How To Enjoy a Full Day in Cascais
While in Lisbon, it’s somewhat imperative that you take at least a day out of you itinerary to explore the attractions of the coast.
Cascais sits just outside of the city and is a beach-lovers paradise. Lisbon has no actual beaches of its own, so Cascais is the nearest spot in which to enjoy this side to your vacation.
Those limited to just a day in the coastal village need not fear; one can see and do a lot in Cascais in under 24 hours.
Early Train Ride into Cascais
Gettin to Cascais from Lisbon’s center takes roughly forty minutes by train. One can pay the fee and take a taxi, but the time it saves is hardly worth the additional carbon emissions.
You’ll depart from Cais do Sodre station; tickets cost just €5 per person.
The first train to Cascais departs at 5:30am, but life in Cascais doesn’t start until around 8am or 9am. Sleep in and catch the 7:50am train that will get you there with ample time to still enjoy the morning.
Breakfast at Local – Your Healthy Kitchen in Cascais
Your Healthy Kitchen is a charming little breakfast spot situated a short stroll from the train station at which you’ll get off in Cascais.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast meal, with options for both meat eaters and vegans, before we commence the day’s activities.
In order to optimize time in the sun, we’ll only be eating again later in the afternoon. So don’t hold back!
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday — 9am to 11pm
ADDRESS: R. Padre Moisés da Silva 13, 2750-642 Cascais, Portugal
Train STATION: Cascais
A Visit to the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães in Cascais
You’ll find many an abandoned palace in Cascais dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries.
Royals and millionaire loved to vacation down this coast, and built exquisite homes to facilitate this. The Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães was the once home of an Irish tobacco mogul who collected art, books and ancient artifacts.
Following his death, it was decided that the elaborate collection be put on display for visitors to Cascais to enjoy.
You probably won’t need longer than an hour here, but keep it under two at most!
OPENING HOURS: MONDAY TO SUNDAY – 10AM TO 5PM
ADDRESS: AV. REI HUMBERTO II DE ITÁLIA PARQUE MARECHAL CAMONA, 2750-319 CASCAIS, PORTUGAL
TRAIN STATION: CASCAIS
Have your picture taken at the Santa Marta Lighthouse in Cascais
Before we hit the beach, take a walk over to the Santa Marta Lighthouse situated in Cascais’ new harbor.
You’ve likely seen this famous monument in images showcasing Cascais on the Internet. Unconventional to most lighthouses, this one was built as a quadrangular masonry tower and is covered in blue Portuguese tiles.
Lose a few hours on the beach in Cascais
Choosing which beach you want to laze away on will be the hardest part of this activity.
The Praia da Ribeira is the beach nearest to the Cascais train station that brought you into the town. It’s bordered by rockery and beautiful cliffs, and there are many swimming activities on offer for children during the summer.
If you prefer something more intimate, make a mission to find the hidden tidal pool and adjacent beach by the Casa de Santa Maria. To get down to the water you’ll need to find the small foot path just off of the main road.
Late Lunch — Restaurante Maria Pia in Cascais
Once the sun soaks up the last remnants of breakfast, we can pack up and make our way to a delicious late-lunch on the edge of the water.
Restaurante Maria Pia is on the harbor, with access to the freshest seafood in the village. You’ll dine overlooking the water, taking your pick of all types of fish, scallops and crustaceans.
Again, you can feel free to go all out and eat to your heart’s content here. The train times back to Lisbon won’t allow much time for dinner later.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday — 12:30pm to 3:30pm // 7pm to 10pm
ADDRESS: Passeio Dona Maria Pia, 2750-310 Cascais, Portugal
Train STATION: Cascais
Back to the beach until sunset
After eating, there will always be a period of the last few hours of light in Cascais. Everyone likes to spend these differently, but my recommendation will always be to head back to the sand.
You can try a different beach this time; the Praia dos Pescadores is a public one just next to the restaurant in which we had lunch.
Stick around for sunset!
Visit Cascais Market
Where do the restaurants and local people of Cascais do their shopping? In Cascais Market, of course.
This market in the heart of the village is open daily, from early morning all the way through until midnight.
They stock an array of items ranging from fresh flowers and seafood, to top quality fruits and vegetables.
Have a browse and see if there is anything you’d like to take back with you to the big city.
OPENING HOURS: MONDAY TO SUNDAY – 8AM TO 12AM
ADDRESS: R. PADRE MOISÉS DA SILVA 29, 2750-437 CASCAIS, PORTUGAL
TRAIN STATION: CASCAIS
Stroll Through the Village in Cascais
There’s not much left to do in Cascais now that the sun has gone down. A walk through the main village is worthwhile if you’ve not yet seen the cobblestone streets and vibrant eateries that line them.
The souvenir stores, ice cream parlors and cafes will all be buzzing this time of the evening, with everyone retreating inland from their day on the beach.
Grab some gelato or a fresh pastel de nata while you walk.
Catch the last train back to Lisbon
The last opportunity to get back to Lisbon from Cascais departs at 9:45pm. In the peak of summer, I recommend getting to the station around 9:15pm to assess the level of crowding.
There are trains at both 9:21pm and 9:33pm; if the station seems chaotic then try to catch one of these so you don’t run the risk of not fitting onto the very last train out. It happens — but at least Airbnb is always an option!