Growing ever more popular, Portugal is officially the spot to head in Western Europe now for an amazing holiday in a warm climate that won’t cost you the earth!
With stunning coastline, a pleasant Mediterranean climate, some incredible cities to explore, tons of history, great hiking and let’s not forget some delicious port tasting thrown in for good measure, Portugal certainly boasts it all… and within quite a small size!
Because yes one of the great things about travelling Portugal is that it’s easy to get around, super safe to travel and packs a lot in across quite a small area.
So no matter whether you want to surf in the Algarve, sightsee in Lisbon, or eat your weight in Pastel de Natas in Porto, I’ve got you covered with this complete list of what to pack for Portugal adventures…
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#1 Pack Thin Layers
Layers are always a good option when it comes to travel and Portugal is no exception.
The best way to cover all bases without packing huge amounts for your trip to this country is going for thin layers that you can take on and off as the weather switches.
This is especially true if you’re travelling Portugal in either Spring or Autumn, when changeable weather – especially in the microclimate of Porto – can mean you need to bring sunglasses and t-shirts, as well as sweaters and rainjackets!
It’s also a good idea to pack clothes you can layer if you’re travelling across the country of Portugal, rather than staying in one spot.
The weather really can differ quite a lot between the sunny southern spot of the Algarve and the northern wine regions, so packing layers means you can be assured of covering all eventualities without over-packing and having to lug around huge suitcases!
#2 Keep It Lightweight!
And talking about keeping things light, it’s definitely worth taking some time to quickly cover ways you can pack everything you need for Portugal without being too weighed down!
And if you manage to condense your stuff down well, then this whole Portugal packing list below should fit into a 40-50l backpack or medium-sized wheelie suitcase.
I never take anything bigger, even when I’m travelling for 2-6 months at a time, so you’ve got no excuse!
This 50l Aura backpack from Osprey makes a great option and would be brilliantly accompanied by some good packing cubes!
Yes these guys are the answer to all your packing problems my friends, and if you want to compress your gear to take up less space, as well as have it nicely organised, I highly suggest you get some!
I absolutely love these packing cubes from Osprey and personally would never consider heading off to Portugal, or indeed anywhere, without them!
#3 Packing for Hiking
And even though this packing list is designed to be lightweight, it doesn’t exclude the things you need to pack to enjoy some of Portugal’s best travel adventures.
And first in here is hiking, which is especially great in the north of the country and along the Atlantic Coast.
A thin, light waterproof and windproof jacket will be very handy to take because, being a coastal nation, the wind can often be quite aggressive here!
As always for hiking, I recommend garments with lots of pockets so you have easy access to things like tissues, camera, sanitiser, snacks etc, plus good walking shoes to ensure strong grip and support on the trails.
Unless you’re hiking for some seriously long distances, good hiking shoes, rather than hiking boots, would be my preference for Portugal.
If you’re out and about a lot, then I highly recommend investing in a power pack too, so that you can charge your phone when you’re hiking across the country without continual access to main power outlets.
My go-to brand here is Anker and I actually have 2 of their power packs – one that comes out with me during the day and the other that is charging in my accommdation, so it’s ready to swap over.
For my big camera, I also have a spare battery, so that I can swap this around and keep snapping when I’m out and about.
And don’t forget a good day pack to carry all your gear in, as well as evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders, is key too!
#4 Packing for the Coast
No question, bringing some swimwear and a beach towel are a great idea for Portugal, especially if you’re heading to the Algarve.
That said, Lisbon and Porto are both coastal cities (or close enough), so it’s quite likely you’ll want to bring beach gear even if you’re heading to either of these destinations too.
UV-protected sunglasses and a 30+ SPF are therefore great items for your Portugal packing list, especially in the summer when things can get really hot here.
I’d also advise bringing a good moisturiser you can use on your hands, body and face after a day in the sun and finally, don’t forget a handy sarong and a dry bag to keep your stuff safe, dry and sand-free on the beach (especially any electricals).
If you plan to surf in Portugal too, then a wetsuit might also be a helpful addition, along with a rash vest.
#5 Packing for City Breaks
Portgual is a liberal western European country, so in cities anything goes!
In the summer, you can absolutely wander around in shorts and t-shirts and, in colder months, trousers and a thin sweater would be ideal.
The thing you do need to be aware of in Portugal is the fact that every village, town and city in this country seems to be built on a steep incline (!), which means a lot of walking up hills when sightseeing – this is absolutely true in Lisbon and Porto, where exploring really is a serious workout for the calves!
As such, I highly recommend bringing comfortable shoes even when you visit the cities in Portugal.
Supportive walking shoes, , or supportive sandals like Arizona Birkenstocks, are all good options depending on what time of year you are visiting.
Camera, a good day pack, a hat and suncream are also must-have packing items when visiting cities in Portugal, especially in the summer.
As tap water here is drinkable, it’s a good idea to carry water with you when sightseeing to stay hydrated.
Complete Packing List for Portugal
So now we come to my complete list of what to pack for Portugal – a full item-by-item breakdown of everything you should bring!
The length of your stay in Portugal will dictate the number of each item that you need, but here’s a checklist of all the gear you should consider as baseline…
Singlets / T-Shirts
Thin Sweater / Jumper/ Active Fleece Leggings
Jeans or Evening Trousers
Hiking / Casual Day Trousers
Casual Dresses or Jumpsuits
Underwear & Socks
Scarves / Buffs / Wraps
Trainers / Walking Shoes
Pumps or Evening Footwear
Thin Toiletries Bag with HookShampoo & Conditioner Bars
Face Cleanser, Toner, Serum & Moisturiser
Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss
Razor & Spare Blades
Nail Scissors & Nail File
Cotton Buds / Pads
Smartphone & Bluetooth HeadphonesPortable Power Pack Good Camera & GoPro
Lens, Spare Battery, Memory Card & ChargersEuro Adapter Headlamp & Spare Batteries
Glasses / Contact Lenses if you wear them
Sunglasses with UV ProtectionEye Mask & Earplugs Day Pack Dry Bag Water Bottle
Sarong & Beach Towel
Passport & Driving License
Credit Cards and debit cards
PIN IT TO PINTEREST!
So there it is, my complete list of what to pack for your travels to Portugal.
Any suggestion to add? I’d love to hear them!
Please drop them into the comments below and I’ll get back to you.