historical towns family-friendly attractions

Best Things to Do in Portugal with Kids Historical Towns and Family-Friendly Attractions

Most people in Europe associate Portugal with beaches, nice weather, and good food. However, if you’re not into sun-tanning on the beach, there are plenty of other family-friendly activities to enjoy in Portugal. From exploring historical towns to visiting unique attractions, here are some of the best things to do in Portugal with kids that don’t involve traditional beach activities.

Ride a tuk-tuk

One of the most exciting experiences for kids in Portugal is riding a tuk-tuk. Whether you’re in Lisbon, Porto, or Sintra, make sure to take your kids for a tuk-tuk ride. It’s a thrilling way to explore the city and something they’ll talk about long after the trip. Just remember to negotiate the trip and rate in advance.

Walk the city walls of Obidos

Obidos, a small medieval town north of Lisbon, is a must-visit destination in Portugal. Walking the old city walls is an unforgettable experience for kids, but be cautious as the walls have no rails on one side. Despite the safety concerns, walking on the city walls is a fun and unique activity that the whole family can enjoy.

Explore the gardens of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra

Sintra is known for its castles and palaces, but the gardens of Quinta da Regaleira are a paradise for little explorers. Kids will love walking through dark secret tunnels, discovering hidden passageways, and climbing the spiral staircase of a 27m deep well. It’s a magical experience that shouldn’t be missed when visiting Sintra with kids.

Ride Lisbon tram nr. 28, Nazare funicular, Porto gondola, and take the kids for a boat ride

Children love all kinds of transportation, so make sure to take advantage of the various transportation options in Portugal. From riding the Lisbon tram nr. 28 to taking the Nazare funicular and the Porto gondola, there are plenty of fun experiences to enjoy. Additionally, taking your kids for a boat ride is another great way to explore the coastal beauty of Portugal.

Visit the caves Grutas de Mira de Aire

Grutas de Mira de Aire is a must-see attraction in Central Portugal. Descend 110m below the ground and explore more than 600m of incredible underground chambers. The whole family will love this unique experience, and there’s even an elevator to take you back to the surface.

Taste traditional Portuguese custard cakes Pasteis de Nata

Traveling is also about trying local food, and one treat that kids will love in Portugal is the traditional Portuguese custard cakes known as Pasteis de Nata. Make sure to try these delicious pastries during your visit.

Discover some of the most amazing viewpoints of Portugal

Kids love climbing staircases and visiting old towers, so exploring viewpoints in Portugal is a great activity for the whole family. Some of the best viewpoints include Elevador de Santa Justa in Lisbon, O Sitio district in Nazare, Dom Luís I Bridge in Porto, the Cathedral tower of Evora, and the Algarve coast.

Explore an old convent

While museums and churches may not always be a hit with kids, Portugal has some amazing monasteries that any child will enjoy exploring. The monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha are particularly impressive and are sure to keep your kids entertained.

Get lost in the most beautiful forest of Portugal – Mata Nacional do Buçaco

For an off-the-beaten-path adventure, take your kids to the Bussaco forest in Luso, Central Portugal. This ancient forest offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Pack a picnic and make it a memorable family day trip.

Admire Portuguese azulejos

Portuguese tiles, known as azulejos, are a unique form of art that can be found throughout the country. Take the time to explore this traditional art form with your kids by visiting residential buildings, churches, train stations, and old castles. They’ll love discovering the different patterns and stories behind the tiles.

Visit Costa Nova – the most colorful town of Portugal

Costa Nova, a small coastal town with colorful striped houses, is like walking into a fairytale book. Kids will be enchanted by the vibrant houses and the picturesque setting. It’s a great place to visit for a day trip or a beach outing.

Visit a local market

Visiting local markets is a great way to immerse your kids in the local culture and cuisine. There are many markets to explore in Portugal, but one that stands out is the local seafood market in Costa Nova. The abundance of fish and other seafood will captivate your kids and provide a unique cultural experience.

Explore Porto by night

Exploring a city at night can be an exciting adventure for kids. The Cais da Ribeira waterfront area in Porto is a great place to visit in the evening. Not only does it offer incredible views, but there are also family-friendly restaurants and street performers to enjoy.

Buy a Portuguese hat

If you’re looking for a souvenir to buy for your kids, consider purchasing a Portuguese hat. It’s a practical and stylish item that will protect them from the sun and make for great vacation photos.

Visit a real-life Disney castle – Pena Palace

Pena Palace in Sintra is a colorful castle that looks like it’s straight out of a Disney movie. It’s a must-visit attraction for families, and there are several other stunning castles in Sintra to explore as well.

Look for street art

Keep your kids engaged during city trips by looking for street art. Lisbon and Porto have some incredible street art to discover, and many smaller towns in Portugal also have hidden gems. Let your kids lead the way and see how many pieces of street art they can find.

Enjoy the most spectacular coastal scenery

No visit to Portugal is complete without experiencing the stunning coastal scenery. The Algarve region offers some of the most beautiful beaches, cliffs, and sea caves in the country. Whether you choose to drive along the coast, visit charming towns, or take a boat tour, the whole family will be in awe of the natural beauty.

In conclusion, Portugal offers a wide range of family-friendly activities beyond the typical beach vacation. From exploring historical towns to visiting unique attractions, there are plenty of things to do with kids in Portugal. Whether you’re riding a tuk-tuk, walking city walls, or enjoying the coastal scenery, these experiences will create lasting memories for the whole family.

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