Travel agencies and magazines keep bragging Porto for its nightlife but the city is a great destination for families with kids, too.
Here’s my Top activities in Porto for families with kids, plus some family restaurant recommendations.
Don’t forget to also check my articles about the best family hotels and the best apartments in Porto as they are life saviors.
And the best activities in Porto for families with kids are…
Everyone who reads my blog knows that I LOVE the Clérigos church, as it is, in fact, the most beautiful church in Porto. Therefore, I was very happy when I discovered that a multimedia show is taking place at the Clérigos Church! 🙂
It’s a lights & sounds show that plays with some of Fernando Pessoa’s most famous poems, and I must say that seeing the succession of images reflected in the Clérigos Church is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen recently in Porto.
The show lasts half an hour (which is great because the kids don’t even have time to get bored), and there are several times available: 6pm, 6:45pm, 7:30pm, 8:15pm, 9pm and 9:45pm.
If you go in the afternoon, I suggest you play a little with the kids first in Jardim da Cordoaria. Near the Clérigos Church there is also the Amorino ice cream shop 😉
Both the Clérigos Church and Tower are always full of tourists, so I highly recommend you to buy your online ticket for the multimedia show at the Clérigos Church.
Here are the prices:
- Young people and adults [11 years old and above]: 10€
- Children [0 – 10]: free ticket
Smart tip: arrive early to sit in the last rows of the Clérigos Church, so you don’t have to constantly look everywhere to try not to miss something great!
How to get there: Aliados and São Bento metro stations (including the train station) are just a 5-minute walk away.
Visit one of the beautiful gardens of Porto
Porto has some beautiful gardens which are ideal for families with kids. I have two recommendations for you.
One is the Crystal Palace Gardens in downtown Porto. The Crystal Palace gardens have free entrance and a large Tilden avenue where it is easy to ride a baby stroller.There are a lot of peacocks, ducks and roosters that children like to chase 🙂
It has a lot of shadows and places for you to sit down for a while. To go there is definitely one of the best activities in Porto for families with kids!
How to get there: these bus lines stop nearby the Crystal Palace gardens: 200, 201, 207, 208, 303, 500, 501, 507, 601. You can check the schedule & itineraries of the buses in Porto.
My second recommendation is Serralves, a contemporary museum designed by the famous Portuguese architect Siza Veira, that has an immense garden. Usually parents visit the museum with their kids and then visit Serralves’ park, which is absolutely gorgeous! Specially now that they have a Treetop walk that allows you to literally walk among the top of the trees 🙂
You can buy the online ticket to Serralves contemporary museums and gardens, and this way you avoid the queues. It costs 20€ / person and some people think that it is expensive but I don’t think so, since it includes the ticket to the Serralves’ museum + the park + the treetop walk.
Local tip: if possible, avoid going to Serralves on the first Sunday morning of each month, unless you are low on cash. It is the only time that Serralves is free of charge and it is a NIGHTMARE of crowds and noise.
How to get there: take the bus 203 or 207.
Go for an interactive visit at The World of Discoveries
One of the greatest activities in Porto for families with kids is to visit the interactive museum The World of Discoveries. It has large touch screens in various languages, for kids to play. There are members of the staff dressed in costumes that explain interesting details on the Discoveries of Portugal.
The cherry on top: when you take a boat ride to explore the different continents and countries that Portugal has discovered! 🙂
Schedule of the World of Discoveries
Mon – Fri: 10h – 18h (last entry at 17h30)
Weekends: 10h – 19h (last entry at 18h30)
Prices of the World of Discoveries (2023)
|Type of Ticket||Online||At the counter|
|Adults (13 – 64 yo)||14€||15€|
|Seniors (> 65 yo)||12€||12€|
|Kids (3 – 12 yo)||8€||9€|
|Babies (< 3 yo)||free||free|
As you can see, if you buy the online ticket to the World of Discoveries in Porto, you are going to save some money because the tickets are more expensive at the counter.
How to get there: take the bus 500 or simply take tram line 1 – find all the information on my guide to the tram lines in Porto.
Visit Gaia’s Biological Park
I’m not a huge fan of Gaia, the city just South of douro river. But I must confess that I love Gaia’s Biological park! 🙂
I usually go there just to enjoy the otters’ tank – don’t make fun of me! 🙂
Gaia’s Biological park also has replicas of typical rural houses, granaries and barns.At Gaia Biological park it isn’t possible to make picnics, but they have a cute little restaurant for reasonable prices.
Spending the day at Gaia Biological park is definitely one of the best activities in Porto for families with kids!
Tickets for Gaia’s Biological park (2023)
- Free entrance for children <6
- Children [6-17]: 1€
- Adults [18-64]: 3€
- Adults >65: 1€
- There is also a family ticket for 7,50€ that covers the entrance of up to 6 people, it’s really worth it!
How to get to Gaia Biological park: The most practical way is to drive to the park. If you need to take a public transport, go to Praça da Batalha, in Downtown Porto, take a bus from MGC Transportes to LEVER / MOSTEIRÓ / CANEDO or Crestuma. Ask the driver to leave you at Gaia Biological Park.
Discover fantastic creatures at SEA Life Porto
I don’t like to see caged animals but I looove the SEA Life Porto. It is quite small but the way it is organized – with a different decoration for each room and a water tunnel where we are completely surrounded by animals – makes the experience very immersive and fun.
There you will see rays, sharks, fish of all shapes and sizes and a beautiful turtle. The kids love it and we love it even more, for seeing them so happy 🙂 And get ready to hear about fish for a few days, at least that’s what happened when I took my little cousins there: D
Outside there is a patio where you can eat ice cream and socialize with a friendly family of penguins. And, after the visit, go for a walk at Matosinhos beach.
Tickets to SEA Life Porto (2023)
- Adults: 16,50€
- Children < 11 yo: 11,50€
You can save some time by buying the online ticket for SEA Life Porto.
How to get there: the buses 200, 203, 205, 500 and 501 stop right at Rotunda do Queijo. Alternatively, take the metro to Matosinhos Sul station (blue line) and walk for 10 minutes.
Go on a Buggy ride on the hills of Porto!
If you and your kids are anything like me and simply like the outdoors, I recommend you to take a buggy ride on the hills of Porto! You’ll cross rivers, hills and cute little villages. The guides are super experienced and professional, the equipment is recent and so it a totally safe – and super fun – family experience 🙂
Visit the highlights of the city in one go!
Sometimes it’s difficult to visit a lot of places with small children because they get bored easily. With this in mind, I have a few easy solutions for families with kids in Porto, so that you can see most of the city and its attractions in one go!
A great option is this ticket to a city train tour, river cruise and wine cellar visit. The city train and the river cruise are wonderful to wind down and relax with kids. It is a great combo if you want to get the most of a single day and it’s cheap – only 29€ / adult and 16€ / kid. I recommend this combo ticket because if you buy the activities separately you will pay over 40€ / adult.
If water is not really your thing, you can get a similar experience by getting a ticket to the magic train tour and Port Wine tasting. The magic train is a quaint way to see the city and children always find it really cute (and adults, too!) 😉
Another great deal is to get a combo ticket for the Hop On Hop Off Bus, river cruise and Port wine cellar for 35€. It’s a good deal because the river cruise costs 18€, a visit to a Port wine lodge around 15 / 20€ and the Hop on Hop off Bus around 18€ / day.
Visit the Zoo
Zoo Santo Inácio is really nice – but it is A LOT more expensive than Parque Biológico de Gaia. There, you can not only see the wild animals but also indulge in activities with your kids such as feeding penguins and lemurs. At Zoo Santo Inácio there’s also a tropical greenhouse, a reptile house and an Asian lion tunnel.
It’s for sure one of the best activities in Porto for families with kids!
Prices of Zoo Santo Inácio (2023)
|Type of Ticket||Online||At the counter|
|Adults (13 – 64 yo)||17,90€||18,50€|
|Kids (3 – 12 yo)||11,90€||12,50€|
|Seniors (> 65 yo)||15,90€||16,50€|
|Babies (< 3 yo)||Free||Free|
|Family ticket (2 adults + 2 kids)||52€||55€|
As you can see there is a slight discount if you buy the tickets online at Zoo Santo Inácio, but I must say that I never tried to book it online so I have no idea if it is a smooth experience or not.
How to get there: check Zoo Santo Inácio’s website.
Take a private family tour in Porto
As you know we organise private tours in Porto and they are very popular among families with kids of all different ages.
Whether you are traveling with toddlers, five year olds or suspicious teenagers we know how to adapt the tour so that it is interesting for them as well (and relaxing for you!).
We have some tricks up the sleeve to keep them engaged and we make some surprise stops that will make your kids very happy. But don’t take my words for it: read the reviews of our clients to make up your mind!
You can read more about our private tours in Porto or you can simply send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It will truly be our pleasure to welcome your family in Porto! 🙂
Take the 6 bridges cruise on the Douro river
Taking the 6 bridges cruise in the Douro river is something that I do a lot during my family tours in Porto, precisely to give the kids a break from the historical walking parts or from the Port wine tastings.
After all, for them it is much more fun to be up on the river waving to the people on the other boats, watching the waves breaking the boat or simply learning about all the beautiful buildings on the river banks.
You can buy the online ticket to the 6 bridges cruise in Porto, and then you just need to print it and show it when you go on board. Please notice that this ticket is valid on any trip departing from Ribeira, on the side of Porto, and not in Gaia.
Tickets to the 6 Bridges cruise in Porto (2023)
- Adults: 18€
- Children (4 – 12 yo): 9€
- Babies: free
How to get there: If you are at Foz, simply take the tram 1. São Bento train station is also just 10 minutes walking distance, always going down 😉
Go for a walk at Foz
Going to Foz neighborhood is one of the best activities in Porto for families with kids, specially on Summer days.
Foz is the neighbourhood where the douro river joins the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s the ideal place to ride a baby stroller. If your kids are a bit older you can rent bikes and go for a ride in Foz, it’s perfectly safe.
To go for a walk or for a bike ride at Foz, the best area is between Jardim do Passeio Alegre and Castelo do Queijo.
How to get there: take the bus 500. If you are not carrying a baby stroller, my suggestion is to take the tram 1 all the way from Ribeira. It’ll leave you right at Passeio Alegre, and it’s one of the funniest activities in Porto for families with kids!
Practice your golf skills with your kids!
One of the cheapest activities in Porto for families with kids is to go to the mini golf. The ticket is fairly inexpensive, and the location is great – at Passeio Alegre, a beautiful garden in Foz. It’s definitely a must do with kids in Porto!
Schedule of the mini golf club at Foz
1st July – 14th September: everyday from 9h to 21h
1st January – 30th June and 15th September-31st December: 10h to 18h
Prices of the mini golf club at Foz
- Adults: 2,50€
- Children: 1,50€
How to get there: take the bus 500 or the tram line 1.
Go to a swimming pool
Tourists have this glossy idea that Porto is a great beach destination (I’ve heard it plenty of times!), but it isn’t.
The water on the beaches of Porto is extremely cold and fierce. Therefore, one of the best activities in Porto for families with kids is to go to the swimming pools in Matosinhos.
I already wrote extensively on the best beaches and swimmings pools in Porto, you might want to take a look there. In any case, I leave you here my favourite swimming pools:
My first recommendation is Piscina das Marés, designed by Siza Vieira. It is a beautiful swimming pool built on the top of the rocks, at the beach. The water comes straight from the ocean. It has a large swimming pool and a smaller one, designed for small kids.
Prices of Piscina das Marés (2023)
|Type of ticket||Monday to Friday||Saturday / Sunday / National Holidays|
|Adults and teenagers||7€||9€|
|Children (2 – 13 yo)||4,50€||5€|
Another great pool is at Quinta da Conceição, a beautiful park with free entrance. It was also designed by Siza Vieira and the pool area is superb, with plenty of space for families with kids. I highly recommend you to go there with your kids, and to bring a picnic basket with you!
Prices of Piscina da Quinta da Conceição (2023)
|Type of ticket||Monday to Friday||Saturday / Sunday / National Holidays|
|Adults and teenagers||6€||8€|
|Children (2 – 13 yo)||3,50€||4€|
How to get there: To both swimming pools you can get bus 507 (it has a stop close to Clérigos tower) and 601 (it has a stop close to Casa da Música).
Go for ice cream with your kids!
Seriously, I am yet to meet a kid (or an adult, as a matter of fact) that doesn’t get concentrated and fully satisfied when eating ice cream 😀
There are plenty of options for ice cream lovers in Porto but I have a love affair with Gelataria Portuense as its ice creams are phe-no-me-nal. Unfortunately the place is super tiny so you might want to consider other good options such as Gelataria Santini and Amorini.
If everything else fails… go to a playground!
I have a feeling that, when everything else fails, a playground is always a good idea 😀 There are several of them spread around the city, but I really like the one at Quinta do Covelo (the one on the picture) as well as a very large one that exists in Parque Oriental da Cidade (not to be mistaken with the main city park!). Both of them were built inside beautiful gardens and have cafés – and, more importantly, bathrooms – nearby.