What to Pack for Cologne in Winter (& What to Wear)

Updated on May 14, 2023  


Cologne Weather In Winter

Cologne's winter season offers a unique and festive atmosphere that allows travelers to fully immerse themselves in the city's rich culture.

While temperatures might not be as extreme as other European cities, it is still essential to come prepared for chilly weather.


Expect daytime temperatures hovering around the freezing point during December, with nights often dipping below zero degrees Celsius. [1]

Layering becomes your best friend when facing Cologne's fluctuating winter climate.

Having an arsenal of warm accessories such as gloves, beanies, and scarves can make all the difference in combating cold winds and ensuring you enjoy your time exploring this beautiful city comfortably.

Visiting Cologne during its winter months truly rewards travelers with unforgettable experiences while remaining relatively mild compared to other destinations' harsher winters.

Packing For Cologne In Winter: What Luggage Should You Bring?

Backpack Recommendations For Your Winter Trip To Cologne

Choosing the right backpack for your winter trip to Cologne is essential as it can make a significant difference in your overall travel experience.

Opting for a high-quality, functional bag ensures you have enough space to pack all your necessary belongings while navigating comfortably through the city.

An excellent option is the Tortuga Setout Backpack, designed explicitly with urban traveling in mind. This lightweight bag features a laptop compartment and various pockets that help keep everything organized during your trip.

Additionally, consider investing in a waterproof cover for any backpack you choose, as Cologne's winter weather often includes rain and snow.

Suitcase Recommendations For Your Trip To Cologne

Choosing the right suitcase for your winter trip to Cologne can make a significant difference in both convenience and comfort.

Opting for a carry-on size suitcase is highly recommended as it's easier to navigate through airports, train stations, and cobblestone streets common in European cities.

Some popular brands known for their durability and quality include Samsonite, Delsey, Away, Travelpro, and TUMI. [2]


Keep in mind that some airlines have strict carry-on size restrictions; therefore, choose a suitcase within permissible dimensions while maximizing space for packing all your essentials.

Additionally, consider purchasing luggage organizers or compression bags to maximize space further while keeping your belongings neat inside the suitcase.

Day Packs For Exploring Cologne

Venturing through the picturesque streets of Cologne during winter is a delightful experience, especially with a trusty day pack by your side.

As you explore tourist destinations and admire charming architecture, having a well-packed day bag allows you to carry essential items like extra layers for warmth, snacks to fuel your journey, and even souvenirs picked up along the way.


When selecting the perfect day pack for exploring Cologne's attractions, consider bags specifically designed for urban adventuring - some great options include popular brands like Osprey and Patagonia which offer durability and comfort with features such as adjustable straps that distribute weight evenly across your shoulders.

Stuff Bags

One essential item to consider when packing for a winter trip to Cologne is stuff bags. These handy, lightweight bags are perfect for storing your clothes and keeping them compact and organized in your luggage.

Not only will they help you save space, but they'll also make it much easier to find what you're looking for without having to go through everything in your suitcase. Stuff bags come in many different sizes, so you can choose one that fits your needs.


In addition to making packing more organized, stuff bags can also be used during the trip itself.

If you're staying at a hostel or other budget accommodation with limited storage space, stuff bags can be a great way to keep your dirty laundry separate from clean clothes until you have time to do laundry.

What To Wear In Cologne In Winter

Short Sleeved Shirts

While short-sleeved shirts may not be the first thing that comes to mind when packing for a winter trip to Cologne, they can be a versatile addition to your wardrobe.

They are perfect for layering underneath sweaters or jackets on warmer days or wearing alone indoors.


Consider packing 2-3 short-sleeved shirts in basic colors like white, black, and gray that can easily mix and match with your other clothing items.

Packing 2 short-sleeved shirts in addition to long-sleeved shirts, light sweaters, and warm socks is recommended for staying comfortable during winter travel.

Long Sleeved Shirts

Long-sleeved shirts are a must-have item for your winter trip to Cologne. They are versatile and can be layered with other clothing items to keep you warm in the chilly weather.

You'll want to bring a mix of both lighter and heavier long-sleeved tops, so you have options for different temperature ranges.

long sleeved shirts

Layering is key when it comes to staying warm during colder months, making long-sleeved tops perfect for this purpose.

Pair them under sweaters or jackets as an extra layer of warmth, or wear them alone on milder days.


Sweaters are essential for staying warm in the cold weather of Cologne during winter.

When packing for your trip, opt for wool or cashmere sweaters that will keep you cozy and comfortable as you explore the city's Christmas markets and other winter activities.

Layering is key, so consider packing lightweight options that can be worn under coats or heavier jackets to add extra warmth without creating bulk.

A versatile sweater can be dressed up or down, making it a great choice for exploring the city during the day and going out at night.


When packing for Cologne in winter, it's important to consider pants that will keep you warm and comfortable during your trip. 

Thermal underwear is highly recommended as a base layer underneath your jeans or trousers for added warmth.

Corduroy pants or fleece-lined leggings are also great options to wear over jeans for extra insulation.


For those who prefer skirts or dresses, opaque tights can provide additional warmth while still allowing you to rock your favorite outfits.

To stay stylish while keeping warm, aim for fabrics like wool, flannel, and cashmere which will keep you cozy without sacrificing style.

Additionally, there are many German winter clothing brands worth checking out such as Bogner and Jack Wolfskin known for their high-quality outdoor apparel perfect for staying warm during cold weather activities.


Skirts and dresses may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning what to wear in Cologne during winter, but they can definitely be incorporated into your outfits for a stylish and practical look.