Lisbon is grand. A wonderful city to explore with so much to see and do… But while we were staying there we made, not one, but two day trips to the coastal town of Cascais!
What started as just a beach day became a love affair. We simply were head over heels about this adorably quaint beach town where we not only caught some sun and waves, but had some of our best meals in Portugal!
HOW TO GET THERE
When it comes to public transport, Europe never let’s you down. Cascais is an easy 35-45 minute train ride from Lisbon. The train departs from the station at Cais de Sodre, which is at the end of the green metro line, s you simply have to exit the metro and make your way to the train station. The tickets are not pricey (as you will find with many things in Portugal! Budget travelling for the win!)
The train ride itself if lovely because it runs along the coast, so you get to see some lovely scenery on your journey. You can stop at just about any stop between Lisbon and Cascais and find some kind of beach. If you’re in Portugal long enough, you might even want to go off the beaten path and randomly explore one of these less popular beaches for a quiet day on the shore.
Once you arrive to the final stop, the beach is a mere 5 minute walk from the train station. Along the way you can find a few souvenir shops (this is where I found my FAVOURITE pair of sunglasses ever! See my Instagram to see my obsession…) that also provide beach supplies you may not have had room to pack or forgot to bring. Umbrellas, towels, or beach balls and more.
The sand is crazy hot while the Atlantic ocean waters is quite cold! It takes some getting used to but it’s fun to push yourself physically through these extremes. Even though it was still very much summer tourist season, the beach was not ridiculously crowded. Busy, yes, but you could easily find a nice patch of sand to lay out your blankets and soak up the sun. The water front is more populated, but if you brave the cold ocean waters and venture out just a little further, you have much swimming space to yourself.
There is a bathroom, though it is discouraged to use it as a change room so try to come with your bathing suit underneath. Don’t forget to bring 50 cents, because that’s how much it costs to use public bathrooms.
In terms of safety, the beach felt perfectly safe. Everyone there is a tourist, and there are no vendors trying to sell you cheap sunglasses, bracelets, etc. It was nice not to feel a panic or constant worry when we would leave our things behind (inside a bag and under a towel no less! Out of sight is still a good precaution!) and really enjoy the beach.
If you read our photo essay, you will know that Lisbon is incredibly charming in it’s own unique way. Cascais is even MORE charming, the same way how a golden lab puppy will be even more adorable than a full grown one. Small winding cobbled streets lined with shops and cafes are the kind of sights that make one fall in love with Europe, and Cascais is no exception.
From souvenir shops to high end shoe stores, from artisan shops to creative window displays, there’s a lot for your eyes to take in. Portugal is known also for their ceramic art, and they like to remind you through the striking patterns of the roads, and Cascais has it’s own unique wavy pattern that maybe alludes to the waves of the Atlantic…Now, let’s move on to my favourite part, the food we found down these very streets!
Amorgueria : Before this, we thought one of the best burgers we ever had was in Lucille’s in Cairo. Now, this place definitely holds the title, at least for me! Even though I felt I had to add salt to the burger, once I did, it exploded with flavor! I went back to Lucille’s not long ago, and the de-throning was official, because I thought of that burger in Cascais. I still think about it…The sangria was very delicious, the location is lovely for people watching into the cobbled street below, and the waitresses were very kind, but then again nearly everyone we met in Portugal was very friendly! While we didn’t like the chips that complemented the burgers (we just found them very hard as opposed to crispy) chips is a popular side dish in Portugal. I still highly, highly recommend this place! My mouth is salivating just writing about this…
(Indian & Thai) Totally regret not catching the name of this restaurant… A representative was standing on the main road and called to us and asked if we were looking for Indian food. We didn’t know what we were looking for, but Indian food is one of our favourites! It was an instant yes. When we looked at the menu we realized it was a Thai restaurant as well, and I finally dived into the world of Thai cuisine and ate coconut green curry with pork and noodles. Thai food, WHERE have you been ALL my LIFE!? Everything was absolutely delicious and bursting with flavour and spices. The first sangria we had was very light, so they brought a much darker one the second time and it was a great improvement.
There are dozens of restaurants of all flavours in town, even if you don’t eat at the ones we went to, chances are you will discover a foodie gem!
So when you’re ever in Lisbon, hopefully you are there long enough to take one of the best day trips to this charming, historical town of Cascais. We had a wonderful time there, hence why we went twice in a row!
Have you been to Cascais? Are you planning a trip to Lisbon or Portugal? Did you find some incredible restaurants there? Let me know and you are always free to ask me questions below!