Lisbon is a beautiful city with a lot to offer visitors of all ages. If you’re travelling with kids, there are plenty of things to keep them entertained. From museums and parks to playgrounds and kid-friendly restaurants, a city break in Lisbon has something for everyone.
In this article, we’ll give you some ideas on great things to do in Lisbon with kids. We’ll help you find the best things to see and do, whether you’re interested in the city’s history, its culture, or its food. We’ll also give you some tips on how to get around the city centre and how to make the most of your time in the Portuguese capital.
Take a beautiful river cruise the Tagus River
Lisbon boat trips are the highlight of any trip and travel between Praça do Comércio and Torre de Belém (the Belem tower. You will have a fantastic time sailing down the peaceful Tagus River while taking in the sights of the city’s most vital monuments and landmarks. Pass under the magnificent 25 de Abril Bridge and take in the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology’s beautiful architecture.
In 40 minutes, you’ll reach your destination after taking a trip down the Tagus River.
With 3 daily departures from both Praça do Comércio and Torre de Belém with prices ranging from €12 (adults over 12 years old), €9 (children between 4-11 years old) and free (infants under 3 years old). You can also purchase a single trip family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for €34.
You also have the option to hop on and off the river cruise as many times as you want during a 48-hour timescale for an extra fee. The current prices for these tickets are €24 (adults > 12 years old), €12 (children, 4-11 years old) and free (infants < 3 years old). You also save some money if you purchase a hop on and off family ticket for €58.
Visit the Pena Palace
Perhaps not for young kids, but the photogenic Pena Palace in Sintra is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Portugal’s most Instagramable and popular tourist attractions.
Relive the Lisbon history
An audio guide accompanies you as you tour six different permanent exhibitions at the Lisbon Story Centre, learning about the city’s creation to the present day.
An audio guide narrates the story of each area as you walk through it, from Lisbon’s founding days. Lisbon quake information is available at the Museum of Art, where you can also watch a powerful video showing the devastation wrought by the tragedy. Young children may find some of the images disturbing, but nothing is gratuitous.
You can book your tickets in advance to skip the lines and it’s also included in the Lisboa ticket. It’s a great for families that love an educational aspect to their family travel.
Cable car and Vasco da Gama tower in Lisbon
Fly over the river Tagus
Take a ride on the Lisbon Cable Car, Telecabine Lisboa, which was constructed for the World Expo in the 90s and stretches for around a mile along the river at Parque das Nacoes.
It’s possible to take a ride on it near the Vasco da Gama bridge and the Oceanario aquarium. Children under two are free, and those between the ages of three and eleven pay five and a half Euros. Adults pay eight Euros for a one-way trip, and those with a Lisboa card receive a discount.
You can also purchase joint tickets for the Telecabine and the Oceanario.
Take a food tour
Taking a food tour is a fantastic way to discover a new city, as you get to sample local delicacies while learning about the city’s history and culture.
It’s especially beneficial to have your own private tour while visiting Lisbon with children, particularly if you can customise it to suit everyone’s preferences and energy levels (especially for fussy little ones). There is especially one thing that makes the Withlocals site worthy of being on the list of fun things to do in Lisbon with kids: the Lisbon food tour.
All of the company’s tours and activities are led by Lisboetas to provide an additional dimension to your trip, so you can eat eight distinct meals including the city’s famous delicacies like the pasteis de nata, alheira sausages and bifana sandwiches, and alheira sausages, and you can even have them tailored to suit you.
Take a trip to the Lisbon aquarium
The Oceanario Lisboa aquarium is one of Europe’s most impressive and extensive, home to more than 500 different species and 8000 sea creatures. And the tourist attraction is a handy plan B indoor activity to shelter from the weather.
There are four marine habitats filled with five million litres of seawater in the Parque das Nacoes in Lisbon, where you can see sea otters, sharks, and coral reefs, as well as other sea life.
An alternative family-friendly destination if your children love animals is Lisbon Zoo and it’s majestic mountain gorillas.
Visit the Castle
The imposing Moorish Lisbon Castle of Saint George sits atop Alfama Hill, overlooking the picturesque old town and walking distance from the Santa Justa lift.
Wandering the walls is a great way to let your imagination run wild, and the camera obscura in the Black Chamber offers some amazing views of the city, showing real-time 360-degree photos of the city’s monuments and inhabitants.
A family activity with knights and archers is also available at the site, where you can see remains from a royal palace that once stood here before the 1755 Lisbon earthquake damaged it.
Relax at the beach
Lisbon is less than half an hour away from some of the finest beaches. You can take the train along the shoreline to Cascais or Estoril, both of which are a short trip away. Visit Gelados Santini, one of Portugal’s most popular ice cream shops, which is located in Cascais. Also, there is a Lisbon branch, so you don’t have to miss out on anything!
During a long weekend, it is very tempting to take advantage of Lisbon’s seaside location and spend at least one day lounging. If you want to go further afield, Setubal is under an hour away and Praia de Albarquel is a stunning sandy beach famed for it’s swimming.
Experience tram rides
Lisbon’s public transport system comprises trams, so you can take them anywhere; if you want to go from Lisbon to Belem, for example. The 28 tram route is a little different, as it operates like a sightseeing route, combining the elegance of the traditional yellow trams with the convenience of a standard transit route.
Martim Moniz to Campo de Ourique is a great way to see Lisbon if you are heading from Graca, Alfama, Baixa, and Estrela, all of which are popular tourist destinations.
It is a lot more expensive to buy a ticket on board the metro than to purchase a day pass in advance at a metro station—a day pass costs about double the price of a single ticket, and you can use it to make as many trips as you like during 24 hours.
It is so well known that it is often crowded (or cramped, if standing). Unfortunately, it is also frequently frequented by pickpockets, so keep an eye on your bags.
Travel with the elevator
The funiculars and lifts which help people get around the city’s many steep hills are just as much of a transport attraction as the trams in the historic centre of Lisbon. All of the city’s transportation options are part of the main transport network, and they can be used with standard public transport passes.
Ascensors Bairro Alto or Ascensor da Bica are available to take you there, but the Elevador de Santa Justa is the most popular. Although this is a touristy area, taking the decorative 19th century elevator is a lot of fun.
It is best to arrive early or late if you want to avoid the longest queues and make sure to stop and enjoy the sights from the tiny observation deck as well. The 24-hour public transportation ticket covers this as well (though not the upper observation platform), and it is significantly less expensive than purchasing a single from the ticket office.