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Rhodes is a popular destination for travelers visiting the Greek Islands for the first time, so it makes perfect sense why you might be wondering what to pack for Rhodes.

And while most travelers come to Rhodes during the high season, it actually is a great place to enjoy a peaceful winter escape. Therefore, we’ve included information about what to wear in Rhodes year-round.

This Rhodes packing list includes our recommendations for what to wear in Rhodes for women and men for all seasons. If you’ll be traveling around more of Greece (especially mainland Greece), you might also want to check out our general Greece packing list.

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Rhodes Packing List

What to Pack Everything In

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Old Venetian Harbor Luggage

This is how much I take with me to visit the Greek islands for a few weeks.

While most people think that what to wear in Rhodes as the most important part of their packing list, the actual most important decisions come way before that. You’ll set yourself up for success if you have the right bags – and this means everything from your main suitcase down to the small organizational bags that keep everything nice and tidy.

Here’s everything we use to keep our stuff organized on the road, which we’ve mastered from years spent backpacking around the Balkans. We’ve included recommendations for what to bring to Rhodes with you for all different kinds of trips – summer or winter, beach or village, active or relaxing.

Your Main Bag: Backpack of Rolling Suitcase?

This is the first major Rhodes packing decision you’ll make before your trip starts.

Personally, Allison and I both prefer traveling around Greece with a backpack. I can’t imagine lugging my suitcase around the cobblestone streets in Rhodes, let alone in hilly Lindos. I actually switched from traveling with rolling luggage to a backpack specifically for my first trip to Rhodes and Crete, but now I backpack almost everywhere I go. 

I have traveled to Athens with a rolling suitcase, but I was there for an entire month that trip and stayed in one apartment. If you’ll be moving from island to island or combining time in the islands and Greek mainland, a rolling suitcase would be a serious hassle. 

If wearing a backpack is not feasible for you due to mobility limitations or comfort – or you simply are planning to pack a lot of stuff! – it is perfectly possible to travel with a rolling suitcase around Rhodes.

For longer distances between bus/train stations and ferry terminals and hotels, you may want to spend the extra for a taxi, especially in the summer heat! Just remember that it just may require a bit more effort, and there are pedestrian-only areas where your taxi will not be able to go.

Our Top Recommendations for Backpacks

Allison is obsessed with her Tortuga Backpack for traveling the Balkans, and it’s her go-to bag for virtually any trip she takes in the Greece that’s longer than a week. She recently upgraded to a Tortuga 45L Backpack because it’s compact, carry-on friendly, and don’t scream “backpacker” as loudly as other bags. It’s chic and streamlined but very useful!

It has 3 main compartments: one with a laptop sleeve that can also accommodate other flat objects like important papers and books, one giant rectangular compartment ideal for packing cubes filled with your clothes, and one smaller compartment with organizers for passports, pens, odds & ends, etc. – plus one small outer zipper pocket for anything you want quick access to.

It also has a water bottle holder on the outside as well as buckles so that you can strap something like a yoga mat to the outside if needed. Plus, it’s quite comfortable to wear, with a padded hip belt and comfort-molding shoulder straps complete with a chest strap so that you can distribute the weight perfectly across your body in the event that you need to wear your backpack for longer than usual. Check out more specs, prices, and details for the women’s backpack and for the men’s.

Our Top Recommendations for Rolling Suitcases

If you are going to bring a roller bag, I suggest getting a soft shell one that can squish. My favorite rolling suitcase (which survived my first trip to Greece) is the awesome Osprey Sojourn.

I lived out of just this bag and a backpack for eight months and brought it to Greece and lived to tell the tale. I like that it can squish into the back of buses and fit on train luggage racks easily. It expands to hold a ton of stuff if you plan to shop a lot while in Rhodes (where you can find some awesome Greek souvenirs!). You can check prices and reviews here.

Your Daybag: Backpack or Purse?

Serbia - Gardos - Backpack

Your day bag should be able to hold all the things you need for the day: water, sunscreen, wallet, any medicine or make-up you may need, a layer in case the weather changes, camera, etc.

It depends on what you prefer, but for comfort, a backpack is usually the better day bag because it distributes weight more evenly across your shoulders. However, if you’re used to carrying a purse, that may be what you prefer.

We recommend investing in a day bag with some security features, but not because Rhodes is dangerous. Your risk of being pickpocketed here is about the same, if not lower, than in major Western European cities – though do be careful in crowded places in Rhodes Town and other tourist hot spots!

However, we do so just because traveling to touristic places inherently has its risks, and we prefer to protect ourselves upfront with security features, rather than deal with consequences down the line.

Our Top Recommendations for Backpacks

We both carry the CitySafe backpack by PacSafe not only on our travels but in our day-to-day lives. It’s cute, it’s functional, it’s comfortable, and it’s secure as hell. 

We’re talking about interlocking zippers (which you can then put through a second clasp for two layers of security), slash-proof wire mesh construction, and RFID blockers to keep your personal data safe.

It’s neutral enough to be unisex, it’s roomy enough to fit a small laptop, large camera, and tons of odds & ends, and it fits under the plane seat in front of you. Plus, it transitions pretty well from day to night (as long as you aren’t heading to a club in Lindos, that is!). 

What else could you want? This isn’t sponsored, we’re just straight obsessed (I bought mine after seeing Allison’s in action and hearing me rave about it, and she’s also been converted). Get yours today and join our PacSafe fan club.

Our Top Recommendations for Purses

Due to our everlasting obsession with our travel backpack, neither Stephanie nor I really carry purses much for our travels anymore.

However, I brought a large Longchamp bag with me on my first trip to Rhodes. It was a great day bag for Rhodes since so much of the sightseeing on the island involves long meals in delicious tavernas, walks along ancient harbors, and days spent on beautiful beaches.

I love that my Longchamp is durable, stylish, and can fit most of what I need for a day of sightseeing, yet it also looks totally normal at a performance or a nice restaurant. 

Since it rolls up to almost nothing, I can still bring it with me even on trips where I use my Pacsafe, so it’s the best of both worlds! Check prices and reviews here.

If you want a smaller purse than the Longchamp, check out some of the other purses from PacSafe. Due to our satisfaction with our CitySafe backpack, we’d definitely recommend other PacSafe products like their secure purses – they have shoulder bags and crossbody bags.

Moneybelt Recommendations

Personally, we don’t carry money belts, since we carry secure bags, but we know some travelers feel a lot safer with a money belt. If that’s you, this is the money belt we recommend.

How to Keep it Organized

Bulgaria - Sofia - Packing

Just because you have the right suitcase and day bag doesn’t mean your bags will be packed right. You need to think about how you’ll organize your belongings so that everything is accessible and compact.

Packing Cubes

I don’t know how I traveled before packing cubes, and I never want to go back! Packing cubes are extremely helpful for organizing your luggage and keeping it that way so that when you want to extract one shirt from your bag, you don’t end up exploding your whole bag open.

I have used several different brands of packing cubes, and I prefer durable ones. I use the big one for dresses, skirts, and jeans, the medium one for t-shirts, and the small one for underwear, bras, socks, etc.

Cosmetic Bags

A set of cosmetic bags are so useful! In addition to using it for your make-up, you can also use them to stash odds & ends like earplugs, an eye-mask, pens & pencils – things that usually get lost at the bottom of your bag.

I like to have one for makeup, one for hair accessories, one for toiletries, and one for cables and electronic accessories. 

If you don’t have a bunch of cosmetic bags lying around from old make-up purchases, you can pick some up off Amazon. I think these are particularly adorable.

Pack-It Flat

This is one of my favorite packing finds! The Pack-it-Flat toiletry bag is the ultimate way to keep all your toiletries packed.

What I love about is is that it packs, well, flat like a book, rather than most toiletry bags which make big bulky squares that take up way too much space and are annoying to deal with. This is a definite upgrade from my cosmetic bag system, which took up too much space and was completely disorganized 

Travel Wallet

A good travel wallet meets a few criteria: RFID blocking, plenty of room for coins, room for bills and receipts, plenty of card slots, and can fit a passport.

Allison uses a PacSafe travel wallet that does all of that and looks cute doing so.

Laundry Bag

Whether you’ll need to do laundry on the road or you’ll wait to do it at home, it’s essential to have a bag to keep your dirty laundry separate from your clean clothes.

While that can easily be just a grocery bag, I love this cute travel-themed Kikkerland laundry bag which is easy to hand over to someone on laundry day.

Canvas Tote

We recommend bringing a tote with you wherever you go to reduce plastic waste! 50% of the waste found in Greece’s oceans and seas come from three sources alone: plastic bottles, plastic bags, and aluminum cans.

It’s incredibly easy to cut out plastic bags entirely (and save on plastic bag fees) by packing a simple canvas tote that you keep in your backpack or purse in case you need it. Water bottles are also easy to avoid (we’ll explain how in another section).

A canvas bag is also great for doing small errands or when you don’t want to pack your whole day bag, and is absolutely essential for any trip that includes a day at the beach or pool — which is almost any summer day in Rhodes, frankly!

I use one I bought at Flying Tiger in Milan, but you can find a ton of cute tote bags on Amazon.

Ziploc Bags

You’ll thank us for this when all your stuff stays dry your entire trip. I always pack my liquids in a Ziploc bag (plus you need one if you’re traveling with liquids in your carryon). 

Pack all your liquids in Ziploc backs so that if something breaks or opens, the liquid stays inside the bag. Stuff a few extras in your luggage for any liquid purchases or if you need to keep a wet towel separate from the rest of your luggage.

I like to have a mix of small and large bags so I’m covered in most situations. 

Coin Purse

If you don’t live in Europe, you might be surprised just how quickly coins stack up in your bag when traveling here. Euro coins can definitely add up and get lost at the bottom of your wallet! In the States, I never bothered with a coin purse (mostly because anything that’s not a quarter is basically meaningless to me), but living in Europe I find that it’s essential. I have one with a flower pattern like these.

5 Rhodes Packing Essentials You Don’t Want to Forget

Greece - Rhodes - Lindos - Pixabay

If you only read one section of this post, make it this one!

Guidebook

While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We own and recommend the Lonely Planet Greece to help you while you’re here. 

Travel Insurance

It’s always a good idea to be covered when you travel abroad in case of theft, illness, or accidents. Allison and I have been paying customers of World Nomads for three years and counting and are happy to recommend them to fellow travelers for the clarity of what they cover, the efficiency of processing claims, and the ease of renewing while still on the road if your trip ends up being longer than expected.

Cute Swimwear

I mean, the main reason you’re likely going to Rhodes is to soak up the sun, swim in the Mediterranean, relax on the beaches, etc. – so be sure to pack at least two cute swimwear options, if not more, so that you never have to put a wet swimsuit back on (and so your photos will be different enough)!

I love this one-piece option and this bikini, but pick whatever you love best and will both feel comfortable and make you feel confident in photos when you look back on your trip.

Comfortable walking shoes

Rhodes is full of hiking opportunities, long sightseeing days, and hilly vistas with beautiful views. It’s easy to do 10,000+ steps in a day (if you’re not relaxing on the beach all day, that is). Oh, and the cobblestones in Old Town are enough to eat up your feet, without even venturing out to the rest of the island!

Pay close attention to our shoe recommendations below, but don’t order new shoes right before your trip! Give yourself a few weeks to break them in. The earlier you can get any new shoes you need, the more time you’ll have to get them comfy. You don’t want a blister on the road!

Medicine

I’ve written a whole section on what should be in your mini medicine kit, but this especially goes for any prescription medications you may need from back home. It’s not always possible to get the same exact medication in Rhodes, so be sure to stock up on what you need!

And don’t forget seasickness/motion sickness pills if you’re sensitive to movement – they’re a lifesaver for buses and ferries. Most trips to Rhodes incude time in windy, hot buses.

Greece - Rhodes - Building

Greece – Rhodes – Building

Quick Overview of Weather in Rhodes

While many people see Rhodes as a summer destination, it’s actually lovely all year round – it just offers different activities, obviously.

As Rhodes is one of the Dodecanese islands, its further southeast and closer to Turkey than places like Santorini or Hydra. As such, the weather is closer to the weather in Crete than in Athens.

Spring in Rhodes is one of my favorite times to go. The March average for Rhodes starts around 13°C/55°F and warms up to 19°C/66°F by May, with daytime averages as high as 23°C/73°F. We were actually able to swim in Lindos near the end of April! The water was quite cool, but it was so hot it was refreshing.

Greece - Rhodes - Lindos Beach

Greece – Rhodes – Lindos Beach

Summer in Rhodes is a scorcher! Rhodes is hot but the climate overall is slightly modified due to the sea surrounding it. June through August, you’ll find average highs of 27-28°C/81-82°F (you’ll definitely want to enjoy those beaches!) and lows of 22°C/72°F.

Fall in Rhodes is the best time to visit (shh, don’t tell!). September in Rhodes is lovely, with average highs of 26°C/79°F and average lows of 19°C/66°F. The sea is still quite warm as well. October takes a small dip, with average highs of 23°C/73°F and average lows of 17°C/63°F. November takes yet another small step down; November highs average 19°C/66°F and average lows only go so far as 14°C/57°F.

Finally, winter in Rhodes stays relatively warm as it’s close to Turkey. The average highs are generally around 15-16°C/59-61°F and the average lows are around 9-11°C/48-52°F from December through February.

However, it can be a bit chilly, since most accommodations won’t have building-wide heaters. You might be forced to rely on small space heaters in your room. I found that I under packed, and I should have brought an extra layer for sleeping. 

What to Wear in Rhodes for Women

Greece - Rhodes - Lindos Shuttle

What you should wear in Rhodes depends on a ton on what activities you do, just as much as the season.

If you’re just island-hopping, you’ll be fine in some swimsuits, cover-ups, summer dresses, sun hats, and sandals. If you’re planning on exploring Rhodes Town cities with some beach time too, you’ll want to throw in some comfortable walking shoes, stylish yet comfortable dresses, etc. If you’ll be active like hiking, some sporty clothes will be an important addition.

We like to mix it up with dresses, skirts, casual tops with jeans, and lots of outfits with leggings. We tend to avoid shorts except if we’re on islands or super-beachy destinations, as most locals don’t wear shorts and you’re bound to stick out as a tourist if you do (but then again, Rhodes in summer is bursting with tourists, and sometimes it’s truly too hot to care!)

We’ve created two separate packing lists: one for spring through fall, one for winter. You may want to adjust the packing list slightly depending on the season: for example, you may decide to leave the heavier jacket at home in the heat of summer, and swap a summery maxi dress for extra leggings in spring or fall. However, there’s enough overlap that we’ve combined it all into one spring/summer/fall list.

Double check the weather before you go since Rhodes can experience heat waves and cool fronts that change the temperatures dramatically from the averages. 

What to Pack for Spring, Summer, & Fall in Rhodes

Grece - Rhodes - Woman in Rhodes Town

Clothes

2-3 tank tops: Great for layering, and you may want to add a few more in the summer. We like these ones.

2-3 V-neck shirts: In case you want a little more coverage, or if you’re traveling in spring/fall, these are also great multi-purpose separates. We recommend these ones. I also love to have a simple striped T like this one.

2 long sleeve shirts (fall/spring only): You won’t need these in the summer, but in fall, they’re wonderful to have. We recommend these ones.

1 chambray shirt: Perfect to wear as a shirt in spring/fall or to wear unbuttoned as a light jacket on a summer night – this shirt is so versatile that it’s become my packing must-have.

1 mid-weight jacket: There can be some surprising weather sometimes even in the summer in Rhodes, so I still recommend one medium-weight jacket like this denim jacket or a faux leather jacket in case your chambray isn’t warm enough.

2 pairs shorts (summer only): You likely won’t need these in the fall or spring. For summer, I recommend 1 loose pair of linen shorts and 1 pair denim shorts.

Lightweight scarf: Great for too much A/C, surprisingly chilly nights, surprise church visits, or dressing up an outfit you’ve worn too many times. We like this one for all the color choices.

Black cardigan: Great for cool nights in summer and dressing up fall and spring outfits; we suggest this one.

2-3 pairs of black leggings: I love leggings so much – for sleeping, for lazy days, to avoid chub rub, to make a summer dress fall appropriate, to wear on active days when doing things like hiking. We recommend bringing a few pairs if you can (we suggest these).

1-2 pairs skinny jeans: 1 in summer, 2 in fall or spring. We like these ones, but the jeans are so personal, so bring your favorites.

2-3 skirts: We love skirts for travel! In summer, I love midi skirts and maxi skirts, whereas, in spring and fall, I prefer mini skirts that I can wear with leggings and boots. If you’re an avid Instagrammer, we love this ultra-photogenic maxi skirt.

2-3 summer dresses: I try to buy dresses that are great for summer but can transition well to fall and spring with the right accessories. We think this one and this one are super cute!

Maxi dress (summer only): I love maxi dresses for summer, but they don’t transition as well as shorter dresses for fall. Here’s a simple black one we like, and we also love this colorful maxi dress for livening up your Instagram photos.

Shoes & Sandals

Travel sandals: Depending on what you’ll do in Rhodes. If you’re just going to be walking around the cities, I love Birkenstocks and live in them about half of the year. If you’re going to the beach, pool/spa, or staying in a hostel, also add on a pair of simple rubber flip flops that you can get wet.

Comfortable but cute sneakers: Gone are the days where I can comfortably wear flats for a day of heavy sightseeing! I strongly recommend a stylish pair of sneakers like these black Nike running shoes for your busiest city days and active days.

Ankle boots: I definitely recommend a water-resistant pair of ankle boots for rainy days, cold weather, or going out at night if you want a more dressed-up option. These Teva ankle boots are adorable yet comfortable. In summer, you can probably skip this, but if there does happen to be some bad weather you will want something closed-toes. 

Underwear

No-show socks: Nothing worse than socks that clash with your shoes! We like these no-show socks.

8+ pairs underwear: Bring one pair for every day of travel you want to go without doing laundry, plus one extra. If you need new travel undies, we recommend these comfy quick-dry ones.

2-3 bras: Depending on your needs and activity levels. I usually bring 1 bra and one bralette, but if you’re active you may want a sports bra or if you like to wear backless or strapless tops/dresses you may want adhesive or strapless bras. If you want a quick-dry travel bra, we recommend this one.

Sleepwear: I personally love having dedicated sleepwear – this silky pajama set is so comfortable!

Jewelry & Accessories

Headbands: Great for keeping hair out of your face or hiding greasy or salty hair if you need to (and in Rhodes in the summer, you’ll probably experience both!)! We think these are ultra-cute.

Jewelry: Pick cheap statement jewelry and leave heirlooms or expensive jewelry at home. Theft is relatively uncommon in Rhodes, but it’s better to make yourself inconspicuous.

A giant sun hat: Perfect for keeping the. sun out of your face (and admittedly also for Instagram photos)

What to Pack for Winter in Rhodes

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Stephanie Selfie Winter in Greece Outfit

Use the list above, but add or swap in the following items. Double check the forecast before you pack to make sure Rhodes isn’t experienced a warm or cold spell.

Clothes

2 long sleeve shirts: Great for layering with skirts and leggings or jeans. We recommend these ones.

2 pairs skinny jeans: We like these ones, but bring your favorites that are already broken in if you have them. You can forget about shorts in Rhodes in winter, but jeans are a must. 

2-3 skirts: I prefer above-the-knee skirts that I can easily pair with leggings in winter. 

1+ pair extra warm leggings: Add one pair of extra warm leggings to the ones recommended above.

I personally wear fleece-lined leggings nearly all winter long because I’m sensitive to wool. However, merino wool is ultra-warm (and non-microbial and odor-resistant) so I recommend a pair of merino wool leggings if your skin can handle wool.

You can get away with regular leggings in Rhodes in winter, but if you plan on spending long days outside you might want to bring one pair of warmer leggings just in case. This way you have the option of regular and warm leggings depending on the day and activity.

Ultra-light down jacket: You can wear this on its own or pair it with the jacket we recommended above for colder days. This rolls up and packs easily in your day bag so it’s good to bring along – I have one really similar to this.

Shoes & Sandals

In winter, skip the sandals and opt for sturdy shoes that can handle a bit of bad weather. 

Ankle boots: For cold weather shoes that are still good for going out at night, we suggest these Teva ankle boots.

Waterproof leather boots: For wet weather when you still want to be comfortable, I love these knee-high Blondo boots and have owned them for over a decade.

Jewelry & Accessories

Winter scarf: Bring a winter scarf like this one to help block out the wind.

Fleece-lined knit hat: You lose a lot of heat from the top of your head and ears, so a fleece-lined knit hat that you wear tight, like a beanie, is a fantastic choice. Pick a colorful one for cute photos!

What to Wear in Rhodes for Men 

Greece - Rhodes - Man - What to Wear in Rhodes for Men

Rhodes men tend to dress smartly in the cities, especially compared to Americans and Canadians. Avoid khaki shorts and white sneakers that scream “tourist,” which can also be a safety hazard in cities where pickpockets target people who look like oblivious westerners.

Instead of dressing like you just left boy scout camp, think sophisticated European style. Obviously, if you’ll be spending most of your time on the beach and island hopping, you can relax the dress code quite a bit!

What to Pack for Spring, Summer, & Fall in Rhodes

Keeping in mind which season you’ll be visiting in (and our overview of the weather in Rhodes above), here’s what we suggest. Adjust the items and layers slightly to better match the season. 

Clothes

4-5 everyday shirts: Whether your go-to everyday shirt is a t-shirt, a polo shirt, or something with a bit more style, bring enough that you can go with only doing laundry twice a week. Make a few of these long sleeve shirts in early spring and in the autumn, but during summer long sleeves aren’t necessary. 

1-2 collared shirt: Bring a nice collared shirt, like this Oxford shirt, for a date night, if you decide to go to a performance, or even just to enjoy a bit of a fancier night on the town.

If you’re traveling single, this will also come in handy for going out, though you might want to make it something that can go from sightseeing to the club.

3-4 undershirts: If you wear undershirts, bring them. Expect to be doing laundry 1-2 times per week during your trip, so bring enough to cover half a week (plus you’ll be wearing one as well).

1-2 pairs of shorts: Summer in Rhodes can be brutally hot, and in this situation, you will be happy to have some shorts. Just avoid shorts that look overly touristy. We think something like these jean shorts would work. Again, avoiding khaki shorts with giant cargo pockets is for safety (but it’s also about fitting in). 

The cut and style of the shorts you choose will really make a difference in how Europeans perceive you, but remember that men in Europe rarely wear shorts. Therefore, all shorts are statement shorts (and the statement that you’re making, typically, is rob me).

2 pairs of jeans: The sophisticated-yet-still-fun older brother of the jean shorts, this is what most tourists in Europe end up wearing to fit in yet still be comfortable – even in summer. While European men wear slacks or dress pants more than jeans, a crisp pair of jeans is almost always acceptable. While we always appreciate a good dad jean, for Europe think more of a relaxed fit like these Levi’s

1 pair of wrinkle-free dress pants: While you can wear ironed jeans out on a nice evening, you’ll probably feel more comfortable wearing a nicer pair of slacks. Get one with a wrinkle-free fabric like these so you don’t have to worry if your accommodations don’t have an iron handy. 

1 medium-weight jacket that can handle rain: There can be some surprising weather sometimes even in the summer in Rhodes, so bring a jacket that can handle rain and a bit of wind. We like this Columbia rain jacket.

1-2 pairs of swim trunks: This is dependant on your itinerary, but I think it’s always a good idea to bring something to swim in – even if you think you won’t need it. Whether you spend time on the beaches or just want to enjoy the pool at your hotel, it’s nice to be able to relax a bit. 

Note that many older men will opt for the Speedo. This is one area where we do not recommend a North American tourist to try to fit in!

You can choose to show a bit of your personality in your swimwear, by going either super traditional like these trunks or something with a bit more flair, like these pineapple swim trunks.

Shoes & Sandals

Travel Sandals: If you’ll be in Rhodes during the summer, sandals are a great idea, especially if you’ll be spending time walking around the cities. Consider a sports sandal like these leather athletic sandals or a pair of  Birkenstocks.

If you’re headed to the beach or even just a communal shower in a hostel or gym, you also need to pack a pair of rubber flip-flops.

Comfortable Sneakers or Walking Shoes: If you’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing (and most likely, you will be) bring a pair of functional shoes that can support your feet at the end of a long day. We suggest getting a pair of Chuck Taylor’s (avoid white pairs) or something like these Sketchers

Boots: If you’ll be doing a lot of hiking in Rhodes, bring a pair of sturdy hiking boots like these Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots. If you’ll be walking around doing mostly normal sightseeing, opt for something like these Timberlands instead. 

Dress Shoes: You don’t need something super fancy, but if you are planning to have a nice night on the town with your partner then you should bring a pair of shoes that will go with a slightly nicer outfit. For example, these Oxford sneakers will transition better from day-to-night than a typical sneaker will. 

Underwear & Socks

7-8 Pairs of Underwear: While we expect you’ll be doing laundry once or twice a week, it’s nice to be able to go an entire week with clean underwear if you need to. If you want to invest in a few new pairs, get something like these quick-dry boxer briefs so that when you do hang your laundry to dry, they dry quickly. 

7-8 Pairs of Socks: Only you know if you like your socks with a bit of flair or if you’re a socks-blend-in kind of guy. If you want no-show socks, get something like these quick-drying ones. No one wants to put on socks that didn’t get completely dry before an entire day of sightseeing.

1-2 tee shirt and shorts for sleeping: Whatever you sleep in, bring one or two. If you sleep naked, don’t book a room in a hostel dorm, please. (Yes, this has happened.) This pajama set will keep you from getting in trouble in any shared sleeping situation.  

Jewelry & Accessories

Wrist Watch: If you’re a watch guy, bring it. Unless it’s a super expensive watch or a family heirloom. In that case, leave it at home and use your cell phone to tell time. 

Any personal jewelry: If you wear jewelry, bring it, especially if it’s an important item like your wedding ring. However, anything that’s a family heirloom or insanely valuable, leave at home.

1-2 Hats: If you don’t feel dressed without a baseball cap or hat, bring one or two options. 

What to Pack for Winter in Rhodes

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Musicians Art Cafe Doukas

Use the packing list for spring, summer, and fall section above as a guide, but with the following additions and substitutions. 

Clothes

1-2 Wool Baselayers: The key to dressing for winter in Greece is layers. You want to be able to get warmer when needed, and then be able to remove the layers if the weather changes or you go into a building that’s way overheated. Adding a wool base layer under your shirt is a great way to get some extra warmth in that will breathe.

1-2 Sweaters: Another great way to add in an extra layer is to wear a light sweater over your shirt, giving you a bit more warmth with an option to still put your coat on if you need even more. We like these v-neck pullover sweaters.

Shoes & Sandals

Waterproof Leather Boots: Upgrade your boots to the waterproof variety, like these Timberlands. Trust us, nothing is worth than walking eight miles sightseeing on cobblestone streets in waterlogged shoes.

Waterproof Sneakers: If you still want to spend your days in sneakers, get a waterproof pair like these Columbia Waterproof hiking boots.

Underwear

Flannel Pajamas: Upgrade your t-shirt and shorts to flannel pajamas. This is especially important if you’ll be staying in hostels or hotels in historic buildings. 

Jewelry & Accessories

Winter Scarf: Add a thick cable knit scarf or cashmere scarf to keep the wind out. 

Fleece-Lined Knit Hat: Don’t waste your time bringing any winter beanie. Get one that’s lined with fleece to keep as much of your warmth as possible. We like this one from LETHMIK

Toiletries 

rhodes-Greece - Rhodes - Fountain

While you can obviously pick up a lot of this once you’re here, we don’t like spending a ton of time on errands once we are in Rhodes. Instead, we like to actually spend our time exploring!

Keep in mind if you’ll be staying in smaller towns or villages, you may not have quick access to a store after hours. You’ll also find many toiletries for sale in Rhodes pharmacies. 

Toiletries for Women

We’ve outlined everything we typically bring. However, we usually bring travel-size versions so this doesn’t take up much room in our backpacks. It would be traumatic and heavy to carry around full-size bottles of liquids in a backpack.

Hair Care & Bathing

Shampoo & conditioner: I love shampoo bars personally since I try to pack carry-on only and reduce my plastic consumption. I like the ones from LUSH as well as these ones from Amazon.

Dry shampoo: We all have those days when showering is hard – dry shampoo will perk up any oily locks.

Brush or comb: Whatever you use – I like this small travel-sized one.

Hair ties: If you have long hair, you’ll likely want some hair ties.

Hairdryer & straightener: Optional, but if you do your hair at home, you’ll probably want this when you travel as well. If you’re coming from outside of Europe, you’ll want dual voltage.

GoToobs: For your favorite shampoo/conditioner or body wash/lotion from home, I love these squeezy silicon GoToobs.

Body wash and lotion: Either full-size or in carry-on-sized containers like above.

Skin Care

Moisturizer: Travel will beat your skin up. If you use a moisturizer at home, bring it. If you’ve never used a moisturizer before, you really should start. You’ll be happy to give your face a boost before heading outside all day. 

Facewash: For washing all the dirt, dust, smog, sweat, and other travel-related impurities off your face at the end of the day. Make sure you bring a travel-sized version, like this travel Clean & Clear. 

Tweezers: For emergency chin hair situations and the like – you know what I mean. I always carry tweezers like these.

Sunscreen: You can buy sunscreen here, but it’s likely cheaper at home or bought online in advance. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen. Who doesn’t love a good solid for liquid swap? Great to keep in your bag without worrying about sunscreen explosions

Razor & refills: It’s not always easy to find your brand on the road. I use Venus and I can’t always find it every place I shop, so I’d suggest bringing from home. Here are the razor + refill cartridges.

Anti-chafe balm: If you have thick thighs and are traveling in summer, this stuff works miracles! Vaseline also works great.

Make-up

Crete - Heraklion - Old Venetian Harbor Stephanie Selfie

Foundation: I love this Benefit Oxygen foundation because it doesn’t make me break out and it’s very lightweight coverage with a bit of SPF.

Mascara: I love Urban Decay, but YMMV.

Blush: I prefer creme/gel to powder to avoid breakage and subsequent messes– I suggest this awesome Tarte cheek stain.

Red matte lip stain: Red lipstick is our ultimate travel hack. I use the matte lip stain from Sephora and it works a dream and lasts for ages.

Concealer: I swear by Make-up For Ever concealer – it’s the best I’ve ever used, and I used to struggle with serious acne.

Dental care

Toothbrush: I have a small folding toothbrush and I love it for travel, as I always break or lose the clip-on caps.

Toothpaste: Whatever you use at home will do! My mother, who’s a dental hygienist, keeps me stocked with travel-sized tubes of Sensodyne

Floss: Because your mother will know if you don’t use floss. (Or at least mine will). 

Eyecare

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Christmas Tree Selfie Stephanie

Sunglasses: Either prescription or regular, depending on needs

Reading glasses: If needed.

Glasses: If needed. If you have a back-up pair, it’s nice to have two in case one pair breaks. (Or be able to switch between a pair of glasses and contacts).

Hard Glasses Case: If you bring glasses or sunglasses, have a hard-shell case like this one to keep them safe when you’re not wearing them. Travel can beat up your glasses if you don’t store them properly. Remember that if you have very large or wide glasses, you might need a larger case. 

Contacts & saline solution: If needed. Note that saline solution is considered a medical supply and you are allowed to bring more than 100 ml in a carry-on. Make sure that your contact case has screw tops like this one and is not the kind that just snaps shut. Otherwise, you might find yourself with lost contacts. 

Note that if you typically wear contacts, it’s a good idea to bring a backup pair of glasses in case you hurt your eyes. This happened to me on a trip to NYC once, and I had to wear my prescription sunglasses all weekend since I couldn’t get my contacts in my eyes (and forgot my glasses). 

If you’re flying transatlantic, keep your glasses in your carryon. Long flights tend to dry out your eyes, and you’ll be happy to have the option to switch to glasses if the need arises. 

Personal Care

Whatever you need for your period: I personally prefer a Diva Cup as it’s reusable, eco-friendly, comfortable, and can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time. Others may prefer tampons or pads. Bring whatever you need to feel comfortable, as you may not find your exact brand in Greece.

Condoms and/or other birth control methods: If you may have a little… romance in Greece, bring your own birth control methods, whether that’s condoms, birth control pills, or something else.

Toiletries for Men

Greece - Rhodes - Medieval Rose Hotel

While we know that men and women travel with many of the same toiletries, there are typically (though not always) a few differences. 

Hair Care & Bathing

Shampoo & Conditioner: While some guys don’t mind using whatever shampoo comes with the hotel, we know that many of you guys are way more particular than that. If you have a shampoo preference that’s very specific, bring it with you. 

If you want to minimize your plastic use, pick up a shampoo bar like the ones at LUSH or these ones from Amazon

Also, it’s possible that your accommodations won’t provide shampoo and conditioner. Check ahead. Worst case scenario, you can pick some up in Rhodes.

Brush or Comb: I like traveling with a travel hairbrush, but if you prefer combs then I wouldn’t worry about getting a smaller version since it will lay flat in your bag.

Hair Accessories: If you have a particular hairstyle that needs accessories, bring a few. 

Hair Products: If there’s a hair product that you use every day, bring it. Keep in mind airline carryon restrictions for liquids. 

GoToobs: For your favorite shampoo/conditioner or body wash/lotion from home pick up some GoToobs.

Body wash and lotion: Either full-size or in carry-on-sized containers like above.

Skin Care

Moisturizer: Travel will beat your skin up. If you use a moisturizer at home, bring it. If you’ve never used a moisturizer before, you really should start. You’ll be happy to give your face a boost before heading outside all day. 

Facewash: For washing all the dirt, dust, smog, sweat, and other travel-related impurities off your face at the end of the day. Make sure you bring a travel-sized version, like this travel Clean & Clear. 

Tweezers: For emergency splinters, etc. I always carry tweezers like these.

Sunscreen: You can buy sunscreen in Rhodes, but I suggest you buy the good stuff from recognizable brands or better yet, buy it online in advance. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen. Who doesn’t love a good solid for liquid swap? Great to keep in your bag without worrying about sunscreen explosions

Razor & refills: We know that the type of razor you use is very particular. If you use an electronic razor and live in North America, keep in mind that the voltage in Europe will fry your razor.

We suggest bringing a good handheld razor instead, like the Gillette Fusion5 and a few extra razor blades.

If you prefer to get a shave with a straight razor at a barbershop, you will be able to find barbers in all major Rhodes cities. However, we can’t vouch for language barriers, since these kinds of shops rarely get tourists. 

Anti-chafe balm: If you tend to chafe when you get sweaty, this stuff works miracles! Vaseline also works great. Keep in mind that you will be walking in the heat for long periods of time in summer, so if you’ve ever chafed, it’s better to be safe than ruin your vacation. 

Make-up

We know some men wear make-up every day and look absolutely fabulous doing it. We don’t have product recommendations for men’s make-up looks but bring what you love from home. Just keep in mind liquid limitations on airplanes and try to minimize your makeup kit to the smallest workable version. 

Dental care

Toothbrush: This small folding toothbrush will keep your teeth clean and your bag light.

Toothpaste: Whatever you use at home will do! My mother, who’s a dental hygienist, keeps me stocked with travel-sized tubes of Sensodyne

Floss: Because your mother will know if you don’t use floss. (Or at least mine will). 

Eyecare

Bulgaria - Plovdiv - Bus to Sofia Valentine

Sunglasses: Either prescription or regular, depending on needs

Reading glasses: If needed.

Glasses: If needed. If you have a back-up pair, it’s nice to have two in case one pair breaks. (Or be able to switch between a pair of glasses and contacts).

Hard Glasses Case: If you bring glasses or sunglasses, have a hard-shell case like this one to keep them safe when you’re not wearing them. Travel can beat up your glasses if you don’t store them properly. Remember that if you have very large or wide glasses, you might need a larger case. 

Contacts & saline solution: If needed. Note that saline solution is considered a medical supply and you are allowed to bring more than 100 ml in a carry-on. Make sure that your contact case has screw tops like this one and is not the kind that just snaps shut. Otherwise, you might find yourself with lost contacts. 

Note that if you typically wear contacts, it’s a good idea to bring a backup pair of glasses in case you hurt your eyes. If you’re flying transatlantic, keep your glasses in your carryon. Long flights tend to dry out your eyes, and you’ll be happy to have the option to switch to glasses if the need arises. 

Personal Care

It’s important to plan ahead for your personal needs before you leave for your trip. This means packing condoms or the preferred birth control methods of you and your partner. If you don’t have a partner traveling with you, but hope to meet one once you’re here, bring condoms from home. The brands here can be different than what you’re used to.

You also want to think about any sex-related prescription drugs you use at home. If you use Viagra at home, bring it with you (but also bring proof that you have a prescription). 

Miscellaneous Items to Pack for Rhodes

Reusable water bottle with filter: While you can drink the tap water in most of Rhodes, I don’t love the taste of it. You may prefer to have your own filter with you. 

As long as the tap water is not brackish/salty (which has happened to me in Corfu but not in Rhodes), you can purify any water using a filter water bottle like the GRAYL. If you’re sticking to Rhodes and not going to other islands, a regular reusable bottle will do just fine. This one is cool because it’s collapsible! Whatever you choose, you will be keeping Greece’s oceans clean for decades to come.

Mini bathroom kit: For poorly stocked bathrooms at bus stops, you’ll be happy you have this! I carry a small hand sanitizer and these wet wipes.

Travel umbrella: Rain is not always predictable in Rhodes – have a small travel umbrella stashed away for unexpected showers.

Hiking boots (optional): If you plan to come to Rhodes to hike, you’ll definitely want your hiking boots! I recommend these Ahnu hiking boots for women and these Keen boots for men.

Trekking poles (optional): Not needed, but if you like them, you’ll want to bring them. I recommend these travel-friendly poles.

What to Put in Your Medicine Kit

Crete - Heraklion - Pharmacy

A Greek pharmacy

Pepto-Bismol: This is my favorite medicine for when I have stomach trouble as it’s not as harsh on your stomach as Imodium, but they don’t sell it in most of Europe (I’ve learned this over and over again the hard way). Bring some from home – I always stock up.

Imodium: In case of any stomach emergencies (read: diarrhea before a long bus or flight), Imodium is a good option. You can buy it in Rhodes, but if you have diarrhea, you probably don’t want to be communicating that to a confused-looking pharmacist. Bring some from home.

Painkillers: Aleve works better for me, but YMMV. I also bring some Excedrin Migraine as I’m prone to migraines. 

Pedialyte hydration packs: Perfect after drunken shenanigans, long hikes, or just plain dehydration because you suck at adulting. Made for kids, but it works just as well for hungover adults. I buy these ones.

Bandaids: For blisters, small cuts, breaking in shoes, etc., bandaids are always handy to have.

Tiger balm: I discovered this is Southeast Asia and left obsessed. It’s great for aftercare for bug bites, nursing headaches, rubbing on aching muscles, and basically anything. You likely won’t find it in Rhodes, so buy it online.

Mosquito repellent: You can bring ones with DEET or without DEET, or I love having some of these mosquito repellent wipes that I can keep in my bag in case I suddenly start to get swarmed and don’t have my regular repellent with me.

Motion sickness pills: Great for bus rides especially on mountain roads – I buy these non-drowsy ones. You can also try these natural motion sickness bands which use acupressure to reduce nausea – they actually work pretty well.

Technology & Accessories

Crete - Heraklion - Cosmote

Buying a sim card in Greece

Camera, lenses, and chargers: Allison uses a Sony A6000 with a kit lens and the 18-105mm f4 lens, which is a good starter camera that is lightweight but not quite professional caliber. I use a Nikon D810 which is better but more expensive and bulkier. If you want a smaller camera for video or adventurous travel, a GoPro would be perfect.

Smartphones: Then again, more and more often, we find ourselves taking photos with our smartphones and leaving our bulky cameras in our bags. Allison uses an iPhone X and I use a Samsung Galaxy.

Kindle: We love having our Kindles with us when we travel, especially in places like Rhodes where the selection of English-language books is often small. You don’t want wind up out of good books to read on a quiet island! Keep yours safe in a cover. I use one like this one.

Laptop and charger: We both use Macs as our travel and work laptop, but if you just want a cheap laptop for travel, a Chromebook is a good choice.

Extras for Hostels 

Crete - Heraklion - Hostel

My hostel in Crete last year.

Sleep mask: Any will do, but for the year or so that I spent living out of hostels, I loved my contoured sleep mask!

Hearos earplugs: I tested many earplugs when I traveled around the world staying in hostels – Hearos are the clear winners.

Mini combo locks: Most hostels will have lockers for you to use, but most do not come with their own locks. I prefer mini combo locks to locks with a key as it’s harder to forget your combination than to lose your key.

Travel towel: Great for hostels where you may have to rent a towel, but we also just recommend this towel in general as it’s awesome.

Important Documentation

Crete - Heraklion - Cosmote Passport

Make sure you remember to bring these important documents with you when you come to Rhodes!

Your Passport is the most important piece of documentation that you need (they probably won’t let you on the plane without it)! However, just having your passport tucked into your travel wallet isn’t good enough. You need to make copies before you leave.

Scan your passport and email it to yourself. Then print out three hard copies. Hide one in your luggage, one in your day bag, and give one to your emergency contact at home. (You can also email it to this person). 

If you make sure you always have access to a copy of your passport, even in cases where everything is stolen or you don’t have access to the internet, you’ll be able to get an emergency one made if your passport is lost or stolen (or damaged). 

A Passport Holder to protect your precious passport. Did you know that you can be denied boarding on your flight if your passport has visible damage? I’ve seen it happen, and it doesn’t matter how much you scream at the poor airline employee, they aren’t going to change their mind.

If you’ve taken our advice and will be using a travel wallet during your trip, then keep your passport safe in the passport pocket during your trip. 

If you will be doing a lot of water activities like island hopping, catamaran cruises, and beach days, then you might want to pick up a waterproof passport holder to make absolutely sure your passport doesn’t get ruined during your trip.

Your Travel Insurance Policy Information in case you need to make a claim during your trip. I like to use the same system as I do with my passport – three hard copies and a soft copy. Make sure your emergency contact has a copy of your insurance policy information as well. In certain (unpleasant) situations, they will need to file the claim on your behalf.

>> Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here <<

Driver’s License for renting a car or driving in Rhodes. While you’ll still need to bring your passport with you to pick up your rental car, a driver’s license is required if you actually want to be allowed to drive the thing. This also works as an ID when you don’t want to take your passport somewhere.

Credit Card & ATM Card Information in case your cards are lost or stolen. I use the same soft and hard copy system for my cards as I do for my passport and travel insurance information, with one major exception. I don’t send or leave a copy with anyone. 

For your copies, make scans of both the front and back so you have every number you need (including the phone number to call from overseas). 

Student ID or Senior ID so that you can utilize any available discounts. Some museums and heritage sites have discounts for students and seniors (and it never hurts to ask if one is available).

Tour Confirmations for any pre-booked activities in case you can’t get internet access for check-in. Where required, you should have printouts of your confirmation, but other companies will allow you to use an electronic ticket or even their app.

This is one reason we book our own activities through GetYourGuide -because you can easily organize all your booked tours in their app. 

Accommodation Confirmation for every place you’re staying. While you can reasonably expect to be able to check-in without producing a copy of your confirmation, bring it anyway in case of an emergency like they’ve lost your reservation or you can’t remember the name of your hotel to give to your taxi driver. That way, you also don’t have to hand over your smartphone to your taxi driver, which can lead to uncomfortable situations at times, especially if you’re a solo woman traveler.

Another reason to make sure you have your hotel information is to make sure that the charges align with what you’ve booked. I’ve been in a situation where I was charged more and had additional fees that were not in my original contract. 

That’s one reason I prefer to use Booking.com to book my rooms. They have pretty flexible cancellation policies and I have a number to call for customer service in case there’s a problem. 

Transportation Information for your flights, buses, trains, and car rentals. I use the app TripIt (see the App section) to organize these things, but you’ll also want to save the emails and print out any tickets or boarding passes before you leave. 

You’ll also want to have the instructions for using ground transportation to your first accommodations, especially if you won’t have data or will be arriving after dark.

Books about Rhodes

Here are our favorite books about Rhodes that you can read before your trip or bring with you while you’re here, plus our recommendation for a great guidebook and travel journal. 

Lonely Planet Greece so that you can make plans and adjustments on the fly.

A Travel Journal so that you can write down your own experiences and musings from your time in Greece. This is also a great place to jot down phone numbers and other important pieces of info so that you have this information available offline somewhere. 

Apps to Download Before Your Trip

Cell Phone - Instagram - What to Bring to Crete - Crete Packing List

Here are the apps you want to download on your phone before you leave home. 

Google Translate so that you can easily get out of any jams caused by language barriers. You can even use the photo setting to translate menus and signs (provided you have wifi access or a data plan).

Google Maps for navigating while on the road, especially for walking in cities and driving on roads. You can even download the maps for the cities you’ll be visiting before your trip so that they are available to you offline.

Moovit for using public transportation since the times are routes are more reliable in the Balkans than Google Maps.

Skype so that you have a way to make phone calls on the road. This will come in handy if you need to call your bank if something happens to your credit cards. 

Facebook Messenger for staying connected with family back home for free. Alternatively, you can use Whatsapp or Viber. Some tour companies (especially small ones) will use Whatsapp or Viber to communicate logistics as well.

Instagram because you know you want to post the gorgeous Instagram pics you’ll take in Rhodes. We also love using Instagram for trip inspiration when in new places.

Adobe Lightroom Mobile for editing your travel photos on the road. While Adobe for Desktop is a paid service, the mobile version for your phone is free.

iTunes, Podcast Addict, or other Podcatcher if you like listening to podcasts on your trip. 

Dropbox Mobile for backing up cell phone photos as you travel. This is important in case your cell phone gets lost, broken, or stolen. I like to back mine up at night over wifi (don’t back up over cell data unless you have unlimited data). If you use an iPhone, double-check that iCloud is backing up your photos, otherwise get Dropbox or another third party app.

Your Airline App if you’re flying in or out of Rhodes so that you can utilize mobile check-in and avoid having to print your boarding cards. 

Tour Company Apps for any pre-booked activities. We book our tours on GetYourGuide and then use their app to keep the confirmations and itineraries organized. 

TripIt for organizing flights, hotel accommodations, and tickets. I really don’t understand how anyone gets around without it!

Rhodes Travel Resources

Greece - Rhodes - Church

Headed to Rhodes? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Greece and local tipping customs.

If you’re still trying to plan your trip around the island, check out our guide to things to do in Rhodes. If you want to spend some time in Lindos, check out how to get from Rhodes to Lindos.

If this will be one of your first trips to the Greek islands, check out our massive Greek Island hopping guide as well as our recommendations for where to go in Greece and when is the best time to visit. 

We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.

Finally, Make Sure You Come to Rhodes with Travel Insurance

I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Rhodes, Greece, or anywhere in the world!

Allison and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption. 

While Rhodes is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe.

>>Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.<<

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Rhodes Packing List