Lisbon With Kids
Portugal’s capital Lisbon (Lisboa in Portuguese) is a wonderful city to visit with children. This spectacular city exceeded all our expectations. I’m going to go as far as say this is our (certainly my) favourite European city to date and we only just scratched the surface. If you are considering a visit to Portugal too, read on. Here are some of our top tips to help you plan your Lisbon with kids itinerary.
FUN FACT: According to furthestcity.com, Lisbon is the 2nd farthest capital city from Melbourne Australia.
Who would’ve thought? We chose to visit a capital city that is so far away from our Australian home. This wasn’t intentional. We picked Lisbon to visit for a few reasons, mainly because we’d heard so many good things about Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city and felt compelled to book a short trip to Lisbon whilst we were staying in the UK for a month.
Family-friendly apartment to stay in Lisbon with kids.
We chose to book a Cosy Apartment in the Historical Centre with Airbnb. We couldn’t fault it! The location proved to be perfect for us; just a few minutes’ walk from all the main tourist sites, plenty of restaurants, shops etc. Despite being so close to all the good stuff, the nights were quiet so we all slept well without any noise or disturbance.
The apartment itself is said to sleep 6 people although a family of 4 is probably just right with two single beds and one double bed/room. There was an additional a pull-out sofa bed for two extras if needed. We loved the apartment’s modern décor with sweet little touches such as Lisboa inspired furnishings, a TV with Netflix (great for the kids) a fully-equipped kitchen, a carefully curated handbook filled with useful, local information. We didn’t see our hosts at all during our stay, but it didn’t matter.
We arrived late at night but collected the keys via a safety box. It was a pleasure to come home to our cosy apartment at the end of a busy day sight-seeing in Lisbon with the kids.
By the way, if you’ve not booked via Airbnb before, here is a referral link. This means we get a little credit back from Airbnb for referring you, which obviously helps towards another stay somewhere else in the future! Every little helps, but no obligation.
A family-friendly walking tour of Lisbon With Locals.
Over the years, we’ve booked many walking tours in new-to-us cities. We do so on the first day of our stay, to help us get our bearings and immerse ourselves in the culture of our chosen city. We did the same for Lisbon, but this was a very last minute decision. After searching high and low on the day prior to arrival in Lisbon, the same tour popped up as the most reasonable and flexible for families; a walking tour WithLocals.
WithLocals is a site that connects travellers and locals in cities all over the world. We chose an “Olá Lisbon! Your Fun Family Introduction” a 1.5hr walking tour with António L.
Our tour cost us €36 for the four of us – excellent value for money. António was a fantastic guide. He shared his knowledge in a friendly and patient manner. He was very understanding with our two children, one of which tires easily and doesn’t like to walk up hills, so he made the necessary adaptions to our walk to allow for this.
Public transport in Lisbon with kids – travelling to Belém on the tram
Travelling on public transport with kids in Lisbon is easy and cheap, so the following day we took a tram get to the riverside district of Belém from Lisbon. The journey took approximately 20 minutes from Lisbon to Belém by tram. Tram numbers 15 or 127 head to Belém from the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon. Get off the tram as you pass the magnificent Jeronimos Monastery.
The main tourist attractions in Belém are:
- Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (FYI closed on Monday)
- Torre de Belém (FYI closed on Monday)
- Pastéis de Belém to taste test the famous Pasteis de Nata-flaky pastries
- Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) along the waterfront.
The kids absolutely loved wading in the waters of the Tagus River surrounding the impressive Torre de Belém, the district’s 16th century fortress.
We had lunch at the Café do Forte next to the Belém Forte before we returned to Lisbon.
A family-friendly day trip to Sintra and Cascais
“Go to Sintra” everyone said to us “and Cascais” said others. But our limited time in Lisbon with kids meant we’d have to do either one place or the other on public transport, unless we booked a tour to take us to both.
We found a suitable tour with We Hate Tourism Tours– funny name! Most day tours we found were very expensive for a family, but We Hate Tourism Tours offer their tours at half price for kids making the X-Day Trip Sintra Cascais more affordable than most.
Sintra is a stunning place filled with extravagant palaces, opulent mansions and the ruins of an ancient castle. Picture postcard stuff!
Cascais is a busy coastal resort town west of Lisbon, with a sandy beach, marina, shops and plenty of places to eat and drink.
The tour included a beautiful traditional Portuguese lunch in Sintra and a few refreshments along the way. Note that this tour does not visit the famous Pena Palace in Sintra because you need a full day to do that. Also note that even in mid-summer, Sintra is a little cooler. Bring a jacket or shawl with you if you feel the cold.
Our day with We Hate Tourism Tours was fantastic. Our tour guide was very funny, attentive to our group’s needs, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Do consider booking a We Hate Tourism Tour, particularly if you have limited time.
Places to eat in Lisbon with kids
Before we arrived in Lisbon, we googled “kid-friendly restaurants in Lisbon”. We needn’t have bothered because Lisbon is filled with cafes and restaurants, all of which we experienced were accommodating for our children. We found the best places to eat in terms of value for money were up in the hills in the tiny alleyways. No particular names of restaurants spring to mind, our best advice would be to walk, explore and you’ll easily find somewhere suitable.
We did pay a visit to the famous Time Out Lisbon Market, which was great for the variety of food (it’s like a massive food court) but it was incredibly hot and busy on the day we chose to go. Perhaps if you do want to visit the Time Out Lisbon Market, head there mid-week instead?
We also enjoyed pizzas at Navegadroos in Baixa Chiado (in the heart of Lisbon). This restaurant and cocktail bar is filled with eclectic décor and artwork. Very cool!
Things to do in Lisbon with kids
There is so much to do in Lisbon with kids but we didn’t have that much time up our sleeves to do more than we’ve mentioned above. Have a nose at Wyld Family Travel’s Lisbon tips here or Travel Mad Mum’s ideas here to fill your itinerary before you arrive in Portugal’s beautiful capital city.
If you are planning a visit to Lisbon with your kids, you are in for a treat! Enjoy every minute and eat a pastéis de nata for me, OK?…