Choosing a destination is essential when planning the ideal getaway or a much-needed family vacation. Portugal is a great destination for solo travelers, families, and groups of all ages looking to explore a new country full of mountains, beaches, culture, and history. We have our hands full!
We’ll do our best to advise you on where to travel in the United States to have the most memorable family vacation ever. Portugal is a fantastic destination for a family vacation because it offers the kind of security, natural beauty, and scenic beauty that families value.
Best Places to Visit in Portugal With Family
There’s a wide variety of options for family vacations in Portugal, so it all comes down to personal taste. Lisbon and Porto are great options for city-lovers, while the Alentejo and the Azores and Madeira islands are great for those who want to get away from it all.
You can choose between a Resort by the water or a Glamping site. Whatever you decide, know that your choices are plentiful.
1. The Capital of Portugal: Lisbon
Lisbon, the country’s capital and economic hub, is where many poets find their muse. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and the largest city in the country; it is also the westernmost capital in continental Europe. The capital city has a cosmopolitan vibe and is home to both domestic and foreign businesses.
Enjoy the scenery while boating down the Tejo River or checking out the museums at Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and Torre de Belém. Lisbon is often called the “city of the seven hills,” including the seven castles of So Jorge, So Vicente, So Roque, Santo André, Santa Catarina, Chagas e Sant’Ana. After touring the Seven Hills, find a fantastic place to eat.
2. Porto and the Douro Valley
You’ve arrived in northern Portugal. There are only two larger rivers on the Iberian Peninsula than the Douro. Although a vacation in Porto will save you money compared to one in Lisbon, you shouldn’t base your decision to visit the Douro region solely on cost. Sail through the Douro Valley and see one of the world’s most picturesque regions.
Douro is an enchanting destination thanks to the wineries that line the river. There are many reasonably priced hotels in the mountains with a vineyard view, making it an ideal destination for a family vacation.
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Porto ranks 18th on a list of about 50 cheap vacation spots. If you’re a football fan, you can also check out Estádio dos Drages, the home field of the Futebol Clube do Porto, which was coached by José Mourinho.
3. The Alentejo and Évora Area
Even though Évora has a relatively small population compared to the rest of Portugal, there are still plenty of interesting landmarks and museums to visit with your family. You can eat well at standard restaurants while you run.
4. Beaches in Algarve
The Algarve region of Portugal is one of the best in the world, with its golden, powdery sand beaches. There are many family-friendly beaches in the Algarve, including Vilamoura, Portimo, Faro, Alvor, Tavira, and Lagos. You can unwind on the beach and enjoy a meal in Alvor’s Praia dos 2 irmoos.
Take a stroll along the river after eating fish at an Ababuja restaurant. Many words could be written about Algarve, but nothing compares to actually experiencing it.
5. The Island of Pico in the Açores
Pico Island is the second largest of the nine islands that make up the Azores. Numerous tourist hotspots, such as Gruta das Torres, Museu dos Baleeiros, and Casa da Montanha, can be found on Pico Island.
Then there are the many land-based and marine pursuits, such as whale-watching, diving, and hiking. Natural pools carved out of the island’s distinctive black rock are a major tourist draw.
6. Go check out the sea critters in Lisbon at the Oceanarium
There are fish and sharks swimming around in 5 million liters (1.3 million gallons) of seawater at the Lisbon Oceanarium, Europe’s largest indoor aquarium. Sea otters, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates can all be observed there.
It’s a great way to spend a morning or afternoon before heading to the nearby Parque das Naçes boardwalk for some sun, strolling, and snacks because the entire place can be explored in about two hours.
7. Visit Jardim Zoológico
The Sete Rios train, metro, and bus stop is conveniently located across the street from the Jardim Zoológico, Lisbon Zoo. The zoo, which first opened in 1884, is a great place to learn about the importance of protecting plant life and animal habitats. Get there early to witness the feedings and special displays.
8. Exploring Portugal’s Little Portugal
Portugal dos Pequenitos is an excellent museum for children in Coimbra, in the geographic center of Portugal. Since it first opened in 1940, the miniature park that features replicas of many of the country’s landmark buildings has been a popular destination for families.
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Miniature versions of famous sites from Portugal’s former colonies like Madeira and the Azores can also be found here.
9. Visit the Sintra Castles
Sintra is a town straight out of a fairytale, complete with castles, palaces, and enchanted forests. Explore the unknown depths of the Quinta da Regaleira and other buildings like it.
The historic Pena Palace, with its turrets and bright colors, is also worth a visit. You should also check out the town square and indulge in some local treats while you’re there.
10. Stroll along the bidos city walls
Have you ever fantasized that you, too, were Jon Snow, perched atop the mythical wall? Visitors can explore the fortified walls of bidos and get a great look at the city below. Picture buildings painted white with colorful flowers dangling from doorways and window sills, set against a backdrop of rolling green hills.
Advice: Bring only older children who are more likely to pay attention to their footing, as the high walls have no side barriers or protective rails, despite being a fun and unique experience. If you suffer from vertigo, this might not be the best activity for you, either.
Portugal has everything a family could want for a vacation: stunning landscapes, charming buildings, and exciting theme parks. Everyone, from intellectuals to adventurers, can find their ideal activity. Here are some of the best things to do as a family that we’ve found.