Top things to do in Porto with children
Wondering what are the best activities to do with children when visiting Porto Portugal? check my guide below for the best things to do in Porto with kids.
Porto is an interesting family friendly city, featuring a rich history, UNESCO World Heritage buildings, amazing Portuguese food and a lively atmosphere.
Despite being the second largest city in Portugal you can still do a lot by foot, taking in all the beautiful painted tiled walls and strolling through its narrow hilly streets.
If you love city family travel then I am confident you will enjoy your time in Porto area with kids.
I visited Porto in partnership with Visit Porto and North Tourism Office. I may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned below for free in return for providing my honest and unbiased review. I only recommend products or services that I believe will be good for my readers.
Since our first visit, we have been back several times as we love the city.
So read on to find out what to do around Porto for families. And if you need more ideas you can also check my post on what to do and see in Porto Portugal.
Things to do with kids in Porto city
Explore at Sealife Porto
In the Sealife Porto you can dive into the underwater world and see the ocean’s features and creatures up close. This aquarium with 700.000 litters of water features underwater tunnel, rocky pools and outdoor playground with picnic area.
For this kids it is a fantastic way to learn and interact with some of the ocean’s most fascinating inhabitants.
You can see sharks, turtles, octopus, penguins and a varied range of sea animals.
One of the highlights of our visit though was a behind the scene tour where we learned about their water system, how they keep the animals safe and we got to feed Marisa, the large sea turtle. The behind the scene tour has to be booked in advance and is not included in the normal ticket price.
Ride the Teleférico de Gaia
I know cable car rides are always fun for the little ones. The Gaia cable car is not only fantastic for the views but it will save you a lot of time going down and up the steep hills for the Porto wine tasting area.
This is a great advantage. Porto is extremely hilly and there is only so much you can walk around with kids. Hiring a scooter for a day is also a good way to get around and saves the legwork!
The cable car is very easy to be spotted. When you cross the upper deck of the Luis I bridge from Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia the cable car entrance is right in front of you.
The ride will take you to the Douro river banks on the opposite side of Porto. There is a variety of wine cellars there, where Port Wine completes its aging process. But the promenade is also worth the walk and sightseeing if you have no plans to do Porto wine tasting with kids.
Climb the Clérigos Tower
The Clerigo Towers is a large tower located at the Clérigos Brotherhood church built in the 18th century. You can spot in from several locations around the city, it’s definitely one of the top 10 things to do in Porto in my opinion.
The tower provides amazing 360 degree views of Porto but there are 240 steps to climb to get to the top. This might not be advisable with very young children though. My 9 years old daughter had no problems climbing.
The only difficulty to get to the top is the fact that there are many people going up and down these narrow steps. Often you have to stop to let a bunch a people through so you can carry on the climb, it can feel pretty crowded.
We thought that the climb was worth it. Besides the tour, you also have entrance to the Clérigos church and its exhibition.
Search for painted Tiles
No one can fail to appreciate the artistic expression that these traditional painted tiles are.
In Porto you will find some of the most beautiful painted azulejos in the whole of Portugal. A good activity is to get the kids to spot the coolest tiles in town, they are all over the town!
Some of our favorites were the painted tiles at the Capela das Almas (located at Santa Catarina street), the São Bento railway station walls and at the Carmo church.
Take a tuk tuk tour
Tuk tuks are a fantastic way to discover Porto that is fun and entertaining.
Kids love riding in these vehicles, and the tour we took used 100% electric cars with no noise or pollution.
A tuk tuk tour is especially advantageous in Porto because the city is super hilly, you can cover a lot more ground and learn many interest facts about the city from the knowledgeable guides in these tours.
Learn at world of discoveries
This interactive museum is designed to make you travel the world to the Era when Portugal pioneered sailing adventures around the world.
The museum aims to reconstruct the history of how Portugal became one of the strongest discovery nations in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Kids can explore and learn about the diverse vessels used, understand how it was to live in boats for months and what products they traded.
There is a thematic ride at the end of your tour at the World of Discoveries explaining some of the history between Portugal and its former colonies.
Visit Serralves park
The Serralves foundation is an 18 hectares park, museum and exhibition area. An absolutely amazing place to visit!
In the park you will find beautiful gardens and a variety of plants and trees, relaxing walking paths, and the treetop walk offering great views of the area.
There is also opportunity to visit the contemporary art exhibition and the Serralves house. On Sunday mornings there are free activities for children.
Livraria Lello & Irmão
Livraria Lello is a famous bookstore in Porto that opened in 1906.
It is said that the store was an inspiration source for J.K.Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, while she lived in the city. Therefore the store attracts many Harry Potter fans from all over the world.
However, this is not the only reason why many tourists want to visit the store. The detailed architecture inside the building is a work of art and this store has been recognized as one of the most beautiful bookstore in the world!
Beware though that there is an entrance fee to get inside the store (fee which is redeemable if you purchase a book). If you want to visit this store check my Lello bookstore visit guide to avoid crowds and make the most of your visit.
Ride an old tram
The network of electric historical tramcars of Porto dates back to 1872, when the first line of “American cars” of the city was inaugurated.
The city still operates 3 of its original lines (line 1, line 18 and line 22) that run through some of the most interesting areas of the city.
You won’t regret experiencing this old fashion way of transport, line 18 will be especially useful to help you go up one of the city’s steepest hills! The vehicles still feature their old charming wood interiors, brass controls and bells for stopping the trams.
Visit the Crystal palace gardens
The crystal palace gardens offer one of the best views of the city.
Here in this large green space kids can run and play while you can enjoy the outdoors in a relaxing setting and maybe bring a picnic with you.
Take a lift with Funicular dos Guindais
This is a fun activity to do with kids in Porto!
The Funicular dos Guindais will save you a steep climb while providing amazing views of the river Douro, the Luis I bridge and from it you can also see the 14th century Fernandina wall.
The ride doesn’t take long but will save time and please the kids!
Explore the city with Look at Porto
Look at Porto is a 5D experience, about a hundred meters away from the museum World of Discoveries museum mentioned above.
Here you will find a small cinema with comfortable chairs where you can see Porto through the eyes of their symbol – the dragon!
It is a short 10 minutes experience but the effects are interesting, you get the 3D glasses but have also wind in your face and chair movements to make you feel like you are really riding the dragon.
And if you are here for a short stay then this way you can ‘see’ a lot of Porto that you would otherwise miss.
If you have motion sickness this might not be for you though, and perhaps not for too young kids. My 9 years old daughter loved it!
Visit Foz do Douro
This is the area where the River Douro meets the Atlantic Ocean.
It is a few kilometers away from Porto city center but easily accessible. Just take a ride with the Old Tram Enfante line 1 or take the bus number 500.
Along with the beautiful coastal area there is a long promenade that is perfect for walking and cycling. You also get the change to stop and play a round of mini golf in the Passeio Alegre city park.
And these are some of my top tourist attractions in Porto Portugal for a family traveling with kids. Have you been to Porto? What did you enjoy most?
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