Ready to explore the Portuguese capital but unsure about the essential things to do in Lisbon with kids? As any capitals of Europe, Lisbon has a lot to offer in terms of museums, historical sites, exhibitions and activities overall. But what are the essential attractions in Lisbon to do with children? Lisbon is a popular city break for British families, thanks to its mild climate, beautiful architecture and great restaurants. However, the Portuguese city is hilly, so best not to attempt it with a pram – pack the baby backpack instead.
So let’s explore what are the great things to do with kids in Lisbon for your next visit:
1. Lisbon Oceanarium – Oceanário de Lisboa
With over 1.3m visitors last year, the Lisbon Oceanarium is a must-see during your next visit in Lisbon. It has been recently voted the world’s best aquarium according to TripAdvisor 2018 Traveller’s Choice survey. It also exhibits an incredible temporary exhibition called “Forests Underwater’ by Takashi Amano which features tropical forests inside a 130m3 aquarium with more than 10,000 tropical fresh water fish of 40 different species. The venue also organises sleep overs with sharks but you need to book well in advance.
Opening Times: Summer Time (until 27th October) from 10am until 8pm and Winter Time (from 28th October until 29th March) from 10am until 7pm
2. Puppets Museum – Museu da Marioneta
Museu da Marioneta is the only Puppets Museum in Portugal where you learn about the history of Portuguese puppets.
They recently added African and South East collections so you can really appreciate the diversity of this underrated art. Different workshops are also available for adults and children. You can see their upcoming family events here.
Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 6pm
Free admittance on holidays mornings and Sunday mornings (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 pm)
Closed on Mondays, 1 January, 1 May, 24, 25 December and 31 December (afternoon)
3. Belém Tower – Torre de Belém
The Belém Tower is one the prime landmarks of Lisbon that you need to see it at least from the outside. On weekends, you can easily queue for one hour to go up to the Tower so be prepared to be patient with your kids. The view from the top is beautiful but again to reach there, you need to climb up narrow steep steps so maybe not so practical for young kids. While you are in the area, make a stop to the famous Pastéis de Belém .
Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm. Closed on Monday
4. Navy Museum – Museu de Marinha
The Navy Museum of Lisbon is a great alternative choice of overcrowded places like the Monastery. It’s also has the Wow factor with the kids because of the huge vessels they can see inside the museum and also a children’s area. So if you want to learn about the famous Portuguese explorers like Vasco de Gama or Magellan, don’t hesitate to spend an hour or two at this museum.
Opening Times: Open Daily from 10am until 6pm from 1 May until 30 September
Open Daily from 10am until 5pm from 1 October until 30 April
Closed on 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May and 25 December
5. KidZania Lisbon
The City for Kids concept originated from Mexico has expended in Europe with the opening of KidZania Lisbon in 2009. It is located in one of the biggest shopping centre in Europe called Dolce Vita Tejo. KidZania, one the best kids attractions in Lisbon allows your kids to wander around a theme park where they learn to do different jobs and earn money with their own city currency called KidZos. They can also spend their money on different attractions like a tour bus or getting a make up. This attraction will entertain your kids for 4 hours in a very secured area since your kids will be with wristbands and won’t be allowed outside the park without adults. One of our favourite attractions for children in Lisbon for sure.
Are you ready to see your child play and pretend to be a policeman, a burrito cook or plane pilot?
Opening Times: Varies upon the month and day of the week
6. Jardim da Estrela
This is one most beautiful gardens in Lisbon, which boasts two great playgrounds for the kids. If you take Tram 28, it stops nearby, on the way to Graça. There’s a swan lake overlooked by a lovely café too. This is a great place to relax with a coffee whilst the kids burn off some energy.
Opening Hours: daily from 7am until midnight
7. Costa da Caparica beaches
One of our top Lisbon Attractions is surprisingly, the beach! That is to say, in just 30 minutes you can be on the beautiful Costa da Caparica. So take a taxi and spend a morning or afternoon or whole day at the family friendly Costa da Caparica beaches. Even in the winter, these beaches are beautiful enough that you can walk on the sand and not being cold at all.
Address: Costa da Caparica beaches
8. Jardim Zoológico
The Jardim Zoológico (Lisbon zoo) is one of the best zoos in Europe. It has a unique attraction: a cable car that takes you on a 20min journey throughout the whole park so you can watch your kids pointing at all the different animals it offers. You can also enjoy in the summer a selection of family friendly meals at the Savanna restaurant. There is also a baby care centre and activities for kids.
Opening Hours: check website
9. Tram 28
Probably the most popular attraction in Lisbon, Tram 28 is a great way to get introduced to the Portuguese capital without putting a foot on the road. The yellow tramway has been photographed and painted a million times. Don’t be worried if you see some local kids following the tram behind, it’s part of their game.
10. Monsanto Forest Park
Located in the West side of Lisbon with over 1,000 ha of green, Monsanto Forest Park is a great way to escape the busy town and take a big breath of fresh air. In the Summer/Spring, you can also have a picnic in different parts of the park like Mata de Sao Domingos, Parque da Pedra or Vila Guine.
Inside the Forest Park you can also find restaurants, child-friendly playgrounds, different sport facilities (tennis courts, football and basketball fields), mountain bike trails, climbing facilities, a skate park and even a camping site!
If you are interested to take on a private family tour and learn about Lisbon history and culture with your kids (between 6 and 12 years old), have a look at this great tour guide specialised for families. Little Lisbon has amazing reviews on TripAdvisor with a 5* rating score among their customers.
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