Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lisbon with Kids- A Day in Belem

On our third day in Lisbon (yesterday we explored the city on a tuk tuk tour!) we had coffee and breakfast at Fabrica Coffee Roasters near our apartment, then walked to a bus stop at Praco do Comercio, where we boarded and headed to Belem. I had been really excited about visiting the Jerónimos Monastery but was worried the kids would be bored with it. Luckily they were amazing, happy to run on a spot of grass or find a bench to chill with activity books for a bit.

This is a super useful tip for visiting the Monastery with kids: there was a huge long line 100+ people deep to get in.  We walked past the line, toward the next door to the left, which is for the archaeology museum, where the line for tickets was about 5 people deep, and where you tickets for the Monastery!  Three minutes later we waltzed past the huge long line and right into the Monastery.  Boom!

Looking for a lunch spot, we walked over to Rua de Belem, where the Casa Pasteis de Belem makes the famous custard tarts a.k.a. pastel de nata (we tried them, and were underwhelmed). We found the perfect nearby lunch spot with kids: there are a bunch of restaurants with outdoor dining along Rua Viera Portuense, which is parallel to Rua de Belem to the south, and which abuts the park called Jardim Vasco da Gama.  It's a pedestrian only street, so a great place for the kids to chase pigeons while we sipped wine and waited for our food.

After lunch, we let the kids run around in the park, where they enjoyed trying the outdoor exercise equipment, playing on the playground, and exploring the unexpected Thai Pavillion.

After lunch, our three-year-old dozed in the toddler carrier while we explored the Maritime Museum. Our six-year-old tour guide had us running through the museum in record time while he paused only long enough at each big model ship to peek in and exclaim "Wow. WOW!" before dashing on to the next one.  

It was late afternoon when we finished.  We called an Uber for a ride back to our apartment, where both kids laid down to nap a bit.  Everyone was tired from a long sunny day, so we stayed local for dinner and chose an outdoor table along the pedestrian way Rua Portas San Antao.  We treated the kids after dinner to a light-up helicopter toy sold by a convincing street vendor.  It was a great last day in a beautiful city!  Tomorrow, onward to Sintra (post here!)

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