The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Ask BB: What to Wear to Prague and Budapest in May

I will be going to Prague / Budapest for 10 days in May. There will be lots of walking trips but a few nights of dressing up as well. Weather is typically Sunny mid 50's to high 70's. I just want to take 1 bag for clothes but I am a terrible packer. Is there a website that can help me out or can you put together a list of must haves? I do not want to look like a tourist! I visit this site and the Sartorialist often…unfortunately I haven't spent money on my own clothes in years and my closet is outdated. I don’t mind buying, just want to maximize my purchases to be able to mix and match a lot. I am also looking for a super comfy, super cute pair of shoes good for lots of walking and cobblestone streets. —Posted by isaidjackie in the forums

Let's start with a list of travel must-haves, pieces that will take you from the plane to the ground in style and comfort. First, you'll want a cozy cardigan in a neutral hue that you can wear on the plane, while you're traveling by train or anytime it gets a bit chilly and you need a lightweight cover-up, whether it's an air-conditioned museum or breezy night out.

Next, as you said, you'll need comfortable shoes. When you travel, you'll notice that tourists and locals alike rarely resort to sneakers. Instead, they'll wear comfortable ballet flats, oxfords, sandals or ankle boots. There are so many styles to choose from, my advice would be to buy your shoes and break them in before you go on your trip so there are no surprises. I've purchased incredibly comfortable leather ankle boots from Target, sandals from Payless and leather flats by Me Too (at Marshalls) and Gap's City flats. Naturalizer also makes affordable, super comfy shoes like slip on fashion sneaks that many people swear by. (Readers, please share your ideas in the comments!) A black ballet flat is classic and can take you from day to night, always a plus.

Other travel essentials include a colorful scarf that you can use for warmth and a touch of color, a small, lightweight crossbody bag to keep hands free and your personal items secure, and stylish sunglasses to protect your eyes and make you feel glam even when you're tired and without makeup.

Just because you're traveling doesn't mean you have to forgo accessories - pack small, inexpensive pieces of jewelry or a cool fedora to give your look personality. If you lose it, no harm done. I also love to pick up jewelry as a memorable souvenir when I travel.

If you stick with mostly neutral colors, and the always classic black, everything will be easier to mix and match when you're on the go. Roll clothing to save space in your suitcase. Try to stick to one piece of outerwear, a classic khaki trench suits every style. A little black dress is always a great option whether you're sightseeing or hitting a club.

Now that we've got the basics covered, here are three outfit ideas to help you visualize what to pack (all are based on outfits I've seen on stylish tourists here in NYC):

Outfit 1: Perfect for the plane! Note the skinny stretch twill pants. These are super comfy and a great alternative to jeans. Black makes them easy to dress up or down.

Outfit 2: The hip urbanite's uniform. Layer black leggings under a printed skirt for comfort and style. You can add the cardigan and scarf if it's cooler, or remove the leggings if it's warmer.

Outfit 3: When in doubt, wear stripes! Whatever your style, a striped top always looks effortless but not sloppy, making it a great choice when traveling.

What did I miss? xoBB

Photo source
I spent last summer in Budapest (an amazing city!), and the weather was not consistently in the 60s or 70s until late June. Make sure to bring a light coat - one day it will be in the upper 60s, the next day in the 40s. Layering is the best option, as BB has done above. I've never been to Prague but I'm guessing it will be a little bit cooler up there. Plus, there are H&M's on every corner, so if you absolutely need something you can always stop there. Happy traveling!
#1 Johanna Mellis on 2011-04-27 12:37 (Reply)
One thing I've noticed through traveling Europe has been the scarves! They love that specific accessory so defiantely take some and pick one up while you are there! And don't be afraid to wear boots w/pants even in the summer.
#2 Mere on 2011-04-27 14:56 (Reply)
Great advice! I'd also recommend looking at the Geox line for comfy and stylish sandals and flats. Also, I'd suggest packing a few long tunics. They don't take up much space and they can be tucked into jeans or worn out over leggings.

I always pack a statement necklace when travelling. It's the easiest way to give a LBD or a casual outfit some instant polish.
#3 Jo from Canada (Homepage) on 2011-04-27 16:04 (Reply)
Hey - just thought you'd like to know that this site: http://designersamplesales(dot)org/ is stealing your posts. (including this one) They are making the rounds and doing it to everyone... If you email them they will take down immediately. Good luck!
#4 Lisa (Homepage) on 2011-04-27 16:20 (Reply)
I really like Marks and Spencer for reasonably priced clothing overseas. They have locations in Prague:

and in Budapest:

I found some cute and comfortable shoes there when I was in Manchester and ended up wearing them my whole vacation.
#5 Jessica on 2011-04-27 19:36 (Reply)
do not even think about wearing heeled shoes in prague. i studied there and attempted heels during the first sign of spring. i should've known better what will all the cobblestone but i spent most of the night tugging my shoes out from crevices in the street. i'm pretty sure there's an art to it but not when you've been drinking.

technically i don't know about flats either because again, the cobblestone and uneven surfaces will do a number on your feet. make sure you have some sort of support or an insert perhaps.

i love the clothing suggestions here. they were pretty similar to what i wore day on a regular basis. keep the clothing casual for maximum comfort and just go to town with accessories.

also, a side note - please be weary of putting anything important in your pockets or leaving a bag/purse unzipped. i was robbed 3 times while there over the course of a year and even caught someone trying to sneak their hand into my roommate's coat on a crowded tram. nothing against the city of prague, really, but it happens.
#6 Mary Ann on 2011-04-28 00:35 (Reply)
I'm getting ready for a 2 week tour myself, although I'll be doing France and continental Europe.

One of my best finds was a lightweight raincoat trench by Landry that fits AMAZING and folds up wrinkle free into it's own little carry bag. It's water proof, but it also acts as a wind breaker and fits over my cozy cardigan. I'm guessing it will be rather useful in the alps.

I do have several show options, including some fold down ballet flats for my bag-- just in case. I'm a New Yorker, so I'm used to walking, but I always keep band-aid dots in my bag.
#7 Meredith (Homepage) on 2011-04-28 08:37 (Reply)
Thanks everyone SO much! Two weeks and counting!
#8 Jackie on 2011-04-28 13:22 (Reply)
I love Prague and Budapest they are two of my favorite cities, I last visited both in June of 2009. The streets are beautiful although terrible to walk on! I recomend falts or a sturdy shoe like a Sperry and nothing like an open toe flat or flip-flop you will regret it! The streets in Budapest were a little better than in Prague. I found a cross-body bag at Fossil that would be perfect for traveling over there - keep your valuables safe and secure in something close to your body!
#9 Shannon (Homepage) on 2011-04-28 14:58 (Reply)

After reading the post which is very helpful I must say. I must now ask a question which I'm sure you will find really stupid. The,weather from the first May would it be very warm? What would the temperatures be? I just want to make surw I don't pack too heavy or too light. Thanks
#10 Marian on 2016-03-24 13:41 (Reply)
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