Lisbon is one of my favorite cities to travel to with kids. Of course, I am biased as I spent most of my Summer vacations traveling all over Portugal when I was growing up.
I have gotten to see this country change and grow so much over the years experiencing it as a child, tween, teenager, young adult and now a parent. It truly has something for everyone and is such a beautiful, safe country with wonderfully kind people which is why, in my opinion, everyone MUST go.
Whether Lisbon is your sole destination or you are passing through as part of a bigger trip, here are 5 reasons why you should take the kids:
1. THE SIGHTS
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, used to be such a sleepy, under the radar city but it has evolved into one of the most cosmopolitan, buzzing hubs of the world. Children of all ages love exploring every nook and cranny by foot. With winding cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, steps and trams up to sensational viewing points, it is such a fun adventure.
Everyone loves castles, especially kids. At Lisbon’s 11th century Sao Jorge Castle, children can play make believe battle and stand behind the massive cannons “firing” them out over the ocean and city whilst parents admire the stunning views. Explore every nook and cranny and then stop for a refreshment at a café, where peacocks roam freely on the grounds outside.
Pure. Fresh. Simple. Lisbon is fast becoming a foodie destination with some amazing places to get a taste of not only delicious Portuguese food, but foods from around the world.
Aside from the many highly rated restaurants what child, or even adult, does not love fresh, baked delights and a milky coffee (galao) or hot chocolate. Every street in Lisbon has at least three pastelarias (bakeries), and every single one makes pastéis de nata, Portugal’s most famous and emblematic sweet. Pasteis de Belem is an original bakery making these sweet delights and is situated in the cultural district (Bairro Cultural) where you can also visit small museums, historical monuments and tropical gardens.
There are so many great things to see and do in the city. One of my favorite things is to spend the day at Oceanario de Lisboa. This aquarium is rated as one of the best in the world. Located on the Westside of the city by the Taugus River enjoy four distinct marine habitats from around the world featuring both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
You can even spend a night sleeping with the sharks! For 60 Euros per person this is such a fun experience for you to wake up in the morning and have the whole Aquarium to yourselves.
4. IT’S EASY TO GET AROUND
It’s so easy to get around Lisbon whether by foot, tram, underground or even Uber. You can also take a tuk tuk tour. However, with heavy traffic and noise in some parts of the city it’s better to choose a circuit in the historic neighbourhoods, such as Alfama, Graça or Bairro Alto. Prices vary, depending on the tour circuit and duration. Expect €45-70 for one hour tour for up to six people.
5. IT’S SAFE
According to the Global Peace Index Portugal ranks as the 3rd safest country in the world. The locals adore kids and treat them like their own. There are so many family friendly accommodations all over Lisbon. Ask me to help you narrow down the best fit for your style and budget.
Of course, there is so much more to Portugal than just Lisbon. Stay tuned for a number of blog posts to come, highlighting all there is to see and do.
Jessica is luxury Travel Advisor based in California. She is a Mother and experienced traveler who is passionate about curating travel experiences for adventure-seekers who want to explore the world in style. Read what it's like to work with Jess.