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Travel Beginners-What to pack for Europe in July?

Hello! My husband and I are going on our honeymoom to Europe in July. We are going to be gone for a whole month visiting Lisbon, Prague, Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Ljubljana, and Florence. We have seen many conflicting views on attire when travelling. Is it okay ok wear shorts, or is it frowned upon? Any suggestions on what to pack for clothing? We are 27 and 28 years old.

Thank you for the help! Happy travels! 😊

Posted by
4573 posts

Sure, they are worn. European men tend to have a more tailored (Bermuda type) short, but you'll see plenty of tourists in shorts. However, they do tend to be a little more conservative and 'polished'. Short shorts, lots of skin and cleavage may not be appreciated away from the beach, but other than some religious buildings (churches/mosques) you won't be turned away. Some are firm about the 'no bare shoulders, cleavage and knees' rules.
It gets hot. wearing less clothing insn't necessarily cooler. a loose natural fibre top, shirt or dress can also help protect from sunburn and heat stroke. Just something to think about.
If you haven't been to Europe before, some areas have a lot of cobblestone and uneven surfaces, so flip flops shouldn't be the only footwear packed. Heels and platforms/wedges aren't always practical outside of smooth big city streets. Some find European streets hard on shoes and feet, so consider comfort if you are aiming to pack light.
Don't be paranoid about it, but do remember that petty theft is around. Put some thought into how you will carry your important items. Consider a 'man bag' and cross body purse for yourself (with zips and closable tops). Don't leave camera, phone or expensive sun glasses on table tops at outside restaurants.
Have a great honeymoon.

Posted by
1259 posts

Start with Herpackinglist.com
Within the social norms, Unless you are sensitive fashionistas, you get to wear what you like.

Posted by
8423 posts

kmahalic, if you were packing for a month long trip in a variety of places in the the US, what would you pack? I'd pack pretty much the same. Rain jackets always a good idea. If you find its colder or warmer than expected, you can always buy clothes along the way. Shorts are not abnormal - look at all the photos on this website. They are frowned upon in churches and nicer restaurants just as they are here. Sometimes people say to just wear what's comfortable, but then some people have a pretty broad idea of what that means. My goal is to not look like a slob, out of self-respect.

Give your shoes some thought. Comfortable and well-broken in is more important than style. And look at the packing discussion in the Travel Tips link here on this page - menu on the left. Rick Steves has spent a whole career talking about packing.

Posted by
2 posts

I was planning on packing for clothing:

  • 3 rompers
  • 1 sundress
  • 1 nice dress
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 blouses
  • 1 sweater or jean jacket in case it gets cold!

For shoes I was going to be bringing a pair of Keen Women's Elsa shoes, and my Birkenstocks. My husband was planning on bringing some tailored bermuda shorts with short sleeve button up shirts. He also has a pair of broken in Birkenstocks and a pair of boat shoes for walking.

Thanks! :)

Posted by
4573 posts

Sounds like you are on your way. One thing to consider with rompers is bathroom access. They add a lot more fabric that ends up close to a (not always 'nice') floor....unless these days they are making them with snap crotches.....or some other 'accessible' design....just sayin'. Add to your list a big lightweight scarf (or 2)....for covering shoulders or knees as required.

Posted by
734 posts

Ok, its appeared afew times recently and i must ask, what do you mean by rompers??? I thought i was what American babies wore, but i must be wrong.......

Posted by
3961 posts

WOW! Sounds like a wonderful itinerary. Yes, shorts are widely worn especially in mid summer. Sun dresses and lightweight fabrics will be your friend! Although we have not traveled in July, we have been to Lisbon & Ljubljana in September. Lisbon was upwards of 104 F. My husband always brings jeans, shorts & one pair of lightweight pants. We tend to travel light and do hand washing and hotel laundry service as needed.

Congratulations and Happy travels to both of you!

Posted by
3101 posts

Unless you are really used to heat and humidity, I would either not bring jeans or bring ones that are extremely light weight denim.
I'm way older than you, but am going to Rome in early September, and jeans are not coming with me.
I like the now fashionable (again) very wide legged pants.
Nice and floaty and cool in the heat.
And I agree with the romper vs. a not clean bathroom.
Ick.
Lots of youTube videos are out there about packing for various seasons and places.
Happy planning!

Posted by
4573 posts

@caro, rompers are jumpsuits but at shorts length, not full length trousers. And just to complicate things more, it seems 'jumpsuits' are now called 'jumpers' by some....to add a 3rd type of clothing by the same name.
Rompers can look quite classy, but seem to be cut fairly short for a lot of occasions. Here's a link to a department store's online product. https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/gibson-x-hi-sugarplum-seaside-soft-jersey-lounge-romper-regular-petite-nordstrom-exclusive/5192733?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FWomen%2FClothing%2FJumpsuits%20%26%20Rompers&color=black

Posted by
13910 posts

Caveat: I'm old. I am not a fashionista.

BUT it seems as if you'd have more ways to put outfits together if you had separates of shirts and shorts instead of the one-piece rompers.

3 pairs of shorts X 3 shirts that match all 3 pr of shorts = 9 outfits (plus the shirts can go with the pr of long pants as well)

3 rompers = 3 outfits

I'd also carry a pareo or large scarf to cover your legs if you want to go into any churches. Your shoulders may need to be covered as well.

I'd wear long pants on the plane as I sometimes get chilly on flights.

Posted by
1361 posts

I second (third? fourth?) the suggestion that you not bring rompers. I know Italy and France still have squat toilets. I wouldn’t be surprised if Prague, Budapest, etc. also had them. And squat toilets + romper = disaster.

Posted by
1194 posts

As others have said, you’ll get more outfits with separates.
I take 3 bottoms and 4-5 tops

Jeans will be hot when it is hot out. Ewe. Consider linen or rayon pants instead.

A jean jacket is cute, but impractical when you are moving around a lot. It is heavy and bulky. A light weight packable jacket is a better choice - you can stow it in your day bag when it gets hot.

Knee length skorts are a great alternative to shorts. And consider wearing something like bike shorts under your dresses to prevent chafing in the heat. Light weight knee length skirts are cool in hot weather.

Maria is also on point when she states that a light body covering fabric is cooler than bare skin. Think linen knit and gauzy tops.

Then there is weather. It can be anywhere.

In general, include these in your luggage and build off of it:

  • one pair of light weight pants (if it rolls up into capris even better)
  • one long sleeve shirt (if it has roll up sleeves even better)
  • one sweater or warmth layer
  • raincoat
  • excellent walking shoes.

I didn’t see a mention of a swim suit. Bring that! And if your husband can get shorts that are also swim trunks then win!

I suggest you go to onebag.com for an extensive discussion on what works for one bag travel.

Also remember that there is a big difference between what is respectful and what you can “get away with”. You can get away with shorts and a t shirt. But it isn’t the coolest outfit and isn’t the quickest drying and isn’t the best choice for nice restaurants and churches. So why bring and wear something so limited?

Posted by
5373 posts

Everyone under 40 wears shorts. All kinds - athletes shorts, short shorts, bermudas. It will be hot and you will not wear jeans. With skirts and dresses, be warned that thigh chafing is a thing and can really hurt. I wear shorts all summer long in Austria and in my travels around Europe.

Posted by
1625 posts

Hi, congrats on the wedding! If I had your itinerary there may be trains, buses and planes involved and lots of movement, which means carry on and personal item only. Pack from your closet, wear what you normally wear as far as style and plan on layering with tanks, shirts and cardigans. Going with Neutral colors that mix and match are a good start. I usually do Black/white/beige/grey/blue and maroon. I would pack more than one shirt, shirts are small and don't take up much room and can change the look of the outfit. Jeans are great, they take a lot of beating, don't need to be washed often and cover a multitude of travel grit. I usually take 5 bottoms (Maxi Skirt, two jeans/long pants and two capris) and 7-10 tops which are a mix of solid knit tanks, patterned rayon tanks (like Lucky brand), and a pull over V neck long sleeve. I take a knit cardigan and a longer rayon cardigan. I just find that when I travel I need to be able to go from morning to night without going back to the hotel to change, so if I can pack a small cardigan with me and a scarf I am good to go for the day/night. Look at you-tube videos on how to pack ,what to pack, including all your toiletries. The rompers are going to look like the same romper the whole trip, if instead you do different tops and bottoms you can create lots of different looks, I would go with shorts instead of the rompers, or just take one romper (the bathroom issue is valid!).
True story: my last trip I took only ONE black cardigan thinking that was all I needed, well I lost it somewhere early on in the 21 day trip and landed up with my scarf as my main warmth on trains and at night draping it over my shoulders, last time I do that!

Posted by
1194 posts

I wanted to echo the concern of others over the boat shoes. In general they have thin soft soles. They are designed for flat decks.
Your feet will take a beating for cobblestone city walks. Better to get something with a better sole and a decent tread.

I’d suggest a faux boat shoe like these Skechers

Posted by
1226 posts

Ill just add that I think the whole 'I dont want to look like a dumpy American in Vogue Europe' is way overblown. I have seen plenty of dumpy Europeans, and put-together Americans and everything in between while traveling. It sounds like you have a good balance of comfort and style in your taste, so I would focus more on practicality, as most here have underlined. I would also echo that knees and shoulders do need to be covered in most religious institutions. I carry a very lightweight scarf, and have wrapped it around my waist to make a skirt (when wearing shorts) or around my shoulders to cover them.

Posted by
11138 posts

Leave the jeans at home unless you head to the mountains. Buy some casual pants at Athleta, lululemon or similar.

Posted by
6289 posts

I'm with Pam, as usual. And a few others who mentioned various practical problems with rompers. I'd choose lightweight separates that mix and match, and are cool and comfortable. My favorite summer travel pants are a loose pair of linen blend slacks. Then a light top - you're golden. Pack at least one long-sleeved top, for cool evenings. And definitely comfortable, stable shoes. Pick up some gorgeous and very inexpensive scarves in Florence, while you're there. And buy extras for gifts.

Have a great honeymoon!

Posted by
1194 posts

For the OP:
Eastern and South Eastern Europe have a lot of floor toilets. Here’s an article about them. I should note that I’ve never seen a toilet as nice as the one in the picture.

Skirts work better than rompers.

Posted by
2492 posts

We went to Greece last year in late May with our adult children. My daughter is your age. She brought Bermuda length shorts (above knee by several inches but not short shorts) and sleeveless dresses that she could pair with a sweater if it was cool (it wasn't). My observation in traveling is that shorts are common in tourist areas by the sea and less so in major metropolitan areas.

I also would not bring rompers.

I would only bring pants if they are very light weight (no jeans).

I brought skirts which are more flexible than dresses but my daughter prefers dresses and it worked.

I would bring good pair of walking shoes or sneakers you like and a pair of walking sandals. Boat shoes do not have support. When my daughter was in college she took boat shoes when she studied abroad and did a lot of walking. She developed plantar fasciitis from wearing them.

Posted by
154 posts

kmahalic, how wonderful to spend your honeymoon in Europe! You have received a lot of great advice here. Since 2015 we have been to Europe three times with only a carry on and I find it very liberating - I couldn't have done it without the terrific advice from the women (and men) on this forum. That being said, I think rompers are very cute for for women in your age group (my daughter comes to mind) but as other posters said they are impractical when it comes to using the toilets, which many times are not so lovely. I'll never forget using one in the Cinque Terre out of desperation - gross. I think the above suggestion of bringing a skort is a great idea - Athleta has some cute ones but the Swingtastic Skort from Title 9 is my favorite. The attached liners are long enough to prevent chafing and don't ride up so you're not yanking on them while ducking behind a pillar. Also, I have found that Knix undershorts work really well under skirts and dresses and are cooler then bike shorts. Separates in breathable fabrics (cotton, linen, gauze, rayon) are your friends, as are belts and scarves to mix things up and make you feel like you're not wearing the same old thing every day. You can not only wear a scarf around your neck, but also as a headband, a pony tail holder and as a belt. Don't forget your swim suit and think about taking a hat - I have a packable straw hat that I love - I wear it everywhere - in the garden, at the beach, in Europe, etc. And...you can twist your scarf and make a hat band of it! Have a wonderful time!

Posted by
7 posts

kmahalic, last year I spent all of July in Europe for the first time and wasn't sure what to pack as there is a ton of advice on this site. I brought 1 wheeled carry-on bag and a super small 12 Liter backpack. This is what I learned from my travels.

  1. Check the weather forecast for the countries you will be visiting. There are tons of weather apps that let you add the major cities you are going to visit to a watch list. My husband and I are going to the UK this summer and we have been checking their weather for the past month. It gives you a great idea of what the current weather is and you can see it change as it continues to get warmer.

  2. Stick with the shoes you like to wear. I usually wear flip-flops (Aero brand from the Walking Store-good arch support) all summer, so I wore one pair on the plane and had a spare pair in my bag. I ended up wearing them for the majority of the trip. I walked around Venice on the cobblestones, and had no problem. It's not like you will be running any races. Even if you have to run to a train you will be fine. If you would wear flip-flops to Disney Land for the entire day you will be fine with them in Europe. Just keep the cheap ones at home. My only other pair of shoes were KEEN Rose Sandals-which held up really well on my hike down the mountains in Switzerland. I walked at least 20,000 steps each day and just swapped out my flip-flops each day. I hiked up tons of stairs and through the streets of Florence and Rome. I even hiked the mountain trail of the Cinque Terra (with my KEEN sandals). Not a single blister. My 67 year-old mom brought sturdy shoes and ended up wearing her flip-flops a lot as that's what she wears here at home.

  3. Pick clothes that can be washed and air dried overnight. As I headed further south into Europe it got hot and very muggy. When it gets muggy clothes usually need to be washed after one wear. While I wear jeans a lot here in the states it was so hot I didn't want to get near my denim. Your sun dress and rompers would be a great alternative.

  4. Bring clothes that can easily mix and match. I stuck with 3 of my favorite colors and was able to wear a sweatshirt or cardigan the few placed it was cool in the evenings. Nothing clashed and every piece of clothing needed to make multiple outfits. Pick you favorite clothes. The people you meet won't know what you wore a few days before.

  5. If you like to dress up, dress up. If you like to be more casual-be casual. You will see girls wearing shorty-shorts, tank-tops, dresses, skinny jeans, hoodie sweatshirts, sun dresses, t-shirts and yes you will see rompers. Just be aware you might need to be more covered in some churches. The more popular churches even provide blue paper coverings. I brought quite a few dressier clothes and wish I would have brought more casual clothes. I prefer to wear sporty skorts and thin light weight shirts. My favorites were the v-neck dri-fit tops. I felt a lot more like myself when not wearing the dressy clothes and a skort can be transformed into a nicer outfit if you pair it with a blouse instead of a t-shirt.

  6. Finally, packing light doesn't mean you have to limit the number of items. My tops and bottoms were very lightweight. I was able to bring about 8-9 different tops because they were so thin. My bag was very easy to carry, I used packing cubes to keep everything organized and had extra room in my bag so getting to my clothes each day was a breeze.