Lisbon with Kids
The best activities and helpful tips for families in Lisbon
Latest update: May 4, 2023
In a nutshell: Lisbon with kids
- Lisbon is an amazing family vacation spot with great activities for kids of all ages.
- We offer practical tips for your Lisbon city break with kids, including public transportation, playgrounds, and food recommendations.
- Top family-friendly attractions in Lisbon include the Science Museum, the Oceanarium, and the cable car in Parque das Nações.
- The Felix 10 is the most beautiful family hotel in Lisbon, perfect for your next family vacation.
These are our top tips, but we have more to share with you! Keep your eyes peeled for the full article, where we’ll give you all the information you need on activities and practical tips for Lisbon with your little ones.
Lisbon with kids: Is it worth it?
To be honest, we were a bit unsure about whether Lisbon would be a good place to take the kids. With all the hills to climb, the summer heat, and streetcars rattling through the streets, it seemed like a bit of a challenge.
But after over a week exploring Lisbon with the whole family, we can definitely say: Lisbon with kids is an absolute blast!
The locals are incredibly welcoming to children, and there are so many cool things to see and do that will have all kids excited – from toddlers to teenagers.
In this article, we’ll share our best tips and favorite activities for exploring Lisbon with kids.
General tips for a family vacation in Lisbon
Here are some helpful tips to make your Lisbon family vacation a breeze.
Getting around Lisbon with kids
Lisbon boasts a fantastic public transport system, complete with subways, streetcars, and buses that’ll whisk you and your little ones to your desired destination in no time and at a low cost.
Children under 3 can travel for free on public transport, so you won’t need to purchase an extra ticket for your toddler. However, once they reach 4 years of age, they’ll require their own ticket and must pay the full fare.
If you plan on taking regional trains like the ones that go to the beach or Sintra, children between 4 and 12 can enjoy a 50% discount on Comboios de Portugal (CP) trains.
Our recommendation: Purchase a Viva Viagem card for you and your kids.
This card can be loaded with credit and easily scanned at the reader every time you use a bus or train. It’s a hassle-free and economical option.
Eating and Drinking
Lisbon restaurants are typically very accommodating to families. Children’s chairs are usually available everywhere.
One excellent spot for dining with kids is the Time Out Market, where you’ll find a vast array of food stalls in a massive hall, ensuring that there’s something to suit every taste. Whether your children crave pizza and burgers or you’re in the mood for traditional Portuguese fare, the Time Out Market has got you covered.
Bear in mind, however, that the place is always crowded, which may not be to every child’s liking.
One treat your kids are bound to relish is the scrumptious Pasteis de Nata, little custard-filled pastries available on every street corner. During our stay, we indulged in at least one every day – after all, vacations are a time to let loose.
Lisbon with baby
Lisbon is great to visit with a baby. But you might want to skip the stroller, because there are a lot of steep hills in the city.
You can still use one, but it’s kind of a hassle. Sa baby carrier is definitely the better option.
Breastfeeding in public is totally fine in Lisbon and nobody bats an eye.
You can get diapers, baby food and whatever else you need at the supermarket. The Pingo Doce supermarkets have pretty much everything. But there aren’t that many supermarkets downtown.
If you need some kids’ stuff, check out the streets around Jardim da Parada in Campo de Ourique (there’s also a playground there). They have lots of shops with kids’ clothes, toys and other things for the little ones.
Playgrounds in Lisbon
Playgrounds are hard to come by in downtown Lisbon. That’s because the city is packed with buildings and there’s not much open space.
If you do find a playground, it’s usually tiny and only has 1-2 things to play on. For example, there’s one right next to the Time Out Market.
A really big and nice playground is in Jardim Da Estrela, which we’ll tell you more about in our favorite activities.
The best family hotels in Lisbon
There are plenty of places to stay in Lisbon that are super family friendly. Most hotels are cool with little guests, but here are some that we especially recommend:
Martinhal Lisbon Chiado
This place is right in the center and totally kid-friendly. They have spacious family rooms and the best part: There’s a Kids Club. Your kids can play there and even get looked after by experienced staff if you want to explore Lisbon on your own.
With the Baby Concierge extra service, you can also ask for anything you need from the hotel. Need some baby food, a new pack of diapers or a potty? No problem, this hotel has it all.
To the Hotel Martinhal Lisbon Chiado
Moxy Lisbon City
Stylish hotel in the city center that also has family rooms. There’s a pool on the roof terrace – a good choice for families with slightly older children.
The Homeboat Company Parque das Nações
You want to stay somewhere really special with your kids. How about a houseboat? You can do that on the former Expo grounds, and there’s room for up to 6 people.
The only downside is that you’re not right in the center of Lisbon, you have to drive for 30 minutes to get there.
To The Homeboat Company Parque das Nações
The Felix 10
It’s not a typical kid-friendly hotel, but it’s still our tip. They have family rooms with two big beds in two separate rooms and the staff is awesome with kids. In the evening, parents can chill on the roof terrace with a glass of wine. It’s not cheap, but it’s very nice.
It’s in a quiet area close to the center. Tram line 25E stops just around the corner, so you can always start your day with a ride on one of the old streetcars.
The best things to do and see in Lisbon with kids
So, what can you do with kids in Lisbon? A lot! Besides the classic sights in Lisbon, there are also many highlights that are super fun for kids.
Our tip: Some of the highlights we’re going to show you are popular with local families too. So, we recommend you visit them during the week and avoid the weekends, when it’s less crowded.
Science Museum: Pavilhão do Conhecimento
Let’s start with the Pavilhão do Conhecimento, the science museum in Lisbon. It might sound kind of boring at first, but for us it was the absolute top highlight for kids.
The museum is made just for kids and it’s so awesome that we ended up spending a whole day there instead of half a day. So, plan plenty of time to visit, your kids will love the museum.
The science museum is totally interactive. Instead of simple exhibits, it’s all about participation. Everywhere kids can try things out, push buttons, or do small experiments.
The museum is just as exciting for toddlers ages 3 and up as it is for older kids to teens.
Older kids can play with robots or build circuits, and toddlers have a great room with lots of interactive games. Our highlight there was the construction site, where only kids 3-6 can go and control a crane or load a train.
When we asked our 3-year-old son after a week in Lisbon what he liked best about the city, he said, “The construction site!”
How to get there:
The Science Museum is located outside of downtown on the former Expo site. You should plan for a good half hour for the trip. Take the metro to Oriente station, from there it’s about a 10-minute walk.
Or you can take the bus 728, which runs from Cais do Sodré station, among others, right to the door of the science museum in 30 minutes.
Located right next to the Science Museum in Lisbon is the Oceanário de Lisboa, a fantastic destination for kids.
This massive aquarium, the largest in Europe, offers an exciting experience for children of all ages. At the heart of the building lies a massive main tank housing sharks, rays, and vibrant schools of fish.
Additionally, there are smaller tanks featuring reptiles, jellyfish, and seahorses, as well as penguins and sea lions.
Expect to spend about 2-3 hours exploring the aquarium. Inside, there’s a sizable restaurant offering delicious, reasonably-priced food, including many kid-friendly options.
Upon entering, you’ll likely see a large crowd gathered around the main tank. Don’t worry, just keep walking – there’s a circular path around the aquarium with plenty of spots to enjoy the fish without interruption.
Our tip: Make sure to buy your tickets online in advance. When we got there, there was quite a long line at the ticket counters. With our online tickets, we breezed right past it and got straight into the aquarium. The price is the same as on-site.
To the ticket for the Oceanarium
Cable car in Parque das Nações
Our third attraction for kids in Lisbon is also situated on the former Expo site. Right behind the aquarium, there’s a cable car that takes you and your little ones soaring above the Expo’s modern structures.
The Teleférico do Parque das Nações stretches over 1,230 meters and takes around 5 minutes to ride. It’s a great addition to a visit to the Oceanarium.
You can choose between a one-way or round-trip ticket, and while you can purchase them online, during our visit we didn’t encounter a long queue at the ticket office.
To the tickets for the cable car
Jardim do Estrela: The most beautiful playground in Lisbon
A super cool green spot right in the heart of the city is Jardim do Estrela, one of our favorite insider tips in Lisbon. This park isn’t just gorgeous, but it’s also awesome for kids.
There’s a pond where you can check out ducks and turtles, and it’s got the biggest and coolest playground near the center.
You’ll also find restrooms and a couple of bistros, so you’ve got everything you need for a chill afternoon with the family.
The 28E tram stops directly in front of the main entrance and with that we are already at the next attraction for children.
Discover the city with the old streetcar
Taking a streetcar ride was seriously one of the biggest highlights for our little ones. They were super fascinated by the old, rickety streetcars!
Sure, the most famous one is tram line 28E, which winds its way through the narrow streets of Alfama. But the 28E is always super packed, which isn’t the best when you’ve got kids with you.
So, we suggest hopping on at the end station Campo Ourique (Prazeres) to score a guaranteed seat. At the other terminus, Martim Moniz, you’ll often find a long line of tourists, making it way more difficult.
As another option, you can try lines 12E and 25E. They also use the old-school trams, but they’re usually less crowded. Plus, let’s be real, the kids probably don’t care which route they take.
Hurtling through the alleys with an E-Tuk Tuk
If your kids enjoy a bit of a thrill, we recommend taking a ride on an E-Tuk Tuk. These electric three-wheelers have become an iconic part of Lisbon, and a Tuk Tuk ride is now among the most popular tours of Lisbon.
You can flag them down for a quick trip or book a tour that takes you around Lisbon’s main sights in 2-3 hours.
For kids, a ride on these quirky vehicles is definitely a blast.
Taking a boat trip across the Tagus River
Taking a boat ride with kids is always a great idea, and it’s a memorable experience for all ages.
An affordable option is the ferry ride to Cacilhas. You can simply use your Viva Viagem card to check in, and the crossing takes just around 10 minutes. This trip is particularly suitable for very young children, as you can sit inside the ferry, protecting them from the sun.
For older kids, a sailboat trip across the Tagus River is an amazing experience. These boat tours last between 1 and 3 hours and offer fantastic views of the city and the impressive suspension bridge, Ponte 25 de Abril.
Plus, when else do kids get the chance to ride on a real sailboat?
You can book a sailboat ride here
Up and down on the elevator
Lisbon is a city known for its elevators and funiculars. To tackle the steep inclines in the old town, there are several of these elevators.
While older kids may not find this as exciting, younger children can certainly be enthralled by a funicular ride.
We recommend taking a trip on the Elevador da Bica or the Elevador da Glória. By the way, you can also use the Viva Viagem card for these rides.
Floating above the Lisbon Zoo
While a zoo visit isn’t unique to Lisbon, it’s always a hit with children.
So, if you’ve already done everything else and the little ones need another highlight, the zoo is a great alternative.
What’s especially amazing is the cable car that glides above the entire zoo, offering a completely different perspective on the animals during a 20-minute ride.
To the online tickets for the zoo
Trip to the beach
Are your kids tired of the city? Then it’s time to hit the beach.
Lisbon is just a stone’s throw away from the ocean. In only about 20 minutes, you can reach some fantastic Atlantic beaches by train, where you can spend a great day with your children.
Find our recommendations for the best beaches around Lisbon here:
The most beautiful beaches in Lisbon
Do you have any tips for Lisbon with kids?
These were our tips and experiences for a city trip to Lisbon with kids. We felt completely at ease as a family and highly recommend the city.
Have you been to Lisbon with your family? Do you have any tips for us or any questions? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!