Europe

Cascais, Portugal: 6 Things to Do on a Day Trip From Lisbon

For those based in Lisbon, Cascais is an easy and popular day trip. Here are six ideas for things to do while you’re there.

With plenty to see and do and a fun, laid-back vibe, Cascais is a popular place to head to from Lisbon for those looking for sunshine, sand and sea.

While Cascais offers everything you’d expect from a seaside town, it also offers more in the way of cultural and outdoor pursuits. Combined, this coastal city has plenty to offer for all.

For those based in Lisbon, Cascais is easy and cheap to get to by train and onward travel is possible to beautiful Sintra.

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6 Things to See & Do in Cascais, Portugal

There’s pleasure to be found by simply wandering around the centre of Cascais. In particular, there are a number of small squares, each decked out in traditional Portuguese black and white tiles arranged in wavy patterns. There are also plenty of ageing buildings fitted out with decorative tiles to seek out.

As you explore, you might like to pop by some of city’s attractions and establishements. The following is a list of things of things that we did on our day trip to Cascais that we recommend.

Baía de Cascais is probably the first beach you'll see in CascaisPin
Baía de Cascais is probably the first beach you’ll see in Cascais
There are plenty of beaches to choose from, including some set into rocksPin
There are plenty of beaches to choose from, including some set into rocks
The waters around Cascais are blue and sparkling, perfect for swimmingPin
The waters around Cascais are blue and sparkling, perfect for swimming

Find a spot on the beach and relax

Address: Passeio de Dom Luís I, 2750-642 Cascais, Portugal
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Cascais is ultimately a seaside town, so spending some time on the beach, even if it’s to enjoy an ice cream or a quick paddle in the warm waters, seems appropriate. While Cascais doesn’t have mile upon mile of sandy beaches, what it does offer is a number of small beaches hidden amidst rocks crags.

The first beach you’ll probably see upon arrival in Cascais is tiny Baía de Cascais (address above) which, depending on when you visit, might seem a little bit busy. If you’re want your time on the beach to be a little more peaceful, know that you can walk along the coastline in either direction and you’ll find many more beaches to choose from. The sandy beaches to the south west, set into the rocks near to the Lighthouse Museum of Santa Marta are particularly nice as the waters are very calm. If though you’re wanting a more traditional promenade beach, walk eastwards beyond Palácio Seixas.

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego is housed inside a distinctive buildingPin
Casa das Histórias Paula Rego is housed inside a distinctive building
Paula Rego's work is very accessible for those who aren't usually into galleriesPin
Paula Rego’s work is very accessible for those who aren’t usually into galleries

Indulge in the artwork of Portuguese-born artist Paula Rego

Address: Av. da República 300, 2750-475 Cascais, Portugal
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Housed inside a looming red pyramid-shaped building, Casa das Histórias Paula Rego is home exclusively to the works of Lisbon-born artist Paula Rego. Particularly known for her paintings and prints based on children’s storybooks, the gallery is a treat for those who favour mostly representational art with a touch of abstract.

Adjacent to the gallery is a small green space called Jardim da Rua Júlio Pereira de Mello which is occasionally home to community-run events. On the same site as the gallery is a small marine life and archaeological museum called Museu do Mar Rei Dom Carlos.

Plan & Book Your Visit to Cascais

Ready to start planning your visit to Cascais? You can find a comprehensive planning guide at the bottom of this post.

Start Planning Your Visit to Cascais

The rooftop terrace is the best spot to eat at Cafe GaleriaPin
The rooftop terrace is the best spot to eat at Cafe Galeria
Just a sample of the wonderful vegetarian food on offer at Cafe Galeria House of WondersPin
Just a sample of the wonderful vegetarian food on offer at Cafe Galeria House of Wonders

Gorge on a fresh & healthy vegetarian/vegan meal at Cafe Galeria House of Wonders

Address: 436, R. da Misericórdia 53, Cascais, Portugal
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Fair warning – your meal at Cafe Galeria House of Wonders might be the best culinary experience you’ll have, not just in Cascais but in the whole of Portugal. Inside this striking building, decorated beautifully throughout, you can choose from an ever changing menu of freshly prepared, locally-grown produce. Once you head upstairs, a member of the team will be happy to guide you through what’s on offer that day.

We chose a hot dish of Shakshouka and a cold plate of dressed veggies, pickles, flatbread and salad, washed down with freshly squeezed juices. The portions were enormous but everything was so good, we ate just about all of it.

The cafe is much larger than it appears, with seating inside, on the rooftop terrace (which is where we chose to eat) and outside on the square.

Look out for peacocks as you wander around Parque Marechal CarmonaPin
Look out for peacocks as you wander around Parque Marechal Carmona
As well as lots of greens and ponds, there are some pretty shady spots to discoverPin
As well as lots of greens and ponds, there are some pretty shady spots to discover
Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães is set amidst the shady woodlandPin
Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães is set amidst the shady woodland

Enjoy the gardens, peacocks & atmosphere at Parque Marechal Carmona

Address: Praceta Domingos D’Avilez Av. da República, Portugal
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We loved wandering around this municipal park. It’s not a large park, yet it’s packed full of lovely things that’ll appeal to everyone. There’s a pond, a playground, shady woodland, landscaped gardens, a rose garden, rockeries, lush greens, ornate tiled fountains, a chapel and the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, a Revivalist-style palace built in 1900, now home to a small museum. Look out for the resident bird population. There’s chickens, ducks, quail and even peacocks to spot.

Local families appear to love this park, making it the home for their family celebrations. We saw multiple birthday parties being celebrated with much merriment and gusto. It was great to share in their joy, even from afar.

Plan & Book Your Visit to Cascais

Ready to start planning your visit to Cascais? You can find a comprehensive planning guide at the bottom of this post.

Start Planning Your Visit to Cascais

Boca do Inferno is a great spot to admire the impressive cliffs of CascaisPin
Boca do Inferno is a great spot to admire the impressive cliffs of Cascais
Visitors are free to clamber about on the rocksPin
Visitors are free to clamber about on the rocks

Clamber over the rocks at Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth)

Address: Av. Rei Humberto II de Itália 642, 2750-642 Cascais, Portugal
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One of the most popular attractions in Cascais is Boca do Inferno or ‘Hell’s Mouth’, a large chasm set into the cliffs. The cliffs are around a 20 minute walk from the city centre and once you’re there, you’re free to scramble about on the adjacent cliffs to get a good look at the mouth of the chasm and down inside the chasm itself. It’s not the most impressive geological feature, but it’s still cool to see the cliffs and how they’re shaped by the power of the waves.

Nearby, there are a couple of restaurants that are pretty well rated and there’s a kiosk where you can buy an ice cream.

The outdoor art at Citadel Art District is free to accessPin
The outdoor art at Citadel Art District is free to access
There are plenty of pieces to admire from multiple disciplines of the art worldPin
There are plenty of pieces to admire from multiple disciplines of the art world
The art district is set inside Cascais' old fortressPin
The art district is set inside Cascais’ old fortress

Browse the outdoor art at Citadel Art District

Address: Av. Dom Carlos I, 2750-310 Cascais, Portugal
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Housed inside the Citadel of Cascais, a former 15th and 17th century fortress is a series of workshops and galleries that visitors are welcome to browse. While the primary function is the sale of the artwork, there’s no pressure if you just want to admire what’s on offer. Outside, there are a number of large sculptures dotted around the site of what is now an upmarket hotel.

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Plan & Book your visit to Cascais

In this section, we’ll go through how you can plan and book your visit to Cascais.

Trains to Cascais

The easiest and best value way to get to Cascais from Lisbon is by train. Tickets can be purchased from ticket offices or vending machines (with English instructions) up until your departure. Tickets cannot be purchased online in advance.

Depending on the service, the journey time can be anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes, with multiple departures each hour throughout much of the day.

Hotels in Cascais

To read reviews and to compare prices on the best hotels in Cascais, we recommend Tripadvisor*.

Home rentals in Cascais

We always encourage our readers to live like a local during their travels. Airbnb makes doing this super easy, providing access to thousands of fabulous homes and wealth of local knowledge.

Find places to stay in Cascais*
with

Activities, Tours & Excursions in Cascais

To find out which activities, tours and excursions are available in Cascais, we recommend GetYourGuide*, Airbnb*, Viator* & Tripadvisor*.

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1 thought on “Cascais, Portugal: 6 Things to Do on a Day Trip From Lisbon”

  1. Hi ! Thanks a lot for this very thorough article, it’s a nice selection! There are many beautiful things to discover in this area, it gives envy! Lovely pictures ! Cheers from France !

    Reply

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