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Ladies packing Central Europe September

I am starting to think what I will need to bring for my trip to Berlin,Prague,Vienna and Budapest for September. I am thinking jeans, t-shirt and a cashmere cardigan. Would my keen sandals be OK or would they be too chilly and should I stick with sneakers. Was going to bring my thin packable rain coat and no other coat. Should I bring a dress ,leggings and flats or a dress and sandals. I would probably wear on the plane a merino sweater and throw in a couple of long sleeve merino shirts.

Posted by
252 posts

I’m not sure I understand why you’re trying to decide what to bring now. Weather is so unpredictable these days. Why not just wait to see what the actual forecast as the trip approaches? I was in Spain recently and had to adjust my packing in the days leading up to my departure as the forecast solidified.

Posted by
7016 posts

I never bring jeans with me when traveling - as much as I like to wear them at home, they are cumbersome, heavy and hard to wash and dry. Since it could (and probably will) be chilly in any of those cities. I would go with lightweight long sleeve shirts that are easy to wash - the merino shirts sound ideal. The cardigan and packable raincoat is a good idea. Think layers when you pack. You do not need a dress unless you want to wear one. Leggins are nice to bring and versatile. And I would definitely bring a pair of sneakers in addition to flats or sandals.

How long are you traveling for? And while the suggestion for looking at the weather before you go is a good one, don't rely entirely on that. Weather changes frequently with no warning, so hope for the best but ALWAYS pack for the worst. :)

Posted by
1046 posts

I have been to Prague, Vienna and Budapest in September. Prague was very hot so it was skirt, sleeveless merino top and sandals. Budapest was quite cold as it rained so it was jeans, merino T-shirt and cardigan plus umbrella. I suggest you take some sneakers or walking shoes as well as your sandals.

Posted by
154 posts

I totally understand planning packing ahead of time. I do it regularly!
My suggestion.......go to a website with historical weather data. I use timeanddate.com but there are others.
I look for the weather the previous three years for a location and specific date(s). I plan my packing list and then the week before look at weather projections (warmer/cooler than previous? Rain expected? etc) to finalize my list.

Posted by
8876 posts

I always bring and wear a pair of jeans when traveling. They are Gloria Vanderbilt jeans purchased in a JC Pennys years ago. Thin legged. Black in color. No usable pockets. Slimming. Comfortable. Wear on plane.

Have gone to dinner, theatre, opera in them. Most often I travel in Fall and Winter months so i find warmth in wearing jeans. You will see jeans wearers young and old everywhere in Europe.

Posted by
27422 posts

There can be a world of difference between early September and late September--and fall is likely to arrive during your trip if it extends far into October.

I, too, use timeanddate.com. Several years' worth of historical data is a lot more reliable than anecdotal reports from folks who may have visited at a different time of the month and for just a few days.

I suggest layers, and the only sandals I'd even consider would be heavy walking sandals. Those are large cities; you'll be on your feet a lot. Go with something that won't make you feel crippled by the end of the day. For me that's klutzy, lace-up athletic shoes. YMMV.

Posted by
4935 posts

The thing that comes to my mind when I think of my fall trip to 3 of your 4 cities, is how slippery the cobblestones were on rainy days in Prague. I saw ladies slip to the ground. And I found myself taking baby steps to keep upright in my too slippery soled shoes (not sandals) that are fine on rough, wet cement, but not cobblestones.

I now pack shoes with much better traction for rainy season travels.

Posted by
7463 posts

I love my Keen rose style sandals, and they have been to several European countries in September. The traction on the sole is so good for those wet, slippery cobblestones or just cobblestones in general!

We had a trip that spanned Switzerland & Italy one year, and the forecast for Switzerland was cold. I just brought a pair of tights and a couple of pair of knee high black trouser socks and was fine with black pants. Italy locations were hot, so I didn’t want to carry heavy stuff for the whole trip. For those cold days, a 32 degree long sleeve micro-thin under a long sleeve T-shirt and my Columbia raincoat was fine, especially out hiking.

I do lay out a few options on the guest bed two weeks before the trip. If the forecast swings drastically one way or the other, I have my lightweight options already decided and ready to pack.

Posted by
8239 posts

Bring whatever you want--as long as it goes in a 21" swivel wheeled carry on bag. Maximum of 10 kg (22 lbs.) It never hurts to follow Rick Steves' packing lists--with minor changes for your personal style.

I'm getting lighter and lighter on every trip. Nothing worse than traveling light and then only using half the clothes I take. We've been known to rent apartments halfway through trips that have washing machines--allowing less clothes taken.

I just returned from Israel and Germany last Sunday. Jeans are universally worn worldwide. If you get'em heavily starched at the laundry, they can still look great after being worn a full week.

Posted by
14262 posts

Many women's jeans are not 100% cotton and thus dry overnight. I always bring jeans and wear the Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda style While each color is a little bit of a different fabric content they all have poly and spandex in them so dry quickly. I sink wash them in a 2 gal ziplock bag and they do just fine. I usually wash them on a night when I'm not doing anything else except my undies from that day so I can use the bathmat and then a towel to squeeze the water out of them. I've only had trouble with them drying in a couple of humid locations but then my quick dry shirts didn't dry there either. As long as you are cognizant of your fabric content of your jeans you'll be fine. The only time I don't take them is if it is going to be hot (Italy) for the whole trip.

I agree with thinking about your travel wardrobe well ahead of time. At this point in my travel "career" everything I wear can also be used for travel, lol but when I started I needed to fill in some things.

Are you thinking the flats or sandals would be for sightseeing or just to go out to dinner? If they are for sightseeing I'd start walking in them to make sure you can go 4-5 miles in them but you may walk that far in your Keen's anyway. I have horrible feet so wear athletic shoes. I would be ready with both your sneakers and your Keens and see what the weather is like at the time. If it's hot, go with the Keens. If it looks like it's going to be rainy and chilly go with the sneakers.

I'd have the cashmere cardie as a possibility...depending on as someone upthread says, whether you are early or late September. Do you need a merino sweater and the cashmere cardie? I'd probably only do one Merino LS shirt unless it has gotten very cold. The merino does not get smelly so you may be able to wear this for your whole trip without having to wash it.

A thin packable raincoat will work well if you can fit the merino or cashmere under it with your other layers. Is it waterproof? I would not take a water resistant jacket but always travel with a waterproof one.

Next up...a trial pack, lol!!

Posted by
237 posts

Thank you everyone for your help. I have a better idea. In addition I will put everything on a kitchen scale and weigh it. Bottoms try under 8 Oz, tops under 4 and will only do carry on. I think my keen sandals(wear on plane) Vessi waterproof sneakers and my flats for the evening. Jeans, merino wool sweater for the plane. Maybe my linen pants and wide leg black pants. Definitely bringing leggings but think I will skip the fleece lined ones. On the fence about a dress. It nice to dress up for a dinner out.

Thanks again for all your input 😀

Posted by
14262 posts

LF, I think the scale is a great idea. My kitchen scale is upstairs by my packing table at this very moment, hahaha!!

Yes to your shoe selection and I think you are on your way to figuring things out. Think about a few options to sub in in case the weather is warmer than you might expect at the last minute.

Posted by
124 posts

I wore Keen Rose (close toed) to Alaska in May, temps 40-55, and they were fine. I just took some thin Smartwool liner socks in case I wanted some extra warmth. I didn't end up wearing the socks with the sandals. If the Keens are open toed and very exposed, they might not split the difference so well. I suppose you could wear more open Keens with socks, personal preference. Are you taking compression socks for the plane? Those could double as liner socks.

Our next trip is split weather (cool in Norway, warm farther south) so I'm taking my Keen Rose sandals again. Will your leggings fit under your jeans? If your core is warm, your toes won't care about slight exposure. If your core is cold, no amount of socks/shoes will keep your feet warm. Keens are the bomb in the rain too.

I agree with the others on no jeans btw. Duluth makes lined pants I took to Alaska and their convertible flex dry pants are AMAZING. If you can fit your leggings under the flex dry pants (which will sorta shed water and dry quickly anyway), you'd have a lot of flexibility. They roll up into capris, which makes them super flexible for warm and cooler weather with split itineraries. I have two pairs, and those plus dress pants will probably be it for my upcoming trip.

Posted by
338 posts

I have a picture of my wardrobe capsule on the scrapbook I compiled for the contest. You can see it on the scrapbook contest page. I also offer suggestions on what to pack.

I would advise against sandals, flats and a dress. I was going to bring a dress, but opted for a skirt because it was easier to pack and I could mix and match it more creatively, thus getting more mileage out of it. Jeans-yes. Leggings- yes. Trust me-- the only shoes you need are athletic shoes and/or a great pair of walking shoes.

The days are short. The weather is transition. Of course always check weather before you go. We went at end of September. So if you are going beginning of September, it could be entirely different.

Overall in this part of the world, if you want to look fashionable, have a manicure and bring brow pencil. Seriously. Every woman I saw had manicured nails and perfect eye brows.

Posted by
995 posts

(I wouldn't say this to any woman in real life but) I have a negative judgment associated with jeans on a woman, except for perhaps if the jeans are medium to dark colored, evenly colored, and free of rips, freying, and holes. Nobody will complain if you wear them unless perehaps you go to a performance of classical music or an expensive play. Stick with sneakers or a good walking shoe that is close-toed, close to flat, laces up, and so on. Sandals don't protect your feet good enough from the environment. You might be fine with the thin rain coat and no other coat if you can wear 1 to 3 layers under the coat, if necessary. Check the weather forcast the day before you leave. Do the leggins constrict your circulation in your legs? If not and if they are acceptable as outerwear, I guess they are OK. I won't say dresses or skirts are bad but they may be a preservation from before pants were invented or a preservation from when women were not allowed to wear pants. ... A dress might be fine depending on what you wear under it or whether it limits your ability to sit and move around good. Most american travelers probably wear t-shirts. If you want something fancier look for something with buttons. If it is too cold you will have the sweater and/or long sleeved shirts you mentioned. ...

In Spain in March 2022 (temperatures were about 44-69, raining about 1/3 to half the time i was outside), I had a coat that has 2 layers that zip together - I used both layers at different times but not at the same time, a lightweight pull over long sleeve shirt, a heavy-weight long sleeve shirt, 3 light weight button-down shirts, hiking pants, a sun-hat, gloves, beanie knit hat, both thin and thick socks (I wore only one pair at a time), and sketchers water resistant "outdoor" shoes.

Posted by
467 posts

In 2019, I was in Prague from 9/19 - 9/23, Vienna on 9/23 - 9/26 and Budapest from 9/26 - 9/29. I brought a couple of pair of jeans, a couple of midweight slacks and a pair of leggings. I have several lightweight long sleeve tops that I brought, along with a couple of tee shirts. I brought sandals that are very similar to Keens and Skechers. For jackets, I had a lightweight fleece jacket and a Scottevest jacket (no longer sold) that I used as a light jacket, windbreaker and (light) rain jacket. An umbrella, lightweight rain-resistant hat and a couple of scarves rounded out my wardrobe. The weather was comfortable in Prague, chilly in Vienna with occasional light rain, and comfortable in Budapest with occasional rain. What I brought worked well as far as I can remember. We started the trip in Frankfurt and moved on to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and then on to Prague. We did laundry the last afternoon in Prague (Prague Andy's was the name of the laundromat).

I recently bought a few lightweight Merino long sleeved t shirts that I plan to bring on my trip to Bamberg, Berlin, Brugge and Paris this coming September.

Posted by
131 posts

@Pam, I was going to say the same thing about the Gloria Vanderbilt jeans- the Amanda style is slightly stretchy and quite forgiving. They are also lightweight, unlike say, Levis or some other similar jeans. They also come in colored fabrics. I get them at Kohl's.

Posted by
676 posts

I lived in Germany and Italy for 10 years and the weather is so unpredictable, I've sweated in Rome in January and frozen in Germany in July. Bring the sneakers, with socks, sandals if you have room. Jeans are fine, even blue jeans, everyone wears them but if you think you might go to dressier restaurants black ones dress you up a little. Look at weight of your clothes, how much space they take but most importantly, wear what you'll be comfortable in. This isn't the time to buy a bunch of clothes because "jeans bad", they have their place. Spring through fall I wore blue and black jeans with a gray zip-up North Face wool sweater and a variety of short and long sleeved tops. If you're worried about the cold get a silk top to wear under your shirt/cardigan/jacket, if you get too hot it's easy to take off and carry.

Posted by
1625 posts

Hi, I don't know what season of life you are in, but I am 57 and get Hot feet, which is uncomfortable and causes me anxiety, so sandals are a must no matter the temperature. I use a good walking sandal from Vionic which has been on multiple trips and have a gripping bottom. On the same trip I will also bring a good support bootie, that can be worn with a dress or pants. I don't wear flats due to not having support for 10+ miles of walking a day.

I think you're right on track with what you want to pack, jeans are versatile and can be dressed up or down. I seriously never wash my jeans on a trip, there is no need unless I get super sweaty, but on hot days I would wear a skirt, dress or light weight pant. Another poster wrote to layer and this is 100% spot on. Think a tank top under a shirt or tee shirt under a sweater. I would wear Leggings on a plane only, not really out and about, but that is just me and if you are comfortable then go for it, especially if you have some long train rides in there.

I say always pack a basic black dress, you can make it look like a skirt with a sweater over and it looks cute with tennis shoes.