If you are visiting Lisbon, it is easy to take a day trip to Cascais. This charming beach town is located approximately 30 minutes outside of the capital city. It’s a scenic coastal town that has a nice mix of beaches, restaurants, shops, as well as cultural history. Since the 19th Century, Cascais has been a summer retreat for Lisboans. Many beautiful mansions still line the windy roads, and on weekends, they are inhabited by the cities high society families and vacationers.
A Perfect Day Trip:
Cascais provides visitors with a little break from the hustle and bustle of the capital city. It can also serve as a great starting point to explore other parts of the region. There are fun and colorful cafes there, but parts of the town are a tad too touristy for my taste. In those places, the restaurants appear to be overpriced serving mediocre food and some of the shops are kind of tacky. I was told by locals that some of the high end retailers had once opened in Cascais, but they were not able to make the appropriate revenues to remain there in operation. So Lisbon still remains luxury location of the region while Cascais is the charming and casual beach town.
The beaches are the highlights of Cascais. They are calm and scenic. It’s easy to relax there and to enjoy the landscape.
If your day trip to Cascais turns into an overnight stay:
If you spend the night in Caiscas, I recommend the Pousada Cascais Citadela Historic Hotel and Art District. It is a unique hospitality project by the Pestana Group. Its a one and only kind of project of its kind in Europe. I wrote about it here.
To access Cascais, there are several convenient modes of transportation from Lisbon via train, taxi, bus or private car.
Cascias is 30km west of Central Lisbon on the northern side of the Tagus River Estuary.
I recommend at least 2 nights in Lisbon and suggest either spending a third night to go and explore the surrounding area via day tour or actually stay a night outside of Lisbon. If there is extra time, for sure extend it to include either Porto in the north or the Algarve in the south.