Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a vibrant and picturesque city that attracts thousands of travelers every year. With its beautiful beaches, historic monuments, and iconic trams, Lisbon offers a wealth of attractions for visitors of all ages, making it a great destination for families. But with so much to see and do, it can be tough to know where to start. So, whether you’re planning a family trip or just looking for inspiration, here are the top 10 things to do in Lisbon with kids.
Do note: Lisbon is a very hilly city, so may not be the best city to bring a stroller to, it’s not impossible, but I think a carrier would be easier.
1. Hop on some trams
I always like to start a trip to a new city by gaining some understanding of the layout of the city. In Lisbon, you can experience the essence of the city on an iconic tram tour! The Hills Tramcar offers the ultimate adventure, especially for families. Departing from Praca do Comercio, these charming trams, easily identifiable by their nostalgic red or yellow paintwork, journey through the city’s highlights. From the west to Estrela, passing through Alfama, Graca, and Chiado districts, immerse yourself in the history and splendour of each area. An informative audio guide unveils the secrets behind the districts and their historic monuments.
With a 24 or 72 hour ticket, you also gain free access to the Santa Justa lift, Bica, Gloria, and Lavra funiculars, as well as the iconic yellow trams of Carris, including the famous No 28. Don’t miss this must-do experience in Lisbon!
2. Take a Boat Trip on the Tagus River
Another great way to see the city is from the water. You can take a boat tour of the Tagus River and get a unique perspective on Lisbon’s landmarks. You’ll pass by the Belem Tower, the Monument to the Discoveries, and the 25th of April Bridge, among other things.
Related: Where to eat (and drink!) in Lisbon with kids
3. Spend a Day at the beach
Lisbon has some of Europe’s best beaches. The most famous one is Cascais, a lovely seaside town located just a short train ride away from the city. You’ll find miles of golden sand and plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy, like surfing and paddle-boarding.
Related: Weather in Portugal
4. Explore the Alfama Neighborhood
This old neighborhood is one of the most picturesque in Lisbon. Its narrow streets, winding alleys, and charming houses will make your family feel transported back in time. The neighborhood is famous for its colorful facades, fado music, and traditional souvenir shops, which will all keep your kids in awe.
5. Explore Belem Tower
This sixteenth-century tower was built to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor. Its intricate facade and bold design are sure to impress your kids. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also climb the tower’s battlements for an exciting birds-eye view.
Related: 17 World Heritage Sites in Portugal
6. Have fun in the parks
Lisbon is surrounded by spacious and green parks that offer a perfect spot for a family picnic or relaxation during your stroll. Two of the top parks in Lisbon are Parque Eduardo VII and Jardim da Estrela. They are popular with families because there is plenty of open space for your little ones to run around in, plus beautiful gardens and shaded areas to relax under.
7. Visit Castelo de Sao Jorge
This castle dominates the skyline of Lisbon and it dates back to the medieval era. It’s a must-visit tourist attraction and also a fun place for kids to explore. Climb up the castle walls or simply enjoy the breathtaking views of the city together.
8. Take a trip to Sintra
Some would argue that no vacation to Lisbon is complete without a trip to Sintra. This UNESCO World Heritage site features luxurious palaces, beautiful gardens, and a fairytale atmosphere that’s sure to enchant your kids. Explore the Moorish Castle, the Pena Palace, and the beautiful Quinta da Regaleira to make the most out of your day trip.
9. The Lisbon Ocenarium
The Lisbon Oceanarium is perfect if you want to enjoy a family-friendly day out. This oceanarium is located in the Parque das Nações, an area that was developed during the 98 World Expo. The place consists of four large tanks that represent four different ocean habitats. You’ll find different aquatic life here, and your kids will love the interactive exhibits and the massive Ocean Tank.
10. Lisbon Zoo
Lisbon Zoo is one of the most famous attractions in the city, and your kids will love the place. This zoo has a wide range of animals, including lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, and much more. It also offers an amusement park for kids, which includes rides, games, and much more.
Lisbon is an underated travel destination when it comes to family vacations. With a blend of culture and entertainment, Lisbon offers something for every member of the family. From exploring the streets of Alfama to visiting the Lisbon Oceanarium, riding the iconic Tram 28, visiting the Lisbon Zoo, visiting several landmark sites, including the Belem Tower and the Natural History Museum, to taking a ride on Santa Justa Elevator, and indulging in delicious pastry, Lisbon will exceed all your family travel expectations. Plan an itinerary, pack your bags, and explore this beautiful city for an unforgettable family vacation.