Visiting Lisbon with your kids will surely be an unforgettable experience for the whole family! Other than the places included in our programs, many touristic places in the city are fun and particularly interesting for children. Check out the 10 most family-visited places in Lisbon!
1. Oceanário (Oceanarium)
If you start your holidays in Lisbon by visiting the Oceanário, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised! It’s located at Parque das Nações (a former industrial area converted to host the international exhibition Expo ’98, which was themed by the ‘Oceans’), the most modern part of the city.
This giant aquarium is one of the biggest in Europe, and is much worth the visit, not only for its exhibited contents, but also because of the building itself and its location above water.
2. Pavilhão do Conhecimento (Pavilion of Knowledge)
This is a science center (knowledge center) where kids (and parents!) can actually explore and experience scientific theories hands-on. It also possesses new technologies with practical games and simple machines.
Besides the permanent exhibitions, all equipped with many interactive modules, there are several temporary exhibitions worth a visit!
3. Castelo de São Jorge (Castle of São Jorge)
This is one of the most emblematic monuments of the city, placed on the top of one of the highest hills, which will provide you some of the best views to the city.
The walls date from the 11th century, but there are some archeological remains on site dated from the 7th century b.C.. Nowadays, the castle includes the fortification, the remaining of former medieval royal residence (Palace of the Alcáçova), the archaeological ruins (protected within a modern architecture building), a museum and a periscope (Tower of Ulysses).
4. Cultural Centre of Belém
In a modern style, but still very majestic, the Centro Cultural de Belém (Cultural Centre of Belém, CCB) has become a ‘must go’ place. Its multicultural programs are one of the best in town: exhibitions, shows, fairs, shopping and many other events. The CCB has their educational service Fábrica das Artes (Art’s Factory) which delivers great programs and proposals for children and youngsters. In addition, a monthly kid-to-kid market occurs at the Jardim das Oliveiras (olive tree garden). Here kids are introduced to a grown-up activity: selling and buying their used toys. Others take the opportunity to present and perform their artistic capacities, like cooking, singing, dancing and many others!
Inside this centre, a relevant contemporary art museum is located: the Berardo Collection Museum. With free entrance and great works by great names of art. The centre outdoors also possess some agreeable gardens, filled with water plays and great views over the Tagus river. An excellent spot for enjoying a sunny afternoon!
5. Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
This a special place in town! It combines the nobility of a great art museum, with the irreverence of a modern art exhibition centre, with great classical and jazz music concerts. It also features a vast educational program for children and families. All in a magnificent place (beautiful buildings and gardens built in the 1960’s), in the middle of the city! You can’t miss an afternoon in the gardens!
6. Lisboa Story Centre
The reason why you should visit the city’s Story Centre is because, in a one hour visit, you and your kids get to know Lisbon’s history and the main events that occurred in the city, shaping it to what it is today! The exhibition is dynamically and visually animated.
Every big city has a zoo, and Lisbon is no exception! This one has over 100 years of existence and has recently had some interventions to modernize it and improve the living conditions for the animals!
Although it’s not one of the biggest zoos, you might as well spend a day here, in between dolphin shows, cable car tours, little train tours, feeding the animals, or simply sit down and have a picnic, you’ll get plenty of fun and the kids will love it!
8. Aqueduto and Museu da Água (Aqueduct and Water Museum)
The Lisbon Aqueduct is another important city’s symbol, one of the most represented apart from the Castle and Tower of Belém (one of Belém’s heritage monuments).
It was built in the 18th century, to bring drinking water to the city and it is about 58 kilometers long. In the city, it crosses a sizable valley (in Alcantara neighborhood), in a great arch structure extension which includes the biggest stone arch in the world, and ends at Mãe d’Água das Amoreiras ('mother of water' in Amoreiras), which is a big water tank. This water reservoir is nowadays used as a cultural exhibition centre and can be visited daily – also there is a great view at the top.
If you go to the oriental part of the city, don't forget to visit the Water Museum, which has been recently renovated and it has numerous interactive modules. Very interesting to help kids to understand the water cycle and its circuit in Lisbon!
9. Parque Florestal de Monsanto (Monsanto Forest Park)
Monsanto is the name of the small forest that exists in occidental part of town. Besides functioning as the city lungs, it aggregates some amusement and sports parks, which are also traversed by bicycle paths.
There are playgrounds for every age, picnic parks, fitness circuits, belvederes, driving school for kids, skate parks, climbing walls, etc. Also, if you’re into camping, this is where the Lisbon camping park is placed.
10. Parque das Nações (Park of Nations)
The oriental area of Lisbon is the most recent part of the city. This was a former industrial site at the shores of Tagus river and it was transformed to host the 1998 universal exhibition, the Expo’98. As the exhibition ended, the entire site was converted into a residential and office site, with numerous cultural and service related equipment. Here, your kids will want a ride on the elevated cable car that crosses the site. The trip will give you an overview of the water gardens. Here some mechanical hydraulic machines are available for experimenting by kids and grownups. These interactive games with running water are perfect for a summer day!
On the main street, the water volcanoes, working since 1998, continue to surprise the youngest with their eruptions and explosions (some even take the opportunity for a cold shower!). Many artistic sculptures (some of which very interactive) can be found nearby. Close to the Oceanário, you will find a kiosk where you can rent bicycles, pedal-cars and roller blades. Another option is just to lay down and relax, while the kids play on the waved lawn or play radical sports on the skate park!
Have a nice family trip do Lisbon!