To be honest, it’s hard to express what the country of Germany meant to me.
I have a lot of family history from this country, as recently as the 90s. So, if anything, this country provided some closure. (Yes, really)
Germany has a lot to offer via nature, dark & sad history, and castles. Bavaria, Berlin, and the Romantic Romantic Road are where most tourists elect to spend their time. And if you visit during the winter, the Christmas Markets in places such as Nuremberg are supposedly beautiful.
Thankfully, you don’t necessarily need a car in Germany, as most cities have a developed public transportation network; FlixBus (a German company based in Munich) covers most routes, and there is also Deutsche Bahn, the rail.
However, like anywhere, you won’t be able to see all of the sights (particularly in the south) unless you have a vehicle.
So, let’s get to this Germany Packing List!
Pre-Departure Checklist for Germany
1. Passport and Passport Cover
It is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you follow protocol:
Double-check that your passport has six-months before it expires, and make sure that you have at least two entry stamp spaces.
The EU has adopted some new rules and regulations for the Schengen-area countries. However, the 90/180 rule appears to continue.
Called the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System), this new visa includes a background check, and it costs $.
I recommend checking out https://www.etiasvisa.com for new information.
If you have any questions, tweet at me @worldembark and I will do my best to explain/help. (Or if your country is not part of the system, please message me, and I will help out to the best of my ability.)
3. Passport Photos
Maybe for a SIM Card. That’s the only reason.
However, SIM Cards in Germany are very expensive.
If you are coming from someplace such as Greece or Italy, I recommend purchasing a SIM prior to your arrival.
4. Pictures of Passport & Credit Cards
For safety reasons, have pictures of your passport/credit card(s) in the unfortunate event of theft.
(Back your pictures up in the secured cloud for peace of mind! I recommend DropBox or Amazon Photos.)
Reminder: If your passport is stolen/lost, please contact your local embassy or consulate.
Some cities that might have a consulate in Germany include: Frankfurt, Munich, Hanover, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Leipzig, and Stuttgart.
Embassy Location: Berlin
Please Note: This is not exhaustive list of all cities that might have a consulate in Germany
Best types of Luggage for Germany
5. Suitcase or Backpack
Most roads outside of the Mitte (Translation: City Center) will be asphalt, concrete, or dirt.
However, within the Mitte you might experience some cobblestone roads. (Very occasionally.)
If you are planning on using the train or bus in Germany, please note you will have to lift your luggage up-and-down the stairs.
Clothing for a Summer German Holiday
6. 2 Pair of Pants
Germany doesn’t get too hot during the summer.
Although the country length is massive from north to south, you can expect the country to never exceed regularly over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. (26.7 Celsius)
Although 70-76 degrees is rather comfortable, the reason for long pants is the cooler nights. (Especially in the southern portion of Germany such as the Black Forest and German Alps.)
In my personal experience, it will also rain a lot in Germany. So, jeans might look nice, but they take forever to dry.
A lot of German night-life is also outside in the form of biergartends (Translation: Beer Gardens). So, a lot of your time could be spent outside after the sun goes down, and you will need something to stay warm.
If you elect to visit some places such as a church or elegant restaurant, shorts might be frowned-upon. However, for most tourists, repercussions for wearing shorts is almost non-existent.
There are a couple of places in the North (Baltic and North Sea) that have beaches. Otherwise, you will be limited to rivers, lakes, and ponds around the German country-side.
Note: Nude Beaches are a thing in Germany, and they are not always clearly marked.
10. 5 T-Shirts or Tops
I always suggest purchasing a quality pair of socks (or two!), and Germany might be a destination where you wear more tennis shoes or walking shoes rather than sandals. (Hence the reason for more socks.)
Also, you could end-up in a surprise rain storm, so plan ahead if you need extra socks.
12. Dress Clothing
For more formal restaurants, or further in the more traditional areas such as Bavaria, you can bring more formal attire. For most tourists, I would imagine that it is not necessary.
Clothing for a Winter German Holiday
Going to the Christmas Markets in Nuremberg, Stuttgart, or Frankurt?
Well, you are going to need to make sure you have the right clothing as Germany can be quite cold and wet in the winter time!
The Southern portion of Germany is susceptible to more snowfall, while the northern areas will likely get more rain. (Especially Berlin)
6. 4 Pair of Pants
Unless there is an extreme heatwave, expect to wear pants most of the time.
As mentioned above, the rainy environment might influence the type of pants that you choose to bring.
Jeans and denim take longer to dry than cotton or synthetic fibers.
7. 1 or 2 jackets
In the evening/night, it will be cold. If I were you, I would bring a light jacket for the daytime. And a heavier parka for after the sun goes down.
(In Germany, the sun goes down around 5:00 PM (17:00) in the winter.
8. 5 T-Shirts/Tops
Warm tops such as wool.
9. 0 Pair of Shorts
I cannot imagine why I would wear shorts in this weather.
12. Dress/Fancy Clothing
To each their own.
13. Under-Clothing Leggings & Tops
Layers, Layers, Layers. Anytime I travel, I always pack some form of under-layered clothings such as UnderArmour.
If it’s moisture wicking, that’s even better.
Best Types of Shoes for Germany
14. Comfortable Walking Shoes
Sandals are my go-to travel shoe, and they are acceptable in Germany. However, comfortable walking shoes are a must.
15. Tennis Shoes for Summer/Boots for Winter
Where to buy toiletries in Germany?
Extra Items Needed for the Perfect German Holiday
17. Reusable Water Bottle with Filter
The water in Germany is safe to drink. In fact, single-use plastic is actually banned in Germany.
(Banned Single-Use Items include: Disposable straws, plates, and some beverage containers amongst other things.)
I carry too much photography equipment, so I use a backpack for daily use.. However, I am starting to get old. So, I am looking to decrease my kit in size and weight. A sling bag might be the perfect daypack.
19. Sunscreen & Chapstick
The days in Germany are long during the summer. In winter, especially if you go skiing, you will need these items too.
If you want me to show me your best photos in Germany, tweet at me! @worldembark is my handle
Germany uses the Euro. Note: In Germany, CASH is King. Surprisingly, not every place (especially in small villages) accept credit cards. So, make sure you are always carrying at least 50 euro with you. It may seem excessive, but it was always restaurants and shops in my experience that never accepted credit cards. Outside of cash, the two most accepted payment systems were Visa and Mastercard.
22. Travel Insurance
Iceland. 2021. A new windshield. Everyone has a travel story about why you need travel insurance
23. Sim Cards
I didn’t use a Sim Card in Germany, Switzerland, or Italy. However, I think you need an ID to purchase a SimCard here. A SIM card in Germany is exponentially more expensive than someplace else in Europe.
Backpacking Essentials for Germany
I use the Peak Design 35 L Travel backpack. It’s expensive but looks brand new despite months of abuse across different climates.
25. Earplugs and Sleeping Mask
Essential Items for a good night sleep in a hostel.
For those times you forget to put on sunscreen.
For those times when you don’t want to put on sunscreen.
27. Sleeping Bag
A former colleague of mine carried a sleeping bag AND a tent. I would never do that. Very few hostels allow sleeping bags/bring your own bedding in 2022 due to the possibility of bed-bugs.
28. Some sort of Emergency blanket
This is probably not needed for its purpose, but you might need to repel some water at any point in your trip. (Think poncho)
29. Battery Pack
Something large enough so your cell phone can take pictures of places like the one below.
30. More Pairs of Socks
Can never have too many.
31. Microfiber Towel
Nothing fancy. But it does help and dries fast.
Sometimes hostels charge extra for towels.
32. Travel Lock
I carry a few travel locks, and I recommend you do too.
That’s all I can think of to make sure you have the best German Holiday!
Enjoy the food, history, and people, as those are the things that make Germany a great place to visit!