The best independent guide to Estoril
The best independent guide to Estoril
Estoril is a popular holiday destination that boasts wonderful beaches, fine restaurants and the largest casino in Portugal. The beautiful beaches make Estoril a popular day trip from Lisbon, equally if you are on holiday in Estoril, it is very easy to travel to Lisbon and explore the city.
Estoril is located 25km to the west of Lisbon, and is connected by a reliable and inexpensive train service. If you are travelling from Lisbon airport to Estoril by public transport, there is an additional stage of crossing Lisbon to the Cais do Sodré train station, which is best travelled using the metro.
This guide will detail how to travel from Lisbon to Estoril (and Estoril to Lisbon), and the final section will explain how to get to Estoril from Lisbon airport.
Related articles: Introduction to Estoril - Lisbon guide
Estoril is connected to Lisbon by the Cascais-Lisbon regional railway. This railway serves all of the towns and beaches on the northern side of the Tagus estuary between Belem in Lisbon and Cascais to the west.
Estoril is the third from last station, and this is the station to disembark for the casino, the town, coastline promenade and the Praia do Tamariz beach. There is a second smaller station in Estoril, called Monte Estoril, and this serves the area between Cascais and Estoril.
In Lisbon, the train departs from the Cais do Sodré train station, which is to the west of the historic centre. If you are visiting Lisbon as a day trip from Estoril the train stops in the Belem district, which is one of the best areas of the city for tourists.
The Cascais-Lisbon railway is operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP) which is the national train operator of Portugal. During the day, the train is safe and packed with beachgoers, but late at night, common sense should be used.
The train journey from Lisbon to Estoril passes through four fare stages, and the single fare is €2.25/€1.15 (adult/child). There are no return tickets on the Estoril railway, and the return price is the cost of two singles (€4.50/€2.30). The overly complicated CP webpage that details the fares can be found at the following link:
((link opens a new tab and is a PDF so may download on certain phones))
The train to Estoril waiting in the Cais do Sodré train station
The tickets are charged to the re-usable Viva Viagem card, which is used for all public transport in the Lisbon region. The card costs €0.50 for the initial purchase, and each traveller must have their own card.
Obviously, the Lisbon to Estoril train ticket is not included in the 24-hour unlimited public transport ticket.
Insight: This 24hour unlimited public transport ticket is great value when exploring Lisbon as a day trip, and is purchased from any metro station for €6.40.
There is a 24-hour unlimited urban-railway ticket for €6.00, but this does not include the public transport in Lisbon (metro/bus/tram), and is more expensive than a return train ticket.
The beaches of Estoril are worth the effort!
The Lisbon to Estoril railway is an urban train service, therefore tickets cannot be pre-booked or purchased from the CP website (www.cp.pt). There is no need to pre-book, as seats are always available and there is sufficient space for bulky luggage.
Tickets must be purchased before boarding the train and there are barriers between the station concourse and the platforms. The ticket machines are often much quicker than queuing for the ticket office and all machines have instructions in multiple languages, including English.
The Lisbon-Estoril-Cascais train route is one of the most frequent train services in Portugal; for most daytime trips, just turn up at the station and a train will be departing soon. During daylight hours there is a departure every 20 minutes, with more at rush hour. The frequency drops in the evening and the last trains of the night depart from both ends of the line (Cascais and Lisbon) at 0:30am, 1:00am, and 1:30am (correct at Feb 2021).
The train journey takes between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on the number of stops and. For the full timetable please see the CP website:
(Note: the above link opens a new window)
There are slightly faster trains at rush hour which miss out on certain smaller stations, but the best approach is to catch the first (and correct) train available.
The train to Estoril departs Lisbon from the Cais do Sodré train station. This train station is to the west of central Lisbon and is connected to the green metro line by the Cais do Sodré metro station. Estoril train station is centrally located on the edge of the beach and close to the grounds of the casino.
The Cais do Sodré railway station in Lisbon
Estoril station is very small, but it does have a ticket office and ticket machines. All of Estoril bus services depart from outside the train station and there are always taxis waiting in the same area.
The Estoril to Lisbon railway is a busy train line serving both commuters and beachgoers. The train line is no more dangerous than in any other big city, but never overly display money or other expensive items, which may tempt pickpockets. When travelling late at night, it is advisable to sit close to other passengers, as there have been reports of late-night robberies on lone travellers (these never occur during the day).
The railway terminates in the pretty and traditional fishing town of Cascais, which is about a 20-minute walk from Estoril. A pleasant activity while Estoril is walking from Estoril to Cascais along the beachfront promenade and catching the train from Cascais. Cascais train station is in the same fare zone as Estoril, so the same ticket is valid.
The railway also connects Estoril with the best beach of the region, the Praia de Carcavelos, and this is a great destination for a beach day trip.
Lisbon airport is located within the city limits, and is only 8km north of the historic and popular tourist districts Baixa and Alfama, and 9km from the Cais do Sodré train station.
The journey from Lisbon Airport to Estoril by public transport is divided into two distinct sections; the first stage of the route is from the airport to the Cais do Sodré train station while the second stage is from Lisbon to Estoril by train.
The entire journey to Estoril takes between 60-90 minutes, depending on connections and the total cost is less than €7.00 per person.
Insight: This is not a difficult journey during the day, but later at night (past 7pm we would suggest taking a pre-booked taxi)
There are four ways to travel from Lisbon airport to Cais do Sodré train station; the metro, the Aerobus, a taxi or Uber. We prefer taking the metro as it is modern, reliable and the cheapest option, but a connection is required, and this is inconvenient if travelling with bulky or heavy luggage.
The airport is connected to the red metro line, while Cais do Sodré station is the final stop on the green metro line, and the change of lines is required at Alameda metro station. This connection at Alameda has a walk of approximately 200 meters, with two sets of stairs – there are lifts. A single metro ticket costs €1.50 and is changed to the Viva Viagem card (which is also need for the train)
The Aerobus provides a direct bus service from Lisbon airport to the Cais do Sodré train station, via the Baixa district. A single ticket costs €4.00 and allows for unlimited travel on all of Lisbon's buses for 24 hours. There is an Aerobus departure every 20 minutes and services operate between 7:30 and 22:30. The bus bay is clearly marked outside the arrivals hall and tickets are purchased from the driver. The main advantage of the Aerobus is that the service is direct to Cais do Sodré, and is useful if transporting heavy luggage.
A taxi ride is the fastest method to reach Cais do Sodré and is suitable for groups or families. Lisbon taxis are inexpensive when compared to the rest of Europe, but are notorious for fleecing tourist on airport fares. A single journey to the station should cost around €10-€15 Euro, plus €1.50 for luggage (not per piece of luggage). Always check that the meter is on before leaving the airport, or at least having an agreed price.
Uber is available in Lisbon, and though no cheaper than a taxi, it does provide the guarantee that you won't be overcharged. Uber pick-ups are from a special bay near departures called "kiss and fly".
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