Portugal – Porto and Coimbra – by Lorraine

Last March Lorraine visited Portugal with her partner and two-year old son, Thomas, for the fifth time.  The main reason for her regular visits is that they have family there.  This is her description of her brief stay.

Every time I go to this beautiful country I discover something new. The best way to travel in Portugal is to hire a car and when you travel with little children it’s not only financially the best but also logically the best as you have no timings to keep up to. Yes, it could be a bit more expensive than trains but in the long run the stress level is higher, always if you are ready to drive in a different country. The only timings to worry with a car hire is your own kids routine.

On this 5th visit we went to the City of Porto, Coimbra and the capital Lisbon. Lisbon is a trip on it’s own so I will dedicate a little bit more time to it. These are my recommended things to do while in the area of Porto and Coimbra with little kids:

Porto

This city enchanted me from the start with its winding roads and quaint colourful buildings built around the river Douro.  We stayed in a house called Oportobestview-Garden booked through Airbnb. The house overlooked the river and was very comfortable as it was fully equipped with all amenities including a cot for the little one.  Walking in the streets is fascinating and even with the pushchair it was not too difficult to do. There are a few hills to consider but while you are in the city take a walk to the Crystal Palace Gardens (Downtown Porto). The little ones can try and catch the peacocks and other type of free animals that roam the grounds here. 

The highlight of our stay was the boat ride along the Douro which gives you a tour of the city banks.  It was very peaceful and colourful and the Thomas just enjoyed being on a boat! Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to visit other places and one place that we would love to visit next time would be the Zoo Santo Inácio, but we only had 2 days in Porto.

Coimbra

Coimbra is between Porto and Lisbon and used to be the capital city before Lisbon. This medieval town is full of architectual jewels. We stayed in a B&B – Pensão Flôr de Coimbra, where we had a comfortable room with a big bed for us and a separate bed for Thomas.  There are a few steep steps at the entrance but all in all it suited us fine for just one night.

The highlight in Coimbra and the place you definitely have to visit, particularly if you have kids, is Portugal dos Pequenitos.

This is a park showing various houses and buildings belonging to the former Portuguese colonies but everything is in miniature version perfectly tailored for our little ones!  There is also a train touring the park as well as a big play-area at the back.  Our son had a blast and so did we! Happy kid – Happy parents!

 

After here we kept going to Lisbon and I will be writing a full blog on just Lisbon shotly, so keep in touch to find out what more can be done. I do have 5 visits to talk about!

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