Planning a trip to Portugal with toddlers and are thinking about kid-friendly activities? Keep scrolling for my list of the best things to do in Lisbon with toddlers worth adding to your Portugal itinerary!
This list of things to do in Lisbon with toddlers was co-written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Guest post by Charity De Souza
If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon with a toddler, you’re in luck, as there is a long list of cool stuff for kids. Families are greeted with warm hospitality in Portugal’s capital city, in addition to beautiful parks, gardens, and coastal gems to explore.
A vacation with toddlers in a capital city may seem daunting. But as a mom who has explored multiple European countries with little ones, I personally think Portugal is one of the most kid-friendly destinations in Europe.
In addition to its (mostly) sunny year-round weather, A Lisbon family trip is made easier thanks to the free priority lines at attractions, friendly locals, outdoor activities, and easy access to kid-friendly excursions.
On top of that, you can also take advantage of Lisbon’s family-friendly accommodation options and well-developed public transportation system (although Lisbon is hilly – be warned!).
Safety is rarely an issue throughout Portugal, and compared to other capital cities in Western Europe, Lisbon is also affordable.
Parks, playgrounds, museums, restaurants, and day trips – this guide will highlight the best things to do in Lisbon with toddlers.
Toddler-Friendly Attractions in Lisbon
One of the first things to note is that in Portugal, families with babies and the elderly are given priority in most places. This includes the airport, grocery store, and attractions.
Best of all, Portuguese people are very welcoming and accommodating to families with young children.
For a fun day out, the Lisbon Oceanarium is one of the best things to do in Portugal with toddlers. It’s a solid choice for indoor activities in Lisbon, as there’s plenty to do and see in the massive aquarium.
Its colorful display of underwater creatures will appeal to kids of all ages, and toddlers will love saying hello to friendly sea otters and penguins.
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Often at the top of most traveler’s Lisbon itineraries, Castelo de São Jorge is one of Portugal’s most famous castles.
Kids will love wandering among the historical ruins – plus, there are real-life cannons and even peacocks on site!
Another popular option in Lisbon for kids who love animals is the Lisbon Zoo.
It’s an easy destination to spend a few hours, home to a variety of exotic animals, including lions, giraffes, and lions, and it also features a children’s farm, on-site restaurant, and picnic area.
Pavilhao do Conhecimento
You don’t have to be a science nerd to enjoy a visit to Pavilhão do Conhecimento. This science museum is one of the top kids’ activities in Lisbon for a reason, offering an array of hands-on exhibits and immersive experiences to keep them engaged.
Kids will love the Fishanarium exhibit, which features an array of sea turtles, sharks, and jellyfish.
Park of the Nations
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Lisbon on a sunny day, Park of the Nations (Parque das Nações) is a no-brainer. This traffic-free area features wide open spaces, a large promenade, and beautiful waterfront views.
Lisbon Cable Car
You can also catch the Lisbon Cable Car (Telecabine Lisboa) near the park, which runs for a mile along the Tagus River.
Another fun attraction in Portugal with toddlers is the famous Tram 28. This historic tram journey passes through some of Lisbon’s most popular tourist areas, including Alfama, Baixa, Estrela, and Graca, and allows you to see the city from the comfort of a seat.
However, I wouldn’t recommend hopping on Tram 28 with a stroller at the peak of summer, as it can get very crowded in the small space and become a magnet for pickpockets.
Tuk-Tuk Tour of Lisbon
For a more private experience, a tuk-tuk tour of Lisbon is the perfect alternative, where you can ride up and down the hilly, narrow streets stress-free.
Escape the crowds with a family stroll in Estrela Garden, a picturesque park with shady lawn areas, playgrounds, and a duck pond. It’s one of the best things to do in Lisbon with kids when you need to take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle.
In fact, Lisbon is full of parks and green spaces where your toddler can burn off energy, with many featuring on-site playgrounds and outdoor cafes.
Are you up for a day trip? There are also many coastal attractions and beautiful beaches near Lisbon where you can enjoy a day of sun and sand, including Carcavelos Beach.
It’s just a short train ride away and boasts a sandy shoreline and family amenities such as cafes, restaurants, and umbrella rentals.
Sintra and Pena Palace
Sintra is also a popular day trip from Lisbon with families. Less than a one-hour train ride away, this fairytale destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site is a delight for the entire family with its colorful castles and palaces to explore.
Pena Palace is a highlight with its colorful facade, terraces, and towers that feel like straight out of a storybook. Don’t miss walking through the adjacent Pena Park with its well-marked footpaths and lush green landscapes.
With Sintra’s combination of hills, stairs, and cobblestone roads, I don’t recommend visiting with a stroller (in fact, Pena Palace does not allow strollers inside).
However, when you arrive at the royal residence, make sure you find the priority lane for families with young kids for a VIP entrance!
Best Playgrounds in Lisbon for Toddlers
If you’re looking for what to do in Lisbon with kids – nothing beats a good playground. They’re fun, free, and are a great spot for the little ones to get their energy out.
Jardim Estrela Park
Right across from a Tram 28 stop, Jardim Estrela Park is one of the best Lisbon playgrounds. Kids will love the beautiful garden area and duck-filled pond, while parents will appreciate the paved walkways, comfy benches, and multiple coffee shops on site.
Alvito Recreational Park
The Alvito Recreational Park, located at the Monsanto Forest Park, is another favorite.
It’s one of the best playgrounds in Lisbon outside of the city center, with three fenced-in play areas spread across multiple levels. You’ll find a soft surface for little ones, as well as toddler-friendly slides, picnic tables, and a restroom.
Jardim de Praca Dom Luis
For a shaded space, head to Jardim da Praca Dom Luis. Located right in front of the Time Out Market, this small fenced-in playground is great for toddlers with its swings and slides.
Family-Friendly Cafés and Lisbon Restaurants
If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon family vacation, you’re probably wondering about eating out and if restaurants here are toddler-friendly. Thankfully, traveling to Portugal with kids is easy in this aspect.
While a kids menu isn’t always a guarantee, restaurants will typically have a ‘meia-dose’ option, which means a half portion of Portuguese food. Finger foods like pastries filled with fish or meat filling and toasted sandwiches with ham and cheese are common if your little one is picky.
You’ll find a bakery (seemingly) around every corner of Lisbon, which is perfect for breakfast or afternoon pick-me-ups for both kids and adults alike. Coffee, sweet treats, and savory snacks will be in abundance. Sampling a few pastéis de natas at a traditional bakery is a must!
However, take note of opening times when choosing a sit-down restaurant, as many open for lunch and then close for a bit until around 730pm for dinner. As a heads-up, restaurants will often bring out a selection of bread, butter, cheese, and olives – just keep in mind that whatever you eat will be added to your bill.
If you want a one-stop-shop experience for the family, the Time Out Market Lisboa is a food hall offering a huge variety of eateries in one space. High chairs are available, and there’s even a little cafe with a playground outside for toddlers!
Public Transport and Stroller Accessibility
One of the top complaints about Lisbon is about its steep hills. The silver lining here is that the city is walkable, and many of the main attractions are within a compact area.
Public transport is also easy to use. This means that little ones can get tired quite quickly if you don’t plan out your day.
Another thing to keep in mind with Lisbon is that it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe, which means that many of its historic buildings (some dating back as far as the 11th century) didn’t have family trips with toddlers in mind. Some are not as well-equipped, and you’ll have to climb a flight of stairs to reach the entrance.
In saying that, many top hotels, restaurants, and attractions will have stroller-friendly access in addition to other family amenities such as baby changing facilities and high chairs.
The best tip for visiting Lisbon with a baby is to be prepared.
Lisbon’s underground metro system is one of the best ways to get around the city. There’s even a direct line from the Lisbon Airport to the city center.
It’s easy to navigate and budget-friendly, and you’ll find designated wheelchair/stroller sections at the front of the train. In metro stops, elevators are available but are tiny (typically large enough to fit you and your stroller only).
Local buses are available, but it can be difficult to get on and off with a stroller, and trams require you to climb up steep stairs to hop aboard.
If your child can walk independently, a stroller in Lisbon may not be necessary, and many moms visit Lisbon with only a baby carrier. However, I have found that bringing a lightweight, travel-friendly stroller that can be folded up is the best option.
For day trips and longer distances, Lisbon’s trains are spacious and accessible.
Lastly, rideshare services like Uber and Bolt are easy to use within the city, but keep in mind that many will not have car seats available.
Lisbon Accommodation Tips
If you’re traveling to Lisbon, Portugal with kids, one of the first things to find is family-friendly accommodation. It’s important to choose the right neighborhoods to be your home base, and in Lisbon, these are Baixa and Chiado.
These districts in central Lisbon allow you to be near many of the city’s top sights, and as a bonus, they’re not as hilly as other neighborhoods in Lisbon.
You’ll also find kid-friendly hotels in Estrela, which is near the Jardim da Estrela with its popular playground. For parents, they’ll enjoy the neighborhood’s calmer atmosphere and streets lined with outdoor cafes, parks, and green spaces.
Visiting Lisbon with Toddlers FAQs
What’s the best science museum in Lisbon?
The best science museum in Lisbon is the Pavilion of Knowledge (Pavilhão do Conhecimento) with lots of interactive exhibits for kids.
Is it easy to use the public transport system with toddlers?
Using public transport in Lisbon with toddlers is manageable, but it’s good to be prepared for stairs and busy times.
Is there a Lisbon zoo or Lisbon aquarium worth visiting?
Both Lisbon Zoo and the Lisbon Oceanarium are worth visiting and offer great experiences for families.
How difficult is it to push a stroller on cobbled streets?
Pushing a stroller on Lisbon’s cobbled streets can be challenging, especially in older neighborhoods, so it’s best to have a sturdy stroller.
Is there a maritime museum in Lisbon?
Yes, there’s a maritime museum called the Maritime Museum (Museu de Marinha) in Lisbon, and it’s fascinating for those interested in naval history.
Can you bring a stroller on a cable car in Lisbon?
You can bring a stroller on the cable cars, but you might need to fold it during busy times.
Can toddlers climb inside Belem Tower?
Toddlers can climb inside Belem Tower with adult supervision, but the narrow stairways may be tricky, so it’s best to be cautious.
Visiting Lisbon with Kids Under 3 Years Old Wrap-Up
Exploring a new city with young children can be overwhelming and a true travel challenge. But as you can see, you’ll find a wealth of things to do in Lisbon with a toddler.
Family trips in Lisbon are made easy thanks to the warm hospitality, kid-friendly attractions, and spacious gardens and parks. Fun for the whole family, the city’s historic tram rides and tuk-tuk rides also make exploring Lisbon’s historic streets a breeze.
With tips, suggestions, and recommendations from a mom who actually lives in Portugal, I hope this local guide helps you plan a stress-free getaway to Lisbon.
Born and raised in Florida, Charity has lived in Thailand, China, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and England, and now lives in Portugal with her husband and two sons. Charity has traveled to over 60 countries – some of her favorite experiences include skydiving in Switzerland, eating ramen in Japan, and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.