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Cascais is a small coastal town that sits near Lisbon, Portugal. Relaxing on the beach and strolling through the lovely city center tops the list of things to do in Cascais, but there are also a few museums you can add to the list.

Many people visit Cascais on a day trip from Lisbon, but Cascais also makes a great place to stay for a few days. It’s small size and location on the beach are big advantages, plus it also makes a great home base for exploring nearby Sintra and Cabo da Roca.

In this guide, we cover the best things to do in Cascais, how to plan your day trip from Lisbon, plus places to visit near Cascais.


A Quick Overview of Cascais

Cascais is a seaside town in the Portuguese Riviera. It is one of the wealthiest cities in Portugal, which is reflected in its marina and expensive real estate market.

Getting here from Lisbon is rather easy, as Cascais is just a short train ride from Lisbon. Cascais makes a great half or full day trip from Lisbon which can easily be done using public transportation. Adding on places like Sintra and Cabo da Roca are popular additions to this day trip, which we will get to later in this guide.

Best Things to Do in Cascais

1. Take a Stroll through the Picturesque City Center

Exploring the charming pedestrian streets and shops in the city center is one of Cascais’ top experiences.

The 5th of October Square is especially photogenic, with its waves of black and white tiles. From here, you also get a very nice view of Praia da Ribeira, the citadel, and the colorful houses that overlook the sea.


5th of October Square

2. Spend Some Time on the Beach

One of the things that attracts many visitors to Cascais are its beaches. This is something that nearby Lisbon is lacking, so Cascais is the perfect place to visit if you want to get in a little beach time.

In and around Cascais there are several beaches to visit. All three of these are within walking distance of the city center.

Praia da Ribeira is a very small beach that sits next to the 5th of October Square and the city center.

Praia da Ribeira | Best things to do in Cascais

Praia da Ribeira

Praia da Rainha is another tiny beach next to the city center and with its small, rocky cliffs, is a bit more picturesque than Praia da Ribeira.

Praia da Rainha | Best things to do in Cascais

Praia da Rainha

Sitting to the east of Praia da Rainha is Praia da Ribeira de Cascais, a much larger beach with lots of amenities, such as restaurants and umbrella and lounger rentals.

Praia da Ribeira de Cascais | Best things to do in Cascais

Praia da Ribeira de Cascais

3. Photograph the Santa Marta Lighthouse

The Santa Marta Lighthouse is one of Cascais’ most iconic landmarks.

The lighthouse is part of a fort that was constructed in the 1640’s to protect Cascais from invaders. The lighthouse was added in the 19th century. The fort and lighthouse are now a museum, and a ticket here includes admission to Casa de Santa Maria.

The two best places to capture a photo of the lighthouse with Casa de Santa Maria are from Mirador Casa de Santa Maria and the nearby bridge that crosses the water.

Santa Marta Lighthouse | Best things to do in Cascais

4. Visit the Palace of the Counts of Castro Guimarães

This palace, which also goes by the name Museu Condes de Castro de Guimarães, was built in the 19th century by Jorge O’Neill. In 1910, it was purchased by the 1st Count of Castro Guimarães.

The palace sits within view of the Santa Marta Lighthouse. During high tide, the waters surround part of the house, adding to its picturesque appeal.

Palace of the Counts of Castro Guimarães | Best things to do in Cascais

Visitors can tour the palace, which is now a museum, to see the historic furnishings and the art collection.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Many museums in Cascais are closed on Mondays, so avoid visiting Cascais on a Monday if you plan to visit its museums.

5. Marina de Cascais

The marina is a nice place to go for a stroll and to grab a bite to eat. There are numerous restaurants that overlook the marina, such as Sacas Eatery-Bar and Valério.

Cascais Marina | Best things to do in Cascais

6. Visit the Boutique Shops at Cidadela de Cascais

The Citadel of Cascais is a fort that was built between the 15th and 17th centuries. Within the fort are the Fortress of Our Lady of Light, the Santo António Tower, and the former royal palace. The fortress is open to visitors from Tuesday through Sunday.

Sitting in the center of the citadel is an art district, with boutique art shops and galleries.

Cidadela Art District | Best things to do in Cascais

Cidadela de Cascais


Walking around the outside of the citadel is very nice, with views of the walls of the fort, the nearby beaches and marina, and the city center.

Cascais Citadel

7. Marechal Carmona Park

Marechal Carmona Park is a beautiful, small park within walking distance of the city center. It’s a peaceful place to visit and fun to photograph, with its azulejo tiled benches, lovely bridges, and lush gardens. If you are here with kids, keep a lookout for turtles lounging along the water’s edge.

Marechal Carmona Park | Best things to do in Cascais

8. Boca da Inferno

Boca da Inferno, aka Hell’s Mouth, is a beautiful sea arch surrounded by rocky cliffs. Watching the waves in action and photographing this arch is another top thing to do in Cascais.

Boca da Inferno Cascais | Best things to do in Cascais

Boca da Inferno is located about 1 km (0.6 miles) west of the city center. You can get here on foot (about a 20-minute walk), use Uber or Bolt, or drive here, if you have a car. Just be aware that there is a small fee for parking and parking is very limited.

Portugal Travel Guide

Things to Do in Cascais: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Best Things to Do Near Cascais

Casino Estoril

Located in the neighboring town of Estoril, Casino Estoril is one of the largest casinos in Europe. It is famous for being the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 novel Casino Royale.

Casino Estoril

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of mainland Europe. It is located in the west coast of Portugal, near Cascais. This dramatic coastline is a popular place to visit, usually on a day trip from Lisbon that includes Cascais or Sintra.

At Cabo da Roca, enjoy the views of the rocky coastline and you have the option to hike to Praia da Ursa, one of the most beautiful beaches in this part of Portugal. There are additional beaches north of Cabo da Roca, such as Praia das Maçãs and Praia das Azenhas do Mar, but you will need a car or Uber/Bolt to get here.

Things to Do Near Cascais

Praia da Ursa


Praia das Azenhas do Mar

Praia das Azenhas do Mar

To get here from Cascais, you can take bus 1624, drive (if you have a rental car), use Bolt or Uber, or take a tour that includes Cascais and Cabo da Roca.


Sintra is famous for its palaces and castles, including Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, Monserrate Palace, the Castle of the Moors, and the National Palace of Sintra. To visit all of these, you need at least one full day, so Sintra makes a great day trip from Cascais, if you plan to stay in Cascais.

Pena Palace Photo

Pena Palace


Initiation Well Sintra Portugal

Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira


Palace of Monserrate Sintra

Palace of Monserrate

If you are staying in Lisbon, it is possible to combine Cascais and Sintra together into one day trip. To do this, pick two to three palaces in Sintra, spending a half day here, and the spend the second half of the day in Cascais.

This tour from Lisbon includes both Cascais and Sintra, so it makes it very easy to visit both with little hassle.


For those who prefer to stay in smaller towns than big cities, Cascais is a great place to set up your home base. You can easily visit the Cascais beaches, day trip to the Sintra palaces, plus day trip into Lisbon.

From Cascais, it takes 35 to 40 minutes to travel to Lisbon by train.

Follow our One Day in Lisbon Itinerary for an efficient way to see the best of Lisbon in just one day.

Bica Funicular Lisbon Portugal


How Much Time Do You Need in Cascais?

To see the main sights in town, a half of a day is all you need. If you want to add in some beach time, plan on spending a full day in Cascais.

How to Get to Cascais

From Lisbon, you can get to Cascais by train, rental car, or ride share app.

The Linha de Cascais railway connects Lisbon to Cascais with an average travel time of 35 to 40 minutes.

By rental car and ride share app (Uber or Bolt), it takes 35 minutes to drive to Cascais. Park at Estacionamento Marechal Carmona, a large parking lot next to Marechal Carmona Park. From here, it is a 10-minute walk into the city center.

How to Get Around Cascais

All of the places we listed in Cascais are within walking distance of each other. The biggest outlier is Boca da Inferno. That is a longer walk (20 minutes from the city center and 12 minutes from the marina), but you can save some steps by using Bolt or Uber.

Where to Eat in Cascais

A Nova Estrela is a Portuguese restaurant that gets rave reviews. It is located in the city center. Other highly reviewed restaurants include Malacopa Taco Bar (Mexican), Sr. Manuel Seafood Bar (seafood), and Gastronomia Italiana (Italian). Santini is a famous gelato shop in Cascais.

If you have a car and also plan to visit Cabo da Roca or Sintra, we had a wonderful lunch at Moinho Dom Quixote. This outdoor restaurant is located in the hills above Cabo da Roca and has views of the coastline. The food and the setting are fantastic.

Moinho Dom Quixote Restaurant

Moinho Dom Quixote Restaurant

Where to Stay in Cascais

Highly rated properties in the city center include Villa Sofia Cascais, Cascais Family Studio, Pergola Boutique Hotel, and BCascais Boutique House.

The Albatroz Hotel is a boutique 5-star hotel with a fantastic location on Praia da Ribeira de Cascais. If you prefer a larger resort, take a look at Hotel Cascais Miragem Health & Spa (this also is located near the city center) and Hotel Fortaleza do Guincho Relais & Chateaux (gorgeous property with a beachfront location about 5 km from the Cascais city center).

If you are traveling on a budget, take a look at Art 4 You Cascais Suites and Ljmonade Hostel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cascais worth it?

Cascais is a pretty seaside town that is easy to visit from Lisbon. It’s nice to see but for those who are short on time, it is more worthwhile to visit the palaces and castles in Sintra and the beaches near Cabo da Roca. However, if you prefer to stay in a small, coastal town versus a big city, you can stay in Cascais and day trip to Lisbon, Sintra, and Cabo da Roca.

Which is better, Sintra or Cascais?

Sintra, with its iconic landmarks such as Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Castle of the Moors, is one of the top places to visit in Portugal. Make sure you have at least one day to visit the sights in Sintra and a day or two to visit Lisbon. If you have more time, spending about half day in Cascais is worthwhile.

How much time do you need in Cascais?

To see the main sights in town, a half of a day is all you need. If you want to add in some beach time, plan on spending a full day in Cascais.

If you have any questions about the best things to do in Cascais, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Portugal

BEST OF PORTUGAL: In our article Best Things to Do in Portugal, we list 25 amazing things to see and do in Portugal.

LISBON: In our Lisbon Bucket List, we list 40 highlights and hidden gems to visit in Lisbon. Plan your time with our one day in Lisbon itinerary and 2 day Lisbon itinerary. Here are 14 amazing day trips to take from Lisbon. Find the perfect place to stay in our Lisbon Hotel Guide.

SINTRA: In our article Best Things to Do in Sintra, we cover the top sights to see in Sintra. In our article One Day in Sintra, we provide three different ways to plan a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon.

ALGARVE: Get started with our Algarve Bucket List, which lists the best things to do in the Algarve and get suggestions on how to plan your time with our Algarve Itinerary Planner. Learn how to hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, one of the most beautiful walks in Europe. Don’t miss our guides to Ponta da Piedade and Benagil Cave, and find out where to stay in our Algarve Hotel Guide.

PORTUGAL ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Portugal itinerary, take a look at our 10 Day Portugal Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Portugal. We also have a detailed 10 day itinerary that includes Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.

We have TONS more information about Portugal in our Portugal Travel Guide, including Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, the Algarve, and the Douro Valley.


Things to Do Cascais Portugal


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