The best things to do in Lisbon with kids: 10 ideas!

Lisbon tram - best things to do in Lisbon with kids cover photo

Our round up of the top 10 things to do in Lisbon with kids: where to go, what to do and what you cannot miss when visiting Lisbon with kids

When we booked our family holiday to Lisbon, I knew we would enjoy the city.

I knew we would love its relaxed vibe, its bright light and its beautiful architecture, crumbling yet grand, elegant yet welcoming.

What I didn’t know was that we would find the city so child friendly that it would become a favorite destination for our children too!

Enjoying Lisbon with children is easy. Lisbon historical center is a pleasure to explore for both kids and adults and the city has many kid friendly attractions.

Here is our selection of the top 10 things to do with kids in Lisbon both kids and adults will love.

By the end of this travel guide, we are sure you will agree Lisbon is one of the best cities in Europe to visit with kids and one of the best cities to visit with family in the world!

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What are the 10 top things to do in Lisbon with kids?

Child in Belem with overlay text 10 best things to do in Lisbon with kids

Take a rickety tram ride

Young kids and toddlers have a fascination with trams and the ones in Lisbon are exceptionally atmospheric.

Lisbon trams crisscross the city and the most famous of all is the n 28, now a popular tourist attraction.

It goes from the area of Baixa, in the city centre, up to the top of the Alfama, meandering its way up through beautiful street lined with shops and decorated with tiles.

The rickety tram ride is fun and a great way to save your legs from Lisbon famous hills.

However, due to its popularity, you may find yourself queuing up for well over an hour just to get a seat.

Go early to avoid long lines or kill the time waiting like we did:  tasting the sweets from the patisserie just in front of the tram terminal!

Be king for the day in Castelo de Sao Jorge

At the top of the Alfama, the historical district of Lisbon, sits the Castelo de Sao Jorge, a imposing castle dating back to Moorish times and commanding amazing views over the city.

The castle has two main attractions for knights and princesses in the making: a large garden with binoculars to spy over the city and peacocks kids will love!

Channel your inner Octonaut in Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Oceanarium is often described as one of the most impressive aquariums on the world and it’s a firm favourite with families.

The Oceanarium holds 5 million liters of salt water and has a permanent exhibition featuring terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

It recreates marine environments with temperate, tropical and cold water and is the home of plants, fish and super cute mammals (they have sea otters!).

The Oceanarium is easy to reach by metro and it’s also a great activity for rainy days in Lisbon.

Family fun in Lisbon Portugal

Become a scientist in the Pavilhao de Conocimiento

An incredible museum for both adults and kids is the ‘Knowledge pavilion’, Lisbon’s science museum.

Located in Parque das Nações, in the former grounds of Expo 98, this is a large, interactive space where kids can explore and experience the wonders of the laws of physics and the chemical formulas that shape our planet.

The museum is organised in several areas where you are encouraged to learn by seeing, touching, experimenting and doing.

Explore Bairro Alto and Chiado

When visiting Lisbon we stayed in the area called Chiado and spent most of our time in this district and in the neighboring Bairro Alto.

Both these area are charming, easy to enjoy on foot and host some of the attractions we were most fond of such as impressive Elevador de Santa Justa and stunning Convento de Carmo.

At the top of Bairro Alto, we loved Miradouro Santa Caterina. This is a small panoramic terrace with a small green space and sweeping views over the city.

You can take a seat at the small cafe here or, even better, take a break in outside terrace of the Pharmacy Museum.

This is a family friendly space serving juices and lovely cocktail/mocktails with pharmacy inspired names and presentations.

If little legs are tired, you can get up here by cable car, super fun and not only if you travel with kids!

Convento do Carmo: our kids love discovering it has no roof, found the mummies inside the right side of spooky and had great fun running along what remains of the main nave!

Take a break in Lisbon’s beautiful parks

Lisbon has some lovely parks that are a lifesaver especially when summer temperatures envelope the city.

A favourite with local families is Jadim de Estrela, where you find exotic plants and trees, a small pond (with ducks!), a children’s playground, and café.

Worth visiting are also Parque Eduardo VII  and Jardim do Torel. You can find a good list of the most beautiful parks in Lisbon here

Spend a day in Belem

The district of Belem, just to the west of Lisbon city centre, makes for a lovely day out with kids.

Here is where you find the beautiful Belem tower, the monument to the discoveries, many museums and the stunning Jeronimos monastery, guaranteed to impress even the most jaded of architecture lovers.

The impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Belem
The impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Belem

Belem is also the place where you can taste great pasteis de nata, the local and delicious custard tarts.

The place for this is Pasteleria de Belem which is said to have elevated these simple pastries to legendary status.

The best way to discover Belem is to take the (long walk) from the tower to the pasteleria, taking the time to stop at the small playground along the way.

The walk is flat and easy and if you are travelling with a baby or toddler you will be happy to hear it is buggy and stroller friendly.

Most Lisbon itineraries devote a full day to Belem but if you are short on time, even just few hours are enough to enjoy this area. A quick a fun way to reach it is to take a moto-rickshaw, worth especially for numerous families – our took up to 6 people and came with a good commentary from the driver.

The outside of Jeronimos Monastery in Belem, Lisbon, one of our recommended things to do n Lisbon with kids
The outside of Jeronimos Monastery in Belem, Lisbon

Sample Portuguese food in Mercado da Ribeira

One of our favourite things to do in Lisbon with kids and not just for food is strolling around Mercado da Ribeira, aka the Time Out market.

This is a location you simply must visit on your trip to Lisbon and the easiest child friendly meal you will get in the city.

This is a fantastic space with food stalls to suit everyone, from traditional Portuguese fair to a Asian street food, via pizza and burgers!

Just outside, there is a small playground with a coffee kiosk and a resident flock of pigeons that offer endless chasing opportunities.

Inside, you have table with both tall stools and normal chairs and basic but adequate baby changing facilities.

Strollers are welcome but can be challenging at busy times.

Time out market Lisbon interior
I had seen this exact shot so many times before going to the time out market, I couldn’t resist taking the very same one myself

Get in water with a hippotrip

Very few things get kids more excited than a ride on an unusual vehicle and, in Lisbon, it doesn’t get more unusual than a hippotrip vessel!

Hippotrip offers tours of the city in amphibious carriers that shows you the city from land and water.

It is the quintessential tourist activity to take and you need to go in with a good dose of self irony but it is fun and the moment the vessel enters the water is pretty cool! You can find info and prices here

Go to the beach

Lisbon’s body of water is the river Tejo, rather than the Ocean, but the city is close to many glorious beaches where you can take long walks in the sand, sunbathe, swim and of curse make sandcastles!

Our favorite beach is the one in Cascais, a small locality on the Atlantic coast connected to Lisbon by regular train (the journey costs less than 5 euro and takes about 30 minutes).

Cascais is an elegant seaside town and has a lovely, family friendly beach just in front of the main square.

Tips for visiting Lisbon with kids

  • The most convenient way to explore Lisbon with kids is the Lisbon Card, a combined ticket that allows you board all public transport and gives discounts to many attractions both in Lisbon and surrounding area
  • The best areas to stay in Lisbon with kids are Baixa/Chiado and Belem. Out top picks are Martinhal Chiado Family suites (Luxury) and Lisbon charming apartments Chiado (budget).
  • Lisbon is compact and you can see a lot of the city even in a couple of days. Find our favorite itinerary for 2 days in Lisbon here

I hope you enjoyed our tips about what to do in Lisbon with kids. Safe family travels!

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