Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Lisbon is completely covered in cobblestones - uneven and very slippery cobblestones. Plus, the up and down terrain throughout the city makes for very treacherous walking if you are in anything but flat shoes with a rubber sole. Seriously. Do not think you will be OK wearing heels of any kind unless you plan on taking a taxi door-to-door, from everywhere. It's just not worth the sprained ankle or worse.
I usually borrow guide books from a library for my travels, but sometimes I feel like I have to buy a guide book just to make my bookshelf look well travelled.
As I was really looking forward to finally visiting Lisbon, I decided to buy the "Rough Guide to Lisbon". Rough Guides are my prefered travel book series.
I read quite a lot in this book before, during and after the trip. The book offers a gorgeous mixture of sight seeing descriptions, lively reviews of all sorts of places and interesting background stories. Apart from that it includes useful maps.
Highly recommended, especially for independent travellers!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Even if the locals warned me,I didn´t belive how chilly it might be at summer.I really had not enough long sleeved shirts.My husband did not even take his jeans with him,because at hollidays in Italy and Spain he had never used them.No he was missing his jeans,even if he hardly ever feels cold.
Luggage and bags:
Most of Lisbon is quite steep and full of cobbledstone streets. So trolleys don't always work well in the streets. If you come from Europe using a low cost company don't forget that they charge for the luggage you dispatch. So why not try to fit everything in a smaller trolley and bring with you in the plane? Lisbon is warm in summer so no need for heavy clothing. Maximum dimensions are 55x40x20cm.
The rules of Carris, the operator of the Lisbon buses, forbid the entrance of bags superior to 55x40x20cm. I don't think they are very severe with it but it is good to know. The exception is the aerobus that connects the airport to the city centre.
With the new european rules you can't transport liquids in your hand luggage. The liquid must be in a container with a maximum volume of 100ml. All liquid containers should be fitted comfortably into a transparent, re-sealable 1 litre plastic bag, measuring 20cmx20cm (free at the airport). The plastic bag should be presented separately at security.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack a confortable pair of shoes because Lisbon is steep and full of cobblestone streets. High heel shoes are not the best choice. When the heel is thin it can become stuck between the stones. As someone said, pavement in Lisbon was done by men who hated women. Anything that might ease your walking or after walking will be a great add.
Lisbon can be a bit windy so even in summer bring a jacket. Normally it doesn't rain all that much so a umbrella is not frequently required. The coldest months are December to January (average between 8ºC and 16ºC), the warmest July to September (averages between 17ºC and 28ºC). The rainiest months are November, December and January while the sunniest are June, July and September. It is very rare, really rare to snow in Lisbon (once every 50 years).
It is easy to purchase in Lisbon in the huge malls, in the flea markets, downtown, etc. Clothes are normally cheaper than in most Europe and in January there are significant discounts. Sunglasses and hat might be nice in summer.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: In Lisbon it is easy to find a pharmacy. Each one has a person with degree in pharmacy and so they can easily advise you. Many supermarkets sell cheaper medicines as long as not subject to medical prescription.
In every trip I like to pack something for diaharrea, colds and aspirins. If you have ear problems or are with a cold take something to eat to the plane (e.g. bread) and nasal spray. Sometimes people develop ear problems with the trip.
Lisbon doesn't have many mosquitos (and none that transmits diseases) however bring a soothing balm and maybe a repellent.
If you are a citizen of the EU you should require the European Card of Health Insurance in your country to access the portuguese health care system. If not try to see if your health insurance has any protocol with clinics in Lisbon.
If you have any allergy or religious restrains don't forget to check how that product is called in portuguese to avoid nasty surprises.
Not always toillets are as clean as they should.
Photo Equipment: Don't forget your camera. Lisbon is famous for its light and from the belvederes you'll have exquisite views over the city. Remember to bring an adaptor if you come from countries with a voltage different from continental Europe. Buying an adaptor might not be very easy.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Don't forget the bathing suit and the slippers and also a sunscreen to avoid any sunburn.
Miscellaneous: Always bring the contact of your embassy. If you need anything you should know how to contact them, see a list in http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/portugal2.htm.
As in any other big city avoid bringing elements that have written "tourist" all over the place. There are pickpockets and you should be aware.
Beware of the most important emergency contact numbers. 112 for emergencies, + 351 213 421 634 is the number of the police station dedicated to assist the tourist and that exists in Palácio Foz in Restauradores Square.
In Lisbon speaking in English is not very difficult. Many people understand and at least people normally do the effort to comprehend and help. Speaking in spanish might not be the best choice. Some people don't like it and you should be aware that although it is easy to understand by many portuguese people, they don't know how to speak properly and get a bit puzzled why would someone foreigner and not a spanish speaker would try to speak to them in this language. So always try english first, even french and only later spanish, except if you're spanish of course. If possible bring a dictionary, especially to understand the menus at the restaurants. Portuguese have many different plates and it might be good to know what you are eating.
A nice touch to bring would be an MP3 player with some fado music or other that you enjoy and hit a belvedere and stay there listening and relaxing to the music. http://www.visitportugal.com/podcast.xml and hostelworld.com offers podcasts of the country.
Portuguese people are quite tolerant in the relations with others. Normally there isn't anyone looking at the dressing code while entering in a church. However in a disco things might be quite different. Difference is tolerated although there might be some looks or comments because people are also quite traditionalist.
If possible try bring some Euros with you. There are many ATM's around the city, probably the highest density in Europe. But you'll never know when your card decides to give problems and you never know how expensive will the exchange/withdraw of money in a foreign country might get. I normally do my exchanges in Nova Cambios in Rossio Square. They don't charge any commission.
About cellular phones there are 3 main networks: TMN, Vodafone and Optimus. They have 3 low costs operators: Uzo, Vodafone Directo and Rede 4. These low costs operators have pre-paid cards with no need of a minimum monthly recharge. There is also a virtual operator called Phone-Ix. You can charge the cards in any ATM machine. You can purchase cheap phones and the cards, for instance, at the post office. There is one at the Lisbon Airport.
In the Airport there is a tourist office. You don't need to pack heavy guide books. There are good maps available and the magazine follow me Lisboa has the main events of the city and informations about the attractions, costs and schedules. You can also find it, before arriving, in the website: http://www.visitlisboa.com/SubToolBar/PUBLICACOES.aspx. Fnac in Lisbon downtown has a huge variety of guidebooks about the city.
You don't need to purchase water or be careful with ice. The tap water is quite good.
If you have a youth card/student card bring it. Also bring an identification document if you are over 65. In many monuments and attractions there are significant discounts.
Citizens of EU, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand don't need visas. However anti terrorist laws are always changing so you might wanna check.
These are some of the names in portuguese of the products that cause more allergies (milk=leite, strawberry=morango; peanuts = amendoins; shellfish = marisco; coffee = café; nuts = nozes; chocolat = chocolate; cocoa = cacau; yogurt = iogurte; cream = natas; cheese = queijo; egg = ovo; tomato=tomate; porco=pork; cow=vaca/vitela; meat = carne). Lisbon has all sorts of restaurants. So no matter what you like you'll probably find it.
The following website has many informations about laws, habbits and travel informations.
Luggage and bags:
Pack as light as you can, it is a big advice I assure you. A study has proved that a large percentage of what you pack is never used.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In the winter it rains often so an umbrella or rain coat is a good thing to bring. In the summer bring some shorts and tshirts, it is very warm. Some comfortable running shoes are very handy.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can find anything here.
Photo Equipment: The same as above.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: What can I say? Sunglasses?
First of all: very comfortable shoes because Lisbon is on different hills so it has been build up and down. Take a stroll with high heels will be a nightmare for every woman. On the other hand, I went there in summer and it was warm and sunny. Not so hot and humid; moreover you can enter the churches with sleveless shirt (everyone been in Italy understand it's not so obvious). Sun glasses and hut.
Photo Equipment: Lisbon is everywhere very bright. A 100asa film will be sufficient in open areas.
Don't forget to pick up a free map of Lisbon at the Tourist Information Office or at the Lisbon Welcome Centre. I got a map which was sponsored by "El Corte Ingles", which is a big department store chain in Spain and Portugal. Besides a detailed city map it includes an overview of the metro network and information about hotels and sights
The Tourist Office is in Praca dos Restauradores in the Palacio de Foz, whereas the Lisbon Welcome Centre can be found at the Praca de Comercio near the waterfront.
Luggage and bags: Definately limit your luggage. Portugal has a mild climate, so layers are ideal for chilly mornings and warm afternoons. It never snows in Lisbon so you shouldn't need a lot of heavy clothing. Bring as few bags as possible since the elevators in hotels are really tiny and you spend a lot of time waiting to squeeze into one.
Luggage and bags:
We were only there for a weekend, so I just brought my backpack, a handbag, and a money belt.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable shoes for walking on those cobblestone streets, light summery clothes (it can get hot in summer), bathing suit if you want to go to the beach.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Your own prescriptions and toiletries, sunscreen, maybe bandaids for your feet in case you get blisters from walking on the streets.
Photo Equipment: Normal camera and film. I used one roll of film in 3 days. If you have a panoramic camera, bring it. There are many oportunities to take gorgeous landscape or overhead view pictures.
There are very good guidebook in libraries, bookstores and Tourism Office to know what you should not miss in Lisbon. I usually go to the Tourism Office and there I found maps and simple guidebooks.
The last time I spent some time in Lisbon I took some nice walks with some friends and one of them had a very good guidebook, which I don’t remember the name :-(. It save us from being lost at night when we were searching of a place called Chapitô (take a look to the nightlife tips).