Are you planning a trip to Lisbon and wondering what to pack? As someone who has visited Lisbon multiple times, I have the best tips for you so, look no further.

Whether you’re exploring Lisboa’s historic sites, the charming old town Alafama, lounging on beautiful beaches, or indulging in delicious cuisine, having the right wardrobe essentials is key to enjoying your time in this vibrant city.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll provide specific advice on what to wear in Lisbon throughout the year, covering different seasons, activities, and occasions. From comfortable walking shoes to stylish beachwear, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

Portas do Sol - viewpoint in Lisbon Portugal
Portas do Sol – viewpoint in Lisbon Portugal

Best Time to Visit Lisbon

Before I delve into what to wear, let’s discuss the best time to visit Lisbon. With its Mediterranean climate, Lisbon enjoys pleasant temperatures year-round, making it a great destination regardless of the season.

However, the summer months (June to August) are the most popular, with high temperatures and sunny days perfect for beach outings and outdoor activities. If you prefer milder weather and fewer crowds, consider visiting in early autumn (September to October) or early spring (March to April).

A Few Lisbon-Specific Outfit Tips:

Lisbon’s Vibe is Hippie Chic

What I love about Portugal is that the locals dress up super comfortable and casual, unlike in Italy. I’d say Portugal as a whole has a hippie chic vibe where as Italy has more of a fashionista dress code.

What I mean is, go for a casual yet comfortable look that’s part boho, part you. Don’t overdress with shimmery, sparkly, or extra dramatic things. Don’t wear formal dresses – leave that look for Paris or Milan or Rome. Lisbon is super chill!

A Shiny Yellow VW Camper Van in Lisbon
A Shiny Yellow VW Camper Van in Lisbon

Go for Colour

Yes, this matters. Living in Germany, I stand out because I like colors but the locals here wear just neutrals. You will especially notice that in Berlin since the dress code there is black, especially for most parties.

However, in places like Lisbon, you should go all out with color and flaunt it. I wore bright reds, greens, and yellows and never felt overdressed. The locals wear bright colors or soothing pastels but I didn’t see many people wearing neutrals.

Comfortable Footwear

This is the most important thing. No matter what you do, pay special attention to your shoes. Lisbon has steep hills and even if Google Maps says your destination is 200 meters away, you will be panting for air because it would be a workout climbing up and down the steep hills this city is built on.

So ditch heels but opt for flats that support your arches and ankles. Look for footwear with comfortable soles.

What to Wear in Lisbon by Season:

Summer Months (June to August)

Summer in Lisbon is characterized by warm temperatures, sunny days, and a lively atmosphere. It’s one of the peak tourist seasons due to the city’s inviting climate and abundant outdoor activities.

Lisbon experiences hot and dry summers, with average daytime temperatures ranging from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius (77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). Heatwaves are not uncommon, with temperatures occasionally reaching higher levels, especially in July and August.

With extended daylight hours, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city’s attractions, enjoy outdoor dining, and soak up the sun. Sunset times can stretch well into the evening, providing picturesque views along the Tagus River.

Torre da Igreja do Castelo de São Jorge, Lisboa instagram spots
Torre da Igreja do Castelo de São Jorge, Lisboa Instagram spots

Footwear

I did mention comfortable footwear as your necessity in Lisbon but take extra care in summer. You will sweat in the hear as you walk so sandals are the way to go.

Even though I carried sneakers, I was more comfortable wearing my arch-support sandals to air out my feet. So opt for the most comfortable walking shoes that you can find with good support for exploring Lisbon’s cobblestone streets and tackling its steep hills.

Clothing

Pack light clothing such as breathable fabrics, linen shirts, and breezy midi skirts to stay cool in the heat. I found that not only midi skirts with crop tops kept me comfortable in summer in Lisbon, but they also photographed really well. (You should check my Lisbon Instagram guide too!)

Exploring Lisbon's pretty streets with pastel houses
Exploring Lisbon’s pretty streets with pastel houses

Avoid ankle-length skirts because of the amount of walking you will have to do. The cobblestone tends to get slippery at times so you wouldn’t want to trip over your skirt.

Light Jacket

Yes, you heard me right. Even in summer in Portugal, I always carry my light jacket because it can get surprisingly chilly when the sun sets and also when it is cloudy. Just a light denim jacket will do.

I still remember my visit to Porto in August and how I was super cold even in a denim jacket as I crossed the Dom Luís I Bridge after the sunset. Yes, this guide is about what to wear in Lisbon, and not Porto but I just wanted to share this instance. Porto is anyway a tad colder than Lisbon!

Accessories

You will definitely need a nice pair of sunglasses during summer. There are some really nice beaches close to Lisbon city and you might visit them too. So, don’t forget stylish beachwear, and straw hat for beach days along the Atlantic Ocean. On a side note, you should definitely wear sunscreen every single day in Lisbon.

Essentials

Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and plenty of sunscreen for protection against the sun’s rays.

Evening Wear

Night walks in Alfama, Lisbon
Night walks in Alfama, Lisbon

For evenings out at live Fado shows, Michelin-star restaurants or stylish bars, consider smart-casual looks with comfortable trousers and nice shoes. See my one-day itinerary for Lisbon for more ideas.

Winter Months (December to February):

Lisbon in winter tends to be relatively mild compared to other European cities further north. While it can experience some rainy and chilly days, temperatures typically stay fairly moderate, with average highs ranging from 12 to 16 degrees Celsius (54 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit) and lows around 5 to 9 degrees Celsius (41 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit).

One of the advantages of visiting Lisbon in winter is that it’s less crowded compared to the peak tourist seasons of spring and summer. This means you’ll likely encounter shorter lines at popular attractions and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere throughout the city.

Lisbon’s festive decorations and holiday markets can add a charming ambiance to your visit, especially around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Winter in Lisbon - Torre de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal
Winter in Lisbon – Torre de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal via Unsplash

Clothing

Layering is key during the winter months, so pack versatile pieces like long-sleeved shirts, cozy sweaters (or hoodies), and a jacket for added warmth. Unlike most European destinations, you don’t need thick parkas in Lisbon but a sweatshirt with a simple jacket on top works well.

Footwear

As mentioned before, comfortable shoes with good grip are essential for navigating wet and slippery streets, especially on rainy days.

Unlike summer months, you would need closed shoes like sneakers or comfortable boots. I’d go one step further and wear hiking shoes because you would be climbing the slippery cobblestone streets on the steep hills, especially if you have to visit my favourite neighborhood Alfama and the nearby Graca.

Accessories

Bring a travel umbrella and a waterproof coat or light rain jacket to stay dry during occasional showers.

Indoor Activities

For visits to museums, galleries, or religious sites, opt for stylish attire that respects local customs.

Evening Wear

Dress up with a leather jacket or dress shoes for dinners at top-rated restaurants or evening entertainment.

Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November)

Spring in Lisbon
Spring in Lisbon via Unsplash

Lisbon in both spring and autumn offers delightful weather and vibrant atmospheres, making these seasons among the best times to visit the city.

Spring in Lisbon brings mild temperatures and blooming flowers, creating a picturesque setting throughout the city. Average temperatures gradually rise during this time, with highs ranging from 16 to 22 degrees Celsius (61 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) and lows around 9 to 14 degrees Celsius (48 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit).

Spring is an excellent time for exploring Lisbon’s parks and gardens, such as the Eduardo VII Park and the botanical garden, where you can enjoy the colorful blossoms and pleasant weather. The city comes alive with outdoor events, festivals, and cultural activities, including the popular Lisbon Fish and Flavors Festival, which celebrates the city’s seafood cuisine.

Spring and autumn months are actually amazing seasons to make a short trip to Portugal even if it is just to visit Lisbon and Portugal.

Autumn in Lisbon is characterized by warm temperatures, fewer crowds, and beautiful foliage, particularly in November. Average temperatures gradually decrease during this season, with highs ranging from 19 to 25 degrees Celsius (66 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit) in September and cooling down to 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit) by November. Lows typically range from 12 to 17 degrees Celsius (54 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit).

Autumn is a great time for outdoor activities such as hiking in the nearby Sintra mountains or along the Lisbon coastline, where you can enjoy pleasant temperatures without the summer crowds. The city hosts various cultural events and festivals during autumn, including the Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival and the Lisbon Book Fair, providing ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the local arts scene.

Elevador da Bica with tram 28 - Lisbon, Portugal
Elevador da Bica with tram 28 – Lisbon, Portugal

Clothing

Pack a mix of light dresses, tops, and comfortable trousers for mild temperatures during these transitional seasons. Make sure to carry jackets and hoodies even for warm spring or autumn days because it gets surprisingly chilly.

Footwear

As mentioned in the previous points, comfortable walking shoes are still necessary, especially for exploring Lisbon’s outdoor attractions and day trips to nearby coastal regions. Carry comfortable sneakers for the spring or autumn months.

Accessories

Bring a day pack or crossbody bag for carrying essentials during day trips and outdoor activities.

Versatility

Consider a capsule wardrobe with mix-and-match pieces to maximize outfit options while packing light.

Outdoor Activities

Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or picnics in Lisbon’s parks and gardens.

Specific Tips for Lisbon

Lisbon Pink Street
Lisbon Pink Street

Local Dress:

While Lisbon is relatively casual, dressing slightly smarter for evenings out or upscale establishments is always appreciated.

Comfort:

Prioritize comfort over fashion, especially when walking on cobblestone streets or exploring hilly neighborhoods.

Beach Days:

Don’t forget to pack a bathing suit, beach towel, and sunscreen for relaxing days by the sea.

Day Trips:

If you plan to explore coastal towns or venture into northern Portugal, pack accordingly for different climates and activities.

Essential Travel Items for Lisbon

  • Travel Essentials: Bring along a universal travel adapter plug, and a reusable water bottle.
  • Electronics: Your camera, smartphone, and other electrical gadgets, along with a portable charger to keep them powered throughout the day.
  • Safety: Keep your belongings secure with a crossbody bag or day pack, especially in crowded areas or tourist hotspots.
  • Culinary Delights: Sample local delicacies like olive oil, ice creams, and Portuguese cuisine at outdoor cafes and restaurants.

Conclusion

With its beautiful beaches, historic sites, and vibrant culture, Lisbon offers something for every traveler. By packing the right clothing, footwear, and accessories for the season, you can make the most of your time in this enchanting city.

Whether you’re exploring cobblestone streets, dining at Michelin-star restaurants, or soaking up the sun on the coast, having a well-curated travel wardrobe ensures you’ll be stylish, comfortable, and prepared for any adventure Lisbon has to offer.

So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of exploration, and get ready to experience the magic of Lisbon in style!

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