With steep hills, trendy bars, cool restaurants and an abundance of historical architecture, it’s easy to see why some may think that Lisbon should be reserved for an adult only city break. But after our visit with kids, I can assure you that this is not the case! Read on to discover some great ideas for a weekend in Lisbon with kids.
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Firstly, before we travel I always make sure that we have travel insurance for all of the family. There are so many different places to find travel insurance to suit your needs, including https://www.uhcsafetrip.com. We always like to do lots of research to see what suits our family best.
Lisbon was voted the World’s Leading City Destination in 2018 at the World Travel Awards and it is easy to see why. With a palimpsest of history stacked throughout it’s seven hills, breathtaking views, a vibrant waterfront, a thriving nightlife, and a restaurant scene of dreams!
We visited with our three kids and here are just a few of the things we got up to that we all loved.
Take a tram ride
But of course! There are trams rattling along, bells dinging, all over Lisbon. Kids will absolutely love climbing on board, and sitting behind the driver, watching how these old beautiful vehicles get around.
The iconic tram is of course the number 28, which is at the top of all tourists lists when they visit this beautiful town. If you want to join them, be sure to get up early as they get extremely busy! We paid in cash to the driver.
Visit Castelo de Sao Jorge
Not only is the history of this castle (or at least the history of the site of the castle) impressive, dating back as far as 8th century BC, but the views are pretty darn special too!
With open spaces, trees for shade, exciting narrow staircases and walkways, and even canons to play on, our kids happily played for a few hours here. There was even a historical reenactment taking place during our visit (although, be warned, they fired a small canon which was SO loud it frightened us all!)
There is a small cafe inside the castle, with outside seating under the trees and peacocks wandering around. A lovely place to cool down on a hot day.
The walk up to the castle is very steep, but you can take a tram to make it easier! We actually took the iconic number 28 tram part of the way and walked the rest. Be sure to get there early to avoid the queues, which were winding down the hill by the time we left.
Splash and play at the waterfront
If you work your way down the hills, through the narrow cobbled streets of Lisbon, you will find your way to the Tagus river, and the beautiful waterfront that has seen regeneration over recent years.
It is a vibrant area, with bars, restaurants, music and street entertainers. The benches, river walls, and grass spaces were packed with people enjoying the weather and the vibe, and the bars and restaurants were buzzing with activity too.
With space to run free, and even a small sandy beach to splash and play on, it was the perfect place to head with kids.
Eat at the Time Out Food Market
If your kids are anything like mine, and are either fussy, or are pure contrarians and want to eat the opposite of what everyone else wants, then the Time Out food market is the perfect place!
Housed in a historical market building close to the waterfront, which was totally transformed by Time Out in 2014, it feels like every food or drink taste is catered for.
With vast long tables with stools running through the middle of the hall, grab a seat if you’re lucky enough (it gets super busy) and order food from which ever place takes your fancy. Most will give you an electronic buzzer to let you know when you’re food is ready to collect.
As we were staying in an apartment with an awesome view, we decided to get our food to take away. We ate from around the world – sushi, beef cheek risotto, and a selection of croquettes.
Take a tour of the Benfica football stadium
It has become a bit of a tradition for us to take our boys to a football stadium if we have the opportunity to. They really love it, and I figure that we have to give them a bit of something back if they’re on a city break, as it’s not always as fun for kids if we’re honest!
We stopped at the stadium on our drive into the city, but it is easily accessible on the metro too.
Our tour guide spoke in both Portuguese and English and took us all over the stadium, from the stands to the changing rooms, pitch side, and even let us lift a trophy!
Whilst on the pitch, we even got to see the famous Benfica eagles, who fly around the stadium before each match, landing on the club crest.
Eat Pastel de Nata
No trip to Lisbon is complete without enjoying a pastel de nata (or two…or three!!). These Portugese custard tarts are a tradition, and a delicious one at that.
The famous place that all tourists head to is Pasteis de Belem, but we didn’t quite make it there. However, there are so many amazing places to stop to pick some up, you are spoilt for choice in Lisbon! We had awesome ones from a little cafe just downstairs from our apartment, and our Air BnB hosts left us a box from Manteigaria, which were amazing!
So there you have it – just a few ideas of some awesome ways to spend a weekend in Lisbon with kids! I hope these ideas help towards planning your visit if you are heading to Lisbon soon, or help to inspire you to book a trip!
If you’re interested in ideas for other European city breaks with kids, be sure to check out this post.
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