Pack a small umbrella, a light raincoat with a removable liner and an extra sweater and you’ll be ready for most weather, but you can always add to your all-weather wardrobe while you’re on the road.
Not surprisingly, the climate varies widely throughout Europe as well as within each country. Currents in the Atlantic Ocean tend to moderate temperatures along the western coasts, even in Iceland. However the climate of larger countries can span a wide range of temperatures and conditions. Remember if you are travelling from the Southern Hemisphere that the seasons in Europe are the reverse of those where you live!
Using the Alps as a rough dividing line for the continent's climate, summers in the north are mild while winters can be cold and wet, whereas south of the Alps summers can be hot and dry and winters damp and cool. As always, temperatures are cooler at higher altitudes.
Northern Europe (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) has a temperate, pleasant climate thanks to the Gulf Stream. Winters can be crisp and quite invigorating, although the further south you go the milder the winter weather, with average temperatures around 0° Celsius. Summers are remarkably comfortable as temperatures rarely reach above 26°C. The Midnight Sun is visible 24 hours a day in summer in the northernmost regions of these countries. The Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) can be observed in the sky over parts of Europe, with the best viewing from north of the Arctic Circle from September through March. Central and Eastern Europe (Austria , Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia , Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Ukraine) experience temperate, cool summers with temperatures hovering around 25°C, and cold, cloudy, humid winters. This area features four distinct seasons having mountain snowfall in the winter and moderate to warm summers. Western Europe (Belgium, Britain, France, Holland, Ireland and Luxembourg) is known for its mild maritime winters, with short bursts of cold towards the east and heavier rainfall in the west. Summers are moderate and become cooler as you move north. Southern and Mediterranean Europe (Croatia, Cyprus, southern France, Greece,Italy, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Spain and Turkey) bask in bright sunlight during most of the year; the winters tend to be mild while summers are hot and dry, with some rain in autumn and spring. European countries measure temperature in Celsius (Centigrade) rather than Fahrenheit. For a very quick and rough conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit, double the temperature and add 30, e.g. 20°C = 20 + 20 + 30 = about 70°F.