Lisbon is a fantastic city to travel to with children. Wandering the Portuguese streets together, enjoying the attractions specifically made for children and capturing these moments on film is the best way to spend a holiday together and make memories that will last a lifetime.
As lovely as it is to travel with your family, any vacation with children involved requires ample planning. That is why we have prepared a list of the 15 Things To Do With Kids In Lisbon.
Lisbon is child-friendly and provides many activities for free or at reduced prices for families. In fact, parents from around the world pick this destination for their holidays because they know how Portuguese culture welcomes and embraces children.
Below you can discover the many possibilities that your family can do while on a vacation in Lisbon!
At the Oceanarium in Lisbon, one of the largest in Europe, children and parents will feel as if they’re under the sea! Visitors are mesmerized as they stand before floor to ceiling tanks which reach more than twenty feet high and are filled with exotic fish, rays and sharks.
Head upstairs and spend some time at the playful sea otters and penguins' exhibits. The museum offers special classes and events for children so be sure to check the website to find out what's available during your trip.
- Address: Esplanada Dom Carlos I s/nº, 1990-005 Lisboa
2. Sample Foods at the Time Out Market
Kids can be difficult to feed and traveling to a new country doesn't make that task any easier. We suggest a little self-led food tour at Time Out Market as a delicious option for hungry families. Time Out Market has about 30 different stalls selling a wide variety of food which guarantees there is sure to be something for everyone, even your pickiest eater.
A staple in Portuguese cuisine are salgados, the salty and savory appetizer-style snacks. Pop from stall to stall tasting different finger foods, sink your teeth into some of the city’s best seafood or indulge in a creamy gelato.
- Address: Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisboa
3. Scooter and Bike Along the Seaside in Belém
Although Lisbon may be the city of seven hills, once you reach the riverside it's flat as far as the eye can see. This makes a visit to Belém the perfect area for biking, roller blading, skateboarding and scootering. Lisbon has many publicly shared electric bikes and scooters which are safe to use and can be rented simply with an app on your phone. You can also rent from a shop or use one of the designated city bikes.
Take the coastal train to Belém station from which you can explore the riverside in the direction of Cascais or back toward the bridge in Alcântara.
- To learn more about the top attractions in the area, join the audio-guide Tour of Belém from YourMobileGuide, and visit the gardens, museums and historical landmarks that brings visitors from around the world to this charming city.
4. Hop On and Off the Trams
What better way to give tired legs a break than to ride the rumbling trams from neighborhood to neighborhood? The yellow historic 1930’s trolley cars are loved by passengers of all ages. A ticket can be purchased ahead of time or on board. Make sure to carry at least 3 euros of pocket change to make the transaction quick and easy. Riding the Tram 28E is a classic experience when visiting Lisbon and the ride is as bumpy and full of jolts and halting stops as it was almost 100 years ago.
- For more information on the loop and stations of Tram 28E and Tram 25E please check our article on Lisbon's public transportation system.
5. Explore Feira da Ladra
Feira da Ladra is a scavenger hunt waiting to be embarked on. The famous flea market, also called the Thieves Market, is a constant in the city every Tuesday and Saturday. Vendor after vendor overflow with every item imaginable, from vintage clothing to second hand toys, historical relics and funky artwork.
Create a list with your children to see what they can find at the market or let them use a camera for a photography scavenger hunt. Just a walk through the center of the market will keep eyes wide and interested. Once in the Alfama neighborhood, check out the complete guide to a day in Alfama to discover what else is waiting for you.
- Address: Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-472 Lisboa
6. Visit the Murals, Children’s Stores and Unique Fun Features at LX Factory
LX Factory just might be the coolest part of Lisbon. The renovated warehouse district has been given new life now that it is a gathering place for art, bars, fun restaurants and one-of-a-kind boutiques.
Admire the street art and murals together before popping into the book store, Ler Devagar. Once inside you can browse a fantastic collection of literature or climb the ladder stairs until you hover above readers below. Or, explore the inside of the main buildings and check out the skate shops with active ramps inside. Hungry? No problem. There are various restaurants here with food options that are vegan and vegetarian friendly, that will satisfy anyone in the family.
- Address: R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa
7. Get Wild at the Lisbon Zoo
The Lisbon Zoological Garden is the perfect full day excursion for visitors of all ages. However, many features make the Lisbon Zoo a suitable option for those traveling with children, such as the full park train ride, the enchanted forest, the sky cable car, the petting farm and interactive exhibits which teach curious children about the diverse environments in nature.
- Address: Praça Marechal Humberto Delgado, 1549-004 Lisboa
8. Climb Through the Trees at the Jamor Adventure Park
An appealing feature about Lisbon is that it is connected by a coastal train to a series of charming beach towns, all within a 45 minute ride from the central station. Take the train and hop off at Cruz Quebrada and you will find yourself a few minutes walk from the Jamor Adventure Park, an attraction great for kids, teens or the whole family.
The obstacle park located within the trees is made of ropes, tunnels, bridges, nets and zip-lines, and anyone who dares to climb up into the canopy is bound to have the time of their life. Jamour Adventure Park is an active experience that safely challenges kids and encourages team building.
- Address: Centro Desportivo Nacional do Jamor, 1495-751 Cruz Quebrada
9. Scale the Walls of São Jorge Castle
Ignite the imagination of children and spark the interest for history in teenagers by visiting São Jorge Castle. The fortification on one of Lisbon's highest hills offers an opportunity to travel back in time and learn about the different groups who have occupied it, from Romans to the Moors, before being captured by the Portuguese.
Children will be fascinated by the medieval artifacts, stories, ruins and the towers which they can climb to lookout over Lisbon. Aside from being a fantastic historical monument, São Jorge Castle has an outstanding garden space where families can sit, enjoy a picnic and relax within the walls of one of Portugal’s greatest sites.
- Address: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa
10. Explore the Gardens of Quinta da Regaleira
Step into the pages of a fairy tale at Quinta da Regaleira, a 19th century mansion with incredible grounds. Families can explore the turrets and terraces of the Neo-Manueline building before heading into the wonderland gardens.
Wander through caves, underground walkways, tunnels and a twenty-seven meter deep well that plummets into the earth like the spiral tower of Rapunzel turned upside down. Children can run freely here, play beside various water features and pretend to be characters from their favorite stories at this UNESCO World Heritage cultural site.
For more information on Sintra, read our Guide to Sintra and Pena Palace and discover all there is to do and see in the enchanting neighbor of Lisbon.
- Address: R. Barbosa du Bocage 5, 2710-567 Sintra
11. Dive into Science at the Pavilion of Knowledge
A perfect day’s activity for all curious and inquisitive minds, the Pavilion of Knowledge has interactive science exhibitions and engaging displays. Located in the new and modern area of Lisbon, Parque das Nações, the Pavilion of Knowledge includes various hands-on innovative activities for guests. Experiment with gravity, engineering and electricity and discover how the world around us works.
- Address: Largo José Mariano Gago nº1, 1990-073 Lisboa
12. Gaze Back at Parque das Nações from the Cable Car
Located in the modern neighborhood of Parque das Nações is the thirty meter high cable car which carries riders back and forth for over a kilometer, providing a memorable experience with breathtaking views. This attraction is ideal for kids as it's safe, exciting and for younger riders feels like an amusement park ride.
As the gondola can carry up to eight people, the whole family can easily join in one car. You can get on at either the Oceanarium or the Vasco da Gama tower and pay four euros for a one way ticket or six for a round trip ride.
- Address: Estação Norte, Passeio das Tágides, 1990-280 Lisboa
13. Hit the Beaches
One of the best features about Lisbon is that it is a city located beside the ocean. While Lisbon flows directly into the Tagus River, a short train ride away a handful of fantastic beaches await you. The most convenient way to reach them is to head to the coastal train station, Cais do Sodré, and take the train which leads to Cascais.
The end of the line is about a fifty minute train ride at most, and in between there are more than ten different stations which leave riders within walkable distances to attractive beaches. For easy-to-access beaches we suggest Santo Amaro, Cruz Quebrada, Oeiras, Estoril, Parede and Cascais. You can find cafes, bathrooms and boardwalks at many of these locations.
14. Engage Imaginations at Pena Palace
The Park and National Palace of Pena are a place that have inspired artists and writers over the years. The magic of the boldly colored red, yellow and orange palace that sits above the UNESCO City is undeniable. Steeped in history, Pena Palace offers something for visitors of all ages and the gardens around it are ideal for younger travelers. The Portuguese royal family once called Sinta their summer home away from home, and as you explore Pena Palace it's easy to imagine how life here must have been.
- Address: Estrada da Pena, 2710-609 Sintra
15. Try as many Pastel de Natas as You Can
Perhaps Lisbon’s most notorious food, pastel de nata can be found everywhere- and we mean everywhere. Served in all the pastelarias, occupying a spot on dessert menus and being prepared in window fronts at special bakeries dedicated solely to them, it's impossible to avoid the pastel de nata.
The flakey crusted cup is filled with creamy custard, sprinkled with cinnamon and then baked to perfection. It's safe to say adults love them just as much as kids do, so making time in your day to stop at different cafes and enjoy a pastel de nata, and perhaps an espresso for the parents, is a great way to take a break.
We suggest hunting down a few of the most famous cafes which bake pastel de nata, and seeing if you can spot the differences. Our top choices are Manteigaria, Nata Lisboa, Pastelaria Santo António and of course the most famous Pastéis de Belém. If you're looking for suggestions for Lisbon's best cafes overall, look no further.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and found it helpful. Leave us a comment and let us know what your favorite things to do with children were!
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