My husband and I have traveled throughout the whole country and we purchased a condo in Portugal last year. We have our resident cards, and plan to spend time living and traveling around Portugal and the rest of Europe part-time. So, since I’ve been to Portugal multiple times now I’ve learned what to pack beyond the basic essentials.
What to pack for Portugal – Top 5 Basic Essentials
- Passport and safety holder
- Devices ( electrical adapter for Europe, phone, FitBit, chargers, etc)
- Medications in your personal item (NOT in a checked bag)
- International SIM card or plan with your current phone provider.
- Comfortable Shoes/Sneakers (I’ll elaborate more on this below per season).
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So, moving onto the fun part! Let’s style your travel wardrobe by season. Portugal is increasing as a popular vacation spot with good reason. It is a beautiful and amazing country. The Portuguese people and culture are warm and invite you to explore. It can be tricky to pack if you are going south to the Algarve, and Lisbon or Porto on the same trip since the weather can be much cooler, windy, or rainy depending on where you go. I will take you through what is essential to pack for each season in Portugal. I pack a capsule wardrobe for Portugal, especially when visiting multiple climates in one trip!
What to pack for Portugal Spring/Summer
If you are wondering what to wear in Lisbon or Porto in spring or summer a short sleeve or tank dress and comfortable sandals are great for touring the city. Portugal is a bit conservative and slightly upscale casual apparel works just about everywhere. One night we ate at a Michelin star restaurant, Belcanto, and I wore a nicer style dress and wedge sandals.
What to Pack for Portugal Spring/Summer
- I recommend sandals or flats, and sneakers for walking around in any city in Portugal during the warmer seasons. I wouldn’t even pack pumps (especially designer pumps) unless you will only be going from your hotel room to the hotel restaurant or taking an uber/car to a restaurant. The limestone sidewalks in Portugal along with cobblestones throughout Europe wreak havoc on designer heels! Actually, even wedge heels can be tricky or even dangerous.
- I usually bring a versatile colored lightweight sweater and/or a silk scarf in my day bag just in case I get chilly or we are going into a church or religious building where bare shoulders aren’t welcome. Silk is warm in winter with good insulation and yet cool in summer as well.
- On days you may be playing and touring on the same day a golf outfit can double as a daytime outfit with a quick change of shoes. I would wear my sandals until arriving at the golf course since I kept my golf shoes in my golf bag. Alternatively, you could wear your street sneakers golfing to save space if needed. Considering golf skirts have built-in shorts under the skirt you could even wear them hiking or biking, etc.
- I always pack a capsule wardrobe so tops and bottoms can be mix and matched.
- Dresses, of course, are an easy one and done especially when it’s warm outside.
- I always like to make sure outfits and/or dresses are roomy and comfortable for long drives in the car as well as for our daily activities.
- You’ll want a swimsuit, flip flops, and cover-up for pool/beach days!
Portugal’s beautiful, rich culture, and history can be enjoyed even as it gets a bit colder. As a matter of fact, you may even prefer to travel off-season when it isn’t as packed with tourists. You will want to edit your packing accordingly, however.
I would still recommend utilizing the capsule wardrobe. In fall/winter I would recommend swapping out sandals for combat boots or booties as an alternative to sneakers to dress up a bit more and still be comfortable walking a lot. This pair from Blondo is waterproof and has great tread to take you all over Portugal, London, and all around Europe no matter the weather. Of course for hiking or walking tours you will be better off in sneakers especially in Lisbon or Porto with all of the hills. You can see some outfit inspo in the gallery below.
Top tips: Packing for Portugal
- Dress in layers that coordinate well together. The capsule wardrobe is your friend!
- Choose 1 or 2 pieces for your “3rd layer” to match with every outfit. (3rd layer = blazer, moto jacket, cardigan, etc). Use your wardrobe basics as your base (first layer) underneath. When you sign up for my or my newsletter you’ll get 2 FREE Wardrobe Essentials Checklists!
- Check the weather! Make sure you have waterproof shoes (that are comfortable) if rain is expected. I usually bring a small umbrella, but if you have a hood on your jacket or coat you can skip the umbrella and just buy one if needed since they are easy to find and inexpensive. Save space in your suitcase!
- A packable puffer is perfect to go over ALL of your outfits. Make sure it fits over your “3rd layer” comfortably.
- Remember that a silk scarf offers good insulation for warmth without a lot of bulk in your outfit or your suitcase.
- I always bring a swimsuit in case there is a spa day in my future or even just a Jacuzzi. You can skip the flip flops and cover-up in winter, however, you may want them in fall when the weather can still be really warm. (You can use the robe and slippers in the room instead of a cover-up and flip flops if needed.)
Please share your travel essentials in the comment section below! Safe Travels!