Portugal is a great destination for families who are seeking a child-friendly country. It was considered 3rd best destination in the world for Condé Nast Traveler readers. Here you’ll find good weather, great food, nice people and a quality life with affordable prices, all in one of the safest places. But you probably know that already!
From Oporto to Algarve and through Lisbon, there are many things you can do with your children in Portugal. In fact, if you take a bucket and a small shovel to the beach, you’ll make them very happy! Today we’ll share some fun things you can do your kids in Portugal and that will make memorable moments.
10 fun things to do with kids in Portugal
Visit a fairy tale castle – Pena Palace
It is quite easy to find castles in Portugal, but there’s one that kids will remember. Palace of Pena in Sintra is probably the most colourful castle in the world and one of the finest tourist attractions in Portugal.
Explore the gardens of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra
Visiting Quinta da Regaleira is traveling in an imaginary universe of symbols and metaphors. Here nothing is just what it seems, but always a sign of something more intense and mysterious. Quinta da Regaleira has, in fact, the most amazing gardens to explore! Secret tunnels, hidden passageways and jumping over stones to a waterfall, your kids will be thrilled to spend a few hours in one of the most surprising Sintra’s monuments.
Taste traditional custard cakes Pastéis de Nata
Even though you will find them probably in every pastry in Portugal, the originals are from Pastéis de Belém. These Portuguese delicacies exist since 1820. Since then, the original recipe hasn’t changed, and it’s still a secret today, known by only a few, and kept in what is known as the “secret room”.
Discover the most beautiful forest of Portugal – Mata Nacional do Buçaco
The National Forest of Buçaco is in the extreme Northwest of the Serra do Buçaco, in the county of Mealhada. At an altitude of 549 m, its geographical location gives it a very special microclimate, with mild temperatures and frequent morning fog, which origin a high biodiversity.
It currently occupies about 105 hectares and has about 250 species of trees and shrubs with notable specimens. Mata do Buçaco in an enthralling place full of mysticism and history that hosts great treasures of the natural world.
Visit the most colourful town of Portugal – Costa Nova
There’s a small coastal community near Aveiro called Costa Nova, home of one of the most iconic beaches in Portugal. The colourful striped houses make a sweet beachfront walk and it is a great opportunity to play at the beach.
Visit a local market
If you and your kids enjoy the Portuguese cuisine is mandatory to visit a local market! The most known ones are from Setúbal, Bulhão (Oporto), Olhão (Algarve) and Ribeira or Alvalade (Lisbon) but every city has it’s own. These markets provide a multi-sensory experience where you’ll feel the local cultural, see amazing fresh products and get in touch with local farmers, fishermen and craftsmen.
Look for street art
Irreverent and unexpected, street art in Portugal often surprises and will not be hard to find. Prominent national and international artists like Bordalo II, Ella & Pitr, Odeith, Vhils and others, gave life and colour to many places using different technics and messages that will encourage the creativity not only of the kids but from everybody.
Play with the kids in Portugal dos Pequeninos
Situated in Coimbra, Portugal dos Pequeninos is a pedagogical playground, where the whole family can spend an enjoyable day learning about the history of Portugal. For the children, this is an excellent opportunity to amuse themselves in houses and monuments built to their own size. Here we can find reproductions of the Portuguese architectural heritage and replicas of National Monuments, such as Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Convento de Cristo, Torre de Belém and more.
Admire the marine life in Oceanário
Lisbon’s Aquarium is one of the world’s largest salted water Oceanarium and a fantastic tourist attraction, especially for families. Inhabited by 15.000 animals and plants representing over 450 different species, in 30 tanks containing more than 7.000 m3 of seawater, and reconstituting various of the oceans’ ecosystems. Oceanarium offers visitors a unique and enchanting experience.
Ride a tuk-tuk with the children
Tuk tuk is an urban way of transportation. Kids get very excited and is great way to visit the main attractions from the outside. In Lisbon, for instance, you will find a big variety of tuk tuks with different capacities and eco-friendly.
Most of all, we recommend that you relax, enjoy and have fun with your kids in our cosy country!
Finally, if you want to know more about places to see, check our post about the best cities to visit in Portugal.