Cascais travel guide

Cascais Tourism | Cascais Guide

You're Going to Love Cascais

Cascais is a pretty beach resort on the Estoril coast, close to Lisbon. It is one of the oldest tourist resorts in Portugal and was once the summer residence of the Portuguese royal family. The town attracts a younger crowd from Lisbon along with a large expat community of workers, resulting in an enjoyably cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Cascais

1. Watersports

Watersports are extremely popular, with everything from surfing and water skiing to paragliding. Windsurfing and sailing are also available from the marina and surrounding beaches.

2. Golf

Golfers are spoiled in Cascais, with many fine courses concentrated into a small area around the town.

3. Beautiful Countryside

The area around Cascais is one of outstanding beauty and there are many walking and cycling trails to enjoy in the surrounding forests and hills.

4. Motor Racing

Just along the coast at Estoril is the famous motor racing circuit, which holds regular motorsport and motorcycling events.

5. The Casino

Walk along the pretty esplanade to the fabulous casino at Estoril and enjoy a glamorous night out with the fashionable set.

What to do in Cascais

1. Cascais Beach: The Soul of the City, and a Great Place to Sunbathe

At heart, Cascais is really just an upscale beach resort and everything in the town revolves around the sea. It has a long promenade with safe swimming, soft sand, and even a few waves every now and then. Even better, there are also some secluded rocky coves along the coast, where you can settle down with a book. And you can pick between very different beaches, with luxurious Praia da Rainha, the down to earth Conceição Beach, and Praia da Ribeira, where fishermen still haul in fresh seafood.

2. Boca do Inferno: A Gateway to Fabulous Views

Literally 'Hell's Mouth', Boca do Inferno is a dramatic rock arch, which is situated around a mile away from central Cascais. As the sea fizzes and bubbles beneath, you'll get a vivid feel for how the rock formation got its name, as you enjoy croquettes or pasteis de nata. It's also easily accessible thanks to a footpath and cycle path (which is fairly rare in Portugal). So why not rent bikes in Cascais and explore the coastal routes?

3. Cidadela: Art and Accommodation in a Historic Fortress

Built in the 15th century, Cidadela was meant to be a formidable fortress against naval assault, but was of little military value when Spain invaded in 1580. These days, the solid bastion occupies a prime position overlooking Cascais Marina, which may be why it's been turned into a luxury hotel complex. Even if you aren't staying there, you can pay the fort a visit. In fact, that's the whole point, as Cidadela doubles up as both a hotel and an Art District, with studios and galleries showing off local talent.

4. Museu do Mar Rei D. Carlos: A Must-Sea Museum

The 'Museum of the Sea' tells the story of Cascais inseparable relationship with the Atlantic Ocean. The town has long been a naval and fishing center, and this museum offers a wealth of information about its enthralling history. From the very origins of marine life, through to archaeological finds from nearby wrecks, the development of ship design, and the history of Cascais' fishing communities, there's plenty to explore. And, after you've finished, the Bairro dos Museus (museum neighborhood) offers even more fascinating attractions.

5. Gandarinha Municipal Park: Museums and Natural Beauty at the Center of Cascais

Gandarinha Park is a set of exquisite gardens located right at the center of historic Cascais, and alongside the Bairro dos Museus. Once the playground for the feudal elite, it is now a publicly owned masterpiece with gorgeous flowers, shrubs, and tree-lined paths, as well as fountains and other water features. There are plenty of attractions around the park, like the Paula Rego House of Stories (which showcases Portugal's leading contemporary painter), and the town's Hippodrome, which hosts regular equestrian competitions. But the gem is the Museum Condes Castro Guimarães - the palace of the old noble owners with its stunning art, furniture, and jewelry collections.

1. Cascais Beach: The Soul of the City, and a Great Place to Sunbathe

At heart, Cascais is really just an upscale beach resort and everything in the town revolves around the sea. It has a long promenade with safe swimming, soft sand, and even a few waves every now and then. Even better, there are also some secluded rocky coves along the coast, where you can settle down with a book. And you can pick between very different beaches, with luxurious Praia da Rainha, the down to earth Conceição Beach, and Praia da Ribeira, where fishermen still haul in fresh seafood.

2. Boca do Inferno: A Gateway to Fabulous Views

Literally 'Hell's Mouth', Boca do Inferno is a dramatic rock arch, which is situated around a mile away from central Cascais. As the sea fizzes and bubbles beneath, you'll get a vivid feel for how the rock formation got its name, as you enjoy croquettes or pasteis de nata. It's also easily accessible thanks to a footpath and cycle path (which is fairly rare in Portugal). So why not rent bikes in Cascais and explore the coastal routes?

3. Cidadela: Art and Accommodation in a Historic Fortress

Built in the 15th century, Cidadela was meant to be a formidable fortress against naval assault, but was of little military value when Spain invaded in 1580. These days, the solid bastion occupies a prime position overlooking Cascais Marina, which may be why it's been turned into a luxury hotel complex. Even if you aren't staying there, you can pay the fort a visit. In fact, that's the whole point, as Cidadela doubles up as both a hotel and an Art District, with studios and galleries showing off local talent.

4. Museu do Mar Rei D. Carlos: A Must-Sea Museum

The 'Museum of the Sea' tells the story of Cascais inseparable relationship with the Atlantic Ocean. The town has long been a naval and fishing center, and this museum offers a wealth of information about its enthralling history. From the very origins of marine life, through to archaeological finds from nearby wrecks, the development of ship design, and the history of Cascais' fishing communities, there's plenty to explore. And, after you've finished, the Bairro dos Museus (museum neighborhood) offers even more fascinating attractions.

5. Gandarinha Municipal Park: Museums and Natural Beauty at the Center of Cascais

Gandarinha Park is a set of exquisite gardens located right at the center of historic Cascais, and alongside the Bairro dos Museus. Once the playground for the feudal elite, it is now a publicly owned masterpiece with gorgeous flowers, shrubs, and tree-lined paths, as well as fountains and other water features. There are plenty of attractions around the park, like the Paula Rego House of Stories (which showcases Portugal's leading contemporary painter), and the town's Hippodrome, which hosts regular equestrian competitions. But the gem is the Museum Condes Castro Guimarães - the palace of the old noble owners with its stunning art, furniture, and jewelry collections.

Where to Eat in Cascais

You will find lots of cafes along the seafront selling Portuguese classics such as sardines from around EUR7.50. For more sophisticated seafood, try Restaurante O Pescador on Rua das Flores, where specialties like the salted cod dish bacalhau will cost around EUR25.

When to visit Cascais

Cascais in August
Estimated hotel price
$157
1 night at 3-star hotel
Cascais in August
Estimated hotel price
$157
1 night at 3-star hotel

Cascais is on the Atlantic coast and can get a little chilly and wet in the winter. Summer is peak season, when the town comes alive.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Cascais

Plane

The nearest airport is Lisbon's Aeroporto da Portela, which has good international connections across Europe and North America. From here, you can catch the Number 1 airport bus into Lisbon for just EUR3.50, where you can make connections to Cascais. Alternatively, a taxi direct from the airport to Cascais will cost around EUR70.

Train

The train from Lisbon's Cais do Sodré railway station to Cascais costs EUR4.00 and will take around 30 minutes.

Car

Cascais is around 20 miles west of Lisbon on the A5, or you can take the pretty N6 coastal route.

Bus

There are regular buses from Lisbon to Cascais. The journey takes just over one hour and the single fare is EUR2.15.

Airports near Cascais

Airlines serving Cascais

United Airlines
Good (2,829 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,131 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,373 reviews)
KLM
Good (347 reviews)
Air France
Good (394 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,406 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,035 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,317 reviews)
SWISS
Good (451 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,192 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (941 reviews)
Iberia
Good (910 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,389 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (278 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (304 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (317 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (535 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (100 reviews)
Finnair
Good (690 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (773 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Cascais

The Marina – This is a bustling area of restaurants, bars and sleek yachts in the harbor.

Popular Neighborhoods in Cascais

The Old Town – The Old Town has retained its old Portuguese charm, with sleepy squares where you can relax in a pavement cafe. It is also home to some good museums, such as Casa das Histórias de Paula Rego and the Municipal Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães as well as ancient sites dating back to neolithic times.

Estoril – This is just a short walk along the beautiful coastal esplanade. It is famous for its casino and race track and has some stylish bars and restaurants.

Where to stay in popular areas of Cascais

Most booked hotels in Cascais

Hotel Cascais Miragem Health & Spa
Excellent (9.2, Excellent reviews)
$257+
Penha Longa Resort
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
$358+
Grande Real Villa Italia
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
$232+
Eurostars Cascais
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
$121+
Quinta Das Murtas
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
$115+
Hotel Baia
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
$120+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Cascais

Public Transportation

Cascais is small enough to be explored on foot, but the Buscas 427 service takes a useful circular route around town, with fares from EUR1.10.

Taxi

Taxis are plentiful and reliable. The starting fare is EUR3.40 and you will then pay around EUR0.70 per mile.

Car

Driving along the coast at Cascais is a pleasant experience and car hire is available from around EUR50 per day.

The Cost of Living in Cascais

Shopping Streets

Cascais Villa is a small mall in the center of town with food and fashion outlets. Cascais Shopping is a larger mall outside the town center at Alcabideche. It has fashion brands such as Zara and Massimo Dutti.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk in Cascais will cost EUR.80 and a loaf of bread EUR1.05.

Cheap meal
$14.20
A pair of jeans
$135.52
Single public transport ticket
$3.20
Cappuccino
$2.05
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