Adventure Activities Tourism

What to Do in Cascais for a Day?

Reema Bharti

Reema Bharti

· 8 min read

Spending a day in Cascais offers a delightful blend of coastal charm and cultural treasures. This picturesque seaside town, just a short train ride from Lisbon, is packed with activities to suit every taste. Stroll along the sunny beaches, explore the historic center with its quaint shops and cafes, or visit the impressive Museu Condes de Castro Guimaraes. 

For nature lovers, the rugged cliffs of Boca do Inferno provide stunning views. Cascais perfectly combines leisure and adventure, making it an ideal day trip destination. Whether you're seeking relaxation by the sea or cultural exploration, Cascais promises a day well spent.


Best Things to Do In Cascais Portugal for One Day

Best things to do in Cascais Portugal for one day are relaxing at Praia da Rainha, strolling through the Old Centre of Cascais, enjoying tranquility at Parque Marechal Carmona, witnessing the natural spectacle at Boca do Inferno, trying the delicious local cuisine in Cascais and enjoying the outdoor activities in Cascais.

I started my morning with a stroll along the beautiful coastline, perhaps at Praia da Rainha, one of the town's charming beaches. After soaking up some sun and sea breeze, I head into the historic center to wander the cobblestone streets. For lunch, I indulged in fresh seafood at one of the many seaside restaurants and then spent my afternoon exploring the stunning grounds of the Parque Marechal Carmona or taking a leisurely bike ride along the scenic coastal path. 

Here are the best things to do in Cascais for one day.


 Discover the History of Cascais at Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães

Start your day with a journey through time at the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães. Housed in a majestic 19th-century palace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and heritage of Cascais. Admire the impressive collection of art, furniture, and artifacts, and wander through the beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the palace.

The Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães offers a captivating journey through the rich history of Cascais. As I stepped into the museum, I was immediately transported back in time. The museum is housed in a stunning palace, adding to the allure of the experience. The exhibits chronicle the evolution of Cascais from a fishing village to a thriving coastal town. Artifacts, documents, and artworks provide insight into the lives of past residents.

One can't help but feel a sense of nostalgia as they explore the meticulously curated displays. Visitors can learn about the influential figures who shaped Cascais over the centuries. From nobility to artists, each has left their mark on the town's cultural landscape.

The museum offers a unique opportunity to delve into the stories behind Cascais' picturesque streets and landmarks.


Relax at Praia da Rainha

After immersing yourself in history, head to Praia da Rainha, or Queen's Beach, for a relaxing interlude by the sea. Tucked away in a picturesque cove, this small yet charming beach boasts golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking views of the coastline. As I strolled onto the soft golden sands, I immediately felt a sense of serenity wash over me.

The beach is framed by rugged cliffs, creating a secluded atmosphere. It's no wonder it's called the "Queen's Beach" – it feels like a royal retreat. I found myself drawn to the crystal-clear waters, ideal for a refreshing swim or a leisurely paddle.

Praia da Rainha is smaller than some of the other beaches in the area, adding to its charm. With fewer crowds, it's easier to find a quiet spot to relax and unwind. Whether you're lounging on the sand or taking a peaceful stroll along the shore, this hidden gem is sure to rejuvenate your spirit.


Explore the Old Centre of Cascais

Take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of the old town center, where colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and bustling squares await. Discover hidden gems at every turn as you browse boutique shops, artisanal stores, and quaint cafes. Don't miss the opportunity to sample local delicacies such as pastéis de nata (custard tarts) and fresh seafood dishes at one of the many restaurants lining the streets.

The old center is home to quaint cafes, bustling markets, and historic landmarks. I couldn't resist stopping for a coffee at one of the cozy sidewalk cafes, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere. Every corner seemed to reveal a new discovery, from hidden courtyards to ancient churches steeped in tradition.

One of the highlights of my exploration was visiting the Cidadela de Cascais. This fortress dates back to the 15th century and offers panoramic views of the coastline. Standing atop its ramparts, I marveled at the beauty of Cascais and the surrounding sea.

Exploring the old center of Cascais is a truly immersive experience, allowing visitors to connect with the town's past while embracing its vibrant present.

Enjoy Tranquility at Parque Marechal Carmona

Escape the hustle and bustle of the town center and immerse yourself in nature at Parque Marechal Carmona. This sprawling park offers lush greenery, tranquil ponds, and shaded walking paths, providing a serene oasis amidst the urban landscape. Take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a picnic on the grass, or simply relax and soak up the peaceful atmosphere.

The lush greenery and peaceful atmosphere create the perfect setting for relaxation.The park features winding paths, shaded groves, and manicured gardens. I found myself meandering through the tranquil surroundings, soaking in the beauty of nature. There are plenty of benches and quiet spots to sit and unwind, making it an ideal place for reflection or a leisurely picnic.

Parque Marechal Carmona also boasts a diverse array of flora and fauna, adding to its charm. From colorful flowers to majestic trees, the park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether you're seeking solitude or simply want to reconnect with nature, this park offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of Cascais.

Witnessing the Natural Spectacle at Boca do Inferno

Don't miss the opportunity to witness the breathtaking natural phenomenon known as Boca do Inferno (Hell's Mouth). This dramatic cliff formation features rugged rock formations and crashing waves, creating a truly mesmerizing spectacle. As I approached the rugged cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, I could hear the roar of the waves crashing against the rocks. The name "Boca do Inferno" translates to "Hell's Mouth," and it's easy to see why – the sheer power of the ocean is both mesmerizing and humbling.

The highlight of Boca do Inferno is the impressive rock formation that has been carved out by centuries of erosion.Standing at the edge, I gazed down into the churning waters below, marveling at the sheer force of nature. It's a reminder of the raw beauty and untamed power of the ocean. Visitors can walk along the cliffside paths for stunning views of the coastline. The dramatic scenery makes it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Trying the Delicious Local Cuisine in Cascais

No visit to Cascais would be complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Amazing food that make a Cascais day trip a must-do. From fresh seafood dishes to savory pastries, the town boasts a diverse culinary scene. Be sure to sample traditional favorites like grilled sardines, bacalhau, and pastéis de nata. From fresh seafood to traditional Portuguese dishes, the town offers a wealth of gastronomic delights. As I sat down at a quaint seaside restaurant, I couldn't wait to indulge in the flavors of the region.

One of the must-try dishes is grilled sardines, a Cascais specialty. Served with a squeeze of lemon and crusty bread, it's a simple yet mouthwatering delight. I also savored the seafood rice, bursting with the briny essence of the ocean. Cascais is also known for its pastries, and no visit is complete without trying the famous Pastéis de Nata. These creamy custard tarts are the perfect sweet treat to end a meal.

With its vibrant food scene and fresh local ingredients, exploring the cuisine of Cascais is a culinary journey you won't want to miss.


Enjoying the Outdoor Activities in Cascais

For the more adventurous traveler, Cascais offers a variety of outdoor activities, including surfing, sailing, and hiking. Water enthusiasts can try their hand at surfing, windsurfing, or paddleboarding along the pristine coastline. The clear blue waters of Cascais offer the perfect playground for aquatic fun.

I enjoyed renting a bike and exploring the coastal bike paths, taking in the stunning views along the way. For those who prefer to stay on land, Cascais offers picturesque hiking trails that wind through forests and along cliffs. The rugged terrain provides a challenging yet rewarding outdoor experience.

With its mild climate and diverse landscape, Cascais is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts looking to reconnect with nature.


Day Trip Options from Cascais

Day trip options for Cascais are Sintra, Lisbon, Cabo da Raco, Estoril, and Mafra. If you have time to spare, consider taking a day trip from Cascais to explore nearby attractions such as the picturesque town of Sintra, the historic village of Óbidos, or the vibrant city of Lisbon. These destinations are easily accessible and offer their unique charm and attractions.

A day in Cascais promises a perfect blend of culture, relaxation, and adventure. Exploring historic landmarks, soaking up the sun on the beach, or indulging in delicious cuisine, there's no shortage of memorable experiences to be had in this charming seaside town.

From fairytale palaces to rugged coastlines, here are some top picks for exploring the surrounding areas:

Sintra: A Fairytale Escape

Just a short drive from Cascais lies Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its romantic palaces, lush gardens, and enchanting forests. Step into a fairytale world as you explore the opulent interiors of the Palácio Nacional da Pena, perched atop a hilltop with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. 

Wander through the mystical gardens of Quinta da Regaleira, dotted with hidden grottoes, secret tunnels, and ornate follies. Don't miss the chance to visit the imposing Moorish Castle, an ancient fortress steeped in history and legend.


Lisbon: The City of Seven Hills

Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Portugal's capital city with a day trip to Lisbon. Marvel at historic landmarks such as the iconic Belém Tower and the majestic Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Lose yourself in the winding streets of Alfama, Lisbon's oldest district, where colorful houses, lively taverns, and soulful fado music await around every corner. 

Indulge in mouthwatering pastéis de nata (custard tarts) at the famed Pastéis de Belém bakery before riding the historic tram 28 for panoramic views of the city.

Cabo da Roca: Where Land Meets Sea

Venture to the westernmost point of continental Europe with a trip to Cabo da Roca, a dramatic headland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Stand atop towering cliffs and gaze out at the endless expanse of ocean stretching to the horizon. Feel the salty breeze on your face as you contemplate the sheer power and beauty of nature's masterpiece. 

Don't forget to snap a photo at the iconic monument marking this mythical spot, famously described by Portuguese poet Luís de Camões as "where the land ends and the sea begins."


Estoril: Glitz and Glamour on the Riviera

Experience the glitz and glamour of the Portuguese Riviera with a visit to Estoril, Cascais' stylish neighbor. Stroll along the elegant promenade of the Praia do Tamariz, lined with palm trees, cafes, and upscale boutiques. Test your luck at the historic Casino Estoril, one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious casinos, said to have inspired Ian Fleming's James Bond novels.

Explore the lush gardens of the Parque do Estoril, a tranquil oasis of greenery and serenity in the heart of the city.

Mafra: Baroque Splendor and Royal Majesty

Journey back in time to the 18th century with a visit to Mafra, home to one of Portugal's most magnificent architectural treasures. Marvel at the grandeur of the Palácio Nacional de Mafra, a sprawling Baroque palace and monastery commissioned by King João V. 

Explore the opulent interiors, including the stunning library with its collection of rare manuscripts and intricate woodwork. 

Wander through the vast gardens and grounds, where peacocks roam freely and fountains dance in the sunlight.


Things to keep in mind for a day trip to Cascais

Cascais, a charming beach town located just a short train ride away from Lisbon, Portugal, is the perfect destination for a day trip. With its beautiful beaches, historic center, and coastal walks, Cascais offers a delightful escape from the city.

Additionally, don't miss the opportunity to take a short walk to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, or visit Parque Marechal Carmona for some outdoor relaxation. Along the way, visitors can indulge in delicious food at seafood restaurants or even find a vegetarian restaurant.

Exploring the narrow streets of the old town, or immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, a day trip to Cascais from Lisbon will leave you with wonderful memories of this charming seaside town.

Here are some key things to keep in mind when planning your visit:

  • Train Station: The journey to Cascais begins at Lisbon's Cais do Sodré train station. Trains run frequently, and the ride takes approximately 40 minutes, offering scenic views along the way.

  • Cascais Old Town: Upon arriving at Cascais train station, you'll find yourself in the heart of the town center. Take a short walk to explore the narrow streets of the historic center, lined with colorful buildings and charming shops.

  • Cascais Beaches: Cascais is famous for its beautiful beaches, and there are several options to choose from. Praia da Rainha, with its golden sand and picturesque views, is a must-visit. Praia da Duquesa and Praia da Ribeira are also worth exploring, offering a serene seaside experience.

  • Coastal Walk: Embark on a coastal walk from Cascais to Boca do Inferno, a sea arch where you can witness the waves crashing against the rocks. This scenic path offers breathtaking views of the coastline and is a great way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area.

  • Cultural Attractions: Cascais offers a range of cultural attractions to explore. Visit Casa de Santa Maria, a charming museum and art gallery housed in a traditional Portuguese villa. The Condes de Castro Guimarães museum is another highlight, showcasing an impressive collection of art and historical artifacts.

  • Cascais Marina: If you're a fan of boats and yachts, don't miss a visit to Cascais Marina. Stroll along the waterfront, admire the impressive vessels, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this seaside town.

  • Delicious Food: Cascais is home to a variety of seafood restaurants, where you can indulge in mouthwatering dishes made with freshly caught fish. For those with dietary restrictions, vegetarian options are also available. Rua Afonso Sanches is known for its array of culinary delights.

  • Day Trips: If you have more time, consider extending your day trip and exploring nearby attractions such as the historic town of Sintra or the picturesque Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. Both are easily accessible from Cascais on the same train line.

  • Peak Season: Keep in mind that Cascais can get crowded during the peak season, particularly in the summer months. If possible, plan your visit during weekdays or opt for an off-peak season to avoid the crowds.

  • Enjoy Beach Time: Don't forget to allocate some time to relax on the beach. Cascais offers a range of beach areas, including Praia da Conceição and Praia dos Pescadores, where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the refreshing waters.


In conclusion, Cascais, a beautiful beach town located just a short train ride away from Lisbon, Portugal, offers a variety of activities for a day trip.

Upon arriving at Cascais train station, visitors can start their exploration by heading to Praia da Rainha, Praia da Duquesa, or Praia da Ribeira, where they can enjoy the sandy beaches and relax by the sea. For those interested in history and culture, Casa de Santa Maria, Condes de Castro Guimarães, and Cascais Town Hall are worth visiting in the historic center.

A coastal walk towards Cascais Marina and Boca do Inferno provides stunning views of the sea arch and the waves crashing against the cliffs. Art galleries, such as those found on Rua Afonso Sanches, showcase local talent.

Frequently Asked Questions On What to Do in Cascais for a Day

1. Is it possible to visit the Cascais day trip from Lisbon?

Yes, Cascais is just a short train ride away from Lisbon and makes for an ideal Cascais day trip destination.

2. What is the best time of year to visit Cascais?

The spring and summer months (April to September) offer the best weather for outdoor activities and beach-going. This is a perfect season for a Cascais day trip.

3. Are there any guided tours available for a day trip to Cascais?

Yes, there are several guided tours available for a day trip to Cascais, covering various aspects of the town's history, culture, and natural beauty.

4. Can I rent equipment for water sports activities in Cascais?

Yes, there are numerous rental shops offering equipment for surfing, paddleboarding, and other water sports activities along the coastline.

Reema Bharti

Reema Bharti

I am a globe-trotter with a passion for exploration. From the sun-kissed coasts of Portugal to the snow-capped peaks of Switzerland, my travels are as diverse as they are inspiring. My journeys through Spain, Finland, Austria, and Germany have fueled my soul and shaped my writing.