Traveling in Portugal with a Baby – Everything to Know

With its stunning coastline, historic cities, and welcoming atmosphere, Portugal is a fantastic destination for families with young children. It just might be the best place in the world to travel with kids under two thanks to its family-forward policies.

Having traveled through this beautiful country with my own little one, who was 9 months old at the time, I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you navigate Portugal with ease and make the most of your family vacation.

Portugal’s Family-Friendly Vibe

Portugal is renowned for its warm hospitality and family-oriented culture. It’s the only country I’m aware of that has an actual law in place requiring that those with children under two (as well as pregnant people, elderly, and those with mobility considerations) cut every queue. You’ll notice specific family lines not just at airports, but at car rental agencies and even restaurants.

Locals are friendly and accommodating and appear to just adore babies. Ours was cooed over constantly, and one lady even kissed his head. It was a little strange and endearing at the same time.

From bustling cities like Lisbon to quaint coastal villages and the incredible Azores, Portugal offers a diverse range of experiences for families to enjoy together.

Safety Tips for Traveling with a Baby or Toddler

travel with a baby in portugal

While Portugal is generally a safe destination with a low crime rate, it’s essential to take precautions when traveling with young children. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always supervise your child, especially near water bodies and busy streets.
  • Use sunscreen and protective clothing to shield your baby from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Keep hydrated and keep in mind Portugal can get HOT in the summer.
  • Consider bringing along a car seat if you’ll be making use of taxis.

Finding Baby Essentials in Portugal

We had no problem finding supermarkets (like Continente, which has groceries and even strollers) and pharmacies in Portugal, which stock a wide range of baby products including diapers, baby food, and formula, making it easy to restock your supplies as needed.

For added convenience, consider bringing along your baby’s favorite snacks and comfort items from home. This ensures you have familiar items on hand to keep your little one happy and comfortable throughout your trip.

We also found that every hotel we came across had the option to add a free crib during our trip to the Azores. Not only did they have cribs, but they almost always had high chairs, and sometimes even toys and baby toiletries. One spa hotel we stayed at even had a baby bathrobe!

Challenges of Traveling in Portugal with a Baby or Toddler (Strollers, Changing Tables, and More)

gb pockit stroller review

Although I loved Portugal with our baby, there were some challenges that you absolutely must have in mind so that you’re prepared:

  • Cobblestone is rough on strollers: Almost no travel stroller can really handle cobblestone, yet larger all terrain strollers would be hard to travel with both on public transport and especially in the tiny rental cars. It’s a catch 22 with no great solution, I’m afraid.
  • Trains: If you’re getting around by public transport, keep in mind you’ll have to pack light, and you’ll most certainly encounter stairs. Keep packing to only what you can carry (which is thankfully made easier by most accommodation having cribs and high chairs) and bring a stroller that’s easy to carry. We used the GB Qbit in Portugal.
  • Rental Cars: We got around the Azores by car, which is great for convenience, but don’t plan on finding large car rentals in Portugal. We had a tough time fitting everything and had to use the front seat for stroller storage.

These challenges are present all over Western Europe, where much of the infrastructure was built before accessibility was prioritized. If your child is small enough, consider ditching the stroller and opting for a soft baby carrier, or if you have a larger child, a hiking backpack carrier instead. We did this in Japan with my six month old for ease.

Top Family-Friendly Destinations

portugal with a baby

Portugal boasts numerous family-friendly destinations that are perfect for exploring with a baby or toddler. Some must-visit spots include:

  • Lisbon: Discover the vibrant neighborhoods, historic landmarks, and family-friendly attractions like the Lisbon Zoo and Oceanário de Lisboa.
  • Algarve: Relax on pristine beaches, explore charming coastal towns, and enjoy outdoor activities like boat tours and dolphin watching.
  • Sintra: Marvel at fairytale castles, lush gardens, and picturesque landscapes in this UNESCO World Heritage-listed town.
  • Porto: Wander through narrow alleys, stroll along the riverfront, and visit attractions like the Livraria Lello bookstore and the Porto Cathedral.
  • Azores: Any island in the Azores is a great option, with green rolling landscapes, waterfalls, and hot springs. It’s hard to think of a place more perfect in this world. Read our Azores itinerary (including where we stayed).

Getting Around with a Baby or Toddler

gb pockit stroller review
Pushing it on cobblestones in Portugal

Navigating Portugal with a baby or toddler is relatively easy, thanks to its efficient transportation network. Options include:

  • Public Transport: Utilize buses, trams, and trains to explore cities and travel between destinations. These are plentiful and you may never need to use anything else while traveling in Portugal.
  • Rental Car: Consider renting a car for added flexibility, especially if you plan to explore rural areas or coastal regions. You’ll likely need to bring your own car seat (this is the one we use).
  • Baby-Friendly Taxis: Use ride-hailing apps or traditional taxis. Keep in mind you’ll probably need a car seat.
  • Baby Carrier: Bring along a baby carrier (the Artipoppe is my favorite) for exploring crowded areas or navigating uneven terrain.

Food Safety and Dining with Kids in Portugal

Portugal is renowned for its delicious cuisine, but it’s essential to prioritize food safety when dining out with a baby or toddler. Stick to reputable restaurants and opt for freshly prepared dishes to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Many eateries in Portugal offer child-friendly menus and amenities like high chairs. We were doing babyled weaning at the time and found plenty of meats, veggies, pastas, and other delicious foods for my son. Additionally, consider packing snacks and portable meals for on-the-go dining during your adventures.

Accommodation Considerations

artipoppe zeitgeist travel

When choosing accommodation in Portugal, prioritize family-friendly options that cater to the needs of young children. Look for hotels or rental properties that offer amenities like cribs, high chairs, and play areas to ensure a comfortable stay for your family. Thankfully, we found these were easy to find.

Many accommodations also provide babysitting services or kid-friendly activities, allowing parents to relax and unwind while their little ones are entertained.

Final Thoughts on Portugal with a Baby

where to travel with a baby

Exploring Portugal with a baby or toddler offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences for the whole family. From its welcoming atmosphere to its diverse landscapes and cultural treasures, Portugal is a charming country that every visitor seems to love.

By packing light, planning ahead, and embracing the family-friendly vibe of this charming country, you can create cherished memories that will last a lifetime – I know we did, and we can’t wait to go back!

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