There are times on our travels that when we say tour it is met with instant whining from the girls. Long tours that go on forever and talk about things they don’t understand are their worst nightmare. We wanted the kids to see Lisbon in their own way
So on this trip, it was our mission to find one that they could not only love but learn from and have a great time doing it. We absolutely hit the jackpot with Mariana and the Little Lisbon Tour for kids. A tour of Lisbon with kids in mind was exactly what we were looking for.
There are obviously so many parents in the same boat as us. There are so many places that have such an amazing history and a tour is the best way for you to discover it and Lisbon, Portugal is one of those cities. We did not do any guided tours on our last visit there and we left thinking we had not done the city justice. Many were also not really suitable for us as they were long walking tours and Lisbon is known as the city of 7 hills…you can imagine how much the kids would have loved an adult-aimed walking tour here.
Lisbon tour for kids – yes, please
We had organised to meet Mariana from Little Lisbon Tours for kids at Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara. We had arrived early to take in the views of the Lisbon Landscape from the lookout and they were spectacular. Looking out over the city from one of the lookouts is one of my favourite things to do in Lisbon. The city was just waking up and in its sleepy haze, it made me fall in love with it even more. We didn’t wait long until we saw Mariana coming towards us.
You could tell by her smile she knew who we were and straight away, I was glad we had organised this Lisbon tour for kids with her, some people even before you meet them just have that vibe. We all shook hands and introduced ourselves and then Mariana went over what we would be doing together. We had decided on the 1755 earthquake Lisbon walking tour as that is what the girls wanted to learn about (we stayed right near the Carmo Convent and they had seen the ruins of the church plenty of times)
We started off talking about buildings in the Lisbon Landscape as Mariana took the girls over to the side of the lookout to get a better look Mark and I backed away a little and let the three of them take the lead. They were pointing out buildings that were old and some of the newer ones. A brief history was explained to the girls about the day of the earthquake happened.
As we listened to what Mariana was saying we were all surprised at how much of the city was burnt and then reached by the tsunami that the earthquake made. When all the questions that they wanted to be answered were answered, Mariana dove into her Little Lisbon tour for kids bag of tricks and the girls had their very own worksheet and clipboard! Our mission was to find the patterns of tiles that were on the sheet! And with that, we were off on our Little Lisbon tour for kids to find them.
As we wandered looking for our tiles we talked with Mariana about what to do in Lisbon with kids. She gave us so many little extra tips about the city, told us what not to miss in Lisbon and her expertise was amazing. As I said before Lisbon is a hilly city and at this stage, we were going downhill so the girls were happy. A hilly Lisbon with children can be a scary thought for parents! It was also great that they had to look for the tiles up high, down low and everywhere which was taking their minds off the fact they were walking. Our first stop was only a little way down the street and we were not expecting it at all. It was a church that looked extremely plain from the outside.
It was here that Mariana told us we may be able to see our first tiles…but we had to go inside.This straight away got the girls excited about what was inside. We walked in and she started to tell us about this very plain looking Lisbon landmark. It turns out it wasn’t so plain on the inside. The church’s name was Igreja de São Roque and it was stunning. I was not aware straight away of the seriously buff men in suits wandering around but Mariana was in the process of telling the girls about the roof and the amazing little chapel off to the side.
She took us over to the chapel and we found our first set of tiles! That then made me look at the rest of the chapel and I was blown away by its story and so were the girls. The beauty of it was magnificent and those buff men were there to protect it! The chapel was blessed by a Pope and made in Rome. It was then bought out to Lisbon and re-assembled. It was amazing, nothing I can write will give you the right image of what it was really like. It is one of those must-see places to really experience its beauty and should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Lisbon.
We spent some time just staring at it and then it was time to continue on our Lisbon tour with kids. Out the front of the Church Mariana headed towards where our apartment was and the girls were more than happy to chat about that while looking for more tiles. We got to the Carmo Convent located at the Largo do Carmo Square and that is when the girls were told about the day of the tsunami and the fire that happened as well.
They were both very sad about it but we’re glad that the Church had been left as a monument and a reminder of that day. (It is one of our tops what not to miss in Lisbon tips!) Mariana explained it so well to them that they understood the significance and will still tell people about what happened in Lisbon after the earthquake. It was here that we learnt what the people of Lisbon had to go through in the months after the disaster.
As people were given jobs to help rebuild the city there were many things that needed to be decided upon and the food was one of those things. Mariana dove into her bag of tricks again and brought out a bag of biscuits that were very common for the people to eat after the disaster.
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They were common biscuits for sailors back in those days and it was found that they were easily made to feed all of the people remaining and working in Lisbon. They were pretty dry but they had an ok flavour. They were rough and reminded me of Rivita biscuits that we had back at home. After eating a few we found our next sets of tiles and then we moved onto the second sheet that the girls had to complete while on the Lisbon tour for kids.
Many people may know that Lisbon has some beautifully paved streets and the patterns are very elaborate in some spots so they were our next must finds! The girls loved skipping from pavement to pavement to find the patterns that were on their sheet. I loved watching them skip and laugh with Mariana down the streets, it was a great moment for them.
After all of our pavements were found we finished filling in the sheet and we got to our last one. We learnt how the people of Lisbon lived in their houses and Mariana explained to us that the size of your balcony was the way your wealth was measured, so with that we were off looking up high at the balconies!
It was at this point that the girls realised how far we had walked as we had just come off a small laneway and onto Rua Augusta and they were shocked as they didn’t even feel like they had been walking for that long! So much fun was being had on the Little Lisbon tour for kids that it also made walking Lisbon with children much easier! I was really happy with this as it made me realise how much they had been taking in from Mariana.
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We then got out onto the Commercial Square and we played a game about what we had learnt (after looking at all of the really nice balconies that were around the square and learning about who had lived in them) We enjoyed our last biscuits from our pack and with that our Little Lisbon tour for kids with Mariana was over. As we said goodbye, the girls gave Mariana a hug each. I think it is a sign that the girls loved a tour if hugs are freely given out!
What to bring on a Little Lisbon Tour for Kids
Mariana will provide you with all the things you will need to fill out your worksheets but for me, I bought a few supplies with me on our Lisbon tour for kids and then I stopped in at a shop to get some extra’s as we walked. I took:
- Water bottle (I stopped in at a shop and got another one)
- A small snack. (I had some sweet biscuits in my bag)
- A small bag. (Even though Mariana had hers the girls still liked to put things in my bag)
Top Tips for going on a Little Lisbon Tour with kids
- Pick the Little Lisbon tour for kids that you will get the most out of. There are a couple of different ones. We went on the 1755 Earthquake Tour.
- It is a walking tour but to be honest it was not at all a struggle for our girls at all. It was all downhill and they barely realised they were walking.
- In the summer make sure you take hats, sunscreen and plenty of water but we found on our tour there was plenty of shade and shops to stop and get an extra bottle of water from.
- Try the biscuits!
- Ask Mariana about what not to miss in Lisbon. There is so much to do in Lisbon with children and she knows her stuff!
Book your Little Lisbon Tour here and say hi to Marianna for us
We really enjoyed our time on the Little Lisbon Tour for kids and learning about the Lisbon Landscape from someone who knew. The kids got to see Lisbon in their own way. We highly recommend the Little Lisbon Tour for kids and for adults too! When in Lisbon with children, Little Lisbon is a must.
More great family ideas for Lisbon with ticket and booking options. Just click to browse and book!
- We can definitively say the Lisbon Aquarium is a must. Get your tickets HERE
- Travel from Lisbon to Sintra, Day trips from Lisbon are amazing
- Buying The Lisbon Card is a great way to save on many attractions in Lisbon with children
- Our kids love Segway tours. Book the Lisbon Segway now, you won’t regret it!
- Cruise on the Tagus River, kids love boats
- The Hippo Trip part Bus part Boat full of Fun, Get on HERE
- Rent a bike yourself and ride to Belem or go on a bike tour to Belem
- Visit the Lisbon Zoo
- Don’t have kids complaining about walking jump on the Lisbon Yellow Bus Hop On Hop Off Tour
Getting to Lisbon:
- Lisbon is the capital and biggest city in Portugal.
- Humberto Delgado Airport is located 7km from Lisbon City Centre
- It is the 24th largest airport in Europe in terms of passenger volume, having served 22.4 million passengers in 2016
- Lisbon Airport is served by 121 destinations with 47 airlines
- Lisboa is serviced by many international airlines and budget carriers. The airport is a hub for TAP Portugal. Lisbon is a focus city for EasyJet, Ryanair, Vueling and Azores Airlines. You can check the prices of international flights to Portugal with CheapOair. Domestic flights can be booked with Expedia
- The airport and city are connected by the metro. Aeroporto Saldanha line takes approximately 20 minutes to reach downtown Lisbon
- The Aerobus is accommodating for travelling with large luggage. The departures are available at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 between 7:30 and 23:00 daily and connect the airport with a number of major destinations in the downtown area. Information and bookings available here.
- Santa Apolonia and Lisbon Oriente are the two major trains station for domestic and international arrivals by train
- Check your trains prices here.
- Most international buses arrive at Lisbon’s Estação do Oriente bus station. Check your bus prices here.
- You can book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions.
- You can book a rental car with AutoEurope and have it waiting for you at Lisbon Airport.
Getting around Lisbon for kids
- Lisbon features an extensive public transport network, comprising both underground and surface means of getting around. The metros, buses and trams of Lisbon is some of the most cost-efficient and flexible manners of discovering the city
- The flat fare on the trams (streetcars) is now 2,85 Euros with the object being to make more users buy pre-pay passes. A single ticket on the metro is €1.90 without a rechargeable card, €1,40 with. There are a variety of passes available which reduce those costs considerably.
- Children under the age of 4 travel free of charge on the Metro, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
- The popular Lisbon Hop on hop off bus is a great option for tourists wanting to see the main sights of Berlin. This tourist bus has 2 different routes that travel the sights of the city on a loop basis. For more information Look here!
- The Lisbon Card offers tree public transport and entries to major Lisbon sights.
Where to stay in Lisbon with Kids
- Lisbon has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms.
- Hostels in Lisbon can start from as little as 15 euro’s a night for a shared dorm room.
- Hotels in Lisbon generally start from around $70 a night for a double room and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards 5 stars. Google states that 3-star averaging $92, 5-star averaging $226 for a night stay.
- You can compare and book your stay on Agoda
(All coloured text in the Getting to Lisbon, Getting around Lisbon and Where to stay in Lisbon links to the pages mentioned for your information and booking convenience. We at Wyld Family Travel will make a small commission from any bookings you make. This money goes into maintaining our website)
We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Portugal and stay in Lisbon. There are so many things to do in Lisbon that will have you entertained for your stay in the city. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Portugal click through to our Portugal Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.