I’ve started this year off in Lisbon, Portugal!
It’s becoming an annual traditional of ours to slope off for a winter city break and this year with the way the holidays fell, it gave us the perfect opportunity to take the children with us too.
We quickly found that a city break with children is a big ask though. With all the walking, late nights and unfamiliar food this could have been a recipe for disaster.
On our first day I think we pushed my six year old a little too far and after a jam packed day in the city we did have to ride out a roller coaster of melt downs on our way back to the apartment that evening.
Determined not to be beaten though, we tucked her up in bed and had a rethink.
The following day we eased up on the pace and found a happy balance for everyone. Lots more cafe stops, and mixing more familiar food with the new and strange delicacies.
We squeezed some ice skating and play parks between the sightseeing and by day three my adventurous pair were taking it all in their stride and placing bets on how many strides that would be by the end of the day.
Lisbon is a beautiful city and full of breath taking surprises, and I’d highly recommend you go and see for yourself.
Our visit has been quite a challenge at times, but a superb way to start the year. I’ve had inspiring, quality time together with my family, my first photographs of the year have been for me, and my children have learnt some awesome new skills like how to read a tube map and negotiate the underground. We’ve all been attempting the language and laughing a lot in the process. Amongst the highlights are our castle visits and the one we built from sand, I was very excited to have my portrait taken with a 103 year old camera and we’ve eaten more of Lisbon’s specialty egg custard tarts than I’d care to count.
And after all the doom and gloom of last year it’s important to remind ourselves that we are in charge of our own destinies. We write our own path and we say what matters.
Top Tips for a Family Friendly City Break
- Check out AirBNB – we found a beautiful apartment at a very reasonable price.
- Buy a phrase book and don’t be afraid to use it – the kids will find it fun and the locals appreciate the effort!
- Ask a local what they recommend you visit – our AirBNB host recommended the winter festival and I don’t think we’d have found out about it otherwise.
- Don’t try to do too much – everyone needs to be happy if you are going to enjoy your visit!
- Make it fun – our kids loved checking the ap. to see how many steps we’d taken and loved working out which way to go on the underground.
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