Home » Travel tips » Ultimate NYC Winter Packing List – What Essentials to Pack

Ultimate NYC Winter Packing List – What Essentials to Pack

nyc winter packing list banner

If you’re planning to go to NYC this winter, make sure you have your NYC winter packing list up to date, consider how the temperature is all over the place – so, make sure you have these essentials packed! 

While NYC is and will always be one of my favorite cities in the world, especially as Christmas in NYC is literally unmatched, the winters can get very cold quickly, so you want to make sure you’re prepared. 

Tip: Get your NYC all-inclusive pass here with up to $145 off! – it’s on sale now! Get access to 100+ museums and attractions in NYC for a huge discount!

Your New York Winter Packing List – For Women AND Men

When it comes to shopping for clothes, it can be hard to find something that’s both warm and comfortable, especially if you’re going to be walking a lot – No worries, I’ve taken the guesswork out for you!

What are the Temperatures during the Winter in New York?

Technically, winter doesn’t fully start until like December 21st, however, from the end of November to beginning of December you will start feeling more chilly there – especially at night. 

Tip: Winter will also often stick around up until March, so make sure you’re planning ahead.

Here’s an overview over the average temperatures for the winter months:

November: 59°F //  39°F   (15°C // 4°C)

December: 48°F // 32°F (9°C // 0°C)

January: 39°F // 26°F (4°C // -3°C)

February: 42°F // 28°F (5°C // -2°C)

March: 52°F // 36°F (

As a rule of thumb, just make sure you check the weather forecast before the trip.

nyc winter packing list christmas decorations in new york city

What to Pack for a Weekend in NYC Winter – New York City Packing List

As promised, here’s your packing list for the weekend to become one of the New Yorkers! If you need some suggestions for my favorite items for your winter trip, click here: Amazon NYC Winter Faves


  • Warm Coat: A down jacket or a wool coat that is both warm and stylish.
  • Layers: Thermal tops, turtlenecks, and sweaters for your base layer.
  • Bottoms: Pair of jeans or thermal-lined pants.
  • Formal Wear: A dress or nice shirt and trousers (if you plan to visit a formal dining spot or see a Broadway show).
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: Waterproof boots, knee boots, snow boots, or shoes are crucial.
  • Sleepwear: Pajamas or other comfy clothing for sleeping.


  • Scarf: A thick, warm scarf to protect your neck.
  • Gloves: Insulated and preferably waterproof gloves.
  • Hat: A warm hat that covers your ears.
  • Socks: Pack warm socks – consider wool or thermal options.
  • Umbrella: A small, travel-sized umbrella.
  • Sunglasses: The sun can be quite bright, especially reflecting off of buildings or snow.
  • Hand Warmers: These can be a lifesaver for especially chilly days out exploring.


  • Identification: ID or passport, and any necessary visas.
  • Wallet: With cash, credit/debit cards, and any necessary insurance cards.
  • Phone & Charger: Consider a portable charger for on-the-go.
  • Camera: If you prefer it to taking photos on your phone, along with a charger or extra batteries.
  • Map: A physical map or guidebook can be handy to explore the city.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated while exploring.


  • Travel-size Toiletries: Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc., unless your accommodation provides them.
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste: Plus any other dental hygiene essentials.
  • Skin Care: Moisturizer and lip balm – the winter wind can be harsh on the skin.
  • Medications: Any personal medications, plus basics like pain relievers.
  • Makeup & Hair Products: Whatever you need for your daily routine.
  • Health & Safety: Small first aid kit and personal health items.


  • Books or E-Readers: For cozy evenings or cafe breaks.
  • Journal: To jot down your experiences and memories.
  • Board Games or Cards: If you plan to have a cozy night in.


  • Backpack or Tote: For daily explorations.
  • Luggage: Size according to your belongings and travel convenience.

Want me to send you a handy-dandy checklist for free? Tell me where!

What to Wear in NYC – Your New York City Winter Packing List 

Now you’re getting an idea of what the weather will be like during the winter months for NYC 

Here are some of my favorite Amazon finds for your big apple vist!

Want to have it even easier? Head to my Amazon storefront where I put everything together into a convenient list for you!

Best Coat for New York Winter – a Packable Winter Coatnyc winter packing list trench coat

The best coats for a NYC winter is going to be something that will keep you warm but won’t make you sweat, so personally, I’ve loved this jacket the mostit’s warm and super cute (and it comes in different colors!)

Tip: For this jacket, you need to put something warm underneath as it’s warm but it doesn’t protect against wind as well (price of a gorgeous trench coat.)

No matter where I went, I’ve always gotten so many compliments for it! – get yours here!

If you prefer a jacket that will be both warm and protect you against the wind, get this one!

For men, I’ve heard that this is the most amazing one: Fleeced Men’s Jacket – best part: it has cargo pockets and comes in different colors!

Note: I know how difficult boyfriends and husbands can be lol, so I hope that this will make it easier for you and him!

And in case you’re in need of some date night ideas in the city, here are some of my top suggestions.

5 Items for Basic Outfits For NYC Winter 

Now that you’ve gotten your winter jacket-needs taken care of, you’ll need to put some basic outfits together for your trip.

1. Thermal Tops and Bottoms

The key to staying warm in the cold is to dress in layers – this is where thermal tops and bottoms are going to come in. You will want to make sure that you’re going to put thermal tops under your sweater or shirt and thermal leggings under your actual leggings (if you’ll need them).

Thermal Tops:

Other travel necessities that I love

Cable Organizer
Cable Organizer
Hydration Packets
Hydration Packets
Sleeping Bag Sheets
Sleeping Bag Sheets
Underarm Deodorant Wipe
Underarm Deodorant Wipe
Hand Sanitizer
Hand Sanitizer
Adjustable Door Stopper
Adjustable Door Stopper
Portable Lock
Portable Lock
Sun Protective Swimming Leggings
Sun Protective Swimming Leggings
Satin Robe
Satin Robe
Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable Water Bottle
Eye Mask
Eye Mask
Ear Plugs
Ear Plugs
Electronics Organizer
Electronics Organizer
2 in 1 Travel Blanket and Pillow
2 in 1 Travel Blanket and Pillow
Shoe Bags
Shoe Bags
Jewelry Organizer
Jewelry Organizer
Mini Perfume Atomizer
Mini Perfume Atomizer
Collapsible Travel Sized Bottles
Collapsible Travel Sized Bottles
Pill Organizer
Pill Organizer
Toiletries Organizer
Toiletries Organizer
Clear Toiletry Bags
Clear Toiletry Bags
Passport Holder
Passport Holder
Check Luggage
Check Luggage
Travel Backpack
Travel Backpack
The Best Backpack You Will Ever Have
The Best Backpack You Will Ever Have
Time Caps
Time Caps
Microfiber Lens Cleaner
Microfiber Lens Cleaner
Mobile HotSpot
Mobile HotSpot
Wireless Headphones
Wireless Headphones
Wall Plug Adapter
Wall Plug Adapter
Travel Tripod
Travel Tripod
Basesus Portable Charger
Basesus Portable Charger
Dry Bags
Dry Bags
SuperGoop Sunscreen
SuperGoop Sunscreen
Water Shoes
Water Shoes
Cali Case
Cali Case
Underwater Camera
Underwater Camera
Snorkel Gear
Snorkel Gear

Thermal bottoms:

The best part about wool is that you don’t have to wash it often and it won’t stink!

nyc winter packing list winter clothes2. Adorable and warm Sweaters of All Colors

If you’re looking for some adorable and warm sweaters, you will absolutely LOVE these ones!

For women:

For men:

Hope this selection helps! 

Tip: Get a Smart Wool Sweaters (both men and women)

3. Waterproof Boots

Don’t you love Amazon? You can literally buy everything there and return it if it doesn’t fit or you don’t like it – this is especially important when you want to buy shoes or boots. NYC can get really wet and icy, so you want to make sure you have boots that will keep your feet warm and most importantly dry.

Boots for her:

Boots for him:

Shoes are some of the most important parts of a trip since you’re walking around non-stop.

4. Wool Socks

Here’s why you should use wool socks instead of normal cotton or synthetic ones: Wool’s natural ability to regulate temperature means that your feet will stay cozy in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer – yes, really!

Here are some suggestions:

5. Pajamas

For PJs, I love me some merino wool pajama sets as well! As with the socks, merino wool regulates temperature, so you will never be too hot or too cold!

For women:

I even found some for babies that are 3-6 months old here!

For men:

New York Winter Accessories

What would New York City be without winter accessories? Let’s be honest, they’re some of the best parts about going there – I can’t be the only one thinking that, ha!

Check out my favorite amazon finds here:

Travel Scarf w/ Secret Pockets

One of my absolute favorite finds has been this infinity scarf with hidden pockets that you can zip! It makes it so much easier to travel and not have to worry about pick pocketing honestly (because who thinks of pocketing scarves?!)

Get yours here in any color you like!

If this hasn’t convinced you, let me tell you this: It’s big enough that it can act as a small blanket or wrap around you while you’re on the go!

Beanie, Gloves, and Scarf

This one is such a cute set that even comes with touchscreen gloves (3 in 1) in different colors!

Waterproof and Packable Gloves

While snow is amazing to play with, it can also get pretty quickly! So, here are my favorite waterproof and cute glove finds:

For her:

For him:

Hand Warmersnyc winter packing list nyc subway and streets

I love love love hand warmers because no matter how cold it is, they will keep your pockets and hands warm!

Tip: If your butt is cold from sitting somewhere, you can put them in your back pockets!


Sunglasses in the winter in NYC?! Yes! The snow will be really bright and you may have a hard time seeing, especially if it’s sunny out and the light will be reflected back at you.

Here are my favorite classics that are cute and have a high quality!

A Waterproof Backpack or Crossbody Bag

Having a good bag in NYC is soooooo important because it’s easy to be pick-pocketed. So, you want to make sure you have an anti-theft bag.

Do you know what’s as important as an updated NYC winter packing list? A bucket list full of amazing things to do!

I also made a list with updated activities to do in the Fall. Check it out here!

Some delicious places and coffee shops worth visiting – you can’t miss on these ones!

Other NYC Winter Packing List Items

Now that you’ve gotten your general clothing essentials for your NYC trip, make sure you also have these other packing items – they will make your life so much easier, in my opinion!

The Best Backpack for NYC

Backpacks and fanny bags will hold your stuff safely while you’re out exploring. As mentioned before, pickpocketing is pretty big in NYC, so make sure you have some anti-theft bags with you that can’t be cut or ripped as easily. 

Here are my favorite travel backpacks where you can fit A LOT for both women and men:

  • Travel backpack – I have this one and it’s amazing how much you can fit into it! It’s also waterproof, has a special area for shoes, and a charging port for your phone!

Travel Fanny bag

Best fanny bags for your weekend trip:

A High Quality Camera 

While your phone is an amazing camera for on-the-go, there are various reasons why you should use a high-quality camera instead of just your phone:

  • Superior Image Quality – High-quality cameras generally produce images with higher resolution and better color depth than smartphones.
  • Better Low-Light Performance – Superior sensors in cameras can capture better images in low light and minimize noise.
  • Versatile Lens Options – Interchangeable lenses on DSLR/mirrorless cameras offer varied focal lengths and features.
  • Optical Zoom – High-quality cameras offer superior optical zoom without compromising image quality, unlike the digital zoom in smartphones.
  • Battery Life – Cameras typically boast longer battery life compared to using a smartphone for photography.
  • Sturdiness – Some high-quality cameras are designed to be weather-sealed and robust, suitable for various travel conditions.
  • Higher Storage Capacity – Cameras can accommodate memory cards with extensive storage for high-resolution photos and videos.
  • RAW Files – The ability to shoot in RAW format allows for superior post-processing flexibility.

There are sooooo many more reasons too, but I won’t bore you with them – I think you’ve gotten all the pro’s of it!

Here are the best travel cameras, that are also amazing if you’re traveling solo:

All of these options are great for first-timers that want to take their content creation to the next level and take high-quality footage.

nyc winter packing list planning a tripPortable Charger

I never leave the house without a portable charger, especially when I’m traveling because there were numerous times when my phone died and I got lost in the area – oops!

My favorite (life-saving) portable chargers:

With any of these you can charge multiple devices at the same time!


You may be wondering why you need sunscreen when it snows and applying sunscreen in NYC during the winter — or in any chilly climate — might seem counterintuitive. However, it’s essential for several skin-protective reasons, even when the city is blanketed with snow. 

Here are some reasons: 

  • Persistent UVB Rays – While less intense in winter, UVB rays (responsible for sunburn) are still present and can harm the skin.
  • UVA Exposure – UVA rays, which penetrate deeper, contributing to aging and skin cancer risk, are consistent throughout the year.
  • Increased UV Exposure – Snow reflects up to 80% of UV radiation, amplifying exposure and increasing the risk of sunburn and skin damage.
  • Enhanced at Elevation – If you’re heading to higher altitudes, UV radiation increases, demanding extra protection.
  • Preventing Premature Aging – Daily SPF application reduces the risk of photoaging, characterized by wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
  • Skin Cancer Mitigation – Regular sunscreen use aids in mitigating the risk of various skin cancers.

Got you convinced yet? Check out my faves that are vegan and also reef-friendly!

Chapstick + Lotionnyc winter packing list washington arch

With the cold weather you also want to make sure your lips and skin is protected against the chilly weather.

Here are my faves:

Lotion faves that are carry-on friendly:

Hand Sanitizer

It’s New York City, do I have to say anything else? Ha. Make sure you’re stocked up with travel and carry-on friendly hand sanitizer!

Check these out:

Static Guard

You know those moments when you put something on and everything is immediately static? Get this smell-free static guard!

Packing Cubes

Next to having an amazing backpack where everything fits in, you want to make sure you have packing cubes to really maximize the space, especially if you tend to buy a lot of things and are a chronic overpacker like me, ha – I have these ones and the thousands of amazing reviews speak for themselves too.

First Aid Kit

Weekend getaway? Make sure to pack a first aid kit, even if it’s a super basic mini one like thisyou never know what can happen.

NYC Packing Tips

The bustling cityscape of New York City in winter transforms into a picturesque haven, blanketed with soft, crisp snow and adorned with twinkling lights, demanding a specialized approach to packing. 

Firstly, let’s underline an imperative: choose your materials wisely. 

Choose your Materials Wisely

Wool and thermal synthetics should be your go-to, as they provide much-needed warmth without the bulk, allowing you to navigate through the chilled Manhattan breezes while maintaining a sleek urban aesthetic. Incorporating items like a woolen pea coat or thermal leggings ensures you’re cozy yet undeniably chic as you meander through the winter-wonderland-esque Central Park.

Wear Comfortable Shoes Over Cute Ones (Why Not Both?)

NYC invites endless wandering through its expansive boroughs, and a supportive, waterproof pair of boots will be your best companion to prevent weary feet and keep them snugly protected from slushy puddles. 

An adaptable pair, blending function and style, will effortlessly transition you from daytime explorations to an elegant night at the opera.

Bring Quality Basics – Not Technical Gear (Depending On What You Want To Do)

Think streamlined layers that can easily be added or removed to adapt to the fluctuating winter temperatures. A versatile down jacket, classic knitwear, and staple denim can be mixed and matched, providing a plethora of outfit options without overcomplicating your luggage.

Basic Capsule Wardrobe but Also a Fancy Outfit For Night Outs

While you want to have your capsule wardrobe that’s versatile and won’t take up much space, you also want to make sure you take some cute outfit with you when you get out. 

The city that never sleeps pulsates with upscale events, be it a Broadway show or a fine dining experience, and a polished outfit ensures you’re prepared to immerse in the city’s sophisticated side.

nyc winter packing list map and photos

Forgot Something? No Worries!

New York is a shopper’s paradise, offering everything from high-end boutiques to charming thrift shops. Forget an item? Consider it an opportunity to add a NYC-found treasure to your wardrobe!

Things to Do Before You Leave Home

Double-check your accommodation and transport bookings, ensuring all is in order for your arrival. Inform your bank of your travel to avoid any card issues when you’re splurging on 5th Avenue. 

Tip: Keep a digital and physical copy of all essential documents, and ensure your home is secure, with all appliances turned off and windows and doors firmly locked.

New York Winter FAQs

Navigating the concrete jungle of New York City in winter presents its own set of challenges and delights, prompting a flurry of questions among prospective travelers – check out my must-do’s for NYC here!

Let’s dive into some FAQs to help plan your winter expedition into the heart of NYC with clarity and confidence.

What Not to Bring to NYC

Save luggage space by leaving behind bulky items and unnecessary gadgets. NYC is equipped to provide for your needs, so avoid over-packing and prioritize versatile, essential items. Leave behind valuable items that are not necessary for your trip to minimize risk and stress.

Where To Stay In New York In Winter

Choosing your winter abode in NYC hinges on your itinerary and preferences. Manhattan provides proximity to major attractions like Times Square and Central Park. Brooklyn might lure those seeking a blend of trendy cafes and iconic landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge. Wherever you choose, ensure it aligns with your planned activities and transport options.

Where to Stay in Manhattan:

  • Budget option: HI NYC HostelLocated near Central Park, this hostel offers affordability without sacrificing accessibility
  • Boutique option: Moxy NYC Times Square Characterized by its retro and immersive style, The Moxy offers a unique blend of luxury and eccentricity, crafting a bespoke experience in the heart of Times Square.
  • Luxury Option: The Plaza Hotel Steps away from Central Park and Fifth Avenue, its timeless elegance and impeccable service make it an icon of NYC luxury.

Hidden Gem – Library Hotel: A paradise for book lovers, this hotel features rooms and floors themed after the Dewey Decimal System. Located near the New York Public Library, it’s not just a stay but a novel experience, offering a tranquil literary escape amidst the urban hustle.

Where to Stay in Brooklyn:

  • Budget option: NY Moore HostelSituated in the vibrant East Williamsburg, this hostel provides a friendly and affordable base to explore Brooklyn’s eclectic neighborhoods, with comfortable dorms and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Boutique option: Henry Norman Hotel Boasting individually designed rooms and a rooftop offering spectacular views, this hotel, nestled in Greenpoint, provides a unique, artful stay, reflecting the creative spirit of Brooklyn.
  • Luxury Option: 1 Hotel Brooklyn BridgeOffering panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and a sleek, eco-conscious design, this hotel merges luxury with sustainability, ensuring your stay is both indulgent and mindful.

Hidden Gem – Akwaaba Mansion: Owned by a former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, this 1860s landmark in Bed-Stuy serves not only as a bed and breakfast but a cultural experience. Each room is meticulously themed, and the establishment hosts various events, offering a warm, immersive dive into Brooklyn’s rich history and culture.

nyc winter packing list christmas tree and decorationsGetting Around New York in the Winter

Subways provide a swift and warm mode of transit, connecting you to a plethora of NYC’s winter wonders. Buses, although subject to traffic, offer scenic views of the city’s winter aesthetics. For short distances, consider a brisk walk, immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant winter life, and maybe even engaging in a spontaneous snowball fight!

Is it Worth Visiting New York in Winter?

Absolutely! NYC in winter is a mesmerizing spectacle. Skating under the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, marveling at the elaborate holiday window displays along Fifth Avenue, and perhaps witnessing the first snowfall in Central Park all present a uniquely enchanting NYC experience.

A New York City Guidebook 

A comprehensive NYC guidebook can be your friendly companion in exploring the city. Offering insights into hidden gems, historical contexts, and practical tips, a guidebook can enhance your exploratory endeavors, weaving informed narrative into your adventures.

Check here my guides:

My New York City Complete Guide

Steal my NYC bucket list

15 best things to do for New Years in NYC

How cold does it get in NYC in winter?

NYC winters can be quite chilly, with temperatures often dipping below freezing. January is typically the coldest month, with averages ranging from 26°F to 38°F (-3°C to 3°C). Be prepared with warm clothing and anticipate potential snowfall.

Is Christmas a good time to visit New York? 

Yes! Christmas in New York is legendary. The city buzzes with holiday spirit, adorned with spectacular lights, towering Christmas trees, and festive activities like holiday markets and classic shows, making it a magical time to explore and soak in the celebratory ambiance.

Does New York get snow in winter?

Yes, NYC is graced with snow in winter, typically starting in December and potentially lasting through March. The city under a fresh blanket of snow is a charming sight, providing a whimsical backdrop for iconic landmarks and cozy café visits alike.


Enjoy NYC!

Anna XO

I may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay, it helps me keep the blog up :) Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Anna is a traveler, blogger, and entrepreneur who can’t keep herself still. She’s always on the move, whether working hard on a new passion project or exploring a new city as a part-time digital nomad. Dare to keep up? Check out The Tatted Nomad for everything digital nomad, social media marketing, mental health, and travel (and to see her latest addition, Novah, her service dog and travel companion). As a psychotherapist (to be) she also offers insights about your mental health related questions – anything you see that isn’t covered but you have questions about? Let her know!

Find me on: Web | Instagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.