Having the perfect Portugal packing list is essential for a successful trip to this European country, especially for 2023. But figuring out what items and clothing pieces you need to pack for Portugal is trickier than you might think.
The season, the type of traveler you are, and the places you visit in Portugal will all impact the contents of your packing checklist. Missing just one important thing when you’re visiting Portugal can throw the whole vacation out of whack.
I would’ve been totally lost if I didn’t mindfully pack my bag for traveling around Portugal in the summer of 2022. To save you the headache of forgetting something, I’ve put together my ultimate Portugal packing checklist!
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Portugal Packing Checklist
Portugal is a relatively safe country and whether or not travel insurance belongs on your Portugal packing list is ultimately a choice only you can make.
I still personally choose to get travel insurance even in a safe country like Portugal. World Nomads has been my personal go-to insurance when it comes to insurance for traveling, and I personally never pack for Portugal without it.
International Charging Adapter
You won’t really think about putting an international charging adapter on your Portugal packing list until you forget it. Once that happens, it can be a domino effect of annoying circumstances afterward.
I take my HAOZI universal travel adapter on every trip abroad. It works anywhere in the world so it’ll be a mainstay in your bag.
Small Day Pack
Whether you’re spending a day at the beach or exploring the mountainous wine country, your small day pack will be a core part of every excursion in Portugal. When you’re traveling, it’s nice to have a bag that’s bigger than a handbag but smaller than your main backpack.
Luckily, Osprey also carries day packs like the high-quality Arcane small day pack. Its simple design is stylish but effective. It comes complete with a laptop sleeve and a self-locking security hook as an anti-theft measure.
Packing cubes have completely revolutionized travel for me. They save space and make it effortless to organize it all. However, not all packing cubes are created equal. Trust me, I’ve had a cube or two break in the worst possible moment, but I know I can always trust these Well Traveled compression packing cubes. They’re very durable and squeeze down to nearly flat.
Dry shampoo is a total lifesaver when you need to freshen up your hair but don’t want to take a whole shower. Just a spray or two and you’re grease-free for another few hours.
My favorite one on the market right now is the Amika perk-up dry shampoo. It doesn’t leave that nasty, pasty residue that a lot of dry shampoos leave behind.
Quick-Dry Travel Towel
Whether you stay in an Airbnb or a hotel, most places in Portugal will specify that you can’t use their towels at the beach. Then, what are your options? Buy a huge beach towel and lug it around, or go without one at all?
My suggestion is that you bring along a lightweight, easy-to-carry Rainleaf microfiber towel. Rainleaf towels dry in minutes after use and come with a little bag making them very convenient to pack.
If you don’t have a good travel backpack, then everything else on your Portugal packing list can fall through the cracks. Literally! If you want to invest in the best of the best, I can’t recommend the Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Pack enough.
I brought it along to four continents so far and it’s been worn hard. Yet, it still holds up and remains my favorite backpack of all time after owning a bunch of others (for more, see my Farpoint review).
Plus, you just can’t beat Osprey’s lifetime guarantee to repair or replace any damage or defect for any reason free of charge. You can’t buy insurance that good!
👉 Want a Carry On Backpack? Check out Nate’s review of the Osprey Porter 46L, a slightly slimmer bag that’s carry-on friendly.
Filtered Water Bottle
Having a filtered water bottle on your Portugal packing list will come in handy on a daily basis. You’ll be thirsty all the time in Portugal’s temperate climate and you’ll want clean water available all the time.
Enter: the Brita insulated filtered water bottle. You probably already know the name since it’s one of the top water filtration brands in the world.
Portugal’s beaches are perfect for endless days of relaxation. However, that chill vibe can quickly deteriorate if one of your electronics or valuables gets destroyed by water.
To be on the safe side, don’t forget a MARCHWAY waterproof dry bag when you pack for Portugal. It even floats, so you can bring your camera or phone along on boat trips.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
No matter where you are in the world, it’s possible to become one of the millions of victims impacted by cybercrime. That is unless you safeguard your web surfing with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
While there are a lot of choices out there, I’d recommend Express VPN. It’s simple to use on multiple devices and is affordable.
A toiletry bag is key for keeping yourself organized on a vacation to Portugal. After all, if you’re organized and efficient, you’ll have more time to enjoy the country. This Narwey hanging travel toiletry bag has everything you need to keep yourself in order.
Portable Power Bank
A portable power bank is another item that will be especially helpful on those beach days in Portugal when an outlet may not be readily available. When you’re traveling in a foreign country and don’t know your way around, it’s even more crucial that your devices are charged.
I’m a big fan of the RGVOTA portable charger for traveling. It has a smart LCD display that tells you exactly how much battery percentage the power bank has left. You’ll never be surprised by a dead portable charger.
Noise Canceling Headphones
In general, Portugal is a pretty quiet country. However, in major cities like Lisbon, the sounds of the street can make their way into the accommodations. Luckily, with these Anker soundcore noise-canceling headphones, you only have to be a part of the action when you feel like it.
Forgetting the details of a memorable trip is easier than you might think. The best way to keep the memories of your trip to Portugal fresh forever is by keeping a travel journal. Just simply writing for five to ten minutes a day will leave you with a priceless souvenir.
But, you’ll still want to travel light, so go for this Moleskine classic notebook. It’s compact enough to bring along and comes in a bunch of different colors.
When I was in Portugal, I always saw people jamming out on the beach with their little portable speakers and I was so jealous! Learn from my mistake and put one of these handy Tribit portable speakers on your packing list. It’s 100% waterproof, has surprisingly impressive bass, and straps right on your backpack strap.
Passport & ID Carrier
You want to minimize the risk of damaging your passport as much as possible when you’re in Portugal. That’s why I carry my passport, ID, and important travel documents in a cute passport holder.
Such as this stylish leather PASCACOO passport holder wallet. I appreciate the variety of colors they provide and it even comes with a 1-year warranty.
Tablets are multi-useful when you’re traveling in Portugal, or anywhere for that matter. I mean, they’re basically a computer in a travel-friendly body.
Whether you want to read books, watch movies, or work, an Apple iPad mini has you covered. Known for its feather-weight design, this rendition of the iPad is absolutely perfect for traveling abroad.
First Aid Kit
If you’re reading a packing list written by me, you’ll almost always end up seeing this item. First aid kits are simply a must-have for any type of trip, but especially one like Portugal where you’ll likely be spending a lot of time outside. The Evantek first aid kit works well for a vacation because it’s small enough to toss in your bag and forget about it until you need it.
Wrinkle Release Spray
No matter how hard you try, it’s next to impossible to keep your clothes nicely pressed when you’re stuffing them into a backpack. That’s why I was blown away when I discovered this Downy Wrinkle release spray. It sounds too good to be true, but it works. All you have to do is spray the wrinkled fabric, flatten it out, and it looks like it’s been freshly ironed.
Everyone imagines their trip with purely sunny skies. But it’s pretty likely you’ll get a storm or two if you’re visiting during the rainy season from November to March.
If you do decide to visit during this time period, make sure you bring along a Yoobure Mini Umbrella. Even though it’s compact as could be, it’s very well-made and even provides UV protection for those sun showers.
Other Portugal Essentials to Pack
- Extra copy of passport and travel documents
- Booking confirmation receipts
- Toothbrush and non-liquid toiletry essentials
- Prescribed medication
- Makeup remover wipes
- Contacts lens and solution
- Face masks
- Laundry bag for dirty clothes
- Emergency documents (Embassy address, emergency contacts, etc.)
- Neck pillow
- Travel blanket
- Eye mask
- GoPro Camera
Clothing to Pack for Portugal
Packing for Portugal isn’t as cut and dry as your standard beach vacation packing list. Depending on where and when you go, and what you do, your wardrobe requirements will vary drastically. The dress codes in Portugal vary from relaxed to fancy, so it’s important to consider what you wear in Portugal.
So what clothing should you pack for Portugal? Here is a quick clothing checklist for Portugal:
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 2 light sundresses
- 1 flowy skirt
- 3-5 casual shirts or t-shirts
- 1-2 dressier shirts or outfit
- 2 swimsuits
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 windbreaker or packable jacket
- 1 pair of flip-flops/sandals
- 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes
- 1 pair of water shoes
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 5-6 pairs of socks
- 1 beach coverup
Are you looking for some more specific recommendations for clothes to wear in Portugal? I’ve got you covered right here:
These basic t-shirts come in over 25 color combinations and fit beautifully.
A few t-shirts with a simple and neutral design can go a long way on your trip to Portugal. You probably will only need around three well-made shirts for an average-length trip to Portugal. Like a pack of these Amazon Essentials women’s crewnecks and Gildan men’s crew t-shirts.
One of the things that people flock to Portugal for is its stunning beaches. So, a bathing suit or two is an absolute necessity for this European destination.
For the ladies, this Tempt Me Women two-piece vintage Swimsuit hits all the requirements for being comfortable and attractive on those days by the ocean. For men, the Nautica Men’s quick dry Classic swim trunk is top of the line when it comes to value and fit.
I absolutely hate thinking about what I’m going to wear on my way to the beach. That’s why I always bring a cute, light beach cover-up with me to beach paradises like Portugal. This Blooming Jelly swimsuit coverup is an excellent option because it’s comfortable yet classy enough to wear in a restaurant.
If there is one destination where water shoes come in handy, it’s Portugal. You just need them to take full advantage of the country’s expansive beaches.
Luckily, these VIFUUR watersports shoes work for men and women. These water shoes feature a basic design and are available at an extremely affordable price. Not to mention that they’re easy to pack away in a bag, making them a great addition to your Portugal packing checklist.
Portugal’s summer months are no joke when it comes to hot weather. You’ll be sweating from the moment you walk out the door. When I was in Portugal over the summer, I practically lived in light dresses like this YATHON casual cotton summer dress. Plus, it’s awesome not having to worry about matching pieces of clothing together.
Portugal Packing Tips
Consider The Season You’re Visiting
Portugal changes quite drastically with the seasons. When you’re deciding on the best time to visit Portugal for you, it’s also important to consider how that will change your packing list.
You’ll need warmer clothes and rain gear during the winter months after October. But warm clothes won’t be necessary at all in the intense heat of summer when you’ll need very light, comfortable clothes for exploring Portugal.
Use A Large Travel Backpack Instead Of Rolling Suitcases
I’m a firm believer in trusting a large travel backpack as opposed to the more conventional alternative of a rolling suitcase. Traditional suitcases are just too cumbersome. Even without the wheels, high-quality travel backpacks are easier to carry around and organize.
Wear Bulky Clothes For The Flight
I’m sure you’ve already heard a thousand times that you should pack light for your Portugal trip. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is by wearing any bulky clothes you need on the flight. It’s freezing on most planes anyway, so you can kill two birds with one stone.
👉 Read Next: 27 Best Things to Do in Lisbon
Buy Liquid Toiletries In Portugal
Portugal isn’t one of those faraway destinations where basic toiletries or essentials won’t be readily available. There are stocked-up pharmacies, shops, and grocery stores all over the place. Instead of running the risk of a bottle exploding in your bag, you can always just grab your liquid toiletries once you get into the country.
There Are Plenty Of Laundromats In Portugal
If you’re a long-term traveler, then you won’t have to worry about doing your laundry in Portugal. Lots of accommodations provide washing machines and drying lines. Even if they don’t, though, there are laundromats readily available. Even in smaller towns.
Look Up Luggage Restrictions Ahead Of Time
It’s a drag to be all ready for your Portugal vacation, only to be halted to a screeching stop when your bag doesn’t meet the airline’s requirements. In order to avoid this situation entirely, do a quick search of your airline’s luggage restrictions beforehand.
Portugal Packing List FAQs
What should I pack for a trip to Portugal?
You should pack a week’s worth of comfortable clothing, beach accessories, and toiletries on a trip to Portugal. Plus, extra electronics chargers. You should also protect your trip with top-notch insurance.
Depending on the details of your vacation, you might need to pack additional items. If you’re in Lisbon during the busy summer months, you’ll definitely want a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones and walking shoes. During the winter season after November, you’ll want to have a rain jacket and umbrella on hand.
Do I need water shoes in Portugal?
Water shoes are very helpful when you’re in Portugal. Many of Portugal’s beaches are very rocky and slippery. Getting around with bare feet or regular shoes is painful to impossible. Plus, water shoes are usually easy to fold up and pack.
What should I pack for Portugal in February?
February is right at the tail-end of the winter season in Portugal, so you’ll need to pack warmer garments and rain protection. It still won’t be freezing cold during this time. A lightweight rain jacket, some pants, and a travel umbrella should do the job.
What clothes are worn in Portugal?
The most common types of clothes people wear in Portugal are simple and laidback with a definitive touch of immaculate style. In Portugal, you’ll see a lot of long flowing skirts, and cute blouses that are always paired with some comfortable, clean shoes. Alternatively, you probably won’t see many people walking the streets of Portugal in sweatpants or gym clothes.
That’s it for our ultimate packing list for Portugal! Remember you can also get the printable version here.
You’ve officially finished my comprehensive Portugal packing list! Up next, check out my guide to the best day trips from Lisbon.
Have fun in Portugal!
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