A Day In Cascais
Publish date : October 12, 2022
If you’ve done some research on Cascais, you’re probably overwhelmed with the amount of urban and natural attractions to see, museums to visit, and restaurants and bars where to eat and drink. That’s why we have shaped a great day in Cascais for you. Hop on.
In a town built next to the ocean, it makes sense to start the day with your eyes on the water, to feel the breeze and smell of the sea. The ciclovia (bicycle path) connects the Cascais Marina to Guincho beach, 8790 meters for you to walk, run, cycle or skate — your choice! If you make it to the Guincho area, you’ll see a road sign telling you that you just entered the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Breathing fresh air, watching the waves hit the rocks, and jogging alongside the locals is an excellent way to start the day.
Later, head to the center of Cascais and discover one of the most dynamic projects in recent years: Mercado da Vila, or Town Market, which was refurbished in 2012. It has restaurants for many tastes, shops, florists, and fish and meat stalls. On Wednesdays and Saturdays in the morning, it’s time for Mercado Saloio (folk market), with vendors selling fresh local products. You’ll sure be tempted to fill a basket of fruit and take it home.
From there, head out to the sea. Right after passing the train station, enter Paredão (Promenade). If you feel like it, take a dip right on the first beaches: Conceição and Duquesa. It’s perhaps the best way to understand why many Cascais residents choose to go on a holiday without leaving home. The transparent and calm sea water is great for those who like to swim or to stand up paddle.
Let's continue on to Rua Frederico Arouca, the center of traditional trade in Cascais, known as ‘Rua Direita’ (‘Straight Street’) by the locals, even though it’s a climb, or descent, depending on the perspective.
There are shops, restaurants, cafes, wine cellars, and ice cream parlors, both in the main artery and in perpendicular alleys. If you want to impress your travel companion, turn to Rua das Flores, and go straight ahead to Rua Fernandes Tomás, go up a few meters and find an outdoor balcony that has the most Instagrammable view of Cascais.
From there, go down to the bay, Baía de Cascais, and take a break. That’s why the wall was placed there: to allow you to enjoy the view. Ahead, the fishermen's boats that set sail to the sea every day: On the left, the Estoril coast, which extends to Oeiras and Lisbon. To the right, a series of very picturesque old houses.
Climb up the slope that leads to the citadel. Inside the fortified walls, nowadays, there is a set of buildings with a hotel, art galleries, restaurants, and shops that you can visit. Fort Nossa Senhora da Luz is a must-see. Then, pass by the palace, once a summer home for the Royal Portuguese Family, and later occasionally used by the President of the Republic. Make sure you explore the Cidadela Art District, with several works of art at different points of the buildings.
To finish off
From there, and having already visited some attractions of the Museum Quarter, walk to one of the lead attractions in town: Casa das Histórias Paula Rego. A modern building, designed by the architect and Pritzker award winner Eduardo Souto de Moura to host Paula Rego’s works, in both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
It’s time to give art a rest, and cross the Marechal Carmona Park, one of the lungs of the town, to stop once more for some fresh air, lose oneself in the middle of the trees, look at the peacocks and ducks (every child’s delight). You’ll get out in front of the marina, the best place to have a drink at the end of the day, as the sun goes down.
If you still have energy, the core of the nightlife is at Largo de Camões, which has several bars, with various music genres on the commercial wave. Take your pick!
Thinking about making the move to Cascais? Before you take the leap, check out our article 5 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Cascais!