The best independent guide to Cascais
The best independent guide to Cascais
Cascais is a fantastic holiday destination, boasting glorious beaches, traditional Portuguese character and a buzzing summertime holiday atmosphere.
The main international airport of the region is Lisbon Airport, which is located 35km east of Cascais.
The journey from Lisbon Airport to Cascais by public transport requires both the metro and a train ride, however it is inexpensive - costing just €4.70 for an adult. The downside is that the journey takes around 90 minutes, including all the connections. For faster transfers, there are taxis or the ride-hailing apps of Uber or Bolt.
This article will detail all the options for travelling from Lisbon Airport to Cascais and will explain the journey by public transport in depth.
Relates article: Cascais introduction
The arrivals building at Lisbon Airport, with the entrance to the metro at the front.
There are a number of options when travelling from the airport to Cascais, which include:
• Taxi hired from the airport
• Ride-hailing app (Uber or Bolt)
• Pre-booked private transfer
• Public transport (metro/bus and train - this is detailed at the end of the article)
Public transport works very well if you land early in the day and have plenty of time. The journey only costs €4.70 (€1.80 metro, €2.40 train and €0.50 ‘Navegante’ card), however it takes approximately 90 minutes, including all of the connections. Full details are provided later in this article.
The journey by Uber is much quicker and more convenient, especially if you are travelling with heavy luggage, in a group of 4, or with children. The Uber fare from Lisbon Airport to Cascais can be really cheap (from €25), but it will cost more at times of high demand.
Uber requires the app to be installed on your phone, and it is advisable to have it set up before you arrive in Portugal.
The following sections will detail all of the transport options for travel from the airport to Cascais.
A taxi from the airport to Cascais should be the backup when other options are not convenient or are not available (such as when it is too late for the train).
Hiring a taxi directly from the arrivals lounge will be the most expensive means of travel to Cascais.
Fares to Cascais are difficult to predict because they depend on many variables, including the time, the day (taxis will cost more at weekends), the amount of traffic and the size of taxi taken. A typical taxi fare will be around €70, which will be 20 per cent higher at night. There will be an additional charge of €1.65 for luggage.
Taxis are good value for short journeys within the city limits but are costly for longer rides. Once a Lisbon taxi exits the city limits, the fare rate will increase - as it is not allowed to do pick-ups outside of its registered zone.
Avoid taking a large taxi (7-seater) unless you need it, as these charge 20 per cent more than regular four-seater taxis.
If you are forced to take a taxi to Cascais, always ensure the meter is switched on or agree a price before leaving.
Unfortunately, Lisbon’s taxi drivers have a reputation for trying to exploit exhausted tourists who have just landed. Also, expect to give at least a 10 per cent tip, and payment is preferred in cash (but do not use a €50 note).
Insight: Always have cash available, just in case your bank card does not work with the mobile payment machine the taxi driver will have.
The taxi rank in front of the terminal building.
The ride-hailing apps of Uber and Bolt are a much better alternative than a taxi. The fare will always be much lower, and the exact price will be known at the time of booking.
Fares vary greatly and depend on demand, but prices start from €25 (for up to 4 people) for a mid-morning pick-up in the low season.
The downside to both Uber and Bolt is trying to connect to a driver at peak times (rush hour, early evenings and most of July and August). Many drivers will reject the hassle of an airport pick-up and opt for easier fares. This appears as the app continually searching for drivers, or drivers accepting fares and then driving in the wrong direction (hoping you’ll cancel).
Insight: Uber is slightly more expensive than Bolt, but the standard of their cars and drivers is better. We prefer Uber.
For the journey from the airport to Cascais, we would suggest booking a ‘comfort’ level car (for both Uber and Bolt), which costs approximately 15 per cent more. This will ensure you get a bigger and better car, while the higher fare will attract more drivers. A comfort classified driver can accept both comfort and regular fares, but will always choose a comfort hire first as it pays more.
Insight: If you are based in a country that does not use Euros, ensure that the Uber/Bolt app is attached to a bank account that does not charge fees for foreign currencies. The Uber or Bolt fare will charge your account in Euros, and these additional bank fees can quickly build up.
In the airport, follow the ‘Pré-Reservas Online’ signs for the Uber and Bolt pick-up area.
The Uber and Bolt pick-up area is within the short-stay car park.
A pre-booked private transfer from the airport to Cascais requires planning before arriving in Lisbon, but is extremely convenient and will generally cost less than a regular taxi.
As well as being cheaper than a taxi, you will have the convenience of a driver meeting you at the entrance to the arrivals hall and helping you navigate the busy airport.
We have worked with GetYourGuide for the last seven years, and some of the best airport transfers to Cascais include:
There are three stages of the journey from the airport to your accommodation in Cascais:
• Airport to Cais do Sodre train station (metro, €1.80)
• Cais do Sodre station to Cascais (train, €2.40)
• Cascais train station to accommodation (walk, taxi or Uber)
For the first stage, you may wish to take a taxi or Uber from the airport to the Cais do Sodre train station, which removes crossing Lisbon by metro.
Cais do Sodre train station
The first stage of the journey is travelling from the airport to Cais do Sodre train station. The station is to the west of Lisbon’s historic centre at GPS: 38.705, -9.145 (link to Google Maps).
Lisbon Airport is connected to the first station on the red metro line, while Cais do Sodre is the last stop on the green line. The route requires a connection at Alameda metro station and involves a walk of 300m and three flights of stairs/escalators.
A single metro ticket costs €1.80 and is charged to the reusable Navegante card; the initial purchase for this card is €0.50. The train to Cascais also uses the Navegante card.
It may be easier to take an Uber (€8 to €10) or taxi (€10 to €15) for this part of the journey.
The second stage of the journey is the train from Cais do Sodre to Cascais. During daylight hours, there is a departure every 20 minutes, with the journey taking between 50 and 60 minutes, depending on the number of stops. The last trains at night depart from both Cascais and Lisbon at 12.30am, 1am and 1.30am. For the full timetable, please see the CP website:
(The above link is a PDF file, so it may download on certain phones).
The train journey from Lisbon to Cascais costs €2.40 for an adult single and €1.20 for a child. The ticket is charged to the Navegante card, the same card used for the metro.
Tickets can be purchased from the ticket office or the ticket machines. Cais do Sodre railway station can get very busy in the mornings during the summer months as everyone heads to the beach. If travelling at this time, expect long queues at the ticket office and ticket machines.
Insight: The Lisbon to Cascais train fare can be paid using the zapping public transport ticket. For this ticket, you load credit onto the Navegante card at any metro station, then simply use the card at the station barriers to pay for the fare. This ticket can be a great way to avoid the long queues at the train station and also reduces the train fare to just €2. Further details can be seen on the CP website:
The train journey from Lisbon to Estoril takes between 50 and 60 minutes, depending on the number of stops. The route is very scenic as it passes through the Belem district and along the coastline, with views over the Tejo Estuary and beaches. To get the best view, sit on the left side of the carriage, with a view to the south.
Cais do Sodre is a busy train station, so always use sensible precautions to avoid attracting pickpockets and other opportunistic thieves.
The train passing through the Belem district
Cascais is the final stop of the railway, and the station is located in the centre of the town at GPS coordinates are GPS: 38.700, -9.418. Outside of the station is a taxi rank if a further journey is needed to reach your hotel. The main bus station of Cascais is located below the Cascais Villa shopping centre, a 200m walk from the station.
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