Family Fun in Portugal: A Holiday Guide for Families

Family Fun in Portugal: A Holiday Guide for Families

Portugal is one of Europe’s best destinations for a family holiday, offering pristine beaches, a wonderful climate, and child-friendly resorts. The country is known for its safety, exceptional value for money, and English-speaking locals. This guide will provide tips and suggestions for families traveling to Portugal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Portugal is a top destination for a family holiday, with beautiful beaches and child-friendly resorts.
  • The country is known for its safety, affordability, and English-speaking locals.
  • Traveling to Portugal during the spring and autumn seasons provides the most suitable weather for relaxing on the beach.
  • Family activities in Portugal include waterparks, zoos, and beach resorts with kid-friendly amenities.
  • Popular locations for a family holiday in Portugal include Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto, each offering unique attractions and activities.
  • Portugal provides a range of cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, and unique activities for kids.
  • It’s recommended to choose family-friendly accommodations, pack layers for variable weather conditions, and consider public transport or car rental for transportation.

Why Choose Portugal for a Family Holiday?

Portugal is a great choice for a hassle-free family holiday. The country offers a wide range of family-friendly resorts, ensuring that there is something for every family’s needs and preferences. From quaint beach towns to vibrant cities, Portugal has it all.

For those seeking a relaxing beach vacation, the calm and personable Algarve resort towns of Carvoeiro, Tavira, Praia da Luz, and Alvor are ideal options. These resorts boast family-friendly amenities, pristine beaches, and a laid-back atmosphere that is perfect for families with children of all ages.

If you’re traveling with primary school or early teenage children, the central and western Algarve, including Lagos and Vilamoura, are highly recommended. These areas offer a diverse range of activities and attractions, ensuring that your little ones will never be bored.

For families with teenagers, the cities of Lisbon and Porto are the top choices. These vibrant cities are filled with cultural and historical landmarks, trendy shops and restaurants, and a buzzing nightlife. Teenagers will be entertained by the plethora of activities available, from museum visits to exploring the local street art scene.

Family Friendly Resorts Portugal All Inclusive Family Holidays Portugal Top Family Destinations in Portugal
Carvoeiro Algarve Lisbon
Tavira Lagos Porto
Praia da Luz Vilamoura

Regardless of the destination you choose, Portugal ensures that your family holiday will be filled with unforgettable memories and new experiences for everyone. From exploring historic sites to indulging in delicious local cuisine, Portugal has something to offer for every member of your family.

When to Visit Portugal for a Family Holiday

Planning a family holiday to Portugal? The timing of your trip can greatly impact your experience. For the best weather and optimal beach conditions, it is recommended to visit during the spring and autumn seasons. During these months, the temperatures are pleasant, ranging from 17°C to 25°C (63°F to 77°F), making it perfect for relaxation and outdoor activities. Avoiding the scorching summer months is advisable, as temperatures can exceed 35°C (95°F), which may be uncomfortable for young children.

Another important consideration when planning your family holiday in Portugal is booking well in advance, especially if you are visiting during school holiday periods. Accommodation and flights tend to fill up quickly, so securing your bookings early will ensure the best availability and prices. Look for family-friendly hotels that offer a range of amenities and services tailored to accommodate children of different ages.

Finding Family-Friendly Hotels in Portugal

When searching for family-friendly hotels in Portugal, prioritize establishments that provide kid-friendly activities, amenities, and services. Look for hotels that offer spacious family rooms or interconnected rooms, allowing everyone to stay comfortably together. Additionally, consider hotels that have swimming pools, on-site restaurants with children’s menus, and convenient access to nearby attractions and activities suitable for families.

Kid-Friendly Beaches in Portugal

Portugal boasts a stunning coastline with plenty of kid-friendly beaches where families can enjoy sandcastle building, swimming, and beach picnics. Some popular kid-friendly beaches in Portugal include:

Beach Name Location
Praia da Rocha Portimão, Algarve
Praia da Falésia Albufeira, Algarve
Meia Praia Lagos, Algarve
Costa da Caparica Lisbon

These beaches offer calm waters, lifeguard supervision, and facilities like beach toilets and showers, making them ideal for families with young children.

In addition to the beaches, Portugal offers a range of family-friendly activities, such as water parks, zoos, and adventure parks. Be sure to include these attractions in your itinerary to keep your little ones entertained throughout your holiday.

General Tips for a Family Holiday to Portugal

When traveling with children in Portugal, it’s helpful to know some general tips. Here are some recommendations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable family holiday:

Pick the Perfect Accommodation

Consider booking a holiday apartment or villa instead of a hotel. These options provide extra space for the whole family to relax and unwind after a day of exploring. They often come with a small kitchen, allowing you to prepare meals and snacks for the little ones.

Bring Essential Supplies

It’s always a good idea to pack essential medicines and toiletries from home. These items can be more expensive in Portugal, so having them on hand will save you money. Additionally, pharmacies are a great resource for seeking medical advice for any minor illnesses or issues that may arise during your trip.

Plan Flights Wisely

When booking your flights, try to schedule them for morning departures. This can help you avoid delays and cancellations that are more common later in the day. It also gives you plenty of time to settle into your accommodation upon arrival and start exploring the beautiful surroundings.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is highly recommended for any family holiday, including trips to Portugal. It provides added peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen circumstances. Make sure to choose a comprehensive policy that covers your entire family and includes medical coverage, trip cancellation, and lost luggage.

Avoid Overspending with Budget-Friendly Options

Portugal is known for its exceptional value for money, but it’s still important to stick to your budget. Look for family holiday packages that offer discounted rates or special deals on accommodation, activities, and attractions. Consider opting for budget-friendly options such as local markets and street food to save on dining expenses.

Enjoy Family Villa Holidays in Portugal

Advantages of Family Villa Holidays in Portugal
1. More space for the whole family
2. Kitchen facilities for preparing meals
3. Privacy and seclusion
4. Home-like atmosphere
5. Flexibility in scheduling
6. Affordable options for all budgets

Embarking on a family holiday to Portugal doesn’t have to break the bank. By following these general tips, you can enjoy a budget-friendly trip that is both memorable and enjoyable for the whole family.

Best Locations for a Family Holiday in Portugal

Portugal offers a range of fantastic destinations for a memorable family holiday. Whether you’re looking for exciting city adventures or relaxing beach getaways, there’s something for everyone. Here are the best locations to consider:


Known for its captivating history and vibrant culture, Lisbon is a great choice for families. The Cascais-Estoril region, located just outside Lisbon, offers a host of family-friendly activities and attractions. One highlight is the Lisbon Aquarium, where you can discover a diverse range of marine life. Children will be enthralled by the fascinating exhibits and interactive experiences.

Family Fun in Portugal: A Holiday Guide for Families


The Algarve is a popular region for family holidays, thanks to its beautiful resorts and stunning beaches. Albufeira and Lagos are two excellent options for families, offering a wide range of activities and amenities. From water sports and boat trips to exploring the charming old town, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. The Algarve’s family resorts provide a comfortable and welcoming environment, ensuring a memorable holiday experience.


If you’re seeking a city break with attractions suitable for all ages, Porto is the place to be. This vibrant city offers a rich cultural heritage, delightful architecture, and a scenic riverside setting. Families can explore historic landmarks like the Porto Cathedral and the Livraria Lello bookstore, which inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The Porto City Park, with its sprawling green spaces and playgrounds, is perfect for a day of outdoor fun.

Location Highlights
Lisbon Cascais-Estoril region, Lisbon Aquarium
Algarve Albufeira, Lagos, beautiful beaches
Porto Porto Cathedral, Livraria Lello, Porto City Park

Table: Highlights of the Best Locations for a Family Holiday in Portugal

Unique Experiences for Kids in Portugal

Portugal offers a variety of unique experiences for kids that will make their holiday extra special. From thrilling adventures to cultural explorations, there’s something for every child to enjoy. Here are some recommended activities for families looking for fun things to do in Portugal with kids:

  1. Ride a Tuk-Tuk in Lisbon: Hop aboard a colourful tuk-tuk and let the driver take you on a tour of Lisbon’s charming streets. It’s a fun and exciting way to see the city and discover its hidden gems.
  2. Walk the City Walls of Obidos: Step back in time and explore the medieval town of Obidos. Walk along the city walls for stunning views and feel like a knight or princess in a fairy tale.
  3. Explore the Gardens of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra: Let your imagination run wild as you explore the enchanting gardens of Quinta da Regaleira. Discover secret tunnels, hidden caves, and majestic fountains.
  4. Ride Lisbon Tram Nr. 28: Hop on one of Lisbon’s iconic trams and take a ride on tram nr. 28. This vintage tram will take you on a scenic journey through the narrow streets of the city, passing by historic landmarks along the way.
  5. Visit the Caves of Grutas de Mira de Aire: Venture underground and explore the magnificent caves of Grutas de Mira de Aire. Marvel at the stunning rock formations and learn about the history of these natural wonders.
  6. Taste Traditional Portuguese Custard Cakes (Pasteis de Nata): Indulge in the delicious taste of Pasteis de Nata, the famous Portuguese custard cakes. Visit a local bakery and let your kids experience the delight of these sweet treats.
  7. Admire Portuguese Azulejos (Tiles): Discover the beauty of Portuguese azulejos, traditional ceramic tiles that adorn many buildings in Portugal. Take a walk through the streets of Lisbon and Porto to admire these vibrant works of art.
  8. Explore the Colorful Town of Costa Nova: Take a trip to the picturesque town of Costa Nova and marvel at its charming striped houses. Enjoy a day at the beach and immerse yourself in the vibrant coastal atmosphere.
  9. Discover Street Art in Lisbon and Porto: Embark on a street art adventure in Lisbon and Porto. Wander through the cities and admire the vibrant murals and graffiti that bring the streets to life.

These unique experiences will create lasting memories for your kids and make your family holiday in Portugal truly unforgettable.

Best Destinations for Outdoor Adventures in Portugal

Portugal offers a range of outdoor activities and adventure holidays for families. Whether you’re seeking thrilling experiences or exploring the natural wonders of the country, there are destinations that cater to every taste and preference.

Arouca 516 Suspension Bridge

Located near Porto, the Arouca 516 suspension bridge is a must-visit for families seeking an adrenaline rush. Suspended 516 meters above the Paiva River, this magnificent bridge offers breathtaking views and an exhilarating crossing experience. Walking on the bridge is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.

Coastal Road Trip

Embark on a scenic road trip along Portugal’s stunning coastline, from the north to the south. This journey provides an opportunity to explore beautiful landscapes, picturesque villages, and charming towns. Enjoy the freedom of the open road and discover hidden gems along the way, while immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.

Sagres and the Costa Vicentina

Sagres, located in the southwestern tip of Portugal, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by rugged cliffs and dramatic coastlines, it offers an array of activities such as surfing, hiking, and mountain biking. The nearby Costa Vicentina is a natural park that boasts pristine beaches and untouched landscapes, perfect for family adventures and exploring the wonders of Portugal’s wild side.

Tavira and the East Algarve

For families seeking tranquility and nature, Tavira and the East Algarve region are ideal destinations. With miles of quiet beaches and the stunning Rio Formosa Wetlands Natural Park, it’s a haven for birdwatching, hiking, and relaxing in nature. Explore the charming town of Tavira and its historic sites for a cultural experience blended with outdoor activities.

These destinations in Portugal offer an abundance of outdoor adventures that will create lasting memories for your family. From thrilling suspension bridges to coastal road trips, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful country.

Family Fun in Portugal: A Holiday Guide for Families

Cultural Experiences for Families in Portugal

Portugal is a treasure trove of cultural experiences for families. From world-class museums to historic landmarks, there is something to captivate every member of the family. Here are some must-visit destinations for a culturally enriching family holiday in Portugal:

1. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon

Immerse your family in the world of art at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon. This renowned museum houses a remarkable collection of artworks spanning various periods and cultures. Marvel at masterpieces by artists such as Rembrandt, Monet, and Renoir. The museum’s beautiful gardens provide a serene escape, where children can roam and appreciate the natural beauty.

2. Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha

Embark on a historical exploration of Portugal’s monastic heritage by visiting the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha. These UNESCO World Heritage sites offer a glimpse into the country’s rich history and architectural prowess. Marvel at the intricate carvings and awe-inspiring interiors as you learn about the fascinating stories behind these monastic marvels.

3. Évora

Take a journey back in time in Évora, a city that boasts Roman ruins and a gateway to the Alentejo countryside. Explore the ancient Roman temple, stroll through the narrow streets of the historic center, and discover the remnants of Portugal’s past. This destination provides an educational and cultural experience that the whole family can enjoy.

4. Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela

For families who love the great outdoors, a hike in Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela is a must. This natural park offers stunning landscapes, lush forests, and picturesque mountain views. Engage in educational activities such as wildlife spotting and learn about the region’s flora and fauna. It’s a perfect opportunity for the whole family to connect with nature.

5. Grutas de Mira de Aire

Explore the subterranean wonders of Grutas de Mira de Aire, a mesmerizing cave system located in central Portugal. Take a guided tour and marvel at the stunning rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites that have formed over millions of years. It’s an extraordinary adventure that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on both children and adults.

Museum Location Family-Friendly Features
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum Lisbon Interactive exhibits, outdoor gardens
Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha Alcobaça and Batalha Guided tours, historical reenactments
Évora Évora Historical sites, cultural events
Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela Serra da Estrela Hiking trails, educational programs
Grutas de Mira de Aire Mira de Aire Guided cave tours, educational exhibits

Immerse your family in Portugal’s rich cultural heritage and create lifelong memories together. Whether it’s exploring world-class museums, marveling at historic landmarks, or venturing into natural wonders, Portugal offers a wealth of educational and culturally enriching experiences for all ages.

Traveling in Portugal with Young Children

When planning a trip to Portugal with young children, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. While the sidewalks in Portugal can be challenging with strollers and toddlers, the country’s family-centric culture more than makes up for it. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience, here are some family travel tips:

  1. Choose Family-Friendly Accommodations: Look for hotels or holiday rentals that cater to families. Many accommodations offer amenities such as cribs, high chairs, and play areas, making your stay more comfortable.
  2. Pack Layers for Varying Weather Conditions: Portugal’s weather can be unpredictable, especially in coastal areas. Pack a variety of clothing options, including light layers for warm days and warmer layers for cooler evenings.
  3. Opt for Public Transport or Taxi Services: Navigating the streets of cities like Lisbon or Porto with young children can be challenging. Consider using public transport or taking a taxi to make traveling easier and more convenient.
  4. Take Breaks in Parks: Portugal boasts numerous parks and green spaces that provide a welcome respite for children. Take breaks from sightseeing and let your little ones enjoy playgrounds and open spaces.
  5. Visit Local Markets: Exploring local markets can be a fun and educational experience for young children. Let them taste new fruits, interact with vendors, and learn about Portuguese culture.

By following these travel tips, you can ensure that your family trip to Portugal is memorable and enjoyable for both children and adults.

Family Fun in Portugal: A Holiday Guide for Families

Public Transport vs. Renting a Car in Portugal

When planning a family holiday in Portugal, deciding on the best mode of transportation can greatly impact your experience. Public transport is a convenient and cost-effective option for exploring Portugal’s cities, while renting a car provides the freedom to venture into the country’s stunning national parks and discover hidden beaches.

Public transport in Portugal cities, such as Lisbon and Porto, is reliable and well-connected. The extensive network of buses, trams, and trains makes it easy to navigate and explore popular tourist attractions. It’s an affordable option for families, especially when travelling between cities or taking short trips within the city. Plus, children often enjoy the excitement and novelty of public transportation.

However, if you’re looking to explore the natural beauty of Portugal’s national parks or venture off the beaten path to discover secluded beaches, renting a car is highly recommended. Driving in Portugal is generally stress-free, with well-maintained roads and clear signage. Having a car allows you to set your own pace and visit remote destinations that are inaccessible by public transport.

A popular choice for families who prefer a road trip experience is to rent a caravan or motorhome. This provides the flexibility to travel at your leisure and enjoy the stunning scenery along the way. Portugal offers budget-friendly campsites with excellent facilities, making it an ideal choice for families seeking adventure and the freedom to explore.

Portugal Car Rental Tips:

  • Book your car rental in advance to secure the best price and ensure availability, especially during peak holiday seasons.
  • When renting a car, consider choosing a spacious and comfortable vehicle that can accommodate your family and luggage.
  • Check the insurance coverage included with your car rental and consider purchasing additional coverage if desired.
  • Review the terms and conditions of the rental agreement carefully to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
  • Ensure you have a valid driver’s license, passport, and any other required documentation when picking up your rental car.
  • Keep in mind that parking in cities can be challenging and it’s advisable to research parking options in advance.
  • Pack plenty of layers to accommodate Portugal’s variable weather conditions, including sun protection for the beach.
  • Choose a spacious day bag to carry essential items, such as snacks, water, sunscreen, and a first aid kit.

Whether you opt for public transport or decide to rent a car, planning your mode of transportation in advance will ensure a smooth and enjoyable family holiday in Portugal.


Portugal offers a wealth of family-friendly experiences, making it the perfect destination for a memorable family holiday. From its beautiful beaches to cultural attractions and outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The country’s commitment to safety and affordability ensures that families can relax and have fun without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re seeking a sunny coastal getaway or a vibrant city break, Portugal has the perfect destination for your family. Lisbon, with its rich history and family-friendly museums, offers a unique blend of culture and fun. The Algarve provides stunning beaches and a variety of resorts catering to families, while Porto offers a mix of cultural attractions and outdoor adventures.

When visiting Portugal with your family, be sure to explore the historic sites, indulge in outdoor activities such as hiking and water sports, and simply unwind on the beautiful beaches. With its warm and welcoming culture, Portugal guarantees an unforgettable family holiday filled with lasting memories. So pack your bags, follow these family travel tips, and embark on an adventure in this fantastic destination.


Why is Portugal a great destination for a family holiday?

Portugal offers pristine beaches, a wonderful climate, and a wide range of child-friendly resorts. The country is known for its safety, exceptional value for money, and English-speaking locals.

What are the best locations for a family holiday in Portugal?

Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto are highly recommended destinations for families. Lisbon offers child-friendly tourist activities, such as the Lisbon Aquarium, while the Algarve has resorts like Albufeira and Lagos that offer many family activities and excellent beaches. Porto is worth a visit for families looking for a city break with attractions suitable for all ages.

What are some unique experiences for kids in Portugal?

Kids can enjoy riding a tuk-tuk in Lisbon, walking the city walls of Obidos, exploring the gardens of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, and riding Lisbon tram nr. 28. They can also visit caves like Grutas de Mira de Aire, taste traditional Portuguese custard cakes known as Pasteis de Nata, and admire Portuguese azulejos (tiles).

What are the best destinations for outdoor adventures in Portugal?

Portugal offers a range of outdoor adventures for families. Some recommended destinations include the Arouca 516 suspension bridge near Porto for a thrilling experience, Sagres and the Costa Vicentina for active outdoor activities, and Tavira and the East Algarve region for quiet beaches and birdwatching in the Rio Formosa Wetlands Natural Park.

What cultural experiences are available for families in Portugal?

Families can visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, which features a world-famous art collection and beautiful gardens. They can also explore the monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha for historical exploration, visit Évora for Roman ruins and a gateway to the Alentejo countryside, hike in Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela, and explore the subterranean caverns of Grutas de Mira de Aire.

What are some tips for traveling in Portugal with young children?

It’s helpful to choose family-friendly accommodations, pack layers for varying weather conditions, and opt for public transport or taxi services in cities. Taking breaks in parks and visiting local markets can also provide enjoyable experiences for young children.

Is it better to use public transport or rent a car in Portugal?

Public transport is convenient and inexpensive in Portugal cities, while renting a car is recommended for exploring national parks and beaches. Driving in Portugal is generally stress-free, and there are budget-friendly campsites available for families who choose to rent a caravan for a road trip.

Why should I choose Portugal for a family holiday?

Portugal offers a wealth of family-friendly experiences, from beautiful beaches to cultural attractions and outdoor adventures. With its safety, affordability, and welcoming culture, it’s an ideal destination for a family holiday. Families can choose from a variety of destinations, including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto, each offering unique activities and attractions.

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