A 17th-century fort welcomes you to the beach of Caxias
The closest real beach to the center of Lisbon is found just over 15 minutes away, by Forte de São Bruno, a 17th-century star-shaped fortress. There are bigger and better beaches further down the coast, so this wouldn’t be among the most recommended beaches in the region, but its proximity to the capital means you can admire landmarks as you get your feet wet.
You can see 25 de Abril Bridge and the Monument to Christ from the beach
There’s a view of 25 de Abril Bridge and of the Monument to Christ in the distance, but your attention will likely be drawn to the fortress, which was one of several built to defend the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor. It was once open for visits, but is now closed and showing signs of neglect.
This beach is mostly frequented by the people of the suburb of Oeiras
There’s sand on either side of the monument, mainly attracting locals for a few hours of sunbathing. Locals also go for drinks and a quick bite at the café facing the fort, which has outdoor seating in the shade of palm trees.
The fort of Giribita stands on the western end of the beach
On the western end of the beach is another fort (Forte da Giribita, also known as Forte de Nossa Senhora de Porto Salvo), completed in 1679. The royal coat of arms can still be seen above the main entrance, and although it’s not open for visits, it’s in a good state of repair, unlike the neighboring fort of São Bruno.
Beach for: Sunbathing
Bar or Restaurant: Yes
How to Get to Praia de Caxias
Caxias is one of the stops of the Cascais train that departs every 20 minutes from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré Station. It takes just 16 minutes to reach, and the beach is right across the street as you exit the train.
If you have purchased the Lisboa Card, you may ride the train for free.
Attractions by Praia de Caxias
Instead of crossing the road to the beach as you step off the train in Caxias, head in the opposite direction, and walk just a few feet to the royal estate Quinta Real de Caxias. It was built in the 1800s as a summer residence of the crown prince, and is worth a visit for its monumental baroque waterfall facing a formal garden. Created by the great national sculptor Machado de Castro, it represents the mythical bath of Diana. The buildings of the former royal residence are awaiting much-needed restoration, and the waterfall itself is without water. However, the formal gardens are still rather well maintained, and the site is worth a detour from the beach.
Hotel by Praia de Caxias
Vila Galé Collection Palácio dos Arcos
Just over a 10-minute walk from Caxias Beach, this is one of the top hotels on the Lisbon coast. It’s a renovated 15-century palace, where Portugal’s kings often went to watch boat races and see the caravels depart to uncharted waters. The 76 rooms have a poetry-inspired décor, and are in the original building and in a new wing. Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a restaurant, and a bar.