Do you want to know what to wear in Europe in Spring? Our Europe in Spring packing covers you whether you are traveling to Europe in March, April or May.
Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you!
Spring tends to be the start of peak, especially in April, when the flower fields start to bloom and the Easter holiday and Spring Break crowds start to arrive.
However the weather can prove a little challenging to pack for due to April showers and transitional weather. Therefore in this guide we will first look at the weather in Europe in Spring so you know how it is going to affect your packing list.
Weather in Europe in Spring (March, April and May)
The weather in Europe in Spring is varied depending on the region you are traveling to. However the one constant is how changeable the weather can be.
Generally speaking however Northern Europe, Eastern Europe and the Nordics tend to be the coldest area but they are starting to heat up and blossoms are blooming. While Southern Europe is the warmest region with the temperatures heating up.
This packing list will give you a general overview of what to wear in Europe in Spring as well as dress codes to be aware of. However if you would like to have more country specific seasonal guidance check out the below posts:
But if you would like more specific country guidance be sure to check out our country level posts:
- What to wear in France in Spring
- What to wear in Italy in Spring
- What to wear in the Netherlands in Spring
- What to wear to London in Spring
- What to wear in Portugal in Spring
- What to wear in Spain in May
Note: Spring travel in Europe is always liable to some outlier weather. For this reason we always recommend checking the weather forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.
Note: if you want to know out favorite spring winter airport outfits check out this post.
How do local people dress in Europe in Spring?
You will find that locals in Europe in Spring are starting to move away from their Winter outfits and transitioning into their Spring Capsule wardrobes. However all locals know that the weather is very changeable so will keep lots of layers to hand and not have their Winter Coat fully packed away yet!
Also outside of Southern Europe most people will travel around with a compact travel umbrella and waterproofs.
And generally speaking most Europeans tend to dress practically but stylishly in Spring. So if you want to dress like locals in Europe you should prioritise dressing for the weather but looking stylish rather than scruffy.
Also, there is no one best color to wear in Europe. However you can never go wrong with neutral colors or starting with a monochrome color palette when putting together your capsule wardrobe however you will find that pastels and florals start to make an appearance in Spring.
For tips on putting together a capsule wardrobe (a capsule wardrobe is a method of preventing overpacking by making every item you pack work in multiple different outfits) check out these posts:
What to Wear in Europe in Spring
Layers are the most important thing to pack for Europe in Spring no matter the region of travel. Although the temperatures are starting to warm up, Spring is still very much a transition month. Therefore you will want a lot of lightweight layers with you.
We recommend thinner layers such as merino wool as these are very insulating but take up less space in your case and are easier to layer.
Coat / Jacket
Depending on which Spring month you are traveling in and what region you are traveling to will affect the thickness and type of coat you should pack.
For the nordics in March, you will still want a heavier weight coat with some waterproofing. However for Southern Europe in May a light weight jacket is more appropriate.
Depending on where you are traveling to in Europe and what activities you are doing once you get there will depend on what type of trousers you require.
Jeans are a great choice of trousers for sightseeing in Europe and work well in museums, churches and most daytime activities. And smarter jeans are appropriate for restaurants in most parts of Europe.
If you want a smarter pant then we love a regular black pant (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel). And if you are traveling in May in Portugal, Spain or Italy a pair of linen trousers is a great addition.
Skirts and Dresses
As Spring blooms in Europe, dresses and skirts become more appropriate for daytime sightseeing. Dresses and skirts in pastel colors and floral patterns are very common at this time of year, and look great in places such as the flower fields like Keukenhof.
I personally like maxi dresses for most of spring, however for a cool March day a sweater dress or a jumper dress that can be paired with tights is another good choice.Click here to shop dresses for Europe in Spring.
A loose blouse works for the evenings or days layered with a cardigan or sweater in most places across Europe. I like to stick to floral blouses at this time of year however that is just a personal choice.
T Shirts are a great base for Europe no matter what season you are visiting in. For Spring I like to pack a mixture of both long and short sleeve t shirts. And style wise,I tend to stick to plain or lightly patterned t shirts instead of neon, graphic or slogan tees.
It doesn’t matter where I am traveling to in Europe a pashmina is always on my packing list. A pashmina can be used as a scarf or lovely accessory but can double up as an added extra layer.
A medium weight pair of Pjs is perfect for April.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying really.
The sun is getting stronger in Spring so be sure to pack a good pair of sunglasses with UV protection with you.
As the weather starts to heat up, you will find swimming pools start to reopen for the tourist season in Europe, and by May some people may even find it warm enough to swim in some parts of Southern Europe.
And no matter the time of year you travel to places like Sweden or the blue lagoon in Iceland, swimwear is also an a essential.
What to pack for Europe in Spring
A cross body Bag is an essential for women and men in Europe no matter what month you are visiting. Unfortunately, as with any big tourist attractions around the world, Europe’s attractions do attract pickpockets. A good deterrent is a crossbody bag with lots of zips. We love the travelon brand as it is very practical but also comes in a wide variety of colors.
A backpack is an essential for storing items on your longer day trips in Europe.
Most places in Europe uses the traditional European plugs (though the UK has a different plug). So if you are coming from the UK or USA etc you will need an adapter to make your electronics work.
Click here to shop Travel adaptor
Spring is one of my favorite times of year to visit Europe. You will have your phone out a lot taking pictures, as well as for using for navigation, essential travel apps and more. For this reason you will want to have a battery pack with you at all times
Compact Travel Umbrella
Anywhere in Europe can be rainy in Spring. For this reason we always recommend traveling with a compact travel umbrella.
No matter where we go we never travel without a travel first aid kit which includes all required medication blister plasters. As nothing will ruin your European Spring break vacation quicker than sore feet.
Including but not limited to passports, travel insurance, vaccination certificates, visas etc.
For our essential toiletries packing list click here.
Best Shoes for Europe in Spring
Sneakers are my number one shoe anywhere in Europe in Spring. In Europe you will be walking over lots of different surfaces, such as cobbled stone streets. The best shoe for walking across these is definitely sneakers.
My favorite sneaker brands for travel are Hoka and All birds. But I also love the versatility of a white sneaker especially in Spring when my wardrobe becomes more colourful and pastel. One of my favorite white sneaker is the Addidas Cloud Foam as I find them comfortable for walking long distances.
Ankle Boots or Sandals
On top of sneakers I would usually pack one other shoe. Depending on when and where you are traveling depends on what shoe is best. For March in Northern Europe it is an ankle boots whereas in Southern Europe in May sandals are a better pick. aClick here to shop ankle boots.
FAQs About Europe in Spring Packing List
Do you need boots in Europe in Spring?
Whether or not you should pack boots really depends on when and where you are traveling. For the Nordics and Northern Europe in Early Spring I would 100% pack a boot. However in Southern Europe in May I tend to transition to sandals.
Can you wear jeans in Europe in Spring?
You can absolutely wear jeans in Europe in Spring. In fact they are one of my favorite things to put on my Spring packing list for Europe. I try to pick a pair that is smarter in a darker color is the most versatile as it can be used in lots of restaurants too.
However in May you may want a lighter weight pair of jeans.
Have you been to Europe in Spring? What did you wear? We would love you to tell us in the comments below!