Traveling to Portugal with a Baby
Last month, we took Milo on his first transatlantic flight! It was quite the adventure, and I’d highly recommend traveling to Portugal with a baby. I’d love to share some details from our trip…
The impetus for the trip was to visit my grandfather who lives just north of Bordeaux. It had been over a year (!) since I had seen him, and I was so anxious for him to meet Milo. In addition to visiting him in the countryside and spending a few days in Paris, we decided to tack on six days in Portugal. I had always wanted to visit Portugal, from Lisbon’s colorful tiles and street trolleys to the incredible beaches, it had long been on my list of places to visit. I was so excited to finally get there.
I had heard from many people that Portuguese people are so friendly, and that they especially love babies. How true! Old ladies would come up and grab Milo’s face or kiss his cheek. People were so easygoing and never seemed annoyed if he was fussy. The daily pace felt so easy, even with a baby in tow.
We flew from Boston to Lisbon on TAP Portugal, an airline that I had never flown on before, and I’d highly recommend. The crew was so accommodating and the flight was comfortable (we were able to get one of those little bassinets for Milo to sleep in). As someone who travels often, and prefers to travel lightly, it was quite an adjustment to pack so much stuff for the baby. In the end, we decided to bring just a few outfits and do laundry while we were away. It was all the other stuff – his travel crib, car seat, stroller, baby carrier, etc. We also brought diapers with us since we figured it would just be easier while traveling internationally. In the end, I’m so glad we brought what we did, especially the car seat and travel stroller. We used both almost every day and they were worth lugging around. Side note: most seat belts in Europe don’t automatically lock so we brought this gadget to make our carseat safe.
The cab ride from the Lisbon airport to downtown was easy, quick, and inexpensive. We stayed in the Baixa district at this Airbnb. We knew that with a baby, we’d be hanging out more and wanted the space to enjoy. The apartment was beautiful and in the best location. We stepped out the front door and had dozens of delicious spots to eat. I’d stay here again in a heartbeat!
We took a day trip to Sintra and my only wish is that we had more time to explore. It is such a beautiful place. We visited the grounds of the Moorish Castle and explored Pena Palace, but didn’t have time for much more. We walked so much and with the baby it was challenging to climb all the stairs.
After a few days in Lisbon, we hopped on the train and headed to Porto. I hadn’t researched Porto much before we planned this trip, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I was totally blown away. Porto is so romantic and charming. The city was foggy most of the time we were there and that just enhanced the ambiance. We stayed at The Yeatman Hotel, which was a total dream. The view from our room was unreal. Matt and I took turns visiting the spa, and it felt so luxurious to have a little time to myself. The Yeatman is actually across the river from Porto in Vila Nova de Gaia, which is why the view is so stunning. There are several ways to hop over to the old city: you can take a funicular up to the bridge and walk over, you can take a cab over the bridge, or you can take a boat. We did all three! It was so nice to return home to the hotel in the evening and sip on a glass of port at Dick’s Bar overlooking the twinkling city. The hotel reminded me of one of my favorite hotels, Round Hill in Jamaica.
One day, we rented a car and drove an hour north towards Spain. Matt had been talking with the company that makes the stills for Short Path and we went to meet them and check out their showroom. We planned on staying for just an hour or so but they ended up inviting us to lunch. We went to a local restaurant and had the most wonderful meal – salted codfish with crispy potatoes served with a bottle of Vinho Verde (naturally).
Portugal was amazing. We loved it so much that we’re actually planning to go back in March to explore the Douro Valley. I would definitely recommend traveling to Portugal, with or without kids. It’s such a beautiful country.