Up until a couple of years ago, I had no clue what Portugal was known for nor could I name the most popular cities in the country, much less the capital. Over the last few years, as my interest in travel has grown, so has my list of places that aren’t on most peoples’ ‘must see’ lists. In 2016, through following popular travel hashtags, influencers and coming across some absolutely stunning images on Pinterest, Portugal quickly climbed into my Top 10 Destinations to venture to in the next few years. I never expected to tick it off the list this year but I’m so excited that this out-of-the-blue suggestion came up in a conversation I was having with Victoria back in January / February of this year.
I can’t wait to share WHY Portugal is worth considering for your next, or your first, European adventure [because we had the absolute best time and fell hard for this country] but, as we always do around here, I’m starting with what to pack for this destination for those of you who already have plans to go!
First, I thought I’d share some photos of our trip so you can get a feel for the terrain!
What I didn’t realize about Portugal, until about a week before I left for my trip, is how hilly the terrain is, at least in the two cities we were planning of discovering. Lisbon is also known as ‘the city of seven hills’ so, as someone who had knee surgery two months prior to this trip, you can imagine my excitement over this discovery. Porto doesn’t have a similar nickname that I’ve come across but it was equally as hilly in many areas.
Okay, let’s get on with what to pack for a trip to Portugal in the Spring and Summer!
NOTE: The style board below is ‘shop-able’. You can click any item and it’ll take you to its respective online retailer. Also, most everything [ten out of the fourteen items] is under $100.
With all that said about the hilly terrain [along with the picture to prove it], the first thing we need to touch on is footwear!
FOOTWEAR: It goes without saying that I recommend wearing sneakers as much as you can. Make sure you have worn them before your trip so you know that they don’t rub in weird places or cause blisters and are comfortable. I know sneakers aren’t always the most attractive so I think sandals are okay but I would recommend switching up your footwear the next day as you will likely be ready for a little more support.
Personally, I wore these Tory Burch sandals on our first day walking around the city and opted for a pair of comfortable flats by Josefina the next day! They offered a lot more support and gave me a little more grip on those inclines and declines. I wasn’t in agony after the first full day walking around in my sandals but my calves definitely felt sore and could have used more support. So, I wouldn’t say leave your sandals at home … I would just say wear them sparingly, if possible. Also, I would recommend sandals that have a back like the strappy ones I linked in the widget here below as backless sandals have more of a tendency to slip off on uneven surfaces and you definitely do NOT want to fall in Portugal.
NOTE: You do NOT need to pack a pair of heels or wedges for any reason. At all. Whatsoever. Unless you’re coming here for a wedding. But, that’s it. Seriously.
Another thing that I always, always, always mention when it comes to footwear and travel is … your feet are going to be sore at the end of the day, no matter what shoes you wear. There are shoes that make walking around for hours and hours more ‘do-able’ but, inevitably, your going to be sore because you body – more than likely – isn’t used to being up and about for as long as you are when you’re exploring a new place. So, just keep that in mind!
SUN PROTECTION: Believe me when I say it gets hot in Portugal. I went in June and, while the mornings and evenings were temperate, the rest of the days were sweltering. I can’t imagine what it’s like in August but you better believe the likelihood of sunburn is high. So, be smart and pack sunglasses, a hat or two, as well as sunscreen.
ANYTHING LOOSE-FITTING: Due to the heat, the best thing you can do is pack light colored, loose-fitting items. Here are some of the items I packed in my suitcase to help give you some ideas:
Many of those options are also under $100!
Those are the three big takeaways I had in regard to packing for Portugal from my recent trip. The only other thing I’d recommend is a bathing suit if you are heading to Madeira or the Algarve. If you are heading to Porto and Lisbon, like I did, I’d suggest leaving the swimsuit at home because you’re likely going to be exploring the city versus sunbathing.
If this is your first time traveling abroad, I suggest you check out the following posts I’ve done that could help you with packing:
These are all listed under my Travel Tips section just in case you want to know where to find those later!
I think that about does it for this edition of The Packing List! Hope you have an amazing trip and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to add in the comments section below! xo.