Monday, July 15, 2024
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7 Family-Friendly Experiences to Do in Lisbon

From the breathtaking views of its seven hills to the unique artwork of tiles that decorate the facades or the picturesque undulating designs of the ground, Lisbon is guaranteed to impress travelers, including LGBTQ+ parents traveling with children.  The charming capital has many places declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, in addition to the largest suspension bridge in Europe, stunning street art to enjoy, and first-class cuisine based mainly on delicious seafood, to highlight some attributes of the city.

Queer families can explore Lisbon without a fixed itinerary. Here are a few fun experiences you may want to consider adding to your list of things to do in family-friendly Lisbon. 

1. Visit the Oceanarium  

Located in the Parque das Nações, the Oceanarium is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe spanning over two levels and it is home to 8,000 unique and common marine mammals, creatures, and plants. The Oceanarium features a central aquarium holding five million liters of saltwater to symbolize the global ocean. Surrounding the central aquarium are four marine habitats to create the illusion that there is only one. Kids can go on a guided tour and view sharks, rays, penguins, otters, seabirds, echinoderms, corals, jellyfish, and more. Even more exciting is the opportunity to “Sleep with Sharks.”  

2.  Take a Ride on a Telecabine at Parque das Nações  

Children can view Lisbon from above on the Parque das Nações Gondola Lift, equipped with 40 closed cabins with a capacity for eight people. The trip lasts from eight to 12 minutes on a 1230-meter ride, gliding over the Tagus River at 30 meters above sea level, where visitors can have an impressive panoramic view of the Parque das Nações.  

3. Visit the Lisboa Story Centre  

For families who want to learn more about the city’s history and take a trip back in time, they should visit the Lisboa Story Centre.  Located in the Terreiro do Paço, this interactive and immersive technology-based installation takes visitors on a journey through space and time with an audio guide system that presents historically accurate events and dramatic scenes from different eras of the city.  

The tour is organized in six cores that represent the most significant moments in the history of Lisbon. The nucleus dedicated to the 1755 Earthquake, the city in ruins, passing through the core of the vision of Marquis of Pombal, and the planning for the Reconstruction of Lisbon stands out among the visitors.   

4. Immersive Science-Focused Experiences at The Knowledge Pavilion – Ciência Viva  

The Knowledge Pavilion – Ciência Viva is an interactive museum of science and technology, which aims to stimulate scientific knowledge and promote scientific culture among all citizens and tourists.  

Located next to the Oceanarium in an avant-garde building, this science and technology outreach center is designed to touch and feel science and awaken interest in physical phenomena. With plenty of gadgets, video installations, and interactive games designed for families with children.  

In addition to the large thematic exhibitions, the Knowledge Pavilion – Ciência Viva promotes various scientific and educational initiatives.  

5. Experience the Tapada Nacional de Mafra   

Built under the reign of King João V as a recreational and hunting park for the king and his court, Tapada Nacional de Mafra covers over 800 hectares. The park is home to foxes, squirrels, rabbits, deer, goats, wild boars, and a variety of birds such as the eagle, the owl, and the falcon. This natural habitat, located in Mafra, 42 km from Lisbon, also offers activities for all ages: from walking tours, mountain biking, horse riding, archery, and crossbow shooting. 

6. Enjoy the Beaches and Go Dolphin Watching 

The Lisbon coast offers a wide range of beaches for all ages from beaches with incredible waves such as at The World Surfing Reserve in Ericeira to the quiet and serene water coves for the little ones. For those seeking an adventurous getaway and desire to see marine animals, the dolphin-watching boat tour in Arrábida is a perfect choice.   

7.  Explore Lisbon Along the Tagus River

(Photo Credit: ©Turismo-De-Lisboa)

The Tagus River is one of the longest rivers in Portugal and Spain and a major tourist attraction in Lisbon. From taking a leisurely stroll along the riverbank to embarking on a sailboat at sunset and viewing the city from the river, there are many ways to experience it. Children will love passing under Ponte 25 de Abril, one of the largest suspension bridges in Europe, or discovering the Torre de Belem from the water to the beat of the music. 

Another way to dive into the Tagus River is with an amphibious sightseeing tour that explores the historic neighborhoods. Animators will put on a 90-minute immersive show full of fun. This amazing adventure will be sure to put a smile on the little one’s faces.  

For more information, ideas, and inspiration for visiting Lisbon, please go to And if you’re looking for more inspiration to travel to Portugal, check out Vacationer’s Queer Guide for Porto

Vacationer Staff

Vacationer Magazine's writing staff works hard to bring you all the latest LGBTQ travel articles to help inspire and inform.

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