Lisbon with kids

A city trip to Lisbon with kids is a great idea. There is enough to do and see in the city to keep you entertained for a few days with your kids. For us, Lisbon was the starting point of a trip through Portugal and Spain, and we flew into Lisbon on a budget airline to start our journey there. From there, we set out in a rental car to explore the rest of these two countries. We list the best activities in Lisbon with kids.

Lisbon with kids

#1: Castelo Sao Jorge

Lisbon is a beautiful old city with lovely colored buildings, steep hills, streetcars and nice terraces. Thus, you have several sights to visit in the city such as the Torre de Belem, the Jerónimos Monastery monastery and the atmospheric Praça do Comércio square.

It is also possible to visit the ruins of an ancient castle on a hill. Castelo de Sao Jorge is located in the Alfama district and is mostly visited by tourists for its beautiful views of the city. You get to that castle by taking tram28 and nowadays you can also take the elevator to the castle. This elevator can be found in the street Rua dos Franqueiros at number 170-178 and this free elevator will take you to Chão do Loureiro. From this point it is about another ten-minute walk to the castle, so this is also good to do with kids.

Lisbon with kids
Lisbon with kids

By the way, throughout the city you have several viewpoints that give a nice overview of the city. For example, you have Miradouro Sao Pedro de Alcantara, where you have a balcony, where you have a nice view of the city. This is a popular vantage point among tourists and there is also a small park near it. This vantage point is actually in the middle of the city. Another viewpoint located in the middle of the city is Miradouro de Santa Luzia. It overlooks the oldest part of the city, and a small church is also located near the viewpoint.

Car rentals from Sunny Cars Lisbon
Lisbon with kids

#2 Tram 28

You can explore Lisbon with kids by various means of transportation. Every mode of transportation has its advantages and disadvantages. We list the various options below. The most famous streetcar in all of Lisbon is Tram 28. This historic streetcar stop goes up and down the city’s hills and passes by several of the city’s attractions. If you stay on the streetcar the entire route, the streetcar will take about 50 minutes. You can just buy a ticket from the driver.

Just keep in mind that the streetcar is always very crowded and this is not very nice for kids when you are crammed together in this subway. Praça do Martim Moniz is the starting point of the streetcar’s route and often there are already considerable queues here. The streetcar passes by every ten minutes. If you’re out of bed early with your kids, it’s best to take the streetcar early so it’s not too crowded yet.

If you’d still like to take an old-fashioned streetcar ride but don’t want to stand in line, line 12E can be a good option. This streetcar line is a lot less crowded and also a lot shorter. In total, this streetcar takes 20 minutes over the entire line.

Lisbon with kids

#3 Metro Lisbon

The subway is a quick way to travel around the city and a relatively inexpensive way. Most tourists already encounter the subway when traveling from the airport to the city. The subway is a great mode of transportation for this purpose, and you can be in the city center in just over half an hour.

In all, the city has four different subway lines, all with different colors and themes. A day ticket for the subway costs only a few euros. The downside, of course, is that you are mostly underground and see little of the city during your route.

Lisbon with kids

#4 Hop on Hop off Buses

If you have limited time and still want to see much of the city of Lisbon with kids, these buses are ideal. In all, you have three different routes that the buses run, and along the way they stop at various points of interest. Of course, you can also just sit back and take a spin along the entire route through the city. You can buy a ticket for 24 or 48 hours and during the bus ride there is an audio guide that gives you information about the city.

Lisbon with kids

#5 Bicycle tour of Lisbon

You can also explore the city of Lisbon by bicycle. The Dutch company BajaBikes offers several bike tours with a Dutch guide through the city, taking you past all the city’s highlights. The bike tour takes 3 to 4 hours and along the way you will stop frequently for explanations and a photo. For more information on these bike tours in Lisbon with kids, take a look here.

We did this bike tour in Paris with our daughter and thought it was a great introduction to the city. For children as young as four years old, they have children’s bikes, and younger kids can ride on the back of a child’s seat with their parents. There are also tandem bikes available, where you can ride with your kid on one bike.

Lisbon with kids

#6 Lisbon in a TukTuk

You have several companies in Lisbon where you can rent a TukTuk to explore the city of Lisbon with kids. Scooters, which are especially popular in Asia, are an original way to explore the city.

Car rentals from Sunny Cars Lisbon

#7 Hippotrip

The last opportunity to explore the city with the family is by a kind of truck that can also act as a boat. This tour of the city takes about 90 minutes, and for kids, of course, the moment you drive off the road into the water is the highlight of this tour. The guides really try to make a show for it and frequently seek interaction with the audience.

#8: Costa da Caparica

In Lisbon, temperatures can soar during the summer months. Beginning in May, the average temperature is already above 20 degrees and remains so through October. Therefore, in the summer months of July and August, some days can be very hot, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees. Of course, it is then nice if you can go to the beach with kids during your city break to Lisbon. Around the city, then, you have a number of options.

Costa da Caparica is one of the popular resorts located near the city of Lisbon, and you can drive there by car from the city center in twenty minutes (by bus about half an hour). The resort is located on the other side of the Tagus River and has several beaches you can go to in the summer.

One of the most famous beaches here is Praia da Cabana do Pescador, where you have a wide beach and also several catering establishments, where you can get something to eat and drink. Another beach which is close to the city is Praia de Carcavelos. This beach can be reached in twenty minutes by train from Lisbon.

Car rentals from Sunny Cars Lisbon
Lisbon with kids

#9: Lisbon Zoo

You can also go to the zoo in Lisbon with kids. Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa is located fairly in the center of the city, and by public transport you can reach the zoo in about twenty minutes. In this zoo you can admire several large African animals such as the elephant, giraffe, lion, crocodile, zebra and different types of monkeys.

The zoo is fairly spacious and you’ll find plenty of shade. There are also shows with dolphins and birds that you can watch. It is also possible to go in a cable car over the zoo and you will have a nice view of the zoo and Lisbon.

It is a fairly large zoo and you can set aside at least half a day here to get a good look at all the zoo’s animals. Make sure you have a map of the zoo, as the zoo sometimes looks like a maze and orientation can be tricky. Around the zoo are a few fine restaurants where you can get something to eat and drink. You can get a stamp on your hand so you can get out in between. For more information on opening hours, admission prices and different animals, take a look at the zoo’s website.

Other children’s activities Lisbon

In addition to the activities described above, there are a number of activities you can do in Lisbon with kids. We list them briefly below.

#10 Kidzania: Just outside the center of Lisbon sits this fun activity for kids. Kidzania is in several cities and we have already visited several branches. Kids can reenact all kinds of professions here, and young kids (including our daughter) find this super fun. They themselves say it is fun for kids up to 15 years old, but then they are really too old for all the activities. In total, kids can reenact 60 different professions.

#11 Pavilhao do Conhecimento: This is an interactive science museum located on the waterfront in the center. If you want to visit a museum in Lisbon with kids, this might be the most suitable option. All the different experiments are in different languages including English, and the museum staff also generally speak reasonable English. There are also parts of the museum where play is really the focus for the kids. This section is suitable for young kids. The museum is a great combination of play and learning.

#12 Day Trip Sintra: A fun day trip from Lisbon with kids is to Sintra. By train from Lisbon it takes you forty minutes to get to this place where you will find several castles, mansions and palaces. One of the most beautiful palaces to visit here is the Pena Palace, which has beautiful architecture and colors. The inside of the palace is also worth visiting. Be sure to get there early, though, as it can get very crowded here during the day. Besides this palace, there are several other castles you can visit with your kids. We did recommend it and had a great day!

Lisbon with kids
Car rentals from Sunny Cars Lisbon

#13 Jardim da Estrela: this is a fun urban park to visit in Lisbon with kids, where the park has an excellent playground. There is also a little restaurant in the park where you can have a drink on the terrace.

#14 Oceanário de Lisboa: this is one of the largest aquariums in Europe and is located by the sea near the center. You can actually find all the animals that live in and around the sea, such as various sharks, rays, lots of colored fish, penguins, jellyfish and sea otters. The aquariums are spread over two floors. Be sure to buy tickets online in advance, because during the busy summer period, wait times here can be quite long. Also a great option on a rainy day. Keep in mind that you will spend an hour or two here.

#15 Streetart tour: you can enjoy plenty of street art in Lisbon with kids. We are always fans of beautiful art on buildings and in Lisbon you can book a tour for this as well. You will walk around different neighborhoods with a guide on this tour and this tour takes about three hours. Of course, you can also just look around for yourself as you walk around town with your family.

Lisbon with kids
Lisbon with kids

#16 Parque das Nacoes: this is a modern neighborhood built as a result of the World Expo 98. Thus, you will see a lot of modern architecture in this part of town and you can also do some great shopping here (if you are into that). A fun activity to do in this district is to take a tour on the cable car that goes over the district. You can also visit tower Vasco de Gama here for a nice view over the water. This district also houses the city’s aquarium and science museum.

#17 Dolphin spotting: you can also go see these animals in the Lisbon area with kids. There are several providers offering these tours from Lisbon. For example, you can go on a boat from Setubal and try to spot these animals. There is a very high chance (some providers say as high as 95% chance) of seeing the animals.

Lisbon with kids

Package tour Lisbon with kids

You can of course arrange a trip to Lisbon with kids just fine on your own, but sometimes it can also be easy to book a package tour. Here you book the flight including hotel right away. You can then often choose which airport you want to fly from in the Netherlands, Germany or Belgium. For more information on a package tour to Lisbon, take a look here.

Lisbon with kids

Lisbon with kids: Lisbon map

You have a card(Lisboa Card) in Lisbon (as in many other major cities), which allows you to travel “free” on public transportation and gives you access to various museums. If you and the family plan to visit many museums and attractions in the city, then the card may be advantageous. Before your city break, check what you want to visit and whether the card will benefit your family.

Lisbon with kids
Lisbon with kids

Lisbon with kids: car rental

If you are going to do the activities described above in Lisbon with kids, then a car is very convenient. Basically, there is public transportation in the city, but we still really like having our own car. We actually find the cars from Sunny Cars are always top notch!

You actually have all costs included in the price here and are insured for most things (including your deductible). We have had problems with this in the past with other rental companies, because all kinds of costs are added at the destination. With Sunny Cars, you know that’s not the case and that’s a nice feeling. You can additionally cancel the car 1 hour before your reservation free of charge. You can also rent a car in Lisbon with kids from Sunny Cars.

Check out the different rental cars here.

Family-friendly hotel Lisbon

You can stay in Lisbon with kids just fine. There are plenty of accommodations suitable for families with kids. We list some good options that are all rated 8 or higher.

Budget hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Lisbon

Mid-range hotel: Grape Harbor Prata Apartments

Luxury hotel: Hotel Santa Justa

For a list of all hotels in Lisbon, take a look here.

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