Are you wondering what to pack for Portugal? We share some helpful tips and products to make your trip smooth to this beautiful country in this Portugal packing list. We share some obvious what to wear in Portugal items, but as always, view this packing list as a guideline, not strict rules.
As Portugal is a long coastal country, the weather remains mild year-round, but it does vary significantly from the North to the South. The Algarve in the South of Portugal gets a lot of sunshine and enjoys an arid climate, but the North often sees gloomy winter weather. If you plan to visit both the North and South of Portugal, it’s good to look at the forecast for both regions when you pack for your trip.
Tip On What to Pack for Portugal
- Appearance and style are significant to Portuguese. However, they don’t all look like the inside of a fashion magazine. Instead, staple items are what you’ll find most people wear in Portugal. Evening clothes are simple. In the summer, women wear simple sundresses, and men wear a nice button-down shirt with chinos or jeans. It’s very uncomplicated and casual.
- Portugal isn’t always warm. The country does enjoy wonderful long summer, but it does have a mild winter that is cool and sees some rain. During this time, be sure to pack some warmer clothes.
- Pack light if you plan to travel around Portugal on your own. Narrow staircases, cobblestone streets, and uneven sidewalks are very common!
- Adventure clothes such as hiking footwear and active clothes are great for the activities.
- A conservative outfit is needed if you plan to visit churches. That means both men and women cover their knees and shoulders to enter.
- Linen shirts are every day and rarely feel out of place. Men can live in these shirts every day in the summer. Perfect for the Algarve beaches!
- Packing cubes help separate damp and dirty clothes from clean ones.
- Sun protection is always a good idea, whether sunblock, hats or UPF clothing.
- Three pairs of shoes are the max you should pack. A nice, casual/sandal, and athletic shoe for activities or hikes.
Documents To Pack For Portugal
- Passport – This is obvious, but you won’t make it very far without a passport.
- Credit Cards – We always have several travel credit cards that offer purchase protection, rewards, and no foreign transaction fees.
- Visa – Make sure you have a visa if you need one. USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand receive a free 90-day visa on arrival to the Schengen Area.
- Debit Cards – It’s good to carry euros in Portugal. We never bother with money exchanges that provide awful exchange rates. Instead, we rely on the ATM when we arrive. Charles Schwab, Ally, and Capital One offer low or no foreign transaction fees.
- Driving License – If you plan to rent a car, you will need your driver’s license, plus it never hurts to have a second form of I.D.
- IDP – In addition to a driving license, you may need an IDP. However, this is super subjective to the rental agency. I’ve rented a car numerous times with and without it.
What Luggage To Bring To Portugal?
I have two bag recommendations for a trip to Europe. You can opt for a traditional hardshell suitcase with four wheels or a travel backpack. Suitcases with four wheels are best as the ability to roll sideways down the aisle of a train or a sidewalk makes life a lot easier. However, if you walk to and from your accommodation in Portugal, you may want to avoid a rolling suitcase. The city streets in Portugal are not ideal for rolling suitcases.
We prefer hardshell as it does a better job at protection and security. Our favorite hardshell suitcase is the Delsey Helium Aero 25″. Travel backpacks are great for young backpackers, digital nomads, or minimalists! They are also great if you want to save on any checked bag fees your air carrier may charge. Packing cubes are phenomenal at organizing and separating dirty clothes, and our favorites are from Peak Design.
If paying for taxis or car rentals makes you hesitant, you’ll want to book accommodation near public transport or have a backpack. The Osprey travel backpacks, men’s Farpoint, and women’s Fairview are our favorites. For more suggestions, read our post on the best backpacks for Europe.
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Weather in Portugal
When thinking about what to wear in Portugal, make sure to research the weather around the time you are visiting. Portugal enjoys long summers and mild winters. The climate varies significantly from the Algarve to Lisbon and the Estrela Mountains in the East. Therefore, the season and where you plan to visit will greatly impact what you pack for your trip to Portugal.
It’s best to check the weather a week before your trip to get an idea of the temperatures during your trip. Also, check all of the regions you plan to visit. Read our post on the best time to visit Portugal to learn more.
Seasons in Portugal
|Spring||Early spring is very similar to the mild winter, with average temperatures in the teens. It starts to warm up around April and May, and days become sunnier. It may not be the perfect beach weather yet, but it’s a beautiful time to visit Lisbon and Porto.|
|Summer||Summers are warm and sunny! The average temperature for the entire country is a warm 28°C. These hot summer days make going to the beach a great idea.|
|Fall||Fall is our favorite time to visit Portugal and the easiest to pack. Warm sunny days and cool evenings. Temperatures vary between 60°F and 75°F (16°C and 24°C). It gets increasingly rainy as winter is the wettest season as the weather cools.|
|Winter||Winter is cool and grey in Portugal. Average temperatures are around 11°C. Due to the wet climate, places like the capital, Lisbon, can get quite chilly. However, that doesn’t stop the sun shining in the south, which remains warm and dry.|
What to Wear in Portugal
There is probably no look more synonymous in Europe in the summer than a linen shirt, and it should be one of your top packing list items when considering what to wear in Portugal. Since Portugal enjoys such a long summer, it’s a wardrobe staple, and we bring it almost every time we visit the country. Linen is as practical as it is stylish. It’s great as it tends to dry faster, feel lighter, and cope with sweat better than its cotton counterparts.
Pair a linen shirt with sandals, shorts, jeans, and shoes, or go barefoot. It will always work. A versatile piece of clothing that looks good on both sexes and works anywhere. A linen shirt is a timeless look that will never go out of style. It’s tough to find decent linen shirts online, but I love the quality of J. Crew’s or Everlane’s linen shirts.
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T-Shirt or V Neck
A classic tee will never go out of style. It’s best to stick with solid colors like black, white, or grey. There’s also the option of a v-neck for a more stylish look, but it all depends on personal preference.
Grey is an excellent color choice as it’s super easy to stain the white ones. Avoid wearing old undershirts or ill-fitting shirts, and it’s easy to blend in Portugal.
A pair of chinos work for both sexes. It’s a classic look when combined with a sweater, dress shirt, t-shirt, or blouse. When it comes to color choice, try to match the destination—darker colors in cooler and lighter colors in warm seasons.
For women, Tasha likes a pair by prAna called the Halle. For men, prAna makes the Brion Pant. They are a fabulous pair of comfortable pants that belong on the trail or city streets. However, if you’re after a worthy investment, our favorite travel pants are made by Bluffworks.
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It can get warm in the summer in Portugal, and you’ll want to pack a pair of shorts. The Portuguese have no problem wearing shorts in the hot temperatures because pants would be almost unbearable during the day. Style is very similar to anywhere else, and I’d advise against cargo shorts.
This one is for the ladies! For those Portuguese summers, it’s a wonderful idea to have a sundress. Choose a classic dress like an exposed shoulder top, slip, maxi, or favorite summer dress. It will most likely be your most worn outfit in the summer, as summers are too hot for pants.
You can also opt for a more boho style which I love! Right now, my favorite summer dresses come from Salty Crush. Their prints match perfectly with the beautiful Azulejo tiles of Portuguese homes.
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In cooler weather, locals turn towards jeans. Jeans go with anything, and despite the notion that they are “American” casual, the right pair is attractive. You’ll find plenty of Portuguese in well-cut jeans that match current fashion trends.
We stick with the classic look in jeans. That means fitted jeans that are a dark color. No fades, light blues, or rips! Of course, what’s in style is constantly changing.
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Portugal gets cold too, so when thinking about what to wear in Portugal, especially outside of summer, consider a fleece! A warm fleece or lightweight jacket is perfect for that evening strolls along the ocean. If you visit Portugal in the shoulder seasons, you’ll likely face some cool weather. For those days warm clothes are nice to have.
Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover fleece is the best fleeces for the beach, in our opinion. The fleece has a classic relaxed cut with a timeless look for walking on the beach or at an evening bonfire. It’s a double-sided fleece that provides plenty of warmth while remaining soft and comfortable.
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Many outdoor activities in Europe require some activewear to enjoy. So, when you’re wondering what to wear in Portugal, consider packing at least one active outfit. Not to mention it’s great to stay in shape while traveling. If you plan to go for a hike, bring a good hiking backpack or vest.
Several daypacks for travel will work nicely on a hike or in the city. As for the shoes, we’re pretty loyal to Salomon and have covered hundreds of miles in the shoes. With clothes, try to keep them lightweight with shorts such as Arc’teryx’s Aptitn Shorts and Outdoor Research’s Echo shirts.
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You should try to pack several pairs of sports underwear. In general, we’ll pack five to seven pairs of underwear for a typical trip. We recommend at least several pairs of underwear made from wool or a synthetic material.
These materials are antimicrobial, so they stay fresh longer, and they can dry quickly overnight if you hand wash them. For women, it’s best not to wear your typical cheap cotton undies. Women’s hygiene is important, so antimicrobial undies when you’re active in the heat are a lifesaver.
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You’re going to Portugal! A swimsuit is a must unless you’re going to some nudist beach. We like to travel with two swimsuits to know we will always have an extra dry one on hand. Andie Swim and Londre make amazing swimsuits for women that fit as nicely as they look. Many of their pieces are stylish yet supportive.
For men, the Quicksilver’s Amphibian shorts are tremendous. The material looks like heavy cotton, but they’re lightweight and durable. Best of all, they look great on the beach or in town.
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Sandals are meant for the beach in Europe, especially for men. Thanks to Portugal’s gorgeous beaches and surf culture, many wear sandals, especially in seaside towns. It is a very laid-back place and caters to tourists in the hot summer so you won’t feel out of place.
We both travel with Rainbow leather sandals, and they’ve lasted for years. It’s a basic leather sandal that doesn’t look overly cheap and feels stylish enough. They’re super comfortable too!
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For everything outside of the beach, a simple sneaker is excellent! Many brands make light and airy sneakers that aren’t overly flash, match a wide range of outfits, comfortable for all-day wear, and remain cool in hot weather. We’ve tried various travel shoes and love Allbirds Tree Runner in warm weather.
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These are great all year round as you can never go wrong with leather boots. Women can wear them with a pair of chinos and a blouse, while men can pair them with just about anything from jeans to a suit. These are a staple and our primary footwear during the cooler months if visiting in winter. Our leather boot of choice is a pair of Blundstones.
The 550 and 585 are considered Blundstone’s most classic boot designs. It’s tough to tell the difference in the design because there is none. The difference has to do with the leather upper leather of the boot. 550 boots feature full-grain leather, while 585 have suede nubuck leather.
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Portugal Packing List Accessories
The white-washed buildings of Portugal see plenty of sunshine, so a stylish pair of sunglasses is an excellent addition to an outfit. Everyone owns at least one pair of sunglasses.
However, it’s best to make sure they have UV protection for the health of your eyes. We love quality polarized sunglasses like SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Polarization is also super helpful in reflective environments like the sea.
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If you consider what to pack for Portugal, we recommend picking up a stylish sunhat! You’ll want some hats for walking around all day in the hot sun. I’d recommend a hat with a brim.
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Our daypack was handy every day in Portugal. You’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else that you need for a full day out when traveling. Check out our favorite day packs here.
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A high-quality camera is an essential packing item for Portugal if you want some great shots during your vacation. We travel with many cameras, but the one we recommend to everyone who wants to take their photography seriously is the Fujifilm X-T4. You can read all about our favorite cameras for travel here.
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As Lonely Planet Pathfinders who regularly go on assignment for the guidebook company, we love to have a physical guidebook when traveling. We spend enough time attached to our phones in everyday life and planning our trips.
Once we reach a destination like Portugal, we put the phone away and pick up a guidebook to help with our trip.
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We’ve suffered through enough red-eye flights never to forget to pack a travel pillow for international flights. My favorite travel pillow is the Cabeau Evolution Pillow, but we break down more of our favorite travel pillows here.
Packing cubes are great for any backpack or suitcase. They keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. I’ve had these Eagle Creek cubes for three years now and think they were worth the investment to stay organized and create space in my luggage. Our current favorites are from Peak Design.
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I suggest traveling with a black and stylish theft-proof purse to hold belongings for the women. Cameron has an excellent passport wallet with his passport and credit cards, so he never leaves it anywhere. No matter what, we recommend traveling with some sort of protection for your passport to save it from wear or any unforeseen accidents.
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Hanging Toiletry Bag
It’s always good to keep your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes. So we love always travel with a toiletry bag; however, bathrooms are small in Europe.
If you have little counter space, a great option is to buy a hanging toiletry bag. This bag style tends to have a better organization system with various sections for storage than the traditional option. Toiletries you’ll want to pack for Portugal are body lotion, nail clippers, dental hygiene, UV lip balm, deodorant, razor, cotton swabs, and cosmetics.
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You will need an adaptor for your electronics on your packing list for Portugal. We always keep one handy in our carry-on bags. That way, we can charge electronics on arrival or at the airport. Outlets in Portugal use the Europlug, and I recommend getting one before you land.
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While I love having a good physical book when I travel, sometimes it’s just not practical because of the weight — keep them at home. If you plan to island-hop, you’ll want to pack pretty light.
We switched to a Kindle Paperwhite for travel because it is small and compact, plus it has a backlight for reading at night without a harsh glare. The Paperwhite version is excellent as they mimic an actual book, and you can read them in the sun.
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I love traveling with a power bank to make sure my phone never dies. Most of the time, I don’t need to use it on long flights as some of the nicer airlines provide entertainment systems with USB ports! We also make sure to find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a major pain in the ass.
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Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Portugal as you spend a lot of time outside. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun.
We highly recommend getting an eco-friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals. They’re mineral-based and usually only cost a few dollars more to help protect our oceans. If you’re not going to swim in the sea, go with a reliable name brand.
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You Need This To Travel in Portugal!
We never travel without travel insurance with Heymondo. Natasha is a bit worried and would rather be safe than be sorry. Heymondo offers incredible flexibility and great plans!
You never know if the worse could happen while you’re abroad, and your insurance plan at home often will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having the peace of mind that we have a good backup plan helps us sleep at night.
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What NOT to Pack for Portugal
Leave the heavy items at home like a hairdryer, books, and multiple shoes. You may find yourself carrying luggage up a flight of steps or along a cobbled street, and you’ll regret any heavy luggage.
Most towns and cities have hills with old cobbled streets or uneven surfaces. Unless you’re staying within a hotel, you’ll place your ankles at risk by wearing heels around.
Silly Travel Accessories
Don’t fall for silly travel accessories that are unnecessary expenses like a neck wallet, jet lag pills, charcoal tablets, or a female urination device. If you plan to invest in travel accessories, stick with the classics. Valuable investments for travel are quality luggage, packing cubes, a toiletry bag, power bank, adapters, or noise-canceling headphones. We use eye masks and earplugs all the time as well!
The Kitchen Sink
It’s easy to overpack when you’re getting ready for a trip. When you travel, you’ll often gravitate towards only a few staple items. It means you end up reaching for the same things over and over because they’re most practical, fitting, or stylish. Try to think about what you wear in a week for everyday life. Also, don’t forget Portugal has plenty of shops and chic boutiques for shopping.
TRAVEL AROUND PORTUGAL
Hopefully this guide on what to wear in Portugal helps with your packing! For more travel around Portugal, see below.