Wondering what to pack for Portugal? Then this comprehensive Portugal packing list is exactly what you need!
For me, there is nothing more exciting than planning a holiday to a new destination or place. In fact, the lead up can be just as exhilarating as the actual vacation itself. From planning all the gorgeous Portuguese sights to explore, the delicious foods to sample in Lisbon, or the word-class wines and drinks of Portugal to savour, right through to the packing itself is all part and parcel of the holiday fun.
In this guide, we’ve decided to collate a comprehensive packing list for Portugal to hopefully help you plan and prepare for your next trip. Whether you’re wondering what to pack for Lisbon, or for a winter or summer in Portugal, considering all the other travel accessories and essentials and things to pack for Portugal, then, we’ve got you covered.
Before you go, be sure to plan & book your Portugal Travel Essentials:
- Search & Book flights here on Skyscanner
- Book your car rental through AutoEurope
- Search hotels here on Booking.com, or on VRBO for apartment-style stays
- Click here to browse & book bus and train tickets
- Lastly, don’t forget about travel insurance for your trip!
- 1 Packing for Portugal – Things to Consider
- 2 Portugal Packing List Essentials
- 3 What to Wear in Portugal
Packing for Portugal – Things to Consider
One of the first things to consider is the time of year that you plan to visit Portugal. While the country experiences many sunny days throughout the year, the weather does vary from month to month, as well as from region to region.
Another thing to consider when packing for your Portugal trip is the type of vacation you plan on taking. If you intend on experiencing the city’s nightlife, your list will look slightly different from if you planned a more hike-focused holiday.
Regardless of the time of year and whether you’re exploring the city or hiking in Madeira, the items mentioned in this list are sure to have you covered.
If you’re looking for accommodation, check out these stunning palace hotels and manor houses in Portugal.
Portugal Packing List Essentials
When considering what to pack for Portugal, start off by making sure you have all your other travel essentials, electronics, and luggage in order. Below is everything you will need to ensure your vacation is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
What Electronics to Take With
Whether you want to take pictures, call back home or check some emails, you’ll need your various gadgets with you. Below are some essential electronics for your trip to Portugal.
Universal Power Adaptor
Portugal uses standard European round two-pin plugs. If you’re arriving from outside the EU, you’ll most certainly need a universal travel adapter to charge your various devices. A worldwide travel adaptor is recommended as this will allow you to charge your devices in any socket around the world, not just Europe – perfect for all your travel adventures.
When travelling in another country, the last thing you want is to be lost with a 2% battery on your phone. Nowadays your phone has pretty much everything – a camera, GPS, wallet, etc, so being without one can be quite a pain. To ensure you do not run into any issues, be sure to bring a multi-device power bank with you – it’ll be one of your most handy travel companions.
Portable WiFi is one of the best solutions to avoid data roaming in Portugal (which can be quite expensive). In Portugal, all the biggest cities and about 90% of the population has access to 4G-LTE. By using a portable WiFi device, you will be able to remain connected with high-speed internet almost everywhere you go.
Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network (VPN) is a really useful travel solution. It is especially useful for mobile security as it adds a layer of encryption between your private data and any networks you use while abroad. This way your data including your passwords, bank card details and personal information is kept safe by simply purchasing a subscription online.
With its beautiful landscapes and colourful cities, Portugal is a very photogenic place. While on your many adventures, you’ll definitely want to snap a few pictures of the incredible sights. Although many people have access to a good quality camera on their smartphones, a proper camera is highly recommended for travel. A few good camera options include the Nikon D3400, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, and the Panasonic Lumix ZS200.
If you are intent on exploring Portugal by car on a Portuguese road trip, then you’ll most likely require a GPS navigation system to help guide you on your way. Whilst you certainly can rent these through your car rental provider, it often works out way cheaper to just buy your own GPS instead compared to the daily rental price. This is also a sound investment to use on future travels too!
Luggage Items – Packing List Portugal
Of course, the basis of any Portugal packing list has to be your luggage items. What type of luggage you may require will depend largely on how long you’re travelling, where you’re travelling to, as well as what you intend on packing.
You may want to travel light with only a backpack and lightweight carry-on luggage. Or, if travelling for an extended period of time, a larger wheely/roller suitcase may be better. Here are some luggage essentials to consider for your trip to Portugal.
A Functional Backpack
A compact, functional backpack is always on the top of my priority list when packing. Especially handy for all those smaller and valuable personal belongings that you’d like to keep on your person as you travel. Combining style and function, backpacks are undoubtedly a must-have item on your list.
Wheely/Roller luggage is definitely the way to go these days, especially as you navigate through airports, train stations, and wheel your suitcase through the streets of your holiday destination. I always opt for a hardshell case that adds to the durability and ensures I’ll get many future uses out of it. Samsonite is a reputable luggage brand and this 20-inch hardshell Caribbean blue wheely case, as well as this larger 28-inch Samsonite hard case wheely case, is both a great choice.
Lightweight Carry-on Luggage
A slightly more compact option, especially if you intend on packing smart and travelling lighter or for shorter periods of time, would be to buy a great lightweight carry-on luggage set with wheels that allows you to easily whizz around from destination to destination without having to lug large suitcases around with you.
Other Travel Essentials
So your luggage is pretty much ready to go, however, there are a few things you need to check for before you go. The items mentioned below are among the most important as you will not be able to travel without them.
Passport, ID and driver’s license
In Portugal, it is a legal requirement to have your ID on you at all times, regardless of whether or not you reside in the country. Your photo ID card, passport or driver’s license should be sufficient.
While it is unlikely that you’ll be asked to present these, they will be needed if you hit a roadblock or need to visit the police station. Moreover, you will need to present your driver’s license if you wish to rent a car.
Pro-tip: The last thing you want to happen is to lose your passport or ID during your trip. For this reason, it is advised that you carry a photocopy of your identification documents with you and leave the original copies in a safe place. If you are stopped, present your photocopy and you will be granted six hours to present the original.
To keep all your important documents together, you may want to buy this handy travel documents holder, great for organising all your travel documents.
Cash and travel-friendly bank cards
Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted in Portugal. However, there are restaurants, market stalls and other smaller establishments that do not accept cards. In this case, you will be required to pay in cash (euros) so it helps to have some on hand. Cash can be withdrawn at any of the easily accessible ATMs or MultiBancos.
Toiletries and medication
While some accommodations might provide complimentary toiletries, bringing some from home is still a good idea. Be sure to pack in shampoo, soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush and your deodorant. Also, although there are pharmacies, it is advisable to bring any important medication from home. Organise all your toiletries using this awesome hanging toiletry bag!
I’m the absolute worst at sleeping on planes. The constant aircraft droning noise and the general disturbance of people walking up and down the aisle result in me never getting any shuteye, especially on long-haul flights. That’s until I discovered these brilliant noise-cancelling headphones! They have honestly made all the difference.
Comfy plane cushion
Let’s face it, airplane seats aren’t exactly designed for comfort unless you’re lucky enough to be booked in the front of the place in business or first. The rest of us have to make do with cosying up our own seats to help us sleep onboard. The right comfy plane cushion can certainly make all the difference in the world.
What to Wear in Portugal
Curious about Portugal’s dress code or what to wear in Lisbon? Don’t worry as the items mentioned below are sure to have you looking and feeling good on your trip.
In Portugal, outfits tend to be more understated and casual. If you do not want to stand out dressed in all the cliché things tourists wear, keep it simple. Below is a list of clothing items you may want to consider packing in for your Portugal vacation.
Portugal Clothing: What to pack for Portugal in Summer
Portugal is a small country, however, the weather tends to vary. In the summer (July – September), temperatures average around 23.5ºC (74ºF) in the south (Algarve) and around 30ºC (86ºF) in Lisbon which is further up.
Summers in Portugal can be quite steamy so to escape the heat, it’s best to pack appropriately. Here is a shortlist of must-have items if you plan on visiting Portugal in July or any other summer month.
To beat the heat, wear light-coloured, loose-fitting tops that allow for adequate airflow. T-shirts, blouses, tank tops and cami tops are all great options. Note that certain religious sites may require that you dress more modestly so keep that in mind when packing.
A staple summer outfit is a t-shirt or cami top paired with a lovely pair of shorts, so be sure to pack in a few pairs. For women, another good summer option is a midi skirt.
Formal or casual, dresses and shirts are great for a summer trip abroad. In the day, a ‘throw and go’ maxi dress or playsuit is a quick and easy option. They’ll save you some luggage space and can be worn to the beach, restaurant or lounge bar.
If you’re planning on visiting an upmarket restaurant, be sure to pack in a nice dress or smart shirt.
While the afternoons are very hot, the temperatures can drop quite a bit in the evenings. For those fun nights out, be sure to pack in a sweater or cardigan. Some parts of Portugal, particularly in the north, may experience some rainfall during the summer months so a light rain jacket is also recommended.
While flip flops or sandals might seem like the go-to footwear for any summer holiday destination, this is not entirely the case with Portugal. With its cobblestone streets and hilly cities, you’ll need something more solid.
A trip to this beautiful country often entails a fair amount of walking so be sure to pack in a comfortable pair of sneakers or trainers. If you plan on doing any hikes, do not forget your hiking shoes.
Along Portugal’s Silver Coast are some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and you’ll want to experience them to the fullest. Pack in at least two swimwear options, as well as a cute cover-up to protect you from the sun or throw on before you explore the beaches’ surroundings.
The summer sun in Portugal can be quite harsh at times so to be prepared, pack in a lovely sun hat or cap, as well as a pair of sunglasses. Additionally, a cute beach bag with a zipper is also a useful accessory for trips to the country’s picturesque shores.
Portugal Clothes: Winter Essentials
A common misconception about Portugal among tourists is that the country is warm and dry all year round.
The southern parts of Portugal like the Algarve experience an average temperature of 15ºC (59 ºF) during the winter months. As you move further north towards Lisbon, Porto and further up, temperatures can be much lower. Here you might also experience snow, especially in the Serra da Estrela mountains.
As the outside conditions remain fairly uncertain, it is best to dress up in layers. To make layering as easy as possible, packing in neutral coloured clothing is recommended. Wondering what to wear in Portugal in winter?
Below are some winter essentials you might want to bring along if you’re visiting in the colder wintery months.
When packing for Portugal, it is best to include a combination of long-sleeve and short-sleeve tops. A sweater, cardigan and any knitwear will also come in handy, especially during the colder nights.
While in the southern parts of Portugal it can be tempting to wear a pair of shorts and sandals, this is not common among the locals. Portuguese fashion tends to be more conservative during the winter. So keep it simple with a pair of jeans or trousers.
For women, another good option to include is a maxi skirt which can easily be dressed up with a cute knit sweater or cardigan.
Along the sun-kissed southern shores of Portugal, a thick winter jacket might seem overkill. For these areas, a denim or leather jacket should suffice. As you head further north, even from Lisbon upwards, a winter coat or insulated rain jacket is sure to serve you well.
During the wetter months (November – December), the hilly cobblestone streets of Portugal can become quite slippery. For this, it is recommended that you pack in durable, non-slip shoes. A good pair of sneakers or ankle boots should have you covered as they are both fashionable and practical.
Some accessories you might want to bring along, especially if you’re visiting the northern region, are gloves, a scarf and a beanie. For the wetter days, it is also helpful to have an umbrella on hand.