In this post, we’ll write a bit about whether it’s worth going to Portugal when you’re pregnant or traveling with a young child? Is it a good choice?
When we were in Portugal, our Baby was still safely sitting in his tummy, but we were already extremely sensitive in terms of traveling with a toddler. We have watched a lot, peeped a lot, and now looking back, through the prism of our several months of experience, something about Portugal with a child we can also write. Of course, this will not be a typical entry with attractions for children, but more practical information about the availability of places and privileges.
Table of contents
Traveling while pregnant in Portugal
Portugal seems to be an interesting option if you want to go on a so-called“Babymoon” (we really liked this term :) ). The flight is not long, and there are quite a few direct flights from Poland, so you should easily find some convenient connection (including charters). It is important to take into account the right time to fly a plane for mom.
We traveled at the end of the 2nd trimester, so it was the last call to allow ourselves to fly while pregnant. As we mentioned in this post, it is the second trimester that is the most suitable, but even then you should not forget the basic rules for airplane flight (lots of water, move around, do not lift). Some doctors recommend taking something anticoagulant before the flight, but here we already refer you to the doctor’s office :)
As for the climate in Portugal, it’s very favorable in the off-season – remember that when you’re pregnant you should avoid exposure to the sun, and high temperatures don’t help when you have to function for two. For me, by the end of our trip it was already a little too warm (late April, early May), so August is completely out.
What else is worth paying special attention to? For food. Portugal is famous for its cuisine based on fresh fish and seafood, which not all moms-to-be will like. I recommend asking very carefully in restaurants what is under each item and how it is cooked to make sure it is right for us.
When it comes to privileges and getting around in Portugal, there is no expectation of special treatment or privileges in typical tourist areas. Everyone wants to get on the streetcar, everyone wants a seat, everyone wants to stand in line as short as possible. However, if you ask for a seat or a privileged checkout, I’m sure no one will object.
Fortunately, things are better elsewhere. While in the stores, we were often called to a separate checkout, we were always offered seats, and at the airport, we could also take advantage of the privileges of families with children.
Traveling with a baby in Portugal
Admittedly, our Baby was still quietly warming a place in his belly, but we were already very sensitive to the availability of seats for families traveling with a small child.
We asked ourselves, is Portugal a good choice for a first flight with a baby? The answer, however, is not so obvious to us. If we assume that we are ready to go on a trip with a child (and the child too :) ), then the next important question is how do we imagine such a trip and what do we want to do?
If you are interested in sightseeing, admiring castles, palaces and exploring Alfama in Lisbon, it can be difficult with a toddler. As is the case in older neighborhoods, there is no expectation that the streets will be adapted for stroller passage. In Lisbon, in Alfama, this is especially evident – the streets are cramped, the sidewalks are symbolic, and on top of that, there are big differences in height here, so you’re in for a lot of pushing your stroller uphill. You can’t even count on the famous elevators (as far as the wheelchair is concerned). Of course, the matter is made easier by a sling, but in our opinion, a sling is a good temporary solution, not for a full day of walking. All the more so if you have a non-sitting child, then in the stroller you can at least put him in a reclining position for a while.
Traveling by public transportation will also not be easy due to the fact that buses and streetcars are overcrowded. It’s hard to fit in, let alone with a stroller – we’re writing about typical tourist routes, of course. We would have packed into commuter trains and buses without a problem, although you can sometimes find older buses to which you have to climb steps.
On the other hand, when it comes to visiting individual places, it varies, but if we returned to Lisbon and its surroundings with a baby, we would manage to go everywhere with a sling in reserve :)
Of course, there is nothing difficult for a wannabe, and we do not discourage you from going to this region, but only highlight what to pay special attention to. As a consolation and encouragement, we can safely recommend the Algarve region :) Typically touristic cities, hotels, accessible beaches – “rest with a child” guaranteed.
So, if, you don’t care about sightseeing, preferring to build sand castles, the Algarve! The beaches are otherworldly and certainly children have fun here, but keep in mind that not all of them are easy to get to. Some can almost be approached by car right up to the sand, and some must be walked down sharp stairs or squeezed between rock formations. If you are going here with a travel agent, it is worth asking if the nearest beaches are easily accessible.
The Algarve region also abounds with many attractions for children, such as water parks, but these are already attractions for older children, and we are not sitting on this topic yet :)
We didn’t pay much attention to the availability of changing tables, because we didn’t specifically look for them, but there were none in the places where we ate. Restaurants and cafes were generally cramped, it’s hard to even get in with a stroller, and you can forget about changing in the restroom. But as I mentioned, we didn’t look for them somehow very much, although toilets during pregnancy are visited exceptionally a lot ;-)
When it comes to pregnancy, Portugal is an attractive choice, but necessarily in the off-season. If, on the other hand, we are thinking of taking our kids and we care more about relaxation then the Algarve is a must. If you want to see more, there is also Lisbon, but you need to get a sling, a carrier and spend a little more days exploring.
If you have any other insights on traveling while pregnant and with a baby to Portugal then feel free to comment :)