Cascais is a beautiful beachside town only a short train ride from Lisbon, Portugal. A day trip to Cascais will definitely add something special to your time in Lisbon and is one of the best day trips from Lisbon by train. We absolutely loved our day in Cascais, from the beautiful beaches to the streets of the old town. So here’s everything you need to know before a day trip to Cascais Portugal…
A Day Trip To Cascais
How To Get To Cascais From Lisbon
Going from Lisbon to Cascais by train is the easiest option. The train leaves from Cais de Sodre Train Station in Lisbon and takes about 40 minutes to get to Cascais (the final stop). The train ride itself is quite scenic, hugging the coastline most of the way. Once you arrive in Cascais, you are in the center of town. From here you can walk or bike ride to most areas. The trains generally depart every 20 minutes, but here is where to check the timetable.
Cais do Sodre Station (Lisbon) to Cascais Station
Time: 40 minutes
Cost: 2.20 € (per person, single trip) or 1.85 € (zapping) + 0.50 € (New Zap Card)
Good To Know: If you plan to use the train, metro or tram in Lisbon a few times, then it’s worth purchasing a Viva Viagem card and loading it with credit for zapping. This can then be used multiple times, and the price of zapping is cheaper than individual ticket prices. You can purchase these cards at most metro or train stations in Lisbon.
Things To Do In Cascais
More than just a beach town, there are actually a lot of things to do in Cascais. Some things to do no matter how long you’re spending there are to explore the beautiful streets of Cascais Old Town and see the beautiful beaches.
There are a few Cascais Beaches located around the town center, including Praia da Ribeira (top photo), Praia da Rainha, Praia da Conceicao, Praia da Duquesa and Santa Marta Beach. Towards Estoril, Praia do Tamariz is also a beautiful beach. And then you have the beaches such as Praia do Guincho and Praia da Cresmina that are large and unique with a sand dune type feel. Now, these last two beaches can be reached by bus, but it’s also a great bike ride.
So hiring bicycles and riding the coastal path to Praia do Guincho is one of my favourite things to do in Cascais. If you have the time, this is definitely something memorable to do. Along the way you can stop off at Boca do Inferno, a stunning rock formation that’s definitely worth a look. There’s also stunning coastal views the entire way. My only advice would be to rethink this option on a really windy day, as it can get really really windy.
Although this was still one of my favourite things to do in Cascais, we did this on a super windy day to the point where our bikes weren’t moving, and at times got pushed off the path into the gravel due to the wind. But this was a very windy day! So much so that on the way back we had the tail wind and actually had the brakes on going uphill… it was crazy! Because of this, I definitely can’t give you an accurate time that it takes to do this ride, as one way it must have taken us 10 times longer and on the way back we were flying. But from what I’ve researched, it’s probably about a 45 minute ride each way.
Back in Cascais, take a look at the Cidadela de Cascais Fort and the Cidadela Art District, which has a hotel, restaurants and art galleries.
Cascais Marina is a great place to go boat spotting. Near Santa Marta beach, as you cross the bridge, you can see Farol de Santa Marta Lighthouse.
There are also many museums to see in Cascais including Casa de Santa Maria, Castro Guimaraes and Centro Cultural de Cascais.
The perfect way to end your day in Cascais is to walk along the coastal path to Estoril. From here you can get on the train in Estoril to go back to Lisbon.
Where To Eat In Cascais
There are so many options for where to eat in Cascais, but it’s particularly known for its seafood restaurants. Restaurant Mar Do Inferno comes highly recommended.
After what seemed like a very long bike ride fighting against severely strong winds, by the time we got back to Cascais, all we felt like was Indian food. We usually try and stick to more local food but when ravenous, Indian food is so satisfying (also satisfying when not ravenous). So we followed our noses to Masala, which was in Cascais Old Town. We had great service and the food was tasty.
Holiday + Beach + Day Trip always equals gelato. Luckily, there is an excellent gelateria in Cascais, Santini (you can also find them in Lisbon). Here we had the raspberry and mango gelato and they were both absolutely delicious.
Cascais Day Trip Itinerary | Belem + Cascais In One Day
So we actually started our day at Belem and then went to Cascais. We did this because the train line that goes from Lisbon to Cascais is the same train line that runs through Belem. It also worked because the main thing we wanted to do in Belem was trying the Pasteis de Belem, a perfect breakfast stop, and we were happy to do the sights of Belem from the outside (there’s only so many lines I can justify spending time in). So if that sounds similar to your plans, then this is how to do it…
Tram 15 from Lisbon to Belem. I recommend getting on at the first stop, Praca da Figueira, as by the second stop it can be very packed. Get off the tram when you see Jeronimos Monastery.
Breakfast at Pasteis de Belem. Eat in and try the delicious Pasteis de Nata and some of their other pastries.
Admire Jeronimos Monastery from the outside.
Walk through the park over to the Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument.
From here walk along the water to Belem Tower.
Walk back to Belem Train Station and go to Cascais.
Once you walk out of the train station, cross over to the ‘Bicas‘ bike stand. Here you can hire bicycles for the day for 3.90 Euro (from 8 am to 7 pm). However, they don’t come with bike locks, so it can be a bit restricting in terms of visiting the sights along the way. A few of the other bike shops did offer bike locks, so keep this in mind.
Start your bike ride to Praia do Guincho (see things to do above for the stops along the way).
Once back in Cascais, have a late lunch or early dinner.
Explore the streets of Cascais Old Town.
Gelato at Santini.
Take the coastal walk to Estoril.
Get back on the train in Estoril to return to Cais do Sodre Station. If you’re hungry you can stop at the nearby Time Out Market for some delicious food.
How Many Days In Cascais?
Wait, what? Yes, I know this is ‘a day trip to Cascais’ article, but if you have the time, staying in Cascais would also be a great option.
A day trip is plenty of time to see Cascais. It’s not so much that you need more time, but you know when you go somewhere and you start saying things like ‘I could spend a week here’. It’s more about the feel of Cascais. So if you’re looking for a beach holiday in a beautiful town, where you can spend your days doing as little or as much as you want, then you might want to consider spending a few nights or a week in Cascais.
Tips For Visiting Cascais
Sintra and Cascais In One Day?
Lot’s of people suggest seeing Sintra and Cascais in one day. Personally, I think this would only work if you didn’t have time to do a day trip to each. Although you could see Sintra and then drive or get a tour that takes you past all the beaches and to Cascais, it would be a lot for one day. I truly believe each place deserves at least one full day.
Cascais and Belem
On the other hand, if you are trying to combine a day trip to Cascais with somewhere else in Lisbon, we found going to Belem in the morning and then onto Cascais a great combination. This only works if you’re not planning on going inside Jeronimos Monastery or Belem Tower, but admiring them from the outside. If you are planning on going inside, you will need more time as the lines appeared to be slow and long, and in this case, I wouldn’t recommend doing Cascais and Belem together.
Cascais or Sintra?
If you’re trying to decide between a day trip to Cascais or Sintra as a day trip from Lisbon, I would suggest doing both on separate days if you have the time. If you only have time for one day trip, it’s really a personal choice. If you want history and castles and really unique sights then I would definitely say go to Sintra. If you want beaches, a resort town, bike rides and coastal walks then a day trip to Cascais is for you. If I had to choose, I would choose Sintra, just because there’s nothing like it. But if you have the time, definitely do both.
For more information on a day trip to Cascais see Visit Cascais, the official tourism website of Cascais.
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