7 Days in Stunning Portugal with Kids

For my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary they took the whole family (14 of us!) to Portugal. We did 12 days and it wasn’t enough. It’s such an amazing, beautiful country, with friendly people. To top it off, it was affordable and child friendly. We all had a great time and can’t wait to go back. But, if you only have 7 days in Portugal with kids, this is what I recommend. 

Related: How to Plan a Vacation with Kids, Tips for a Multigenerational Family Vacation, Tips for Flying with Kids, and Tips for Traveling with Kids.

Disclosure: I only recommend sites I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 

Ice cream break in Cascais, Portugal

Where to Stay in Porto?

Since there were so many of us and with kids, we opted for individual apartments for each family, but we also wanted to stay close to one another. Booking.com made it so easy to find places where we all could stay in the same building, but still have our own spaces with kitchens. Some of the places even had options to add on breakfast, which was very convenient!

We stayed at the Aparthotel Oporto Batalha and it was very spacious, reasonably priced (cheaper than a hotel), and the location was convenient to get around Porto, as well as within walking distance to Vila Nova de Gaia.

Day 1. Fly into Porto

When I was planning my trip to Porto, I scheduled a wine tasting for our day of arrival. Our connecting flight was delayed and we didn’t make it. So, my suggestion, leave it open and if you do arrive on time, then just use the time to walk around the city. 

Day 2. Walking tour of Porto

I recommend hiring a guide and doing a walking tour of Porto. But if money is tight, there are companies that do free walking tours and you just pay a tip at the end. Or you can do a self-guided tour.

Whatever you choose, a must stop is Livraria Lello.

Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

First head to Livraria Lello. Before going to Porto, I researched all the places we should visit. Livraria Lello is somewhere everyone recommends. I wasn’t convinced. It seemed like it was going to be a waste of time to look at a small, overcrowded bookstore.

My mother-in-law insisted on going and I’m so glad she did! It was really a treat to walk around the store and then when I finally had a chance to go up the stairs, trying not to get into anyone’s pictures, it was wonderful to see the view from above. They had some 1st edition books on display that were wonderful to see.

Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

My advice is to go online and get a “skip the line ticket.” It’s not very expensive and you don’t have to wait in the queue. The ticket price includes a free book, which is available in different languages. When you arrive go directly to the front door and let them know you have a “skip the line ticket.” Before you leave, don’t forget to ask for your free book (keep in mind that there are specific books from which you can choose).

Day 3. Vila Nova de Gaia and WOW

7 days in Portugal with kids
Chocolate Exhibition, World of Wine, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

On the other side of the river from Porto is Vila Nova de Gaia. The World of Wine (or WOW) museum also has a chocolate exhibit. The kids enjoyed learning about the history of chocolate and trying a little bit of it didn’t hurt either. There are other exhibitions and restaurants there as well.

Playground by the river in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Down by the river there is a playground (Parque infantil) where the kids can play. There are cafés in the area, like Mare Baixa Cafe where you can pick up snacks, ice cream, wine, vinho verde, beer, and other beverages. Kids can play and adults can relax with a snack and drink. Sitting outside the café we were able to enjoy the view of Porto.

Sunset

7 days in Portugal with kids
View of the Sunset and Porto from Jardim do Morro, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

At the end of the day, you can either eat at one of the restaurants on the river or take the Teleférico to the top of the hill and head to the Jardim do Morro, a park where you can enjoy the sunset. We picked up a pizza and a bottle of wine and went to the park. There was a playground for the kids to play. One of the local kids went up to my son and although he only spoke a little bit of English and my son didn’t speak Portuguese, they were able to get together and play a game of tag.

When it got closer to sunset we found a spot on the hill overlooking the river. There was a musician playing guitar as we experienced the sunset.

Day 4. Travel to Lisbon

From Porto you can take the train to Lisbon. It is about a 4-hour ride. Make sure you take your own snacks and lunch. Either stop at the market or take something to go. There’s a dining car, but they run out quickly and the options are just ok.

You’ll need to purchase your tickets ahead of time.

Where to stay in Lisbon?

Again, since there were so many of us and with kids, we opted for individual apartments for each family, but we also wanted to stay close to one another. Booking.com made it so easy to find places where we all could stay in the same building, but still have our own spaces with kitchens. Some of the places even had options to add on breakfast, which was very convenient!

We stayed in Almaria – Da Corte Apartments in the Chiado district. It was a great place, but the area is a little noisy as it is known for its nightlife.

Day 5. Walking tour of Alfama, Costa do Castelo, and Baixa

Tram and Praça do Comércio, Lisbon, Portugal

Hire a guide and do a walking tour of the historic districts of Alfama, Costa do Castelo, and Baixa. I highly recommend Fall 4 Lisbon with Marta as your Lisbon guide. She’s great with kids and just a wonderful person. Visit the XII century Cathedral, Castelo de Sao Jorge, see the trams passing by, and experience fantastic panoramic views. Make sure you stop and try some local sweets.

Day 6. Cascais

Beach in Cascais, Portugal

Take the train to Cascais. There you will find beaches, a wonderful park, a carousel, and a lighthouse. Oh! And an amazing ice cream shop called Santini. You can easily spend a whole day in this quaint seaside town so don’t forget your bathing suit!

Day 7. Belém

7 days in Portugal with kids
Belem Tower, Lisbon, Portugal

Stroll the streets of Lisbon before taking an Uber to Belém to visit the Belém Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. Belém is the historic site of the shipyards and docks where 16th-century explorers set out to discover the sea routes to East Africa, Brazil, and India.

Then head to Pasteis de Belém, the restaurant that originated the famous dessert, pastel de nata. There will likely be a line, but it moves quickly—the restaurant is large and has plenty of seating. Or take it to go.

Pastel de nata from Pasteis de Belem, Portugal

Belém is only a half day, giving you plenty of time to pack and get ready to say goodbye to beautiful Lisbon and Portugal.

I hope this has been helpful and you enjoy your trip to Portugal with kids! Saúde!

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