How do you ensure that your kids have fun in Lisbon, Portugal? Check out this kid-friendly itinerary for Lisbon. Lisbon is loaded with history. It is a coastal city with a variety of great beaches nearby; very easy to navigate, economical, English is widely-used, and crime rates are very low. As a parent, you will find that Lisbon is a great destination for your family.
Watching over the city of Lisbon, you cannot miss the Castelo de São Jorge. Kids will enjoy exploring a medieval castle – which has some of the best views of the city.
As an added bonus, they will be fascinated by the peacocks which live on the property. These birds are descended from the birds which the portuguese explorers brought back from Asia in the 16th century.
The castle is open from 10am until 9pm, every day except May 1, January 1, December 24, 25, and 31.
Admission to the castelo is free for children under 12. 13 – 25 pay 5 euros with ID or passport, seniors pay 8.50 euros.
The walk up to the castle is very steep. Tram 12 and Tram 28 will take you near the castle, but still leave you walking a bit of a steep hill.
With kids, I’m not sure I would stand in line waiting for tram 28 at Praça Martim Moniz. It could be a very long wait.
I would take bus 737 from Praça da Figueira, which will drop you off right at the entrance to the castle.
When you finish at the castle, the walk downhill will provide you with some beautiful views of Lisbon.
Ride the trams, funiculars, and elevators
Lisbon is known worldwide for it’s yellow trams and cablecars.
Just off of Rossio Square, on Avenida da Liberdade at Praça dos Restauradores, you can find the Elevador da Gloria.
Cost is 1.50 per person with a Viva Viagem card.
This cablecar takes you up the little graffiti-soaked alley that goes to the Bairro Alto neighborhood. Amidst the graffiti, you will also find some world-class street art.
Once you get to the top, turn to the right and take in the views of downtown and the castle at the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
Across the street, you can pop in to the Convento de São Pedro de Alcântara, which was built in 1670. Not necessarily for your kids, but you should have a look.
Had you gone to the left when you got off the elevador, you would have run into one of Lisbon’s most beautiful churches – the Igreja de São Roque. built between 1553 and 1573, the church has a stunning interior.
Also in Bairro Alto, if you stroll down Avenida Príncipe Real, you will eventually come to a relaxing outdoor park and garden. It is a nice place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a snack.
By far, the most popular trolley ride in Lisbon is Tram 28.
There are three negatives about Tram 28. First, there are so many visitors trying to ride it that the locals have a hard time using it to get around these days.
Second, there are so many tourists riding it, that there could be hundreds of people waiting in line to take it at any time.
Finally, due to the long lines and the fact that the ride is standing-room-only, it has become a magnet for some of Europe’s best pickpockets.
Nonetheless, it is a pretty cool 40 minute ride, and only costs 1.50 with the Viva Viagem card. Or you can pay 3 euros in cash.
Line up fro Tram 28 at Praça Martim Moniz (not far from Rossio Square and Praça da Figueira).
The six-mile-long ride will go up toward the castle, taking you through Graça, Mouraria, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, and Bairro Alto.
The line ends at Campo de Ourique, and then the tram will reverse directions.
You can avoid the long lines at Martim Moniz by catching Tram 28 at one of the stops in the western part of the city, closer to Campo de Ourique.
.Other options for a tram ride in Lisbon are tram routes 12, 15, 18, 24, and 25.
Tram 12 is a circular route that starts and ends at Martim Moniz and goes through Alfama, passing by two great miradouros (scenic viewpoints) and the Sé Cathedral.
Tram 15 starts at Praça da Figueira and goes out to Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery. This line is also very popular.
If you find yourself at the LX factory, you can board Tram 18 at the nearby Lidl Store on Rua Leão Oliveira and ride to the Palacio da Ajuda – the former home of the Royal Family until 1910. Today it is a museum.
Tram 24 boards near the Baixa-Chiado metro station and passes through Bairro Alto, passing the São Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint and the church of São Roque, as well as the Jardim de Príncipe Real before ending in the Campolide neighborhood.
Tram 25 starts at Praça da Figueira and ends near the Mercado de Campo de Ourique – a good spot for a meal.
The Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa has more than 2000 animals from 300 species. daily shows, and is easily reached by public transportation.
Open every day from 10am until 8pm March until September and then 10am until 6pm the rest of the year.
Admission to the Jardim Zoológico is 14.50 euros for children 3 – 12, and 22.50 euros for ages 13 – 64. Seniors pay 16 euros.
In order to get to the zoo, take the metro blue line to Jardim Zoológico station. Walk 20 meters.
Carris bus routes: 701, 716, 726, 731, 746, 754, 755, 758, 768, 770
Exit » Sete Rios
Lisbon Zoo is within walking distance (10 meters) of Sete Rios stop.
For more information visit Carris page.
Lisbon’s aquarium is the largest in Europe.
With five million liters of salt water, you can expect to find plants and animals from all of the planets oceans – warm water, tropical water, and cold water species. There are exhibits featuring birds, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, mammals, plants, and algae.
Trip advisor recommends the Oceanrium as the number one activity in Lisbon.
Children ages 4 – 12 pay 10 euros. Ages 13 – 64 pay 19 euros. Seniors pay 13 euros. A discount is offered for families of five or more.
If you would like to ride the Telecabine Lisboa sky gondola next door, you can purchase a discounted round-trip ticket in combination with the aquarium admission at this link. https://www.telecabinelisboa.pt/epages/2060-120119.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/2060-120119/Categories/Bilhetes
The aquarium is located on the Olivais Dock (Doca dos Olivais), in the Parque das Nações.
For public transport, take the red metro line to Oriente Station.
The following buses stope at the Oriente metro station:
705, 725, 728, 744, 708, 750, 759, 782, 794
You might also be interested in a dolphin tour, Roaz do Sado Dolphins | Where to watch dolphins near Lisbon
Pavilhão do Conhecimento – Ciência Viva
A hands-on science museum for children with interactive exhibits and a variety of scientific topics under one roof.
Lots of playing and experimenting going on at the Knowledge Pavilion and Center of Living Science.
Not only can kids ride the bike on the tight rope, but adults can too! Paln on spending two or three hours, minimum.
Hours from June 1 until August 30, Monday – Friday 10am until 6pm. Weekends and holidays 10am until 1pm.
After August 30, same hours but closed on Mondays.
Recommended that you schedule your visit in advance. Adult tickets 10 euros, children 3 – 11 are 7 euros, ages 12 – 17 are 8 euros, and seniors are 7 euros. https://www.pavconhecimento.pt/en/
Located at Parque das Nacões, take the red line to Oriente Station. The closest bus stop is at the Lisbon Oceanarium, buses 26B and 728.
Ride the elevated cable car, Telecabine Lisboa
Also located in the Parque das Nacões, you can board the Telecabine Lisboa (Lisbon Gondola Lift) right next door to the Oceanarium at the Passeio de Neptuno South Station, or the Passeio de Tágides North Station.
Adult tickets are 4.50 euros one way, 6.50 euros round trip. Children 4 – 12 are 3 euros one way, 4.50 euros round trip.
You can also buy a discounted combination ticket for the aquarium and telecabine at this link https://www.telecabinelisboa.pt/epages/2060-120119.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/2060-120119/Categories/Bilhetes
There are quite a few beaches neear Lisbon. See my article https://lisbontravelideas.com/2021/06/how-to-use-public-transportation-to-get-to-lisbons-beaches .
Small children might really enjoy the Piscina Oceânico Alberto Romano – a protected saltwater wading pool seperated from the ocean by a short wall near the town of Estoril – 20 minutes away by train.
Whether you end up on a beach in Cascais or the Costa da Caparica, surfing is very popular in Portugal, and a number of companies teach kids how to surf.
For example, you could try Surf School and Surf Camp in Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal (saltysoulsportugal.com)
Pastéis de nata
There are all kinds of baked goods and sweet treats all over Lisbon – but the most famous one is the Pastel de nata (Pastéis = more than one).
They are also often called Pateis de Belém, but unless you are buying it at the Pasteis de Belém bakery, then it is a Pastel de nata.
These egg custard tarts spinkled with cinnamon were first produced in the late 1700s by the monks at the Jerónimos Monastery in the Belém neighborhood.
In 1834, when the monastery closed, the secret recipe was sold to the sugar refinery.
They then opened a bakery doMonument to the Discoveries wn the street from the monastery called Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém. https://pasteisdebelem.pt/en/
To try the original, take the Tram 15 to the Jerónimos Monastery (do go in the architecturally stunning monastery), and also check out the Monument to the Discoveries and the Belém Tower which are across the street from the monastery.
You could also take the train from Cais de Sodré station and ride for seven minutes to Belém (fastest option).
Or take buses 714 (from Praça da Figueira), 727 (from Cais de Sodré).
You will likely wait in line for a while at Pastéis de Belém.
Know that you can buy pastéis de nata all over Lisbon without waiting in line.
You might want to sample many, and decide who makes the best one!
An important word to know, the Portuguese word for ice cream is “Gelado.” (Zhay LAH Doo) You will also see the Italian word “Gelato.”
Scoop n Dough | Artisanal Vegan Donuts & Ice Creams | Lisboa Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 78, (north of Rossio Square)
Rua Dom Pedro V, 1 – Príncipe Real, Lisboa
Rua da Prata, nº61 – Baixo Chiado, Lisboa
R. do Carmo nº9 – Chiado, Lisboa
Gelato Daverro https://www.facebook.com/gelatodavvero Avenida Dom Carlos I, Near the Santos Tram Stop or the Santos train station.
An escape room is a game in which a team of players works together to find clues, solve puzzles, and mostly mental challenges in order to escape from a room or rooms, or accomplish some other mission within a specified time limit.
Scapers https://en.scapers.pt/ Recommended for ages 14 and up, but younger players are allowed if accompanied by an adult.
Scapers currently offers four different games, which can be booked for 80 euros per group. No prior knowledge is necessary. Everything is explained during the game.
Rua Manuel da Silva Gaio 2. Two minutes from Marquês de Pombal metro station.
Game Over Escape Rooms https://www.lisbon.escapegameover.pt/#page-top While the web-site is mostly in Portuguese, Game Over assures that they are well-prepared to run games in English, and that all ages are welcom. Minors must be accompanied by adults.
Rua de O Século 4B, In Bairro Alto near the 53E Elevador da Bica stop. Arrive at least 15 minutes early.
Escape Hunt Lisbon https://escapehunt.com/pt/lisbon/escolhe-a-tua-aventura/?gc=escape-room Rua dos Douradores 15 Open every day. Games start at 10am until the last one at 8pm. Fridays and Saturdays, the last game starts 9:30. Arrive at least 15 minutes early.
Games currently offered are “infiltrate a Secret Society” and “The Mystery of Fernando Pessoa” (one of Portugal’s best poets). Game recommended for ages 10+.
Under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
For two – five people. Groups of 2 people 55 euros, 3 people 60 euros, 4 people 70 euros, 5 people 80 euros.
Safarka Escape Room Safarka means “The Journey” in the Somali Language.
The group is inspired by the story of Atlantis.
Participants should expect to spend up to 90 minutes solving the challenges of the game.
Puzzles and their clues are designed for adults but they allow anyone over 10 years of age and adapt the puzzles to their age.
You do not need to be able to speak Portuguese.
The majority of the puzzles and clues are based on numbers and symbols.
9am – 11pm Seven days a week. Contact for prices.
+351 918 673 349
Rua Coelho da Rocha 35, Get off Tram 25 at Rua Saraiva do Carvalho. One block north.
Fun in the forest near Lisbon. Multiple ziplines, treetop adventure treks challenge courage, balance and coordination by facing obstacles between treetop-mounted platforms.
The mega-cicuit takes two hours to complete, and can be done by children or adults.
The little circuit is designed to be fun for younger children while pushing them out of their comfort zones and overcoming fear of heights.
For more information or to book: https://adventurepark.pt/en/
This tour is in Loures, about thirty minutes from Lisbon. When booking, transportation from your accommodations can be arranged.
Adult tickets (15+) are 57 euros. Children (5-14) pay 42 euros. Children under four are free. The tour lasts three hours and is designed for two to eight people. A minimum of two people are required.
Upon arriving, you will be welcomed by the farmer and have a tour of the farm. After learning about beehives, you will put on a bee suit in order to visit the apiary. You will hold a frame of bees and identify workers and drones and try to find the Queen bee.
You will learn about the importance of bees to the planet, enjoy tasting different types of honey, and finally have lunch at the farm. To book or learn more https://wwwportugalfarmexperience.com/tours/beekeeping/ or book through Airbnb.
Let’s Roam has developed an app for the Lisbon Scavenger Hunt: Princes, Poets, Playwrights, and Promenades.
This is a two-hour app-led scavenger hunt beginning in Praça do Comercio. No guides or reservations are necessary.
Snap pics, explore, learn, and race against the clock. Walk to the landmarks and hidden gems, answering trivia questions and completing challenges. You can play with your friends, or compete against them.
Activity level: moderate. Walking required. $20 per player. https://wwwletsroam.com/scavenger_hunt/Historical_Centre_Lisbon_Scavenger_Hunt
Attend a pro football (soccer) game
Lisbon is home to two very good football teams.
You have two choices to watch a pro soccer game.
Ronaldo’s former team – Sporting Club, Estadio José Alvalade, (Campo Grande Metro station, or current national champions, Benfica. Estadio da Luz , (Colégio Militar /Luz metro station).
Sporting wears green and white. Benfica’s colors are red and white.
Tickets to the games can be purchased at the stadiums in advance or at the team shops near Rossio Square.
The season typically runs from September until May.
For schedules you can try https://www.slbenfica.pt/en-us/home.aspx or https://www.sporting.pt/en or https://liganos.pt/
In Lisbon you do not have to worry about hooligans or rowdy fans. The stadium atmosphere is family-friendly in Portugal.
Dino Parque Lourinhã
The largest outdoor museum in Portugal is a theme park dedicated to dinosaurs.
There are more than 180 life-size models for you to wander around.
Designed to be educational and entertaining, the park has an actual paleontology lab which you can explore and watch paleontologists go about their work, as more than 100 dinosaur eggs were discovered in this area.
Trip Advisor ranks this park as the number one thing to do with kids in Lisbon, but it is not in Lisbon.
Take the A8 motorway, northbound. This is a toll-road.
Leave the motorway at the junction sign-posted N8-2 Lourinhã (km 44), and follow the signs to Lourinhã.
Follow the N247 towards Peniche for about 7km.
When arriving at the crossroads, turn right and follow the N247-1 for another 2.5km and you will arrive at Dino Parque.
OR by public transportation:
Go to the Lisbon Sete Rios bus station (metro station Blue line) and get the Rede Expressos bus to Peniche, buses leaving at 8:30, 10:00 and 11:45.
The trip takes an hour and a half.
From Peniche take a cab or Uber to the park near the town of Lourinhã.
Buses return to Lisbon at 4pm, 5pm, and 6:30pm.
Open seven days a week, year-round.
Admission is 8.42 euros for children ages 4 – 12. Adults are 11.05 euros if you purchase online at https://www.dinoparque.pt/en/
Trip to Sintra to see the castles
If your child was impressed by the Castelo de São Jorge, they will be mesmerized on a trip to the town of Sintra.
Realistically, you will be too!
There, you can visit the Pena Palace, the Castelo dos Mouros, and the Quinta da Regaleira estate.
A day trip or an overnight trip is a must for anyone who is spending more than two days in Portugal!
I would recommend an overnight trip if you have time to spare so that you can see it all at a leisurely pace.
You can get to Sintra via public transportation.
From Rossio train station, the trip is 37 minutes.
Tickets are 2.25 euros.
Here is the Portuguese train service’s website https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/pt
If you are driving, it is an 18-mile trip.
Safety and language concerns, hills
Obviously, you are going to wonder – is this a safe and wholesome environment for my family?
For a big city, Lisbon is very safe. See my article, 20 tips for staying safe in Lisbon Portugal
Lisbon is the quickest flight to Europe from the United States, and is a good landing point if you plan to venture further into western Europe.
Lisboetas learn English in school, and many who work in hotels, restaurants, and the tourism industry are fluent in English.
There are certain neighborhoods that are very hilly, and as a parent with children, you probably don’t want to stay in those areas.
Best choices for lodging on flat land would be Avenida da Liberdade, and Baixa neighborhoods.
Both are well served by public transportation. See my article Hotels located near metro stations in Lisbon
Conclusion: Lisbon is a safe, family-friendly destination that is filled with history and easy to navigate.
You can be sure that your children will enjoy their time in the city.
Note: I am not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.