Lisbon is a great city for families. In fact, it’s one of Europe’s best destinations for families, with plenty of places that accommodate children of all ages. Whether is a 3-day trip or a weekend in Lisbon, the city is also packed with sightseeing activities, from museums to monuments, from the Lisbon Oceanarium to Lisbon Zoo that cater for the younger ones. Even our Lisbon boutique hotel and apartments can accommodate families, so you can fully enjoy the best city break in this beautiful capital with your loved ones.
As the sun shines in Lisbon most of the time, outdoor activities are highly recommended. That’s why we suggest enjoying the most of Lisbon’s riverside, taking you across the Tagus river in Cacilhas, and then spend the rest of the day in the stunning promenade of Belém district. And even when the weather isn’t agreeable at the later part of the year, there are still plenty of things to do in Lisbon in winter, indoor spots such as museums, galleries and even greenhouse gardens to spend quality time in.
Scroll down below for a full guided tour, and enjoy your day with the family!
Itinerary: A Day in Lisbon with your Family and Kids
Lisbon is a safe, secure and child-friendly city, so you’ll have no worries in touring around its locations, with warm and welcoming establishments that will attend to your children’s needs. Family is very central to Portuguese life, and therefore it’s truly a wonderful place to spend your holidays with families. This is evident in the tourist industry, as tourist attractions here are accommodating and even supportive of your enjoyment.
Take the ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas
From our boutique hotel in Santos, head to the Terminal Fluvial in Cais do Sodré and take a ferry across the river to Cacilhas. It’s not the most obvious Lisbon sightseeing route, but there’s a real underrated pleasure in crossing the Tagus river. Lisbon is just as beautiful as viewed from the other side, as you can perceive from the ferry the picture-perfect view of Lisbon’s historic town, laid out in front of you. It’s also quite reasonable trip to take, as it costs only €3.10 for a return trip. There are ferries in 20-minute intervals, and takes roughly 15 minutes to cross the river.
Walk along Cais do Ginjal waterfront to Jardim do Rio
One of the great reasons of crossing the Tagus estuary is to explore the waterfront neighbourhood of Cacilhas. The main district here has been recently revitalised, whereby visitors start pouring in, with a plethora of seafood restaurants to choose from. Furthermore, the long stretch of Cais do Ginjal, while still full of empty warehouses, is now a major architectural project that will soon transform the South Bank into a Water City.
Elevador Panorâmico da Boca do Vento miradouro
Enter into this panoramic elevator cabin that will take you to great heights, with an incredible view of Lisbon. The platform up above offers practically similar view to what you’d get in Cristo Rei statue. There’s also a bar café here, Boca do Vento, which could catch a break with coffee or drinks whilst glimpsing at that skyline.
R. do Ginjal 72, Almada // 8am-12am – Tuesday-Sunday
Casa da Cerca
One of Almada’s stunning features is this cultural centre, set atop an historic hill with incomparable views of the Tagus estuary and the Lisbon panorama. It’s set in the Cerca Palace that’s been turned into a Centre for Contemporary Art, featuring exhibitions, a botanical garden, and an outdoor terrace café, perfect for unwinding with views.
Rua da Cerca, Almada // 10am-6pm – Tuesday-Sunday
Restaurante Ponto Final
Your trip in Calcilhas area isn’t complete without a meal in the Portuguese classic Restaurante Ponto Final. This used to be an off-the-beaten track spot, but ever since Lisbon guides have put this on the must-visit places, this restaurant has been ever so popular that visitors deliberately take the trip across the river just to dine here. And there’s no question, it boasts the best view of any restaurant, with an outdoor patio providing a scenic view of Lisbon’s waterfront and skyline.
R. do Ginjal 72, Almada // 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-11pm – Wednesday-Monday // Accepts reservations
Bike tour along Belém riverside
The most common activity along Belém riverside is undertaking a great stroll through its promenades and marinas. But why not make it even more fun by hiring bikes and cruise along its bike-friendly paths! There are a few bike rentals along the way (Lisbon Bike Rentals), and take your family to a spin along Belém’s many monuments and museums. It’s an incredibly fun way to spend an afternoon, and get to know the features set alongside the Tagus river, defining Lisbon’s major tourist attractions.
Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge
Pass by one of Lisbon’s distinctive landmarks, this engineering feat that connects Lisbon city proper to the municipality of Almada. Visually similar to that of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge (that’s because both bridges share the same construction companies), you’ll see plenty of sailboats, container ships and cruise ships sailing past. Stop by here, and take that picture-perfect photograph for your Instagram memories.
MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology)
A recent, modern addition to Lisbon’s skyline, this undulating architectural masterpiece rides like a wave extending from the Tagus bank. It’s known as the Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology, the new extension from the old yet iconic Tejo Power Station. The new space features a great collection of exhibitions of both national and international renown. Or simply a great place to hang out, sit on its steps while you sunbathe or watch the sunset, and even gaze towards the forever flowing river. You’ll find it quite a relaxing spot.
Av. Brasília // 11am-7pm – Wednesday-Monday
The Discoveries Monument
Standing just at the edge of Tagus bank is The Discoveries Monument, this piece of architectural commemoration of Portugal’s Age of Discoveries. Nostalgic and monumental, it pays homage to the overseas expansion of a past glorious empire, as well as celebrating Infante Dom Henrique, or Henry the Navigator.
Stop by and go inside, for €6 you’ll get to see a gallery, as well as take the elevator that leads all the way to a viewing platform. Hands down, it’s one of the best views of Lisbon you’ll ever see. Looking out to the marina and the riverside, with a spectacular aerial view of the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge, the Cristo Rei and the district of Belém. You’ll also get to see the bird’s eye view of the World Map of Discoveries, which is a stunning depiction of Portugal’s global reach.
Av. Brasília // March-September, 10am-7pm – Everyday, last admission is 6.30pm // October-February, 10am-6pm – Everyday, last admission is 5.30pm // Closed on Public Holidays
This Hieronimyte monastery is one of the must-see places in Lisbon, and it’s one of the key structures in the entirety of Portugal so don’t miss it on your visit. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is an impressive symbol of Portuguese architecture and global expansionism. It was built by King Manuel I, and had seen figures such as Vasco da Gama and the poet Luis de Camões, whose tomb lies here. The architecture itself is incredibly special, developing what is now known as “Manueline”. Every pillar, wall and cloister are carved with elaborate details and nautical motifs. It costs €10 for an entrance ticket, yet it’s worth every penny to experience this glorious monument.
Praça do Império, Belém // 10am-5pm – Tuesday-Sunday
Pastéis de Belém
Your Belém journey isn’t complete without a visit to the renowned pastry café Pastéis de Belém, the makers of the original pastéis de nata. This shop has been serving these sweet custard tarts since 1837, from an ancient recipe that originated from Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. The story comes from a tale of survival, when the monasteries and convents in Portugal were shut down during the 1820 liberal revolution. The monks, who had access to lots of eggs from farms and a sugar cane refinery, created this recipe and began supplying to a nearby shop that soon became Pastéis de Belém. The recipe is unchanged until today.
R. de Belém 84 // 8am-11pm – Everyday
Head to Lx Factory
Once you’ve wrapped up your tour of Belém, head to the Lx Factory in Alcântara district. This renewal and re-urbanisation of an old textile factory that’s put Lisbon on the entrepreneurial map, creating a hub of over 50 shops, restaurants, bars and cafés. It’s a delightful place where you can see plenty of street art, urban vibe, as well as art exhibitions and Sunday vintage market!
What was an old printing factory had been transformed into a super bookshop called Ler Devagar. Whether you’re a bookworm or simply a curio, there’s thousands of books for your reading pleasure. It’s been featured as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world in many publications. Whilst you’re here, check out upstairs for an exhibition of vintage printing machines.
R. Rodrigues de Faria 103 // 11am-11pm – Tuesday-Thursday // 11am-1am – Friday // 11am-12am – Saturday // 11am-9pm – Sunday
Just at the back of Ler Davagar is this unassuming Pan Asian restaurant called Malaca Too, serving delicious, authentic dishes with a mix of Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Korean and Japanese. This restaurant is inspired by the 16th century Portuguese voyage across Asia, hence the fusion of cuisines.
R. Rodrigues de Faria 103 // 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm – Monday-Friday // 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-11pm – Saturday // 12.30pm-7.30pm – Sunday //
One of the highlights in Lx Factory is this splendid Brazilian bar and restaurant, Rio Maravilha. Mixing a gastropub feel with a social space, you’ll find it has a laidback approach with excellent food. Then proceed on its rooftop terrace with a great view of Lisbon, and indulge yourself with cocktails and music. With its wonderful placement overlooking Rio Tejo, you’ll find it’s a perfect spot for sunset parties, too.
R. Rodrigues de Faria // 12.30pm-2am – Tuesday-Thursday // 12.30pm-3am – Friday-Saturday // 12.30pm-12am – Sunday // Closed Monday