Cascais is a seaside town near Lisbon and perfect for a day at the beach. What else is there to do? These are the best things to do in Cascais.
Cascais is a seaside town near Lisbon and the perfect place for a relaxing day on the beach during your city trip. It is located against the town of Estoril (also a seaside resort) on the Costa do Estoril. Cascais is a stylish city and is full of beautiful villas from the nineteenth century. The Portuguese royal family and the wealthy inhabitants of Lisbon loved to vacation here.
A Cascais holiday is highly recommended because there are many beautiful beaches and it has a very relaxed atmosphere. It is a perfect place to serve as a base for a city trip to Lisbon and there is also plenty to see and do in the city itself.
Since Estoril and Cascais are located next to each other, in this article you can read about the most beautiful sights in Cascais and Estoril.
Things to do in Cascais
What to do in Cascais? These are the best places to visit during a Cascais vacation.
Relax on the beach
One of the main reasons why people choose Cascais for a holiday: it’s a perfect place for a relaxing beach vacation. The city has several beautiful beaches, including Praia da Ribeira de Cascais and the smaller Praia da Rainha.
Boca do Inferno
If you ask someone What to see in Cascais? then Boca do Inferno would be high on the list. This rock formation west of the city is a spectacular sight. Steep cliffs and the waves crash against them with great force. Boca do Inferno means mouth of hell and this is because of the gorge in these rocks. There is a viewing platform (free to visit) and from here you have a beautiful view of the rocky coast.
Farol Museu de Santa Marta
Lighthouse enthusiasts have plenty to see in Cascais, as there are several beautiful lighthouses along this stretch of the Portuguese coast. One of the most notable is the blue and white Farol de Santa Marta. At this lighthouse, you will also find the lighthouse museum, with information about all lighthouses in Portugal.
Cidadela de Cascais
Not far from the harbor is Cidadela de Cascais, a 16th-century citadel. This fortress is accessible to everyone. In the fortress, you will find an art gallery and a restaurant. Also here is one of the most luxurious and most beautiful Cascais hotels: Pestana Cidadela Cascais. The citadel is a very nice place to have a look around.
Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães
There are several museums in Cascais, one in an even more beautiful building than the other. Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães is housed in a beautiful villa from 1900 with a castle tower. It has been a museum since 1931 and here you can view paintings, porcelain, jewelry, and furniture.
Parque Marechal Carmona
Do you need some shade? Parque Marechal Carmona is the place to be. The city park is not large, but there are enough trees, benches, and ponds, so sit down and relax. The park is also a great place to visit with children, as there is a playground and there are chickens and turtles.
Praça 5 de Outubro
The main square of the pleasant historic center in Cascais is Praça 5 de Outubro and this is one of the most beautiful Cascais sights. This is a beautiful square with several historic buildings and restaurants. On the square, you will also find the Cascais Visitor Center, where you can get more information about Cascais and the surrounding area.
Wander through the narrow streets
Behind the square is the place to get lost in Cascais. Narrow streets (mainly car-free), houses with typical Portuguese tiles, and lots of flowers. A lovely place to wander around for a while. This is the real Portugal.
When you are in Cascais, you can hardly avoid going to Estoril. The towns are so close to each other that you don’t even realize you’re walking from one to the other. What are the best things to do in Estoril? A few recommendations:
- Estoril Casino – A world famous casino and one of the largest in Europe. Did you know that this casino was the inspiration for Ian Fleming to write Casino Royale, the first book about James Bond?
- Forte da Cruz – A beautiful castle on the beach. A beautiful wedding location!
- The beaches – Like Cascais, Estoril has several beautiful beaches. The largest (and most beautiful) is Praia do Tamariz.
Boat trip at sunset
Since Cascais is on the coast, there are many boat tours you can go on. One of the best is a sunset boat trip (including a drink). In the evening, enjoy the beautiful view of the coast of Cascais. In the back, you can even see the mountains near Sintra.
Eat some delicious fish
On the Portuguese coast, you can eat some delicious fish, and that is also the case in Cascais. The harbor is full of small fishing boats and you will find seafood restaurants everywhere. The most famous restaurant is Marisco na Praça, but along the coast, you will also find many great places where you can eat delicious fish. Enjoy your meal!
Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca is not located in Cascais, but is about 15 kilometers northeast of the city. Still, this is an absolute must-visit if you are in Cascais. It is the westernmost point of the European countryside.
Not only the cliffs are very beautiful to see here, but also the lighthouse, which has been in use since 1772.
Do you like these kinds of places? Then Sagres (on the most southwestern point of the European mainland) is also worth a visit.
Day Trip to Sintra
The city of Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With good reason, because Sintra is full of castles! From Estoril, you can take a bus to Sintra. 45 minutes later, you’ll find yourself in a fairytale. Visiting the colorful Palácio da Pena (in the photo below) is especially recommended, but the Quinta da Regaleira estate and the old Castelo dos Mouros are also beautiful to see.
How to get to Cascais?
Cascais is located near the Portuguese capital Lisbon and is therefore very easy to reach from Lisbon.
By train from Lisbon
From Cais do Sodré station, you can travel from Lisbon to Cascais in just 33 minutes by train. This train goes very often, almost every 15 minutes, so you never have to wait long. A train ticket costs €2.30 (one way) and you can buy it at the station. Check Google Maps or Comboios de Portugal for departure times.
By car from Lisbon
Cascais is about 30 kilometers from Lisbon and it takes just over half an hour by car. The fastest way is to drive via the IC15 towards the west.
With a tour from Lisbon
What’s the easiest way to get to Cascais if you’re staying in Lisbon? Book a tour! During this amazing tour, you’ll visit Sintra (including visit to Palácio da Pena), Cabo da Roca and Cascais. This way you can see all the highlights in the region in one day.
Where to stay in Cascais en Estoril
During my first visit to Lisbon, I stayed in a hotel in Estoril and that was actually quite relaxing. During the day you can enjoy sightseeing in the big city and in the evening enjoy a nice dinner at the beach, followed by a nice beach walk. And as you can see, there is more than enough to do in Estoril and Cascais to stay a few nights. What are the best hotels in Cascais and Estoril? A few recommendations:
- Casa Vela Charm Guest House (Cascais) – Charming guest house with nicely decorated rooms. It also has a lush garden with a swimming pool.
- Villa Cascais Boutique Hotel (Cascais) – Stay in style in this beautiful 19th-century villa.
- Palácio Estoril Hotel, Golf & Wellness (Estoril) – Luxurious 5* hotel with wellness and a beautiful swimming pool.
And of course, you can also look for a hotel or apartment in Cascais yourself. Check Booking.com for an overview.
Book a trip to Portugal
Is a trip to Portugal your wish list? Plan it now! These are useful websites for booking your trip:
- Vliegtickets Lisbon has an international airport with connections from all over the world. Check Skyscanner for an overview, times, and prices. TAP, Portugal’s national airline is good and usually very affordable. Booking directly with the airline often provides some extra benefits and makes changes easier.
- Car rental Do you want to go on a road trip to Portugal? Check Discover Cars and Rental Cars to find the best deals.
- Tours & activities You can do a lot of tours and activities in Portugal. Check out Get Your Guide for all the options.
- Travel insurance It is always wise to take out good travel insurance when you go on holiday. Check Insubuy for options and prices.
Read more about Portugal
Do you fancy a trip to Portugal after reading this article? These travel guides are full of additional tips:
Insight Guides Portugal (Travel Guide with Free eBook)
I myself have lived in Portugal for more than 7 months and that is why you can find a lot of information about a holiday in Portugal on this website. Check out one of these articles:
- The top things to do in Lisbon
- 14 awesome things to do in Portimão
- What to do in the Algarve? 26 tips!
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