Are you wondering what to pack for Portugal in May? Spring can be a challenging time to pack for Portugal but fear not. In this guide we consider what to pack for Portugal regions such as Lisbon and Porto, as well as to beaches in the Algarve and on amazing day trips.
Weather in Portugal in May
The difficulty in packing for Portugal in May is that the temperatures fluctuate throughout the month. Also if you are traveling to different regions of Portugal you will find the climates are quite different.
Is it hot in Portugal in May
In the South in cities such as Lisbon you can expect the average high temperature in to be around 72Fs / c.22C and the low around 13C.
However in the North in places such as the temperature hovers around 10 ºC (50 ºF) and is often rainy and windy which can make it feel cooler.
Therefore the key to any Portugal in May Packing List is having lots of layers and some waterproof layers just in case.
Does it Rain in Portugal in May
The rainy season in Portugal tends to be from November to March. However having said that you can get rain in Portugal any time of year.
However in May, you can generally expect only 16mm of rain and the North tends to be rainy than the south.
To get a more accurate weather overview, be sure to check out our monthly city what to wear guides:
- What to wear to Lisbon in May
- What to wear in Porto
- What to wear to the Algarve in May
- What to wear in Sintra
And if you trip spans two months be sure to check out our other monthly guides:
- What to wear to Portugal in April
- What to wear to Portugal in June
Is it warm enough to swim in Portugal in May?
For me, it is not warm enough to swim in Lisbon in May however it is possible if you are visiting regions such as the Algarve.
What to Wear in Portugal in May
Best Shoes for Portugal in May
The perfect shoe for Portugal at any time of year is a sneaker in my opinion. The capital city, Lisbon, is very hilly as is Porto and the beautiful and colorful city of Sintra is too.
And being historic, you will find many of the cities and tourist attractions have cobbled streets. Therefore sneakers are the best shoes for dealing with the terrain throughout Portugal.
Personally, I recommend sneakers that I am most comfortable walking in which include brands such as Hoka , Sketchers Go Walks or All Birds for wandering around Barcelona. But go with whatever you feel most comfortable in.
The weather in Portugal in May generally suits a sandal.
Though I wouldn’t wear sandals for sightseeing, as you will want a decent sole and arch support sandals are perfect for beaches in Portugal and also for going out to dinner in Lisbon.
Personally I would always select a wedge over a stiletto heel if you want a shoe with height as these are safer on cobbles. Click here to shop sandals for Portugal.
Flip Flops (optional)
These are only really suitable if you plan to visit some of the beach areas of Portugal i.e. the Algarve at this time of year or are staying at a hotel with a heated pool.
If you aren’t however planning to head to the beaches in the South however you might swell leave the flip flops at home.
What to Wear in Portugal in May for women
This section of the guide is a great Portugal Packing list for women whether they are visiting cities, beaches or a mixture on their Portugal itinerary.
Although May is warming up I still think it is worthwhile taking a pair of jeans with you especially if you are heading to the cities such as Lisbon and Porto, especially at the beginning of the month.
The big cities in Portugal are quite casual city so will find a variety of styles and colors on the streets of the city so go with whatever you feel most comfortable in.
On top of jeans I would add some more light weight trousers to your Portugal Spring packing list for the hotter days.
I think Chinos are the perfect weight trousers for traveling in May but you could consider linen trousers if you are traveling towards the end of the month or are heading to the Algarve where the temperatures can be a bit warmer. Shop women’s trousers here.
A loose blouse works perfectly for warmer days and cooler nights in Lisbon of which there are several.
Portugal in May is warming up, and being a casual city short sleeve t shirts are the perfect addition to your packing list.
One of the things I like about Portugal is that it is actually quite a vibrant country so you can go a bit bolder with the color palette of your capsule wardrobe.
One of my favorite colors to wear in Portugal in Spring is blue as it pops against most Portuguese backdrops such as Sintra and the famous tiles you find in Lisbon.
It is highly unlikely you will need a coat when visiting Portugal in May a jacket or blazer is essential for evenings and cooler days.
A nice blazer is also perfect for restaurants coupled with blouses and trousers.
As Portugal can still get rain during this month you could consider adding a waterproof jacket to the list if you have one. Otherwise you should definitely be adding a compact travel umbrella to your packing list. Click here to shop waterproof jackets.
A pashmina is on all of my European packing lists no matter the month of travel. They are perfect for cooler days as an extra layer and also can make outfits more modest if your top does not meet churches in Portugal dress code rules.
PJs or Nightie
Lightweight pyjamas and nighties are perfect especially towards the end of the month.
Skirts and dresses
Anything goes in Portugal so select skirts and dress types that you are most comfortable in. Personally I like a long maxi dress with a short sleeve for this month of the year and will always have a pashmina and top layer with me for chillier days.
However it is worth noting that there is one type of tourist attraction where you need to be more conservative – Portuguese churches i.e. Lisbon Cathedral, as with many European churches such as the Sagrada Familia and the Vatican, require visitors to keep shoulders and knees covered.
Therefore on days you plan to visit religious settings remember to be more conservative in your attire.
I always recommend taking a sun hat if you are visiting Portugal in summer but I would also say that the sun is strong enough in May to warrant a sunhat.
I personally do not find the sea warm enough to swim in in Lisbon in May however the beaches towards the end of the month may be warm enough to sun bath on.
And if you are are heading to the Algarve you may be able to swim there.
Also if your hotel comes with a heated pool you will definitely want to consider adding swimwear to your list.
If any of these apply to you then I would add swimwear to your Portugal in May Packing List.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying.
What to pack for Portugal in May for Men
The rules of what to pack for Portugal in Spring for men is similar to women. We recommend packing
Chinos and jeans are perfect for Portugal in May as they are the perfect weight for the weather. Click here to shop mens trousers for Portugal.
However I would also recommend packing
The weather especially towards the end of the month will be hot enough for shorts.
They are also great for those wanting to sunbath on the beach.
Just note that shorts are not appropriate for men at churches in Portugal, just the same as with woman so be sure to have longer length pants for days you plan on visiting churches. Click here to shop mens shorts.
T Shirts and Shirts
Short sleeve t shirts are perfect for sightseeing during the day in May.
However for evenings I would recommend having a button down shirt with long sleeves and maybe a polo shirt for day to night transition outfits.
A blazer is a perfect to a men’s Portugal Spring Packing List as it is perfect attire for restaurants and will double up as an extra layer for those cooler spring days.
For the same reason as on the Portugal Female Packing list above.
For same reason as above.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
What to Pack in Portugal in May (non clothing)
- sunglasses – Sunglasses are essential in Portugal whatever the month but May and Summer in particular.
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Travel Adaptor
- Power Pack / Battery recharger
- Crossbody bag with zips – this acts as a deterrent to pickpoclets
- Sunscreen –the sun is strong in Lisbon
- Aloe Vera / Aftersun – just in case
- Insect Repellant
- camera – it is a beautiful city you will want to take lots of photographs.
Note: you could bring toiletries with you however there are plenty of places to stock up on toiletries in Lisbon and the cities it will save space in your luggage. However if you are heading straight into the countryside you may want to bring this with you.