After sharing online events for about three months, the deconfinement has brought open museums and cultural establishments. So here’s my first selection of museums, gardens, and murals that could be interesting to visit with your family, and why not, restaurants and cafes.
If you are looking for a gorgeous and wild hidden garden in Lisbon, the Estufa Fria is the place for you!
Hiding next to Parque Eduardo VII, Estufa Fria is the combination of an almost magical Greenhouse, and a warm Glasshouse: both spaces are full of secret corners and viewpoints, beautiful tropical plants, and tall palms. The Greenhous is probably the best place to be on summer hot days in Lisbon.
The Glasshouse has a good collection of succulents and other exotic plants while the Greenhouse is home of tall palms and more tropical forest plants.
Hot tips: Estufa Fria is free on Sundays. Next to Estufa Fria there is a lovely playground with an adjacent cafe, where parents can enjoy a coffee while kids play in the pebbles (of course only when all playgrounds will open).
Hot tip for small babies: think about bringing a carrier, since inside the estufa it might be hard to use the stroller (except for the all-terrain ones) because of the many stairs that there are inside the premises.
Museu da Marinha
Another hidden gem is the Museu da Marinha, next to Monasterio dos Jeronimos (also worth checking during the same visit, especially the beautiful cloister).
Museu da Marinha contains a collection of real boats and reproductions of boats and flying machines from different historical moments, from the Roman ship to the first plane the crossed the Atlantic sea.
If your kids like history or pirates ships, it might be worthed!
Maat – Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology
The Maat Museum is the newest addition to Lisbon’s Museums Collection: it is set up inside a former electric plant, which you can still admire while visiting the art exhibitions. In the basement, you find cute interactive energy about electricity, where the kids can learn about conductivity and other physics concepts in a playful way.
Next to the main building, you find the newest building where the visual exhibitions happen: they have new exhibitions quite often, so it’s worthed checking their website here to plan your visit.
Hot tip: don’t forget to climb the roof of the modern building to enjoy the view of the Tejo river and the 25th April bridge from above, especially at sunset: if you have to catch a bus, from the rooftop you can cross the train line by using the pedestrian bridge in the picture above.
Current opening hours (May 2021)
Mon: 11h – 19h
Wed, Thu, Fri: 11h – 19h
Sat & Sun: 11h – 19h
Castelo de São Jorge
You probably have seen the castle quite a few times: but have you ever been inside? Castelo de São Jorge is usually full of curious tourists, and the ticket line can be overwhelmingly long: but now it’s probably the best time to go and check it out.
The castle mainly consists of fortified walls and ruins or archeological excavations, so be prepared to walk around, climb stairs and enjoy the many jaw-dropping views that the historical walls can offer to its visitors.
There are almost no food options: the Restaurant Casa do Leão used to be of average/ok quality but with a great view, but it is closed for the time being. There is only an operating quiosque we ice-cream and water.
The Castle is free for residents until the end of the month: just get your ticket at the entrance and enjoy your visit.
Hot tip: despite the lines, remember you always have the right to skip them if you visit with kids 2 YO and below.
Hot tip for small babies: think about bringing a carrier, since inside the castle it might be hard to use the stroller (except for the all-terrain ones) because of the uneven stone path and the many stairs to reach the top of the wall.
How to get there: Bus 737 from Praça Figueira gets almost to the entrance of the castle; you can walk to the top starting from Miradouro de Santa Luzia and passing through the lovely Palacio de Belmonte, which sit next to the Miradouro do Recolhimento (which is now closed but might open at some point) where you can take a break with the kids. From Baixa, you can catch the Elevador do Castelo (located in Rua dos Fanqueiros) and then catch the next elevator inside the Pingo Doce. You will have 10 more minutes to walk uphill, but it’s less (or very similar than coming from the Miradouro
Price: Free for Lisbon Residents and kids 12 Years and below
Current Opening hours (May 2021)
Every day: 10-21.00 (ticket desk closing at 20.30)
Museu dos Azulejos
Museu Nacional dos Azulejos is the only suggestion I haven’t visited yet, but I have heard great things about it. The collection includes both ancient and modern azulejos, one of which is from a friend and architect Maria Ana Vasco Costa and they usually run workshops for you to paint your tile, which they might be on hold for the time being.
Hot tip: it could be a nice combo to visit Alfama on the way there, or to stop at Deli Delux for brunch or at Pizzeria Casanova for a great pizza: both establishments face the river, and they have a great vibe and are family-friendly.
Current opening hours (May 2021)
Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat & Sun: 10h – 13h | 14h – 17h
Bordalo Art Hunt
Are you feeling still overwhelmed by visiting indoor places or, you simply want to enjoy the outdoors more? Then it’s time to learn about the work Bordalo II, a Lisboeta artist that works with plastic waste: with them he creates colorful creatures that are scattered around the whole Lisbon. Looking for them can turn into a cool Art Hunt with your kids while you explore new neighborhoods.
- LX Factory
- Parque das Nações
- Avenida 24 Abril/ Cais Do Sodre.
Hot tip: are you a street art lover? Check this map for more… I can suggest checking Graça, Alfama, and even explore the suburb of Lisbon, by checking the many murals at Barrio Padre Cruz.
Check this map for some hints (probably not the newest, but there are a lot of pins) https://bit.ly/3e4sSmW
Book a table at a local restaurant or cafe
Celebrate and support the opening of local restaurants by booking your table at your favorite restaurant! Do you want to get some suggestions? Here they are:
- APF A partilhar com a familia
- Merceria da Mila at Santos Collective
- Nana O Ponto mais Doçe da Cidade
- Atalho Principe Real
- Pizzeria ZeroZero
- Cervejaria Sem Vergonha
Hot tip: be sure to book your table in advance. Restaurants and cafes are only allowed to serve outdoor and there are so many people looking to dine out, and this Saturday the sun will be shining! Remember restaurants and cafes close still at 13.00 on weekends. You can check for more suggestion on my IG guide at this link
There are some establishment and cultural experiences that you should put on your family to-do list.
Impressive Monet and Brilliant Klimt
The Reservatorio Mãe d’Agua is the perfect space for this video mapping show that displays with color and music the work of these two great artists. Check the official Ticketing page here
Magical Garden Belem
Ready to immerse yourself in the tropical garden of Ajuda to explore magical scenographies made of light sculpture? Read more in my post here