Day trip to cascais from Lisbon
Cascais is a delightful Portuguese seaside town that’s just an easy day trip from Lisbon. Known for its sandy beaches, charming old town, and vibrant dining scene, Cascais offers an exciting escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital city.
🌐 This post forms a part of my Lisbon Travel Guide: 🌐Lisbon Travel Guide – The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Portugal’s Enchanting Capital and 👜Packing list for a Day trip
This comprehensive guide is designed to assist you in planning the perfect day trip to Cascais from Lisbon, offering insider tips on what to do, where to eat, and how to get there.
This former fishing village has transformed into a favored retreat for the international crowd, yet it maintains an understated charm that’s impossible to resist.
You can wander around the old town, marvel at the vibrant street art, visit a historic fort, or simply laze on the beach. Cascais has something for everyone.
Getting to Cascais from Lisbon
Travelling from Lisbon to Cascais is easy and straightforward, with regular train services linking the two destinations.
The journey takes about 40 minutes, and trains depart from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station.
It’s a scenic route that follows the coastline, offering stunning views of the ocean and the Portuguese landscape.
Things to Do in Cascais
Explore the Old Town
Begin your day trip with a stroll through Cascais’s Old Town.
Its narrow cobbled streets are lined with traditional Portuguese houses, boutiques, and an array of cafes and restaurants.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to the town’s vibrant municipal market – the Mercado da Vila.
Visit the Beaches
Cascais boasts some of the best beaches in the Lisbon area. Praia da Ribeira, a sandy beach located right next to the old town, is a popular spot.
If you’re a surf enthusiast, head to Guincho Beach, renowned for its strong winds and challenging waves.
Cascais, located on the stunning Portuguese Riviera, is known for its beautiful beaches. Here are some of the best beaches in Cascais:
- Guincho Beach: Located about 10 kilometers west of Cascais, Guincho Beach is a popular spot for surfing and windsurfing due to its strong winds and powerful waves. It boasts a wild and natural beauty, surrounded by sand dunes and cliffs.
- Praia do Tamariz: Situated in the heart of Cascais, Praia do Tamariz is a family-friendly beach with calm waters and a wide stretch of golden sand. It offers various amenities, including beachside bars, restaurants, and water sports facilities.
- Praia da Rainha: Known as the “Queen’s Beach,” Praia da Rainha is a small and charming beach tucked away in a sheltered cove. It is named after Queen D. Amélia, who used to visit this beach in the past. With its picturesque setting and clear waters, it’s a great place to relax and soak up the sun.
- Praia da Conceição: Located next to the Cascais Marina, Praia da Conceição is a popular beach that offers a vibrant atmosphere and stunning views of the coastline. It has a range of facilities, including beach bars, restaurants, and water sports equipment rentals.
- Praia do Guincho do Abano: This hidden gem is located west of Guincho Beach and is accessible by foot from there. Praia do Guincho do Abano is a secluded and peaceful beach surrounded by cliffs and rocks. It’s an ideal spot for those seeking a more secluded beach experience.
- Praia da Cresmina: Situated between Guincho Beach and Cabo da Roca (the westernmost point of mainland Europe), Praia da Cresmina is a beautiful beach backed by sand dunes and pine trees. It offers a peaceful setting and is known for its natural beauty.
These are just a few of the best beaches in Cascais. Each beach has its own unique charm and features, so you can explore and find the one that suits your preferences best.
Discover the Cultural Heritage
Make sure to visit the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, a castle-like museum displaying a vast collection of art and artifacts.
Another must-see is the Casa de Santa Maria, a beautiful villa showcasing a mix of architectural styles.
Enjoy the Nature
Consider a visit to the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, a natural park with diverse flora and fauna, scenic walking trails, and breathtaking views.
Dining in Cascais
Cascais is a culinary paradise, with its fresh seafood, delightful pastries, and an abundance of local wines.
Restaurant Hemingway is a favorite for its fusion cuisine, while Mar do Inferno serves arguably the best seafood in town. For sweet treats, the famous Santini ice cream shop is a must-visit.
5 best restaurants for dinner in Cascais.
Here are five of the best restaurants for dinner in Cascais:
- Mar do Inferno: Located near the iconic Boca do Inferno cliff, Mar do Inferno offers a fantastic seafood dining experience. The restaurant has a beautiful terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and serves delicious dishes featuring fresh fish and seafood.
- Furnas do Guincho: Situated in a charming 17th-century building near Guincho Beach, Furnas do Guincho is renowned for its elegant atmosphere and gourmet cuisine. It specializes in Portuguese and Mediterranean dishes, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and regional flavors.
- Arola: Found within the five-star Penha Longa Resort, Arola is a contemporary restaurant helmed by renowned chef Sergi Arola. It offers a fusion of Mediterranean and Portuguese cuisines with a creative twist. The stylish ambiance, attentive service, and exquisite dishes make it a top choice for a memorable dinner.
- Fortaleza do Guincho: Housed within a 17th-century fortress overlooking Guincho Beach, Fortaleza do Guincho is a Michelin-starred restaurant known for its refined Portuguese cuisine. The menu features a delightful selection of seafood and traditional Portuguese dishes, all prepared with exceptional attention to detail.
- O Pescador: Situated in the charming Cascais Marina, O Pescador is a beloved local restaurant serving authentic Portuguese cuisine. The menu includes a variety of fresh fish and seafood dishes, as well as traditional Portuguese meat and vegetarian options. The relaxed atmosphere and waterfront views add to its appeal.
These restaurants offer diverse culinary experiences, ranging from traditional Portuguese cuisine to innovative gourmet dishes.
Whether you’re seeking seafood delights or refined dining experiences, these establishments are sure to impress with their quality food, ambiance, and service.
Shopping in Cascais
The town offers a vibrant shopping scene.
The local boutiques are great for unique souvenirs and high-quality Portuguese goods. Casa das Histórias Paula Rego is a museum that features a fantastic gift shop with unique, art-inspired items.
Cascais offers a wonderful shopping experience, with a variety of stores, boutiques, and markets. Here are some popular places for shopping in Cascais:
- Cascais Villa Shopping Center: Located in the heart of Cascais, Cascais Villa is a modern shopping center that houses a wide range of national and international brands. It features numerous fashion stores, electronics shops, a supermarket, and a food court, making it a convenient one-stop destination for shopping.
- Mercado da Vila: This vibrant market is situated in the historic center of Cascais and is a great place to experience the local culture while shopping. Mercado da Vila offers a delightful array of fresh produce, local delicacies, artisanal products, crafts, and souvenirs. It’s a perfect spot to find unique items and soak up the lively atmosphere.
- Rua Frederico Arouca: Known as Cascais’ main shopping street, Rua Frederico Arouca is lined with a mix of well-known international brands, local boutiques, and charming shops. Strolling along this street, you’ll find clothing stores, shoe shops, jewelry boutiques, and much more.
- Cascais Market: Open every Wednesday and Saturday, the Cascais Market is a bustling open-air market where you can find a diverse range of goods. From fresh produce and seafood to clothing, accessories, and antiques, this market offers a unique shopping experience and a chance to interact with local vendors.
- Cascais Marina: Located near the waterfront, the Cascais Marina area is home to several shops and boutiques offering a mix of fashion, accessories, and nautical-related items. You can find stylish clothing, beachwear, souvenirs, and even boat equipment in this picturesque setting.
In addition to these options, Cascais has several charming streets and squares where you can find boutique stores, art galleries, and specialty shops.
Exploring the town’s winding streets and hidden corners often leads to delightful shopping discoveries.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Cascais enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, making it an excellent year-round destination.
However, for beach-goers, the summer months from June to August are the best time to visit, with temperatures averaging around 26-29°C.
|Month||Average Temperature (°C)||Average Precipitation (mm)||Best Time to Visit|
|January||11 – 15||102||Spring, Fall, Winter|
|February||11 – 16||91||Spring, Fall, Winter|
|March||12 – 17||74||Spring, Fall, Winter|
|April||13 – 18||63||Spring, Fall, Winter|
|May||15 – 20||43||Spring, Fall, Winter|
|June||17 – 23||20||Spring, Fall, Winter|
|July||19 – 26||8||Summer|
|August||19 – 26||8||Summer|
|September||18 – 24||22||Spring, Fall, Winter|
|October||16 – 21||81||Spring, Fall, Winter|
|November||14 – 17||96||Spring, Fall, Winter|
|December||12 – 15||116||Spring, Fall, Winter|
Cascais enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers.
The best time to visit Cascais is generally during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) seasons when the weather is pleasant, with comfortable temperatures and lower precipitation.
These seasons offer a great balance between enjoyable outdoor activities and fewer crowds.
During the summer months (July and August), Cascais experiences peak tourist season, with high temperatures and increased tourism. While the beaches and outdoor activities are popular during this time, it can be crowded.
If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons.
Winter (December to February) can be mild in Cascais, but with higher chances of rainfall. However, if you don’t mind cooler temperatures and occasional rain, winter can be a good time to explore the town with fewer tourists and enjoy indoor attractions and cultural events.
Overall, the best time to visit Cascais depends on personal preferences, but spring and fall are generally considered optimal for pleasant weather and a more relaxed atmosphere.
Practical Tips for Your Day Trip
Ensure to check the train schedule ahead of time and arrive early to secure a good spot. Don’t forget your sunblock and hat for the beaches. Lastly, although English is commonly spoken, learning a few basic Portuguese phrases can make your trip more enjoyable.
If you’re planning a day trip to Cascais, here are some practical tips to enhance your experience:
- Transportation: Cascais is easily accessible from Lisbon by train, with a journey that takes approximately 30 minutes. Trains depart regularly from Cais do Sodré station. Consider checking the train schedule in advance to plan your day accordingly.
- Comfortable footwear: Cascais is a charming town with beautiful streets to explore. Wear comfortable shoes as you may want to wander around and explore the town’s shops, markets, and attractions on foot.
- Sun protection: As Cascais enjoys a sunny climate, it’s essential to protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the UV rays, especially during the peak daytime hours.
- Beach essentials: If you plan to visit one of Cascais’ stunning beaches, pack your swimsuit, towel, and any other beach essentials you might need. Some beaches offer equipment rentals for water sports if you’re interested.
- Local cuisine: Take the opportunity to savor the local cuisine in Cascais. Try some delicious fresh seafood, traditional Portuguese dishes, and regional specialties. There are many restaurants and cafes to choose from, offering a range of options to suit different tastes.
- Cultural attractions: Cascais boasts several cultural attractions, such as museums, historic sites, and art galleries. Research and decide which ones you’d like to visit in advance to make the most of your time. Some popular options include the Cascais Citadel, Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, and the Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum.
- Cash and cards: Ensure you have some cash on hand for small purchases or places that may not accept cards. Most establishments in Cascais accept major credit cards, but it’s always good to have some local currency for convenience.
- Local customs: Familiarize yourself with basic Portuguese greetings and customs. The locals appreciate a polite “hello” (olá) and “thank you” (obrigado/obrigada). Embrace the relaxed pace of life in Cascais and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.
- Recycling and waste disposal: Cascais has a strong commitment to sustainability. Look out for recycling bins and follow proper waste disposal practices to contribute to the town’s eco-friendly efforts.
- Enjoy the outdoors: Cascais offers beautiful natural surroundings, so take advantage of the scenic coastal walks and bike paths. Enjoy the fresh sea breeze and the stunning views along the coastline.
Remember to check local guidelines and restrictions, especially in light of the current global situation, to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Cascais.
A day trip to Cascais from Lisbon is a delightful excursion that offers a blend of rich cultural experiences, beautiful beaches, and delicious food.
It’s the perfect way to experience a different side of Portugal while staying within easy reach of the capital.
Whether you’re a history buff, food lover, beach enthusiast, or shopping addict, Cascais is a destination that promises to captivate and leave you with unforgettable memories.
About the Author: Manny Acharya
Manny Acharya is a blogger, influencer, and co-founder of PepLifestyle and Artmellows. Manny loves being a lifestyle & Digital Art blogger.