The ultimate dilemma of knowing what to pack is an age-old problem, let alone when you are visiting a sunny destination in winter! When it came to packing for Porto in late winter, I was in a bit of a conundrum! This post contains some helpful tips about what to wear in Porto for a weekend break during the colder seasons but the tips are just as great for Spring!
When it comes to packing, I am generally the kind of person who packs everything but the kitchen sink! But, please do not let that put you off reading my Porto Packing Guide, as I have plenty of tips to share and my aim is to help others just like me!
Porto Packing Guide – What Luggage to Take
Unless you are visiting Porto for 7 days plus, hand-luggage is all you need! I did just fine with my purple IT cabin case (pictured below.)
Since this trip, I have recently been able to condense my travel packing even further! The Cabin Max Travel Hack Backpack and packing cubes now enable me to fit weekend clothes for a trip in a backpack! The backpack fits nicely underneath my seat on a flight so I no longer need to worry about having to wrestle the other passengers out of the way for precious cabin space!
It also has a strap to slide the backpack onto the Cabin Max Travel Hack Pro Cabin Case if you want the full set. My favourite feature of the Cabin Max Travel Hack Pro Cabin Case is the top zip, a handy area to zip your handbag and other travel documents without the need to open the cabin case.
These luggage items with handy packing cubes are the perfect travel packing for Porto accessories.
I’m sure I’m not alone, but as a typical Brit, winter is normally the perfect excuse for me to book a trip to a warmer climate. I’m a sunseeker and as January hit, I knew I had to book a short break to a sunny destination. However, from experience and from nosing on Instagram Stories locations of places such as Portugal, Spain & Italy (places you know have warmer weather) you will always see images of the locals wrapped up in winter coats, scarves and hats! This leaves people like me in a real quandary about what to pack as you literally pack for various weather and scenarios! What I’ve come to learn is the locals in these destinations will start wearing their winter clothes from September onwards regardless and, those of us that descend from countries such as the U.K. just want an excuse to dig out the shorts, skirts and sandals!
This may come across as slightly stereotypical, but on previous trips to Portugal, Spain and more recently, Italy, I have experienced just that. On our trip to Lisbon, I was wearing a sundress, Adam was without a jumper and our tour guide Alex was wrapped up in a winter coat and scarf…it was September! Once again, as we plodded around in flip flops during our September trip to Italy, our host at the Golfo Gabella Resort Lisa was wearing leather boots, a leather jacket and a scarf!
Now, you understand my predicament when it came to what to pack for Porto in February! I had no idea! So here’s a guide of what to pack based on what I wore during my city break to Porto…
What I Packed for Porto
I packed a long polka-dot dress that could be worn with a jumper on top and two mid-length skirts for my weekend trip to Porto. I was really looking forward to wearing the polka-dot dress, in particular, as it was a purchase from Miss Selfridge from last year and it was so long I had to have it taken up (thanks to work-Nanny Beryl for doing the honours.) I was delighted to finally be able to wear it, even if I did wear a jumper on top.
The skirts and dresses allowed me to embrace the fact I was in a warmer climate, gave me a colour pop to my outfit and, the longer length meant that I didn’t get any ghastly looks from locals, who may have thought it was too cold for such attire. The longer length skirts and dresses are versatile as they can easily be worn with a jumper and trainers for a more casual look. Plus, on chillier days I could easily wear the same outfit with tights (not that I needed any.)
Planning a visit to Italy in Spring or Autumn? Why not check out what I wore to Northern Italy in September/October (click here.)
As I mentioned, I took along a jumper that would look nice with the skirts I brought along. The woven jumper I took to Porto wasn’t too bulky and was the ideal length to wear with my skirts.
Denim / Light Jacket
One morning I ventured out of our Porto apartment without a jacket and soon headed back inside to grab one. Whilst the sun is shining, it still can be a little chilly and, my denim jacket was ideal to go over my jumper. The length of the jacket also coordinated nicely with my skirts.
If you don’t want to take a denim jacket with you, shops such as New Look and Topshop currently have a nice selection of light jackets. Another great option is a leather jacket. A leather jacket was a great option when I had a weekend break in Prague as it kept the wind out and was still light enough in the sunshine.
In addition to my denim jacket, I also took along a smart casual cardigan/jacket. This item is so versatile for a trip and stores such as Next and Matalan are great for these.
Packing a light jacket for Porto is ideal for evenings wandering the Ribeira District or sampling the traditional port wines from the merchants along the Douro River.
Black jeans and three plain t-shirts
Black jeans and plain t-shirts are staple items for me on any trip. Plain items can be pretty much styled with anything you bring and the t-shirts were great as they could be styled easily with my bold skirts. I always take a couple of Bardot-style oval-neck tops as they can easily be transitioned into a night-time look. The black jeans were ideal to travel in and I could also cover my legs dining out in the evening.
Now, this is one staple you don’t need a memo for as comfortable shoes are a must for any city break! For my city break in Porto, I took along these plain white plimsoll style trainers from Primark and they went with everything without looking scruffy!
Another staple for me (unless the weather is boiling) is a scarf. Ideal for keeping the neckline warm and for chilly aeroplane travel, most of my scarves are even great for a makeshift sarong should I have the pleasure of going swimming. Yet, another versatile item!
Porto Packing Guide Lowdown
Here’s a list of what I packed in my hand luggage for my weekend break in Porto:
- Boarding Passes
- Copy of travel insurance
- Travel plug/phone/camera/portable chargers
- 1 dress
- 2 mid-length skirts
- 3 t-shirts (plus one shirt I wore on the plane)
- 1 denim jacket
- 1 lightweight trench jacket (worn on the plane)
- 1 cardigan/jacket
- 1 pair of plimsoll trainers
- 1 pair of espadrilles (picture in my Italian villa post)
It should be noted, whilst I visited Porto at the end of February, these items are just as applicable for an autumn or spring weekend break in Porto.
The key to packing is to always leave plenty of room for any purchases or, if you are really packed to the rafters take a minimalistic companion with you! I hope this post has helped you pack for Porto, alleviating any stress from an upcoming trip.
Wondering what to see and do in Porto? Check out my other Porto posts: