City Break Packing List: What to pack for a city break (3 to 4 days)

You’ve booked a few days to your favourite city destination, and now you’re looking for an easy city break packing list. You’re in luck, as I travel so much for my job, I’m well experienced in what to pack for a city break and in this article, I’m going to share with you my very own city break checklist.  

No matter whether you’re travelling in summer or winter, in this city break packing checklist, I cover both seasons.  Plus I don’t just cover off on just your city break clothes, but also all the other city break essentials you need too.

I highly recommend you print off this city trip packing list and tick the items off as your packing for a city break, so you don’t forget anything.

This post may contain compensated links.  Please refer to my disclaimer here for more information. 

City Break Packing List: What to pack for a city break (3 to 4 days)

To make it easier for you, I have broken this city break holiday checklist up into the categories: clothes, shoes, bags, sun protection, electronics, toiletries and travel documents.

City Break Clothes 

Whether you’re travelling in winter or summer, below I cover what to wear on a city break.

What to wear on a city break in summer? 

When it comes to what to wear on a city break in summer, I recommend you pack 2-3 bottoms (shorts, skirts or lightweight pants), three tops and a dress.  If you prefer dresses over shorts or skirts, just pack more dresses and fewer bottoms, depending upon your individual preferences.

Shorts 

For my city break capsule wardrobe, I like to pack around 2-3 comfortable pairs of shorts for a day of sightseeing around the cities.  

I like shorts such as the ones pictured above –click here to check out the price.

If you prefer skirts over shorts, pack the same number of skirts instead of shorts.

Tops

You only need around three tops which you can mix and match with your shorts or skirts if you prefer skirts.  Given you’re travelling in the summer months, you may like to look for tops that cover your shoulders, so you don’t have to be concerned with sunburn on the shoulders while you’re out and about. 

These ones pictured here are great – click here to check out the price.

Casual Dresses 

Depending on whether you prefer wearing dresses over shorts, I’d recommend you bring 1-2 casual dresses.  You might take more dresses and fewer shorts or vice versa, depending upon your preference, so amend as necessary.  Dresses like the one pictured below on the left are perfect as you can dress them up for a casual dinner at night too.

If you like the dresses pictured below, click on the image to find the price.

 

Stylish Outfits

If you’re planning on going out at night to some nice restaurants, you might want to consider bringing a few stylish outfits.  Something like the outfits below would look great.  Click on the images to learn more about the dresses pictured.

If you’ll just be eating at more casual places, then you can leave your stylish outfits at home.

  

Pants

Even during the summer months, some city destinations can get cool once the sun goes down.  If you suspect the city will get cooler at night, bring a pair of lightweight pants.   

Click here for my guide on the best pants for travel.

Jacket 

Just like the pants, you might need a light jacket or cardigan if the city gets cooler at night.   

Lightweight rain jackets can be great to keep in your bag in case of unexpected rain too.  Click here for my guide on the best lightweight rain jackets for travel.

Underwear

For these city break travel essentials, I recommend two bras and a pair of knickers for each day.

Swimsuit 

If the hotel you’re staying in has a swimming pool, bring your swimsuit so you can cool off at the end of the day.  

What to wear on a city break in winter? 

Winter city break outfits, can be a bit trickier than summer city breaks, particularly if it’s likely to snow during your trip.  What to wear for a city break in winter, really does depend upon how cold it will actually be, so plan ahead and be sure to check the temperatures forecast so you can be well prepared.

Bottoms

When I say bottoms, I’m referring to pants, leggings, jeans, whatever it is that you like to wear on the bottom. 

For a short city trip, I recommend just bringing 2-3 comfortable pairs of bottoms, which will work for both a day of sightseeing and that can be dressed up for going out in the evenings such as the ones pictured here – click here to check out the price.

Tops

Bring three long sleeve tops that will match all your bottoms and not only look great but keep you warm too. 

While when you’re outside your tops will be underneath your jacket, while inside most places are heated, and so you’ll want your tops to look great as you’ll most likely take off your coat.

I recommend you go for lightweight jumpers that have plenty of room underneath for thermals if necessary – like the one pictured above. Click here to check out the price.

Stylish Outfits

When it comes to going out at night during the colder months, something like a jumper dress which you can add thick tights too and dress up with a chunky necklace is a great idea. 

Another option is to just ensure whatever bottoms and tops you pack, that you have at least one outfit that you can dress up for going to a nice restaurant. 

Jacket 

For winter travel you will need a jacket of some type.  As to what kind of jacket you will need, really depends on how cold it will be.  A lightweight packable jacket may suffice, or for super cold weather you may need a heavyweight, full-length jacket and even a lightερ jacket under that!

For a short city break, you may like to bring a light cardigan as well, to wear when indoors and a bulky jacket is just too warm for you.

Click here to read my guide on the best women’s winter coats for extreme cold weather.

Underwear

I recommend two bras and a pair of knickers for each day.  You may also need to bring along a pair of thermal underwear as well (long sleeve top and long sleeve bottoms) – just one pair is enough for a short city trip.

Swimsuit 

It might sound weird suggesting to bring your swimsuit during a winter city break.  However many hotels have indoor heated pools, which is a great place to relax after a day of sightseeing.  So check if your hotel has a heated pool and if they do, don’t leave the swimsuit at home!

Scarf, Gloves and Beanie

If super cold weather is forecasted during your city break, be sure to bring along your favorite scarf, gloves, and beanie.  Just one set is all you need for a short city break – so make sure it matches all your outfits.

Click here for my guide on the best winter gloves for extreme cold weather.

Shoes – City Break Checklist 

As to what shoes you might like to bring for a city break really depends on your personal preference.  Whatever type of shoes you decide to pack, I’d recommend bringing a pair of comfortable shoes for sightseeing and a pair for going out. 

Walking Shoes

For city sightseeing, you need something super comfortable for lots of walking.   I’ve got a guide here on choosing travelling shoes.

During the summer months, I’d recommend a pair of comfortable walking sandals, or a lightweight pair of trainers (like the ones pictured above).  For lightweight packing, I don’t recommend packing both, just bring one pair – whichever you think will go with the most clothes.

If you’re traveling in winter, particularly where it will snow, you’ll need to bring a pair of waterproof boots that will keep your feet dry and warm (like the boots pictured here).  Also, remember to bring a few pairs of warm socks too.  Click here to read my guide on the best snow boots for women. 

Going Out Shoes

If you plan on going out in the evenings, you may want to bring a pair of heels or wedges during the summer months. During winter months consider a pair of nice leather boots.  

Luggage and Bags: Packing for a City Break

Of course every travel checklist needs luggage to transport all your things, here’s what I recommend.  

Luggage 

I’ve got a separate post on the luggage I recommend.  Click here to check it out.

Hand Bag

A small shoulder bag is ideal for keeping your wallet and camera with you at all times.  I like one that goes across my body. 

Unfortunately, some cities are also known for their pickpockets, so it’s worth investing in an anti-theft bag like this one from Travelon which has built-in security features such as slash-proof, lockable zippers, hidden compartments, and RFID block pockets.  Click here for more information about this Travelon shoulder bag.  

Click here to read my guide on the best travel handbags.

Backpack

If you prefer a small backpack for city sightseeing over a handbag, consider an anti-theft backpack like this one from Pacsafe with built-in security features.

Click here for more information about this Pacsafe backpack.

Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes, like these ones,  are a must to keep all your belongings organized.

Toiletry Bag

Bring a toiletry bag, like this one,  to keep all your toiletries in as well as a small clear bag for going through airport security.

Sun Protection: City Break Packing Checklist

It’s important to be protected from the sun, regardless of whether you’re traveling during winter or summer.  However in some cities, particularly during the hotter months, you can get sunburnt in minutes without proper sun protection.

Sunglasses

A necessity for any time of the year!

Hat

During those hotter months, you will need a hat during a day of city sightseeing. 

One with a big brim all the way around like the one pictured here is ideal – click here for information about this particular sun hat. 

Sunscreen

The sun can get hot in certain cities, especially during the summer months, so ensure you have good quality sunscreen to protect your face and any exposed parts of your body.  

Choose one that’s at least SPF 30 – like the one pictured here.

Electronics: Packing List City Break

When it comes to electronics and tech gear, this is a personal thing, so here are some items you may want to consider.

Mobile Phone

Your mobile phone so you can keep in touch with family and friends.

Camera

You’ll no doubt want to take plenty of photographs for your memories.  For the best quality images, I use the Sony a6000, which I highly recommend – click here for more information about this camera.

Memory cards 

Take two memory cards– one for the camera and one for as a backup!

Travel Adapter 

Depending upon where you’re visiting, you may need to bring a plug adaptor. Get a universal one like this one here.

Laptop / Tablet

Some people like to bring their laptop or tablet it’s up to you.

Headphones 

For listening to music or streaming movies on your phone while travelling.I like ones like this so as they are noise cancelling ones.

Chargers

Don’t forget all the various chargers you need to keep your tech gear charged.

Power Bank 

Bring a charger to keep all your electronics fully charged throughout your trip.  Taking endless amounts of photos each day can easily drain your phone while you’re and about. 

One like this Anker one is ideal as it is lightweight and can charge two devices at once. Click here for more information about this portable charger. 

Toiletries: City Trip Packing List

Following is a comprehensive list of all the toiletries you may need on a city break.  You can of course buy all these items in most cities, so it’s up to you which ones you bring from home and which ones you purchase once you arrive.

Moisturizing Cream 

Make sure you bring some moisturizing cream for your face, eyes and body, the sun makes the skin dry.

A Razor

Makeup

This is a personal choice but bring whatever you might need for a night out.

Shampoo and Conditioner 

A small travel size, enough for one week, is plenty.

Body Wash 

Toothpaste and Toothbrush

Hair Brush and Hair Ties

Deodorant 

It can get very hot while sightseeing, so you won’t want to forget this one!

Medication 

Bring any medication you may require.  At least bring some pain killers, you don’t want to have to be worried about where the nearest pharmacy is just because you have a headache.

100 ml  Non Leak Containers 

Lastly, if you’re going to travel carry on only you will need 100 ml non-leak containers to store your liquids. Click here to buy these ones from Amazon.

Travel Documents

Last but not least, don’t forget all those important travel documents, money and somewhere to carry it all.

Passport / Visa

If you’re headed overseas, don’t forget to bring with you your passport.

Passport holder 

Consider an RFID passport wallet like this one pictured.

Travel Wallet  

These come in handy when you have multiple tickets for transport, tours and hotels as well as somewhere to keep your passport and foreign currency.  Click here to read my guide on the best travel wallet for women here.

Money

When I travel, I want to have with me a variety of options concerning money. I always have some cash, my debit card so that I can withdraw money from the ATM’s and my credit card.

Security pouch 

For keeping your money safe.  Click here to read my guide on the best money belts for women.

Travel Insurance

Never leave home without it!

Other Things you Might Bring

  • Travel guide for your city destination.
  • Books make a great company for the time you will spend in transit, at the airport and relaxing in your hotel room. 
  • Travel Pillow: Useful for long flights. I really like the kind pictured here as you can use it in multiple positions.  

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