Porto and the north of Portugal are perfect destinations for a family getaway. The kids will love the beaches, the mountains, places such as Sea Life or Santo Inácio Zoo, and they won’t even feel tired or complain about the program you choose to do as a family.
City Park and Edifício Transparente
In Porto, take them by tram or bicycle – downtown and in the historical center there are several places where you can rent bicycles – to the beaches and to the City Park. Next to the Edifício Transparente there are surf schools, sign up your kids in a class. They will certainly spend a special morning or afternoon surfing the Atlantic waves. If you want, you can also join!
As an alternative, let them chase some animals and run in the fields in the City Park, the largest urban park in the country. Or take a look at Sea Life, the aquarium of the north.
At the Sea Life, they will love the first underwater tunnel in the country, where visitors go across 500 thousand liters of water and see sharks swimming over their heads. In the rocky pools, let them pick up an urchin and touch a starfish.
Casa da Música
If they like music, take them to visit Casa da Música, which has guided visits for tourists, seeking to promote and value the heritage of its reference cultural facilities.
Serralves Park and Museum
Serralves offers a family program – free on Sundays – which puts children, parents and grandparents playing scientists, discovering the secrets of plants and doing handicrafts in the different spaces of the foundation. Some of these activities take place in the flourishing Park of Serralves. Take some time to visit the Contemporary Art Museum, designed by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, and the house itself, an extraordinary building in Art Deco style.
In other north cities, there are other attractions that may satisfy the young ones and worth visiting if you have the time.
Gondomar – Lipor Adventure Park
In Gondomar, the Lipor Adventure Park has a children’s playground, a radical park, a jogging and P.T. circuit, bicycles, football and also a space dedicated to reading…
Matosinhos – Quinta da Conceição and Zoo Santo Inácio
In Matosinhos, you can have a mini picnic and spend the afternoon with the family by the swimming pool of Quinta da Conceição and in Vila Nova de Gaia, feed the penguins at the Santo Inácio Zoo. You can also see the daily demonstrations of birds, reptiles and wild life.
Santa Maria da Feira – Visionarium, Science Centre of the Europarque and Lourosa Zoo
Go to the Visionarium, in Santa Maria da Feira, or to the Science Centre of the Europarque and solve a crime. There is a crime and a crime scene and the teams must gather all evidence and clues to be later analyzed in the Laboratorium. Here you also have the Lourosa Zoo, the only ornithological park in the country. It is a perfect setting for a different and special day.
Ponte de Lima – Quinta de Pentieiros
Save one day of your stay to camp at Quinta de Pentieiros, in Arcos – Ponte de Lima. Children will love sleeping in a tent outdoors and a place where there are bugs of all shapes and sizes, and dive in the swimming pool of this peaceful location, in the middle of the Protected Landscape of the Lagoons of Bertiandos and S. Pedro d’Arcos.
Vila Real – Natur Waterpark
Leave some time to visit the Natur Waterpark, the Fun Park of Douro. It is the first national ecological park offering, in the same space, a camping area, a water park, and adventure park, miniature golf, driving range, paintball and a pedagogical farm. It is located in Quinta do Barroco, Póvoa, Andrães – Vila Real.
Romanesque Route and Penafiel
Know that the Romanesque Route has a special 3-day tourist programme for families, inviting children and adults to visit, on the first day, in Felgueiras, the Monastery of Santa Maria de Pombeiro and the Villa Romana de Sendim, and to fresh paint a mural. On the second day, the families visit the water park of Amarante and the historical centre of the city. On the third and last day, the programme includes a visit to the Torre de Vilar, in Lousada, and an entertaining and educational activity for the young ones. And since you are already in this area, take your kids to the Magikland, Penafiel, an amusement park with seven acres and six areas with different themes: Medieval Village, Far West, Pirates’ Cove, Africa, World of Confusion and The Souk. This park is located very close to the Solar Egas Moniz, a charming house from the century XIX where you can relax and take a swim at the fabulous pool.
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