5 Things To Do with Kids on a Weekend in Lisbon

We are American Expats living in Madrid with our 2 kids and trying to experience as much of Europe as possible before work sends us back to the United States.  14 countries and counting…

Portugal is a great place for a family vacation. Beautiful scenery, tasty food, and so much to see and learn, we highly recommend it for a European vacation spot for families. Here’s our list of 5 great things to do with kids on a long weekend in Lisbon:


  1. Try Food! There is so much delicious food in Portugal, especially the amazing fresh-from-the-sea yumminess in overwhelming dishes like cataplana and caldeirada.  However, we all know that most kids aren’t seafood fanatics, so once they have had a “No Thank You” bite, then you have to let them try pasteis de nata – this custard cake is a Portugese original.  Sweet and delicious you won’t have to beg them to take a second bite.  The best place for Nata is at the Casa Pasteis de Belem (Rua de Belem 124-126).
  2. Explore with Technology!  Lisbon was the launching place for many adventurers during the Age of Exploration, and there are still adventures to be had all over the city utilizing interactive technology. There’s something for everyone–from the Jeronimos Monastery http://www.mosteirojeronimos.pt/en/to the huge Oceanarium located in the Parque das Nações. The National Coach Museum is lesser-known, but a favorite with the kids. The best part is the wonderful app you can use to play a game and win a prize.  It’s a great way to see the coaches and have a lot of fun while learning a little history at the same time.
  3. Take a sidetrip to Sintra! You’ll need a rental car, but it’s worth the expense. Find the fascinating Museo do Brinquedo(Toy Museum), hike through the Cascais Nature Park to the Moorish Castle, visit Pena National Palace (but go early to avoid the lines). It’s the most beautiful palace (that we have seen so far) in all of Europe. It’s a wonderland for families with a little bit of everything, including some shopping in quaint, quiet winding streets.  Seriously though, it’s the most beautiful castle; don’t miss it.
  4. Stay at the Beach!  After days full of sightseeing, kids deserve a little break.  What’s better than leaving the hustle and bustle of the city and making some sandcastles and playing in the waves?  We stayed 100 meters from the beach in Costa da Caparica and had a fabulous time relaxing in the evening down by the boardwalk.
  5. Enjoy the music! Lisbon has it’s own style of Blues called Fado, and many restaurants have live impromptu performances while you tarry over a nice long lunch with a tasty bottle of “green” wine. Let the kids dance away to the beautiful folk music.


Glen & Yiotula Shilland
Glen & Yiotula Shilland

Yiotula is a stay at home Mom who buys plane tickets and books hotel rooms. Glen is a working Dad who makes spreadsheets that leave no attraction uncovered. Together they are attempting to tackle Europe one country at a time. 20 countries and counting…

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  1. Stacy
    October 30, 2014 / 12:12 pm

    Now I want to go on a family trip to Portugal!

  2. October 30, 2014 / 12:47 pm

    Makes me want to go and see the castle, eat the food, hike in the park, make sand castles at the beach and try green wine. Sounds like fun for everyone!

    • Yiotula
      October 31, 2014 / 8:31 am

      Thanks! Maybe next time you come we can go back to Portugal.

  3. Amanda Mack
    October 30, 2014 / 1:29 pm

    I love the write up at the end. I want access to Glen’s spreadsheets! More please.

    • Yiotula
      October 31, 2014 / 8:32 am

      The spreadsheets aren’t for everyone but lets us get a lot done in a small amount of time! We will try and write more soon!!

  4. Ana
    October 30, 2014 / 2:32 pm

    Looks like a great trip. Can’t wait to take my kids there. Thanks for the tips!

    • Yiotula
      October 31, 2014 / 8:33 am

      You won’t be disappointed, Portugal is lovely. We have heard great things about Porto too! It’s definitely on our To-Do list!!

  5. Sheri
    November 1, 2014 / 2:34 am

    Well done! Lisbon wasn’t on my list until just now!! Can I be put ‘on the list’ for the spreadsheets?

    • Yiotula
      November 5, 2014 / 12:37 pm

      Sheri, Lisbon should definitely be on your list, but not before Madrid!! Maybe a side trip??

  6. Daphne
    November 3, 2014 / 3:32 am

    Makes me want to visit Europe!