Top 10 Lisbon Beaches

The Best and the Most Beautiful

Due to the variety of beaches on the different coastlines around Lisbon, it’s not easy deciding where to go for a day of sun, sea and sand. It always depends on whether you’re relying on public transportation or renting a car, and if you’re looking to just sunbathe, swim or surf. Below is a list of the best beaches in the region, taking into account their accessibility, crowd-pleasing characteristics or Instagram-worthy beauty.

    Praia da Conceição, Cascais

  • 1. Praia da Conceição
  • It’s the beach closest to the train station in Cascais, but it’s the calm waters and beautiful scenery that really brings the crowds of tourists and the local youth. It’s also conveniently found just outside the pedestrianized old center of town, and is the starting point of a continuous promenade that goes past a number of other beaches. If you’re looking for quiet moments by the sea and plenty of space to spread your towel, this is not the beach for you, but you’ll still want to make it your first stop on a beach-hopping day along the coast closest to the center of Lisbon.

    Beach for: Swimming, Paddling, Walks by the sea
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: 45 minutes

    See the Praia da Conceição Guide.


    Praia de Carcavelos

  • 2. Praia de Carcavelos
  • There are other beaches even closer to the center of Lisbon, but this is the first one fully on the Atlantic (the others before it mix the waters of the river and the sea). It’s also the biggest, and currently the most popular with young tourists, thanks to its sports facilities that allow you to surf or play volleyball or beach soccer on the sand. It remains popular with locals, so expect crowds on weekends. During the official bathing season you’ll also find massage stands and plenty of spots for drinks and meals.

    Beach for: Surfers, Sports
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: 35 minutes

    See the Praia de Carcavelos Guide.


    Costa da Caparica

  • 3. Costa da Caparica
  • The longest stretch of sand of all the coastlines in the Lisbon region is divided into different beaches (although it’s really one long beach), some of them with trendy bars and others providing enough privacy for naturists. A tourist train connects the beaches in the summer season, going past the different bars and ending at the nudist section and Lisbon’s “gay beach.” The bars are also the places to be at night, serving cocktails to the sounds of live DJs.
    Surprisingly, it attracts few tourists, but it’s the top choice of the people of Lisbon for a day by the sea.

    Beach for: Surfers, Kitesurfers, Nightlife, Nudists
    How to get there from Lisbon: Bus or Ferry+Bus
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: It’s just 20 minutes by car but about 1 hour by public transportation

    See the Costa da Caparica Guide.


    Praia do Guincho, Cascais

  • 4. Praia do Guincho
  • It’s windy and therefore the beach for windsurfers (it's also one of Lisbon's top surfing beaches), but will satisfy anyone looking for a less crowded beach surrounded by natural beauty. It’s part of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, and is also known for its seafood restaurants and dunes of golden sand. If you’re a James Bond fan, you may have already seen it in the opening scene of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

    Beach for: Surfers, Windsurfers, Foodies
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train+Bus
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: Just over 1 hour

    See the Praia do Guincho Guide.


    Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo, Sesimbra

  • 5. Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo
  • It’s not easy to get to, and was once a well-guarded secret, but this beach is now a popular adventure for Lisbonites and tourists. That’s because it involves following a trail down a cliff, but it’s one of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches (it’s certainly the most stunning in the Lisbon region). Because of the difficult access, it tends to only attract young crowds, who then spend their time taking selfies in the calm waters, with a backdrop that looks more like Thailand than Europe.

    Beach for: Swimming, Couples, Instagram shots
    How to get there from Lisbon: Bus+Walk
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: It’s 50 minutes by car followed by a 20-minute hike, but if you’re relying on public transportation, it’s 1 hour and 15 minutes by bus + 30-minute walk + 20-minute hike.

    See the Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo Guide.


    Praia do Creiro, Arrábida

  • 6. Praia do Creiro
  • It’s the most popular beach on the most beautiful coastline in the Lisbon region, and if it were closer to the city, it would be where everyone would go for a day by the sea. It has calm, crystal-clear waters and a landscape that makes it look like an island in the Indian Ocean, despite the Mediterranean vegetation and the Atlantic waters. It’s within walking distance of three other similar beaches, so it’s an opportunity to experience four beautiful beaches in one day.

    Beach for: Swimming, Couples, Families, Instagram shots
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train+Bus
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: It’s about 1 hour by car, but the train+bus journey can take 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.

    See the Praia do Creiro Guide.


    Praia dos Galapinhos, Arrábida

  • 7. Praia dos Galapinhos
  • It’s one of the three beaches easily accessible from Praia to Creiro listed above, and was once considered Europe’s most beautiful. Voters were obviously impressed by the views of its crystal-clear waters and pristine landscape, and it’s in fact postcard-perfect. It’s never too crowded and the water is always calm, so it’s the ideal destination for a relaxing day by the sea.

    Beach for: Swimming, Couples, Families, Instagram shots
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train+Bus
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: Just like Praia do Creiro above, it’s about 1 hour by car, but by public transportation it’s about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.

    See the Praia dos Galapinhos Guide.


    Praia da Ursa, Sintra

  • 8. Praia da Ursa
  • Europe’s westernmost beach is located halfway between Sintra and Cascais, below a cape that marks the westernmost spot of mainland Europe. You don’t need to be a hiker or a mountain climber to reach it, but it requires some patience and effort, as you have to follow a trail down a cliff. The sense of adventure and the magnificent all-natural scenery of sea stacks make it one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences on the Lisbon coast. It’s a stunningly beautiful and romantic place, and if its waves weren’t usually so ferocious (and therefore forbidding swimming), it would probably be one of Lisbon’s favorite beaches.

    Beach for: Couples, Nudists
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train+Bus
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: 1 hour and 25 minutes (40 minutes by train + 25 minutes by bus + 20-minute hike)

    See the Praia da Ursa Guide.


    Praia da Rainha, Cascais

  • 9. Praia da Rainha
  • If you’re looking for a perfectly-scenic Instagram beach with easy access to the city, this is it. It’s quite small, but it’s Cascais at its prettiest, nestled between rocks facing the harbor and with crystal-clear waters.
    After a day in the sun, head up the steps to the terrace that overlooks the beach, and take a selfie with the beautiful scenery as backdrop.
    It’s conveniently located in the pedestrianized center of Cascais, just a short walk from the train station.

    Beach for: Swimming, Couples, Children, Instagram shots
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: 45 minutes

    See the Praia da Rainha Guide.


    Troia

  • 10. Troia
  • Although officially outside the Lisbon coast, this peninsula is one long magnificent sandy beach that can be a wonderful day trip from the capital. Getting there is part of the fun, as it involves taking a scenic ferry. It’s the starting point of Portugal’s longest uninterrupted stretch of sand, and offers plenty of space and seclusion in miles of dunes with views of the Arrábida Natural Park.

    Beach for: Couples, Families
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train+Ferry
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: 90 minutes (about 1 hour for train + 15-minute walk to ferry station + 15-minute ferry crossing)

    See the Troia Guide.


    5 OTHER GREAT BEACHES THAT YOU’LL WANT TO CONSIDER:

    Praia da Adraga, Sintra

  • Praia da Adraga
  • Largely considered one of Lisbon’s (and, according to a British newspaper, even one of Europe’s) most beautiful beaches, this is a wild beach dotted with dark rocks. Because there’s no direct public transportation, it’s mostly free of tourists, but its natural beauty has begun to attract an increasing number of locals. On the quieter days there’s enough seclusion for naturists, but can be quite crowded on weekends.

    Beach for: Couples, Instagram shots
    How to get there from Lisbon: Car only
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: 50 minutes

    See the Praia da Adraga Guide.


    Praia do Tamariz, Estoril

  • Praia do Tamariz
  • Overlooked by a castle and found just across the road from Europe’s largest casino, this was Lisbon’s postcard beach in the mid-20th century. It remains one of the most popular, thanks to the many hotels nearby, plus the good facilities, beach bars, and the location by a train station.

    Beach for: Drinks in the sun; Instagram shots
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: 35 minutes

    See the Praia do Tamariz Guide.


    Praia Grande, Sintra

  • Praia Grande
  • It’s the largest beach on the Sintra coast, and features well-preserved dinosaur footprints on its tall cliffs, plus what is said to be Europe’s largest seawater swimming pool. It attracts a mostly local, young and sporty crowd, which surfs or drinks at the bars facing the sea, even outside the official bathing season.

    Beach for: Surfers
    How to get there from Lisbon: Train+Bus
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: About 1 hour and 15 minutes (37 minutes for the train and about 35 minutes for the bus -- but note that the bus is rather infrequent, so allow some time for the connection)

    See the Praia Grande Guide.


    Meco

  • Meco
  • This rather wild beach, protected by cliffs and a pine forest, is Portugal’s most famous nude beach. It’s also one of the trendiest in the Lisbon region, thanks to its restaurant that has attracted local bohemians (the first to sunbathe in their birthday suits here in the 1980s) for decades. The water is usually too rough for swimming, but the dunes and the relaxed atmosphere are perfect for a day in the sun.

    Beach for: Couples, Naturists
    How to get there from Lisbon: Car only
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: 50 minutes

    See the Meco Guide.


    Praia da Califórnia, Sesimbra

  • Praia da Califórnia
  • No, it has no links to the American state and it’s said that this location already had this name before the colonization of what is now the United States (“califórnia” in Portuguese means a deep cave). Located between cliffs and a 17th-century fort, it’s one of two beaches in the center of the fishing town of Sesimbra. It can get quite crowded in the summer, when it attracts families from the region, but with so many other beaches closer to Lisbon it’s not usually part of tourists’ itineraries. Still, it should be considered on an extended stay in the Portuguese capital, especially if you prefer calm waters (as opposed to surfing waves) and enjoy fresh fish and seafood (there are several restaurants on the promenade leading to this beach).

    Beach for: Swimming, Families, Seafood lovers
    How to get there from Lisbon: Bus
    Travel time from the center of Lisbon: 1 hour and 15 minutes

    See the Praia da Califórnia Guide.