Lisbon has a wide range of activities that entertain kids and adults alike. And during a family trip arises the question of what to do with kids in Lisbon.
Popular activities like visiting the Planetarium or the Oceanarium and a ride on the yellow streetcar are just some things you can do with your little ones when visiting the Portuguese capital.
Let’s conquer the Castle
St. George’s Castle is an imposing Moorish castle that sits high above the narrow medieval streets of the Alfama neighborhood. It is a perfect spot for strolling around the walls and watching the city’s spectacular views while letting your imagination run wild. From 10 am to 5 pm, you can also visit the Dark Chamber, where you have a 360-degree view of the city in real-time of the river, monuments, most emblematic areas, and the people.
There are also archaeological discoveries of the site in a permanent exhibition, the ruins of the royal palace that once stood there before it became damaged in the Lisbon 1755 earthquake, and family activities with knights and archers at specific times of the year.
See the programs you can do with your family at St. George’s Castle here and have fun with everyone. You can also book your tickets online to avoid queues that can be uncomfortable for children, especially on hot days.
Explore the stars at the planetarium
The Planetário de Marinha, Lisbon’s planetarium, is in Belém, and integrated into the Museu da Marinha and the architectural unit of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. This planetarium has been designed to project more than 9,000 stars on its dome during shows that will make you feel like you’re in the middle of the universe.
If you don’t speak Portuguese, there are sessions in other languages, so this is the perfect place for a visit to Lisbon with children over four and a great option if you get a rainy day while in Lisbon.
Get to know Lisbon by streetcar
In Lisbon, streetcars are part of the public transport system so you can move around quickly in the middle of the city.
You can purchase a pass or ticket for each trip, like if you were going from Lisbon to Belém. Yet Lisbon’s 28 streetcar route is a bit different and works more like a tourist route with the aesthetics of the traditional yellow streetcars. The trip starts at Martim Moniz, passes through the popular neighborhoods of Graça, Alfama, Baixa, and Estrela along the way, and is a fantastic way to get to know Lisbon.
If you’re traveling with a mini streetcar fan, add a stop at the streetcar museum, the Museu de Carris, where you can learn about the history of Lisbon’s public transport and has the advantage of being free for children under six.
Enjoy the beaches
To add some excitement to a family city break, take the opportunity to visit some of Portugal’s best beaches. Carcavelos Beach is one of the closest to the center of Lisbon, but both Cascais and Estoril are within a short drive and include the advantage of taking the train by the seaside.
If you’re looking for more beaches near the city, check out our guide to the best beaches in and around Lisbon. Gather the family and spend one of your days relaxing by the sea while in Lisbon during good weather.
Discover the Oceanarium
An unforgettable experience awaits you at the Lisbon Oceanarium. It is home to 8,000 sea creatures and 500 different species and is one of the largest and most impressive aquariums in Europe. Here you can see the only sea otters in all of Europe, sharks, and coral reefs in four different marine habitats.
The original Oceans building and the New Ocean building converge by a big atrium decorated with an incredible 55,000 tile panel, offering access to the exhibitions and educational area. The educational activities that the Oceanarium develops offer knowledge about the oceans, their inhabitants, and their importance and address today’s environmental challenges. Therefore, it is another good option if you visit Lisbon with children or if you’re looking for things to do in the city on a rainy day.
See the Tagus River from above
This suggestion is for fearless families. If fear of heights is not a problem, you must take a trip in the Lisbon Cable Car.
The Lisbon Cable Car was built in Parque das Nações where the Expo’ 98 was held, so it is also known as the Parque das Nações Cable Car or the Expo Cable Car. There you have access to privileged views of the Vasco da Gama bridge and other beautiful spots of the city during the 10-minute ride. You can catch the cable car near the Oceanarium, and your tickets can even be bought together to make it easier.
It is a pleasant walk at any time of the day, but if you go at sunset, you will see an even more beautiful Lisbon.
Unveil Lisbon’s green spaces
If you’re looking for outdoor activities to do in Lisbon, it’s hard to beat Jardim da Estrela, one of Lisbon’s largest parks and located across from Basílica da Estrela. This park, in addition to a playground and ponds with ducks, also has a café that holds activities for children during the summer and where you can often find live music or other events occurring.
You can also visit Estufa Fria, located in Parque Eduardo VII, that’s approximately a 10-minute walk from the Marquês de Pombal subway or the Lisbon Botanical Garden.
Its impressive historical monuments, nearby beaches, and fun transportation make Lisbon an extremely kid-friendly city. Given its characteristic hills and cobblestone streets, it may be best to save your visit until your baby is a few years old.
If you are coming to Lisbon for a family vacation, book your room at Hotel Portuense and take advantage of the tour service for more suggestions on what to do with kids in Lisbon. Our rooms are kid-friendly, and the location is perfect for easy access to all these locations.