it’s way more enjoyable (and readable) than your typical war novel.
  • Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse was my absolute favorite novel in high school and a great intro into early twentieth-century German literature. Plus it’s trippy AF.
See also
Dresden Street Art: 15 Famous Pieces and Offbeat Gems

Apps for Visiting Germany

Have these loaded up on your smartphone before you get here to make your trip easier!

  • Uber for getting a taxi easily in Berlin and Munich.
  • Google Translate
  • Google Maps (Download the maps for the cities you’ll be visiting so they’re available offline).
  • Skype (Great for calling to get your bank cards unblocked. Not that I have any experience with that…).
  • Facebook Messenger (This is my main form of communication these days).
  • Instagram (If you go on a trip and you don’t Instagram it, did you even go? Just kidding, Instagram is a necessary evil).
  • Adobe Lightroom for Desktop & Lightroom Mobile for your Smart Phone for photo editing. Lightroom Mobile is free, but Lightroom for desktop is paid.
  • Snapseed for the photo editing features that Lightroom doesn’t have when on mobile, especially if you don’t get Lightroom desktop.
  • iTunes, Podcast Addict, or other Podcatcher (Check out these travel podcasts I use for inspiration and learning about upcoming travel destinations)
  • Dropbox Mobile for backing up cell phone photos before you leave. This is important in case your cell phone gets lost, broken, or stolen.
  • The mobile apps for any airlines you’re using. I flew in and out with Ryanair.
  • The mobile apps for any bus companies you know you’ll be traveling on. I used the app for FlixBus when traveling from Berlin to Dresden and back.
  • TripIt for organizing flights, hotel accommodations, and tickets.

What to Pack for Staying in Hostels

Germany - Dresden - Hostel
The hostel I stayed in while in Dresden…earplugs needed!

Planning to stay in a hostel? Here are the items you’ll want to bring to Germany for staying in hostels or other shared accommodations:

  • Flip-flops or shower shoes: I mentioned this above, but it’s extra important if you’re in hostels where you’ll want to have your feet covered in the shower.
  • Full-Sized Travel Towel: This is the best travel towel in the world, and you’ll need it if you are staying in hostels where you have to bring your towel.
  • A lock: You’ll need this for your locker at most hostels.
  • BYO Privacy:  Bring a Sleep Mask and Earplugs if you’re a light sleeper to block out the other hostel guests.
See also
10 Reasons You Must Travel to Germany in Autumn (Besides Oktoberfest)

What to Pack for Studying Abroad, Working Abroad, and Homestays

If you are going to be staying with someone or interacting with anyone in Germany who could be considered as “hosting you,” it’s polite to bring a small present from home to give to as a gift to your hosts. Popular items for this type of gift would be something you can only get in your home country, for example, something with your home country’s flag on it or something made there. This doesn’t need to be extravagant, just a small token will suffice.

More about Traveling in Germany

Have you traveled to Germany or are you researching an upcoming trip and wondering what to pack? Leave your best Germany packing tips and any questions below!

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What to Pack for Germany: the Ultimate Germany Packing List for Women & Men
What to Pack for Germany: the Ultimate Germany Packing List for Women & Men

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