There’s a lot of pressure to pack well for Lisbon. That’s because every corner you turn down is ripe for a romantic photo of you. Whether it’s posing under the trees bursting with purple flowers, leaning against a pink or sherbet-orange wall, traipsing down a cobblestone street awash with a golden glow, or posing on the balcony of a 19th-century summer palace, you need to bring your fashion game.
At the same time, Lisbon is a very walkable city — more walkable than bikeable or taxi-able, even — so you’ll need to bring your walking shoes for those steep cobblestone stairs and hills that wind up through old town.
Some places you could shop ahead of time that would help you nail that Lisbon style are Klow (founded by two French women who live in Lisbon), Cortana (a brand from neighboring Spain), Oh Seven Days (from Turkey), or Toast (a favorite from the UK). Or, save some room in your suitcase and go shopping when you arrive!
One more thing before we dive in: credit for this assortment goes to Tania Valle, a Portuguese image consultant and personal shopper based in Lisbon, who gave me recommendations for what to pack for spring in this fashionable city. If you want a shopping guide, hit her up! She’s a pro, and quite friendly and fun!
On the Plane (or Train)
T-shirt – I really like the drape of Alternative Apparel’s organic cotton and recycled polyester t-shirt, and it comes in 6 neutral colors, or there’s the wide selection at Outerknown.
City backpack – There’s the Danish brand grünBAG (which I partnered with to come up with a great traveling backpack called the Alden), a hyper-organized and practical backpack, or one of these uber-Scandinavian backpacks.
Bum bag – I like them for traveling because it’s handy to have my wallet and passport and phone strapped right to my chest, rather than in my backpack. Plus, they’re endlessly chic in Europe. Check out my roundup of hip bags.
Sunglasses – Here’s my roundup of eco-friendly brands.
In Your Suitcase
Sleeveless blouse or tie crop top – I personally love and wear the tie top from Elizabeth Suzann.
Long cardigan – Try Maska for a wide selection.
Black jeans – Here’s my round-up of eco-friendly denim brands.
Denim shorts – I like Re/Done for that authentic vintage look.
Fashionable rain jacket – I like EcoAlf.
Brimmed hat – It is so bright and sunny in Portugal, the light seems to reflect off every surface, including the cobblestones and walls and river and ocean. This hat by Wyldaire is packable!
Cotton tote – A straw bag would be ultra-chic, but it takes up a lot of space. A cotton tote folds up tiny but will hold a lot once you arrive, including your water bottle and little digital camera! I know you have a few lying around…
Thin belt – For wrapping around your scarf or shirt dress. I especially like belting a scarf that’s draped around my neck for a sleek look.
Cute but comfortable sandals – You’ll be doing a lot of walking on cobblestone streets
Cute flats – Portugal loves its high-quality leather shoes, and you’ll be grateful you avoided heels when you’re climbing steep cobblestone hills. You can’t go wrong with sandals or slides from ABLE, Coclico, Nisolo, Pons Avarcas, Huma Blanco, or Fortress of Inca.
Underwear and bras – Here’s my guide to packing just enough eco undies and bras.
Jewelry – Along with your basic studs, pack a pair of fun dangly earrings and wrist bangles.
Turkish towel – Usually I recommend a sarong for my packing lists, but for Portugal, I would go for a Turkish towel. You can use it as a towel, or a picnic blanket when you take some fresh crusty bread and a tin of sardines to the park. Find beautiful artisan towels at MadeTrade.
Bathing suit – For frolicking in your hotel pool or the nearby ocean. If you like to surf, pack a surfing suit, too. Here’s my roundup of eco-friendly bathing suits.
In Your Toiletry Bag
Argan oil – I can’t live without argan oil for making my hair shiny and smooth, plus sealing in moisture on my face after a shower.
Coola Tinted SPF BB cream – This is my absolute favorite tinted SPF cream. You’ll need it, since it’s so sunny out!
Micellar water – I prefer Micellar water to face wash. I like Yes to Cucumbers, which you can find in the travel size in your local CVS or Walgreens.
Deodorant – here are my favorites
Shampoo & conditioner
Multipurpose soap and a soap tin – this one by Akamai is amazing for shaving as well as cleansing.
Makeup – Eyeliner that gives you a nice cat eye, mascara, and a lipstick in coral or red.
Sunscreen? – You could pack one, but I actually would just wait until you arrive to Europe. Their selection of non-toxic sunscreen is way better than in America!