Travel Guide: Lisbon, Portugal Packing List
A leisurely stroll through the peaceful streets of the Barrio Alto with the haunting sounds of a Fado hanging in the air and the mouthwatering smell of bife na pedra wafting from the kitchen of a corner bistro are all you need to know that you have made it to Portugal's stunningly beautiful capital city of Lisbon. But before you make your April journey, be sure to double-check your packing list for your trip to Portugal's "City of the Seven Hills."
While walking through the older sections of this gorgeous city and taking in the sights is part of what makes Lisbon one of Europe's favorite destinations, having to manage your luggage on the mostly cobblestone streets and steep hills can quickly ruin your day. Large suitcases with wheels should be avoided if at all possible. Depending on their quality, the constant shock of rolling over the stones could even break a wheel. The noise alone will make you want to pick it up and carry it.
Travel backpacks and carry-ons are definitely preferred, but if that is not an option, try to pack light and use a medium-sized suitcase. This will also make traveling on buses or other public transportation much easier since it will not be so difficult to manage or require space that may not be available on certain lines. European cars also tend to be smaller as a general rule, so a smaller suitcase will fit better in the trunk of a taxi if you are traveling in a group.
Lisbon's proximity to the coast makes for mild climate year round. Average temperatures range from 46 degrees in the winter to 82 degrees in the summer. The coldest month is normally January, while summer months like August tend to see the thermometer hitting its maximum. April is usually when the winter cold gives way to warmer temperatures and bright, sunny days. Highs tend to be in the mid 60s while lows hover in the low 50s. Lisbon can be a windy city, so even on sunny days you may want to wear warmer clothes like a cardigan or light jacket. Remember to check the forecast for rainy days during your trip to see if a rain jacket is necessary. Otherwise, pack a light jacket, jeans, and shirts with long sleeves as well as t-shirts, just in case.
As with most European countries, the locals tend to dress up when they go out, so you will want to blend in if possible. Women opt for summer dresses and blouses, depending on the time of year. As a spring month, April travelers can wear a mixture of both. Though chilly in April, Lisbon is known for its beaches, so you may want to pack a bathing suit and cover-up, and don’t forget your sunscreen!
In addition to making it a nightmare to wheel your luggage around, the cobblestone streets in Lisbon are particularly unkind to women unaccustomed to navigating the city in heels or platforms. The chances are you will spend a lot of time walking, so comfortable walking shoes are a must. Men should also pack a pair of dress shoes and women should pack their most comfortable heels or platforms if they plan on going out to a nightclub or a nice restaurant.
Though you may plan to stay in Lisbon, it’s best to be prepared for spontaneous day trips to nearby towns Porto and Algarve. Whether you choose a hostel or hotel room, earplugs and an eye mask can be useful additions to your toiletries (which can be easily purchased on Amazon). Be sure to bring a travel adaptor along, as the electrical outlets differ country to country. A power bank phone charger can provide a charge while you’re sightseeing. Additionally, organizational tools like packing cubes and a day bag for separating your on-the-go items are extremely helpful.
Pack a money belt to help protect your extra cash if you do not feel comfortable having a lot of bills in your purse or wallet. Lisbon, and Portugal in general, has a very low crime rate. However, it is still a major tourist destination, so it is attractive to petty thieves like pickpockets and purse snatchers. You will want to carry enough cash to cover the day's activities because some smaller shops and restaurants may not accept credit cards. Non-European debit cards without the special EU security chip also cause problems with some credit card terminals, so carrying cash is a must. Use the money belt to limit your chances of losing everything in one shot.