What To Pack For A Weekend City Break In Europe

Travel is one of life’s great pleasures, but if like me you work full-time and want to see more of the world, you’ll likely want to make the most of weekend city breaks. Europe is the perfect place to travel over weekends, and it’s key to pack smart, especially when you only have hand luggage! 

After many weekend city breaks, I feel like I’ve got better at packing for a long weekend away. So, have put this blog together about what to pack for a weekend city break in Europe!

Bristol airport flight

Handbag/Backpack Essentials

  • Passport (you won’t be going anywhere without it!)
  • Print offs of your passport (in case you happen to lose it)
  • Travel insurance details
  • Currency – I like to have a mix of cash and my Monzo
  • Portable charger – because phone batteries aren’t always the best
  • Small purse – my normal one is chunky, so prefer a smaller alternative when I’m travelling
  • Reusable water bottle – It’s convenient when you’re out and about, and many countries in Europe have free drinking water dotted around the city

Hand Luggage

I’m not going to go into the obvious like how much underwear you should bring or how many tops to pack, because everyone will be different and how much underwear you pack is an obvious one! 

So, instead, I’ve listed the things I think are a must to enable you to pack smart. 

Two Outfits Per Day

When I travel, I like to have a day outfit and an evening outfit; I plan what I’ll wear each occasion and pack nothing more than maybe one extra top or dress. You can’t squeeze that much into a hand luggage case, so it’s vital to pack smart and plan ahead

One Pair Of Jeans

This is dependent on the time of year you go on a weekend city break in Europe. However, you never know when the weather could go south and change completely when you’re away, so I find jeans very versatile! I’d usually wear a pair and a pack a pair, usually blue and black ones.

Me in Geneva

A Pack Away Mac

Again, this may not be apparent if you’re visiting a city with beaming sunshine over a weekend, but again you may never know when a downpour will take place! I try to pack a small fold-up coat encase I need it, they’re super light and don’t take up much space.

One Pair of Shoes 

I love shoes, but there isn’t a need to take more than two pairs on a weekend break. I usually wear trainers to the airport as they’re heavier and more comfortable. I then usually pack something a little more smart, like a pair of boots in case anywhere I plan to visit has a dress code.

Extension Lead

I learnt this from Charlie at The Millennial Runaway, an absolutely genius idea taking an extension lead as you’ll only need one adapter. This has changed my travel life! 

Travel Adapter

An essential to pack before leaving home, as they can be quite expensive if you forget and buy at the airport. Now with the extension lead hack, I only pack one. 

10 Liquids No More Than 100ml

If you’re not checking in luggage, which if you’re travelling with a cheaper airline which doesn’t provide checked-in luggage for free, you’ll only be allowed to take 10 liquids which are 100ml. Don’t pack all our fancy makeup and skincare, as you’ll have to leave them at security!

It’s difficult to get only 10 item; if I’m travelling with friends we’ll try to split essentials like toothpaste, deodorant and hairspray, in addition, you can usually buy these when you’re through security. 

Things I like to pack in my clear bag are; moisturiser, face wash, concealer, foundation, primer, mascara, toner, cleanser and setting spray!

Amsterdam Canals on sunny day
Me in Amsterdam

There we have it, my tips on what to pack for a weekend city break in Europe. Obviously, if you’re travelling within the UK or within one country, you have more packing space and don’t need to be so particular with the number of liquids.

I’m an over-packer but the more weekend city breaks I do, the more I’ve learnt about packing smart. Are there any things you think are a must on a weekend city break? Let me know in the comments! 


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