Lisbon with kids (2023) - in update
Lisbon with kids
Hey there, explorers! We have gathered all this information based on 5 years of direct contact with families that have travelled to Lisbon with kids - ready to check it out?
hotel or Airbnb?
Choosing between an hotel and an Airbnb in Lisbon largely depends on your family's preferences, travel style, the level of comfort you seek, desired amenities, the experience you wish you have during your stay in our beautiful Lisbon and specific needs as a family. Some considerations:
hotels in Lisbon
- convenience: you'll find room service, housekeeping and concierge services
- facilities: many hotels have facilities such as swimming pool, restaurant, kids' club and gym
- safety: hotels usually have 24/7 security and reception, providing a sense of safety and assistance whenever you need
- stardardized service: hotels offer a consistent level of service and quality, providing a predictable stay experience.
Airbnb in Lisbon
- space: Airbnb accommodations often offer more space, multiple rooms, and additional amenities like kitchens and living areas, ideal for families requiring more room to spread out.
- local experience: staying in an Airbnb can give you a more local experience, allowing you to live like a local and immerse yourself in the neighborhood culture.
- flexibility: Airbnb options might offer more flexibility in terms of check-in/out times and house rules compared to hotels.
- cost-effective: depending on the size of your family and length of stay, Airbnb rentals can sometimes be more cost-effective than hotel rooms.
If you're traveling with a new born, infant or toddler, an airbnb is the most interesting option - you can cook the baby's own meal, you can do the laundry faster (and cheaper) and you'll definitely have more space for the baby to play and crawl in addition to the possibility of having two or more bedrooms which will give you more comfort during the naps. Make sure the Airbnb has a crib, a highchair and a baby bath for everyone's comfort. If not, you can rent from us. Hotels generally always guarantee cots and cribs for babies; they just don't have them when it's booked out (happens more in high season). On the other hand, if you're expecting to spend a lot of time outside and exploring the city, from morning to the evening, maybe an hotel will work better.
family hotels in Lisbon
The only hotel we know that is designed for families and kids and it is super completed is Martinhal, a luxury hotel & apartments but there are some others that are also great options in terms of value for money, location and conveniences. Here are our 3 suggestions:
Hapimag is located in the the very centre of Lisbon - the ideal base for discovering what this fascinating city has to offer.
- rooms with 1 or 2 rooms
- outdoor pool
- outdoor area
- baby equipment on request
If you want to be close to the "new Lisbon", Parque das Nações is the place to stay.
- family rooms & family communicating rooms
- indoor pool
- baby equipment on request
Here you'll be at the most exclusive area of Lisbon.
- family rooms
- indoor pool
- outside garden
- baby equipment on request
family apartments in Lisbon
Visionaire Apartments in Lisbon can be a great choice for accommodation, depending on your preferences and needs - these apartments are known for their central locations in Lisbon, which can be convenient for exploring the city's attractions. If being in the heart of the action is important to you, these apartments might be a good fit. They typically offer modern and well-equipped apartments, providing amenities such as kitchens, living spaces, and sometimes balconies or terraces. This can be advantageous for families or those looking for more space and the ability to cook their meals.
The Lisboans is highly regarded for offering a unique and charming experience in Lisbon, particularly for those seeking a more authentic and local stay. The Lisboans provides apartments rather than traditional hotel rooms, giving you a taste of living like a local in Lisbon. The apartments are designed with a mix of contemporary style and traditional Portuguese elements, offering a homely atmosphere. Situated in a central area of Lisbon, The Lisboans allows easy access to many attractions, restaurants, and cultural sites, making it convenient for exploring the city on foot or using public transportation.
Altido Apartments offer a range of accommodations in various locations, including Lisbon. Altido Apartments operate in different areas of Lisbon, providing options in various neighborhoods. Consider the specific location and its proximity to the attractions or areas you wish to explore. Altido Apartments often offer a variety of apartment types, from studios to larger units. Consider your group size and preferences for space and amenities.
Location: several locations in Lisbon.
where to go and what to do in Lisbon with kids
Kidstogo.pt is the new platform that is helping families with kids to explore and to know where to go and what to do in Lisbon (and Portugal) with kids. Still in Portuguese and in beta version but I believe it can already help you find everything you need.
indoor activities to do with kids in Lisbon - highlights
- Pavilhão do Conhecimento
- Oceanário de Lisboa
- Estufa Fria
- Feijão Verde
- Museu do Mar (Cascais)
- World of Heroes
- 3D Fun Art Museum
- Joker Lounge - Bowling
- Indoor mini golf
- SMAS - Museu da Água a Resíduos (Sintra)
outdoor activities to do with kids in Lisbon - highlights
- Feijão Verde Alfragide
- Outdoor mini golf
- Monsanto Forest Park
- Parque Recreativo do Alto da Serafina
- Parque Recreativo do Alvito
- Quinta pedagógica dos Olivais
- Parque infantil do Parque Eduardo VII
getting around Lisbon with kids
convenient 3-in-1 transport card, museum pass and discount pass
Check Lisboa Card - our families usually buy it. This card allows you to travel for free and enjoy free access to Lisbon’s best museums and attractions. The card includes free admission to the Torre de Belem, Jeronimos Monastery and the Santa Justa Elevator among others. The only issue here is that, if you're traveling with kids, we know how plans can change suddenly - with this card you need/can book up until 4 hours before the activity as long as there are still places.
subway vs uber/bolt vs taxi vs transfer service
from/to the airport
The entrance to the metro at the airport is a 1-minute walk from Arrivals. At the entrance to the Metro you will see a map of the lines - from the airport to Saldanha it takes around 20 minutes, if you go to the city center expect another 15 minutes. Easy peasy. But if it's full of suitcases, strollers, baby stuff and backpacks, perhaps a car would be better for everyone's comfort:
- from the airport to the city center it is just 7 km - the journey can be quick on holidays and weekends but don't expect the same during business days. count on at least 25-45 minutes.
- Uber/Bolt have variable prices - the more the demand, the more expensive it becomes. There is plenty of this type of transport available at any time of the day.
- taxis have more fixed prices and the journey costs between €10 and €18.
- with transfer services you can get between €25 and €40 but in this case you have the driver waiting to take you to your destination, knowing exactly the type of car you need for the luggage and number of people.
If you're arriving or leaving, check our related article regarding Lisbon airport with kids - there you'll find all information about family services at Lisbon airport and tips for families with kids at the airport.
to move around the city
Get ready to go hiking :-) and to truly get to know the city, there's nothing like walking. However, we know that with children it is not always easy - take short walks, stop and take in the views of Lisbon, have a coffee, drink a juice or eat a sweet or traditional Portuguese snack.
Taking a private tour is always a good idea to do in the first few days because you can get an overview of the city and understand what you would like to explore more during your visit - the difference to a group tour is that you can do things at your own pace, and do exactly what you want to do according to your needs and expectations and that's so important while traveling with kids, isn't it?
Use and abuse our subway which is very good and reaches practically everywhere in the city. Most stations have an elevator so you can go up/down with the stroller.
If you want a faster, more personalized, more comfortable service, Ubers and Bolts are always available. When you ask for the service you already know who's the driver and how much you'll pay unlike taxis. In this type of service it will be impossible to find cars with car seats (only boosters that should only be used for people over 12 years old or 135 cm tall), unlike transfer services that can guarantee car seats adjusted to age, height and the child's weight.
If you are taking a medium/long trip to Cascais, Sintra or even across the city (Belém - Parque das Nações for example) consider a transfer service.
rent or not to rent a car?
Our subway is really good and our traffic during business days is not that good. If you'll only be in Lisbon for a short period of time, I believe you won't need rent a car - the traffic during business days is a chaos, there's a lack of parking and, when you find a place to park, there's a daily fee or fee for a specified period of time. Use our public transportation, transfer services or Ubers instead. Please be aware that Uber and Bolt are not require to have car seats. If you need to know more about car seat rental in Lisbon check our related article and to know more about car rental at the airport check also our related article about Lisbon airport.
use or not to use a stroller? (carrier is always welcome!)
From our experience so far, we can almost bet that all families need a stroller in Lisbon - what differs is whether they use it more or less hours during the day depending on the child, on the activities and places they will visit. Yes, there are some areas that are difficult to walk with the stroller but... there are not that many!
If you're looking for a peaceful and comfortable holiday, don't hesitate to use a stroller in Lisbon: this will seriously help the child to rest, maybe sleep, and have more energy to know and explore our city. The "secret" is to have a good stroller that is really suitable for the city and for your trip and its characteristics and also your needs.
kid-friendly restaurants in Lisbon
In almost every restaurant you'll find highchairs but you can still find restaurants without highchairs which we know makes meal time much difficult. You'll find soup in most restaurants and the kitchen is generally quite flexible with families - if you need a simpler dish, just ask if it's possible. If you're used to have meals early, be prepared: the common restaurant opens at 12/1230pm (lunch time) and 7/730pm (dinner time).
Check our related article and see here which kid friendly restaurants we know.
what about diapers, wipes, baby food and formula milk?
You won't find changing tables everywhere but don't worry - just kindly ask a restaurant / coffee if they have a changing table that you can use. Portuguese people are super nice and you won't find any problem if you're traveling with kids.
You won't have any difficulty finding supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and other stores that sell what you need.
You will definitely find Dodot diapers and wipes everywhere (similar to Pampers) but there are other good brands too (Lupilo, a brand from the Lidl supermarket, Rascal & Friends sold at Pingo Doce supermarket and Huggies sold at Auchan supermarket). There's also a good store called Wells - a brand for health, beauty, well-being and optics for all families - that you'll easily find in our city. Baby food pouches also available in every supermarket and stores.
If you need formula milk in Lisbon, you'll easily find Hollies, Nan, Nutribén, Novalac, Aptamil e Enfamil.
what to visit near to Lisbon (up to 1h by car)
Costa da Caparica with kids
Costa da Caparica is a fantastic destination for families with kids due to its beautiful beaches, family-friendly atmosphere, and a variety of activities catering to all ages:
- spectacular beaches: Costa da Caparica boasts stunning, expansive beaches with golden sands and clear waters. The coastline is perfect for kids to play, build sandcastles, or enjoy a relaxing day by the sea.
- safe environment: Many parts of the beach offer calm waters and gradual slopes, making it safer for children to swim and play. Plus, lifeguards are often present during peak seasons.
- surfing lessons: If your kids are interested in surfing, Costa da Caparica offers surf schools that cater to beginners. It can be a fantastic opportunity for them to learn a new skill in a safe and supervised environment.
- beachfront activities: The beach promenade is lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it convenient to grab a snack or meal. Additionally, there are often beachside activities like volleyball, football, or beach games to keep the whole family entertained.
- nature reserves: Adjacent to the coast, there are nature reserves and parks, such as the Arriba Fossil da Costa da Caparica, providing opportunities for hiking, exploring nature trails, and observing local flora and fauna.
- boat tours: Some companies offer boat tours along the coast, allowing families to explore and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area from the water.
- accessibility: Costa da Caparica is easily accessible from Lisbon, making it a convenient day trip or a short stay option. Buses and taxis run frequently from Lisbon to the area.
- food & restaurants: one of the must-try experiences in Costa da Caparica is indulging in a seafood feast by the beach. Many restaurants have outdoor seating with lovely views of the sea, allowing you to savor delicious fish while enjoying the coastal ambiance.
Overall, Costa da Caparica offers a relaxed beach atmosphere with plenty of family-oriented activities, making it a wonderful destination to enjoy some quality time with your kids by the sea.
Ericeira with kids
Ericeira is another fantastic destination for families with kids, offering a blend of coastal charm, natural beauty, and engaging activities suitable for all ages:
- family-friendly beaches: Ericeira boasts several beautiful beaches with clean waters and soft sands, perfect for family outings. Some beaches, like Ribeira d'Ilhas, are known for their surfing opportunities, but others, like Praia dos Pescadores, offer calm waters ideal for kids to swim and play.
- surfing culture: If your kids are into surfing or interested in learning, Ericeira is a prime spot. There are surf schools that cater to beginners, providing a safe and supervised environment for kids to take their first steps on a surfboard.
- charming town: The town of Ericeira itself has a picturesque, old-world charm with cobblestone streets, traditional Portuguese houses, and plenty of cafes and restaurants. It's a great place to stroll around and soak in the atmosphere.
- local cuisine: Food in Ericeira is fantastic! Don't miss out on the fresh seafood and traditional Portuguese dishes. Many restaurants offer family-friendly menus and outdoor seating, allowing you to enjoy meals while kids have space to move around.
- coastal walks: The rugged coastline around Ericeira offers beautiful walking trails with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. It's a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area while getting some exercise as a family.
- cultural exploration: Ericeira has a rich cultural heritage, with landmarks like the São Pedro Church and the Nossa Senhora da Nazaré Chapel offering a glimpse into the town's history.
- family accommodations: There are family-friendly accommodations available, including hotels, guesthouses, and apartments, providing comfortable stays suitable for families.
Ericeira's relaxed atmosphere, stunning coastline, and array of activities make it an excellent destination for a family getaway. Whether it's enjoying the beaches, exploring the town, or trying out surfing, there's something for everyone in Ericeira.
Sintra <> Azenhas do Mar
Sintra is a fairytale-like town with stunning palaces, castles, and gardens, such as the colorful Pena Palace and the mystical Quinta da Regaleira. The town's magical atmosphere and intriguing architecture can captivate the imagination of children. Additionally, exploring the mazes and gardens of these palaces can be an exciting adventure for kids.
Azenhas do Mar, a coastal village near Sintra, offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and boasts unique cliffside houses. The village itself is picturesque and can be an excellent spot for some family photos. The dramatic cliffs and the natural pool carved into the rocks can be fascinating for children to explore and enjoy.
However, when planning your visit with kids:
- consider mobility: Some areas in Sintra involve uphill walks or stairs, which might be challenging for younger children or those with limited mobility - plan accordingly and consider the physical abilities of your kids.
- pack essentials: Bring snacks, water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes suitable for walking, as exploring Sintra and Azenhas do Mar might involve outdoor activities and walking tours.
- plan kid-friendly activities: Engage your kids with interactive tours, storytelling about the historical places, or treasure hunts within the gardens or castles. This can make the visit more enjoyable and educational for them.
Both Sintra and Azenhas do Mar offer unique experiences and stunning sights that can be enjoyable for the whole family. With a bit of planning and consideration for your kids' interests, these destinations can create lasting memories for your family trip.
Cascais <> Serra de Sintra/Cascais
Both Cascais and the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park region offer a variety of family-friendly activities and attractions that can make for a fantastic trip with kids.
Cascais is a charming coastal town known for its beautiful beaches, family-friendly atmosphere, and array of activities. Here are reasons why it can be a great destination for families:
- beach fun: Cascais has lovely beaches such as Praia da Rainha or Praia da Conceição, ideal for family beach days. Some beaches have calm waters, making them suitable for kids to swim and play.
- boca do inferno: This natural rock formation is a popular spot for visitors. Kids might find it fascinating to see the waves crashing against the cliffs, creating a spectacle of natural forces.
- marina de Cascais: Take a stroll along the marina, watch the boats, and enjoy the seafront atmosphere. There are often family-friendly restaurants and cafes nearby.
- cultural exploration: Cascais has museums like the Museum of the Sea or the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, which can offer educational and engaging experiences for kids.
The Parque Natural Sintra-Cascais (Sintra-Cascais Natural Park) is a fantastic destination for a family trip, offering a mix of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and historical sites that can engage kids and adults alike. Here's why it can be a great choice:
- nature exploration: The park is a haven for nature lovers, with diverse landscapes including forests, cliffs, and coastline. There are hiking trails suitable for families, allowing you to explore the park's beauty and discover hidden gems.
- cabo da Roca: As the westernmost point of mainland Europe, Cabo da Roca offers stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. It's an excellent spot for kids to learn about geography and enjoy the dramatic scenery.
- historical sites: Within the park, you'll find historical landmarks such as the Convent of the Capuchos, a small monastery integrated into nature, and the impressive Peninha Sanctuary, offering breathtaking views.
- parks and picnic areas: There are several designated picnic areas and parks within the park, providing opportunities for family picnics surrounded by nature.
- educational opportunities: Many parts of the park offer educational experiences, whether it's learning about the local flora and fauna, exploring historical ruins, or understanding the significance of this protected natural area.
When visiting with kids, consider their interests and energy levels, and plan accordingly. Bring along essentials like snacks, water, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing and footwear for outdoor activities.
The Parque Natural Sintra-Cascais provides a wonderful blend of nature, history, and outdoor adventures, making it an ideal destination for a family trip where you can bond, explore, and create lasting memories together.
We'll keep this post updated for you!