Words by Síomha Connolly
May 20th, 2016
The art of packing can be tricky to master. Overpacking will lead to extra fees, hassle at the airport, and not to mention no room to bring souvenirs home on the other end of the trip. Underpack and you fear you will find yourself unprepared for certain events that may arise on your holiday.
Efficient packing is a skill, one that can cause unnecessary stress and worry before what’s meant to be a relaxing, enjoyable break. While we may not be able to pack your suitcase for you, we can recommend certain outfits and items that will suit a certain trips’ needs. We’ve chosen some of the top European destinations to vacation this year, and to introduce your new summer staples we have styled a simple and efficient look for each city. We have also included a mini guide which includes some of the best bits and must-sees in each city. From a city break in Berlin to a week on the beach in Marseille, we’ve got you covered.
See the spectacular views of the city from some of the most amazing vantage points. The city can be seen in all of its glory from the top of Gaudi’s Park Guell. If you want to avoid the over-saturation that comes with regular tourist attractions, head off the beaten track and explore some of the lesser known cultural activities. The Joan Miró Foundation is a contemporary art and architecture lover’s dream, housing work from 20th and 21st century artists within a building designed by rationalist architect Josep Lluís Sert. After your tour of the museum head to the rooftop for panoramic views of the city. Pack your camera so that you can document your entire trip, the Canon Powershot G7X is slim and compact for travelling and also has WiFi so your social media snaps don’t have to wait until you’re home! Shop for souvenirs at the Palo Alto Market open on Saturdays and Sundays. Eat tapas of course, but avoid Las Ramblas or other tourist traps and try one of the many traditional Catalan tapas bars around the city for an authentic experience. Stay in the Barri Gòttic quarter, a neighborhood suffused with history that comes to life with the presence of visitors. The winding streets and stunning gothic architecture make for beautiful surroundings for exploring the endless narrow streets while searching for your morning coffee and pastry. Wear the outfit we’ve styled below for a comfortable look perfect for a day full of sightseeing. Barcelona also boasts a beautiful coast line so get ready for some beach lounging with a classic and flattering one-piece.
Head to the Graca district for spectacular views of the teracotta topped city. Eat at Brick Café which we’re told is the best brunch spot in town, and what city break is complete without a leisurely brunch? Take a train to the beaches of Sao Pedro or Carcavelas for a breath of fresh air, both are only twenty minutes outside of the city. Wear the outfit we’ve styled below for a day exploring the city’s sights. A co-ord is the perfect hassle free outfit for your city break. Culottes are an easy transition to holiday wear if you’re not comfortable wearing shorts. They are light and breezy enough that they will keep you cool in the heat, while also offering a flattering more concealed look than shorts. This striped two-piece from Mango is made from a cotton-blend that will be comfortable for a day spent in the sun. Tan accessories bring ultra holiday vibes and a cross-body bucket bag is perfect for holding just the essentials for a day exploring the city. Find your way around Lisbon on the century-old tram system.
Get your fika fix- ‘fika’ is a concept in Sweden which means enjoying coffee with a side of something sweet like a pastry, however the practice is really more about the social aspect than the snack itself. Learn to live like the locals and take time to enjoy a leisurely break throughout your day. Shop at the Acne Archive for a selection of the brand’s pieces from seasons past at hugely discounted prices. Stock up on local and international publications at Papercut, a must visit for any magazine enthusiast. Visit Blasieholmstorg market for vintage wear, antiques, handmade crafts and souvenirs to bring home. Style yourself Swedish- for the home of Scandi-cool you need a minimalist look head to toe. A slip dress is a simple throw on outfit that can be dressed up or down, meaning you can go from a day shopping or sightseeing straight into dinner and drinks with the simple addition of some accessories. Packing a track top like this Chloé style below means you can add an extra layer while still looking stylish in case of any cloudy or rainy days. Replace trainers with a pair of slip on mules to dress the outfit up for evening.
The second largest city in France, Marseille boasts a vibrant metropolitan hub while also being positioned on the coast, making it an excellent location for a summer break. With Marseille you can get the best of both worlds- a city break along with days spent lounging on the beach. Stroll along the port watching the fishermen sell their daily catch and admire the yachts that dock along the harbour. Visit the Notre Dame de la Garde for beautiful architecture, intricate mosaics and spectacular views of the city. Sail away to Château d’If, located on an island just a short distance across the shore from Marseille with ferries travelling back and forth throughout the day. Previously a prison and made famous by being used as one of the settings in 19th century novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo‘, this is a popular day trip among tourists looking for their culture fix. Make sure you visit ‘Mamo’, a contemporary art space housed on the roof of Cité Radieuse, a building designed by architect Le Corbusier in the 1950s. Accessorise with cat eye sunglasses, a straw tote and silk scarf for the perfect south of France look.
Stay in Kreuzberg, loved by artists, musicians and all creative enthusiasts alike, this trendy area is the perfect base for a city break in Berlin. Shop at Voo Store, a concept store located in Kreuzberg that caters for both men and women and stocks on-trend brands such as Marni, Commes des Garcons, and Acne Studios, as well as stocking homeware and housing an in-store coffee shop. Rent a bike and use it as your mode of transport during your stay- Berlin is a flat city and so it’s easy to get around by bicycle. Visit one of the many cultural, historical and art museums on Museum Island. Walk along the remaining section of the Berlin Wall, now referred to as the East Side Gallery, where many artists have left their creative mark on the wall as an expression of freedom. Enjoy the karaoke that takes place at Mauer Park on Sundays, take part or just take a seat in the sidelines and watch the performance. Take a plunge in the Badeschiff floating pool that sits on the River Spree. Wear a cool and casual look for this creative city. This summer denim skirts are taking over from your old denim shorts so update your look with a split front skirt, bonus trend points for frayed hems.
Still looking for the perfect summer dress? Click here to shop 50 dresses that are on trend and perfect for whatever your travel plans may be.
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