Where are the best beaches in Lisbon and how to get to them

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estoril beach lisbon

A visit to Lisbon may not be complete without a brisk dip in the Atlantic Ocean. But where are the best beaches in Lisbon? And how do you get to them? Find out more in our short guide.

Does Lisbon have a beach?

Lisbon city centre does not have a beach. But, there are a range of beaches very close to Lisbon that are easily accessible by public transport for a day trip.

Lisbon city centre is actually on the River Tagus and not on the sea, but the Atlantic coast is not far away. One of the things that we love about Lisbon, is that all though it is not on the sea, it has a feeling of a beach side town. There are plenty of places in Lisbon city centre that you can sit and enjoy the view of the water.

Are there beaches near Lisbon?

There are many beaches that are perfect for a day trip from Lisbon. All of which are accessible by public transport! Here are some of the best ones:

One: Costa Caparica

Costa Caparica is a long sweeping coastline across the River Tagus from Lisbon city centre. The coastline is broken up into smaller beach sections, all of which have slightly different offering. Some are popular with LGBT+, others have nudist sections and many are popular for surfing.

Two: Cascais

Cascais is a beach town that has a number of beaches. Praia da Rainha is a smaller bay closest to the old town, a delight for a few hours with very calm water. Praia da Duquesa is a larger and more popular beach in town.

Three: EstorilPraia do Tamariz

A delightful bay right next to the upmarket town of Estoril. A small beach that can become crowded in the summer.

Four: Praia da Caxias

The nearest beach to Lisbon, a small sandy bay, suitable for anyone trying to grab a few hours by the beach with limited time to explore.

Which is the best beach in Lisbon?

This really depends on what you’re after! Personally, our favorite was the long sandy stretch of beach along Costa da Caparica. Not only does this beach not feel like a tourist trap, but it’s actually only around 10km from the centre of the city!

Many tourists visiting Lisbon love Cascais and Estoril, both are upmarket beach towns and make a good day out. But, they are more touristy and more expensive than the more local Costa da Caparica.

There are also other beaches North West of Lisbon, if you have a car, these are very accessible and they offer the most space and value for money. This post focuses on beaches that you can get to easily on public transport from the centre of Lisbon city.

Which is the best beach in Lisbon for families

We would say that the best beach for families is by far the stretch of beach along the Costa da Caparica. This coast line is not only near to Lisbon, but it also tends to be quieter. A long stretch of sandy beach with plenty of room for kids to run around and play ball games.

You can take surf lessons too. Providing fun for the whole family! The sea here does tend to be a little choppier, but the beaches have life guards and especially when the tide is out, the water is shallow near to the shore.

There are also lots of spacious beach clubs offering the chance to take respite from the sun throughout the day. These serve food and refreshments. Further into the main town, you will find a wide range of restaurants and some souvenir shops.

If you have smaller children, you may prefer Cascais, which has much calmer water than Costa Caparica.

Which is the closest beach to Lisbon?

The closest beach to Lisbon is Praia da Caxias. The train takes only 15 minutes to get to Caxias and you arrive directly opposite the beach. But, do keep in mind that it is not the biggest beach in the Lisbon area. It may become quite crowded in the summer. Personally, I’d prefer to continue a little further to Estoril or Cascais.

Which is the best beach near to Lisbon for a full day out

Cascais is possibly the best beach near Lisbon if you want a full day out, including some activities that are not on the beach. The town of Cascais is beautiful and has plenty of cafes, restaurants bars to enjoy a full day out.

In addition, it’s well worth visiting some of the cultural heritage sites in Cascais whilst you are there. Such as the Castro Guimarães Palace. All round including the many bays to choose from, Cascais gives you the option to enjoy a full day out.

One downside of Cascais is that it very touristy and therefore crowded in the summer. The train line can become very packed at peak times. It’s also quite expensive. We still think it’s worth a visit from Lisbon, but just be aware that it is not a cheap place to eat and drink out.

Which is the best beach for couples

Praia do Tamariz is another beach on the Lisbon riviera very near to Estroil train station. It is not as big a some of the beaches further along the train line in Cascais, but it is still beautiful. Praia do Tamariz is also easy to get to.

The reason we think this is the best beach for couples is that it is very low key and relaxed. The water is also super clam and crystal clear, making it enjoyable to swim in the water together. There are a few restaurants and bars on the beach and others in the town near to the Estoril Gardens.

That said, a couple would also enjoy a full day out in Cascais. Both Estoril and Cascais are suitable for couples. Costa Caparica also has LGBTQ+ beaches and is a popular option.

How to get to Costa da Caparica from Lisbon

On the surface, it may look complicated to get to Costa Caparica from Lisbon, but it’s not. There are a few inexpensive puclic transport options.

Firstly, you can take a bus from Sete Rios. The fare is around 2.90 Euros and the bus takes approx 45 minutes. But, do keep in mind that it can take longer in traffic.

We think the more fun way is to take the ferry from Cais do Sodre to Cacilhas and then take a bus. There are many bus options from Cacilhas to the coast. The ferry costs 1.50 Euros and takes around 5 minutes.

What to do in Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica is the perfect beach to spend a whole day. You can pack a cool box and drinks or enjoy a snack at one of the beach clubs. If you’re feeling more active, why not join the surfers in the water for a lesson?

In the evening, the promenade is a great place to hang around and watch the sunset. Many people come out to enjoy the evening. You can also run or stroll along the promenade.

How to get to Cascais from Lisbon

By far, the easiest way to get to Cascais from Lisbon is on train. The train departs frequent from Cais do Sodre station, in the centre of the city. It takes just 35 minutes and costs around 2.30 Euros. Keep in mind, it does get busy on the train in the summer.

If you wanted to get an uber, you could expect to pay around 25 Euros.

What to do in Cascais

There are three different beaches in Cascais, you can take your time to enjoy all three, grabbing an ice cream as you move your towel!

Apart from sunbathing, there is actually rather a lot to do in Cascais. The town itself is quite buzzy and has some good restaurants and bars, including craft beer hang outs. It has somewhat of a “surf town” vibe.

If you’re done with sunbathing on the sand, you could head out for a sunset boat cruise a great way to see Cascais from the water. If you prefer your adventures on land, you could visit the Castro Guimarães Palace, an aristocratic house famous in the area. Or, head to the Boca do Inferno (the mouth of hell!) It’s not as bad as it sounds, it’s a pretty phenomenal cave in Cascais. You can walk there from Cascais, or take a tour.

How to get to Estoril from Lisbon

Estoril is on the same train line as Cascais, the easiest way to get there is on the train. Take a direct train from Cais do Sodre in the centre of Lisbon. The journey will take around 30 minutes and cost 2.30 Euros.

What to do in Estoril

Estoril is a town on the Portuguese Riviera, between Cascais and Lisbon. It is dripping in old world elegance and makes an interesting place to visit. Apart from the beach, there are a few attractions.

One is the Estoril Casino, which is either the biggest Casino in Europe, or one of the biggest, depending on who you ask! The former Estoril Palace is also worth a look in, although it is now a hotel, you can enjoy a drink in there.

Beyond this, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy.

How to get to Praia da Caxias

The fastest and cheapest way to get to Praia da Caxias is on the train. It takes around 15 minutes and costs less than 2 Euros. Trains run regularly from Cais do Sodre in the centre of the city.

What to do in Praia de Caxias

There’s not a whole lot in Praia de Caxias beyond the beach. But who needs ore than that? Pack a cool box and enjoy a few hours of R&R.

For more information on exploring Lisbon, you can check out our city guide here.

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