If you're planning a family trip to Portugal, Porto should definitely be on your list of destinations to explore. Last June, my family and I visited this enchanting city with our two young children, and it was an amazing experience. Coming from the bustling streets of Lisbon, we found Porto to be refreshingly compact, with a more relaxed vibe (although the hills were just as intense).

Here are some of our favorite kid-friendly highlights from our Porto adventure, along with recommendations to make the most of your family trip:

Things to do in Porto with Kids

  • Ribeira District: Wander around the historic Ribeira district, with its narrow cobblestone alleyways that all lead to a vibrant waterfront. It's just such a lovely place for a leisurely stroll with the fam and soaking in the city's atmosphere.

  • Jardim da Cordoaria: This park was across the street from Clerigos Twoer and perfect for kids! There's a nice playground, duck pond, and these absolutely incredible giant sycamore trees.

  • Jardim das Oliveiras: This unique little modern rooftop garden is full of olive trees and has a stunning view of Clerigos Tower. There's also a cool open-air bar there called Base Porto, where parents can unwind with a coffee or a drink while kids play on the grass.

  • Livraria Bertrand: Harry Potter inspired Lello Library is really beautiful, but not very enjoyable (especially with kids) because it’s SO CROWDED! Head to Livraria Bertrand instead and grab a couple of the fantastic Porto themed books for kids. We especially loved this Porto Activity Book

  • Cedofeita Street: Spend some time just wandering around this pedestrian-only street and its surrounding neighborhood, dotted with charming shops and family-friendly Airbnbs. There are also lots of great spots to eat on neighboring streets such as Aduela snack bar, Nicolau for amazing brunch, and SO Coffee Roasters.

Things to do in Gaia with Kids

Gaia is located directly across the Douro River and is also where all the wine cellars are located.

  • Water Taxi Ride: Take a scenic water taxi across the Douro River to Gaia, where you'll find more family-friendly attractions and experiences. My kids really enjoyed this and it's a fun way to get across the river!
  • Port Wine Tasting: Visit Caves Cálem for a family-friendly port wine tasting experience, complete with an interactive museum. Sandeman also offers a relaxed atmosphere with its outdoor terrace.

  • Mercado Beira-Rio: This lively market setting has something for everyone and is absolutely perfect with kids. Little ones can grab pizza, fruit and snacks while adults can opt for delicious seafood, charcuterie boards and drinks!

  • Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau: Pop into this absolutely beautiful space with a giant chandelier and walls of old books. Try a Codfish Cake with a glass of port wine. Kids will enjoy climbing up the stairs and the organ performances.

  • The Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardine: Another cool place to stop by is this odd circus themed store filled wall to wall with canned sardines. It's a fun experience! Try finding the sardine can from your birthdate. 

  • Gaia Cable Car: Take the cable car up to the top of Gaia. My children absolutely loved doing this! The panoramic views are really amazing. There’s also a fun enclosed playground at the base of the cable car. 

  • Jardim do Morro: Head to Jardim do Morro at the top of the cable car, where there’s another charming playground and lots of fun rocks to climb with a stunning view of Porto and the Douro River.

  • Dom Luis I Bridge: Conclude your Gaia adventure by walking back to Porto across the top of the iconic Dom Luis I Bridge. It's truly breathtaking and the sunset views are insane.

Porto Experiences

  • Family Photoshoot: This is something we're hooked on and do on every trip now! Capture your Porto memories with a professional photoshoot from Flytographer. Use my affiliate discount code MINIJETSETTER to get $25 off your booking. 

  • Babysitter Service: Enjoy a night out with your partner by booking a reliable babysitter through Nanny Poppins. We used them in Lisbon and Porto and had an incredible experience! Ana in Lisbon even took our kids out for pizza.

  • Private Family-Friendly Tours: Sara from Portoalities has lots of kid-friendly recommendations and can customize private family-friendly tours of Porto and the Douro Valley.

More Kid-Friendly Attractions in Porto

  • Tramcar Museum: Delve into Porto's transportation history at the Tramcar Museum, where kids can explore vintage tramcars and learn about the city's tram system.

  • World of Discoveries: This interactive museum interactive museum brings Portugal's maritime history to life with engaging exhibits and activities like an indoor boat ride.

  • Crystal Palace and Gardens: Crystal Palace and Gardens is supposed to be a lovely park for families with a great playground, lush greenery and charming pavilions. There are also peacocks and chickens roaming around, as well as a charming tower to climb.  

  • SEA LIFE Porto Aquarium: This is a popular family activity home to a diverse array of marine life and interactive exhibits that little explorers will love.

  • Serralves Foundation: I wish we had time to go here! It's a really cool contemporary art museum with loads of interesting and interactive exhibits, a gorgeous garden with lots of hidden pathways and a lake, and a treetop walk! They also offer kids workshops here on the weekends.

Prep for Your Trip to Portugal

BOOKS: One of the best things we do before any trip is prep our kids for the destination with books! Here is a list kids books about Portugal that we loved and help my kiddos get excited about our trip: Kids Books about Portugal

TRAVEL KITS: And if you need help keeping your little ones entertained on your trip, I make travel kits for kids full of age-appropriate toys and activities that keep them busssyyyy on the plane, in the car, at restaurants and during downtime.