The great thing about Lisbon is that it’s full of the little things that can delight a child: the bumpy rides on the yellow trams to acting out dungeons and dragons at Castelo de Sao Jorge. In fact Lisbon is one of the most family-friendly cities around with free or half-priced tickets, small portions at restaurants and free transport for children under five. The best place to start their adventure is Parque das Naples where they can run around; nearby is Oceanario (/, +218 917 002, Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, adult/children 4-12yrs €12/6) the largest aquarium in Europe where they can spot sharks and sea otters, if they want to get really soaked then head to Jardins d’Agua. Another great place is Pavilhao do Conhecimento (www.pavconhecimento.pt/, Tue-Fri 10am-6pm, adult/children 7-17 yrs €7/4) where children can launch rockets and indulge in scientific activities.
Lisbon also has a lot of parks and playgrounds for children, Parque Eduardo VII and the animal themed Jardim da Estrela are highlights. Museums are plenty but take them to Museu do Marinha to let them explore the nautical history of Lisbon’s Age of Discovery, or even the Museu da Marioneta to look at the puppets. If you’re visiting during the summer months then take a train to Cascais for the beach. There are dolphin-watching tours in Setubal or go further to let the children play in the enchanted glades of Sintra, once the summer residences of the kings of Portugal.