How to use public transportation to get to Lisbon’s beaches

Yes! There are great beaches near Lisbon, and I am going to explain how to use public transportation to get to Lisbon’s beaches. There are several nice beaches within 45 minutes of Lisbon that can be reached by bus, train or ferry.

Costa da Caparica beach, near Lisbon, Portugal
Costa da Caparica, just south of Lisbon

You can go west of Lisbon, to the smaller, more crowded beaches which are easiest to access, or you can cross the river by ferry and go south of Lisbon. These beaches are a little harder to access, but much less crowded.

Take the metro to Cais de Sodré Station (last stop on the green line). There, purchase a train (Comboios) ticket to Cascais or any of the small beaches along the train line.

Comboios train at Lisbon's Cais do Sodre train station
Train at Cais do Sodré station

The resort town of Cascais is the last stop on the train line, and will cost 2.25 euros per adult, 1.15 euros per child each way. They do not sell round trip tickets.

The full trip to Cascais will take roughly 40 minutes. The last train returning is after midnight.

West of Lisbon: Carcavelos Beach

Only 7.5 miles from Lisbon, Carcavelos Beach is by far the most popular and crowded beach near Lisbon. Almost one mile of sand, with multiple volleyball courts, bars, restaurants, cafes, and people.

For more information about Carcavelos Beach, see my article, Lisbon’s most popular beach – Carcavelos Beach, Praia de Carcavelos

West of Lisbon – Piscina Oceânico Alberto Romano

Little ones will love playing in this protected saltwater wading pool that traps in the fishies. Get off the train at São João do Estoril.

West of Lisbon: Praia do Tamariz – Estoril

Descend from the train, take the underpass, and you are on the beach. You will find restaurants, toilets, showers, and fairly calm water at this beach.

If you go in the opposite direction, away from the water, you will find the famous http://www.casino-estoril.pt/! Casino Estoril.

I mentioned the Casino Estoril in my post, https://lisbontravelideas.com/2021/05/unique-tours-and-experiences-in-and-near-lisbon

The cool building you see at the end of the beach is Chalet Barros, a palace that was built during the 19th century on the ruins of an old fort.

Tamariz is about thirty minutes from Lisbon.

West of Lisbon: End of the line – Cascais

The resort town of Cascais is the last stop on the train. There are tons of options for dining, shopping, and partying.

Some of the beaches have wide expanses of sand that are backed by the promenade.

My favorite is Praia da Rainha – the Queen’s beach, which is tucked away in a little rocky cove.

West of Lisbon: Guincho Beach / Praia do Guincho

Praia do Guincho is 5km from Cascais in the Sintra – Cascais Natural Park. As it is in the park, it has not been developed.

The wind and the waves make this beach less suitable for swimming and sunbathing, but it is very popular with surfers, windsurfers, and kitesurfers.

Praia do Guincho hosted the world cup of windsurfing in the 1990s, and the beach also hosts the Portuguese National Surfing and Bodyboarding Championships.

You can get here from Cascais on the 403 Scotturb bus. Route Schedule https://moovitapp.com/index/en/public_transit-line-403-Lisboa-2460-1550313-15379976-1 Catch this bus at the grocery store across from the train station in Cascais.

Northwest of Lisbon – Cabo da Roca

If you continue on the 403 bus, 25 minutes away from Cascais you will come to Cabo da Roca – the Rocky Cape.

It is the westernmost point in continental Europe.

You will not be swimming here. There is a lighthouse (closed to the public) sitting on a 100 m cliff overlooking the Atlantic. Great place for pictures and watching the sunset.

If you are on the bus though, you won’t be able to catch the sunset in the summer. Last bus is at 7pm.

You can catch the 403 bus back to Cascais, or take one heading to Sintra, which is only 35 minutes away.

South of Lisbon: Costa da Caparica

If people are squeezed together on the small urban beaches along the Cascais train line, Costa da Caparica has plenty of room to spread out. There are miles and miles of mostly undeveloped beaches. At various access points you will find beach bars / restaurants.

Again, the journey starts at Cais de Sodré Station (the last stop on the green line). This time, you are going to purchase a ferry ticket to Cacilhas, the town directly across the river. You can pay the 1.80 euro fare on your Viva Viagem transit card.

View of Lisbon, Portugal from the Transtejo Soflusa (TTSL) ferry
View of Lisbon from the Transtejo Soflusa (TTSL) ferry

After a 20-minute trip, the ferry docks at the bus terminal.

As you exit the ferry terminal, look for a road that leads away from the terminal. Walk a few hundred meters up the road, and on the right shoulder, you will find the stop for bus 135.

The bus stop is basically across the street from where the historic ship is docked. This is the Express Bus that goes to Costa da Caparica.

Take the bus to the very last stop.

Walk toward the building and you will see a small ramp on your right. Go up the ramp. Cross the street and walk straight a few blocks toward the beach, or if you need to stock up on water and snacks, there are a few shops to your left.

Nonetheless, the beach is straight ahead as you cross that street.

When you arrive at the beach, you will see that it is initially very crowded. But you can escape the crowds by walking for miles in either direction.

Costa da Caparica, south of Lisbon, Portugal
Walking track at Costa da Caparica beach

If you head left to the end of the boardwalk, beside the last restaurant, you will find the Transpraia Railway. This little 1950s train runs all the way south to Fonte de Telha beach for 10 euros round trip.

Beach 18 left of Casa Playa Restaurant is a nude beach. The next stop Beach 19 is a gay beach. There are fewer lifeguards the farther south you go on the train.

Fonte da Telha – Last stop on the Transpraia Railway

Interested in staying in a waterfront property for a few nights? I examine several in this article, Hotels, hostels, and houseboats on the Lisbon, Estoril, Cascais coast

There are plenty of other beach options in Portugal. These are the ones that are easiest to get to by public transportation in under an hour if you are based in Lisbon.

For more detailed information on the Costa da Caparica beaches, see my article, Explore Lisbon’s beaches on the Costa da Caparica

I also highly recommend visiting the beach towns of Ericeira and Nazaré.

Both can be reached from Lisbon by bus in just over an hour.

I would recommend spending at least one night in each of these towns, if possible. Here is an article I wrote that will give you more information about Ericeira. How do you pronounce Ericeira? And is Ericeira worth visiting?

And here is an article I wrote about Nazaré, Nazaré, Portugal – Biggest waves in the world, less than two hours from Lisbon . One of its beaches is very safe for swimming in the summer.

For more information on the Lisbon metro, see this article, Lisbon Metro: A helpful guide to the Lisbon subway