What to do in Cascais
Cascais is one of the most popular cities for day trips from Lisbon. It has many historical monuments, attractions and interesting museums. Cascais is just a short train ride from Lisbon.
In this guide, designed for tourists who come to Cascais for just one day, we focus on the most popular attractions of the city. More information for tourists staying in Cascais can be found here. Entrance to all museums in the city, as well as visits to most of the sights are free, but on Mondays and on holidays most of them are closed.
Boca de Inferno (the mouth of the Devil or the mouth of the underworld) is a rock mass 2 km north of Cascais. The main feature is a huge cave formed in one of the rocks, on the walls of which huge waves of the Atlantic Ocean beat. This area is very popular among fishermen who risk serious injury by climbing the slippery surface of rocks. Boca de Inferno is just a 15-minute walk from the port.
Museum of Count Castro Guimaraes
The Count Kastru Guimaraes Museum is housed in a charming castle built in pseudo-Gothic style in 1902 by an Irish tobacco millionaire. After the death of the count, the castle was transferred to the municipality of Cascais, which turned it into a state museum where you can see old furniture and various works of art from the count’s personal collection. The museum’s most valuable exhibit is an old manuscript of the 16th century, which houses one of Lisbon’s oldest illustrations. This beautiful museum is set among magnificent gardens with ornamental plants in Marshal Carmona Park.
The exposition of this small but informative museum tells about local fishing traditions, as well as the history of the development of fishing in Cascais and Portugal. Ocean museum exhibits and a huge collection of fishing boats are exhibited in the second hall of the museum. An excursion to this interesting museum will take you no more than 30 minutes.
Casa de Santa Maria
Casa de Santa Maria (the house of St. Mary) is another magnificent castle of the 19th century open for tourists to visit. From the top windows of the castle offers amazing views of the port and the coast of Cascais. The most remarkable feature of the interior is a bewitching mosaic made of decorative tiles. Opposite the castle is a white and blue lighthouse, inside which is a small museum.
Marshal Carmona Park
The park of Marshal Carmona has wonderful gardens adjacent to the castle of Count Castro Guimaraes. There is a duck pond, a children’s zoo with pets and ornamental gardens. This quiet and cozy park, along which peacocks are walking slowly and importantly, is a favorite picnic spot for the Portuguese.
Marina and fortress of the Cascais Citadel
The marina houses several expensive restaurants and bars, visitors to which are very wealthy people whose chic boats are moored at the pier. The marina is located in the shadow of the Cascais fortress (Fortaleza da Sidadela). The fortress of the 16th century was transformed into an exclusive hotel with luxurious rooms on the site of the former barracks.
Cascais Cultural Center
The Cascais Cultural Center (Centro Cultural de Cascais) is an art museum that holds traveling exhibitions in addition to several permanent ones. The facade of the building is painted in bright pink. There used to be a monastery here. Entrance to this museum, as to all other museums in the city, is free.
Centro Cultural de Cascais
Bright exterior of Cascais Cultural Center
Paula Rego History House
The House of History (Casa-dazh-Historia) is another art museum with a permanent exhibition of works by Paula Rego. Periodically, the museum holds traveling exhibitions. The most striking feature of the museum is the building itself, painted in terracotta pink and having two huge towers, somewhat reminiscent of the chimneys of the National Palace in Sintra.
Praia da Ribeira is a small beach in the center of Cascais, from which you can clearly see a quiet fishing harbor. The charming Praia da Rainha beach was once the private beach of Queen Dona Amelia. Both beaches can be reached on foot from Cascais, however they are small and in the summer a lot of people gather there. If you are interested in better beaches, head to either Praia de Carcavelos Beach or surf Praia de Ginshu ..