With a fascinating history, fairytale mansions, golden beaches and Instagrammable boulevards, Cascais is a small place that promises to make a big impression.
This Portuguese coastal resort town – a favourite getaway for residents of Lisbon – started life as a small fishing village but over the centuries it has transformed into a hotspot for trendy travellers. King Luís I of Portugal even declared it his favourite summer destination back in the 19th century. While exploring this place, there are dozens of bars to dip into and quench your thirst.
Slap-bang on Guincho beach, this laid-back, open-air bar and terrace is open from June to September. There is a range of drinks on offer, from ice-cold beer to rosemary-infused gin and tonics, or you could push the boat out with a bottle of Mumm champagne and chilled oysters. There is an accompanying year-round restaurant and water sports centre, so this is a spot you could stay at from dawn to dusk. Parking is conveniently located right next to the beach.
Step back in time to the swagger of the 1930s at this upscale historic hotel. Navigate your way to wood-panelled Bar Estoril, which is the place where James Bond author Ian Fleming created the spy’s tipple of choice. The 007 Martini (containing Tanqueray gin, Stolichnaya vodka and Lillet Blanc) is still served to this day, alongside a fine selection of other beverages. The bar nibbles here are as fancy as the surroundings, with everything from foie gras to caviar to tickle the tastebuds.
Oenophiles will be in heaven at this smart wine bar. This hangout is pretty unassuming from the outside but step inside and prepare to be wowed. Think bold blue interiors, a swanky chandelier and row upon row of wines lining the walls. There will be a tipple here to suit every taste, from pink-hued biologicals to earthy reds. The friendly staff will recommend wines to pair with foods – try a few while tucking into a delicious three-course menu. The monkfish and shrimp curry is a must-try.
Dip into Hotel Baía Cascais for its dreamy drinking spots. One bar is located on the ground floor next to a seafront terrace, so you can watch life roll by while sipping on sangria. But the crowning jewel of this place is its buzzing rooftop outpost, the Blue Bar, which boasts Instagrammable views of Cascais Bay. During the summer months, the sunset parties are worth sticking around for with top music, moreish cocktails and colour-washed skies making for a dreamy mix.
This slick seaside retreat was once a hideaway for the Count of Cabral. Today, it is part of the prestigious Design Hotels portfolio thanks to a well-orchestrated restoration. Pop in for a refreshing beverage, with the poolside Bar on the Rocks serving up prime views of the rolling Atlantic. During cooler months, or as a pre-dinner option, Bar Farol is a sophisticated spot with a seductive ambience. The menu here offers everything from Krug champagne to delicately balanced cocktails, with the Cascais (a blend of tequila, basil, balsamic vinegar and strawberry) being the house special.
Everyone loves a good Irish pub and Cooleys Bar, in the heart of Cascais, promises to satisfy those hankering after a cooling pint of Guinness and convivial atmosphere. Sports fans will feel right at home, with live games shown on the big screen. Every Tuesday at 10:30pm there is live music, for those who fancy a jig or two. If cocktails are more your thing, there is a dedicated menu, with the Irish Russian featuring a heady blend of Kahlua, vodka, cola and Guinness. Line your stomach from the hearty food menu, with chicken wings and burgers among the offerings.
Pull up a pew at this trendy little wine bar and pour over its selection of more than 300 types of wine, 80 of which can be sampled by the glass. There are Portuguese bites to nibble on as you go, with the cod fritters and spicy pica pau (small pieces of fried meat) being particular favourites. This is the perfect place to meet with friends or for a more intimate date night.
Everything about this place is hip, from a communal table with mismatched chairs to the faux indoor planters floating on the walls. Pitch up at the marble-clad bar and the bartender will rustle up your favourite cocktail. There’s a good selection of spirits to choose from and Singeverga, a Portuguese liquor made by Benedictine monks, is also on offer. If your tummy’s rumbling, Hífen serves up a mouth-watering menu, with butternut pie, squid tempura and creamy burrata among the specialties. The chocolate trifle, made with avocado cream, is another crowd-pleaser.
Extend your Cascais holiday by staying in nearby Lisbon. Discover everything Lisbon has to offer from the comfort of your own living room. Or, see it for yourself with the best tours in the city. Book one of the best hotels with pools in Lisbon now via Culture Trip, or browse hip apartments in the city that you’ll want to call home. Explore the local nightlife in the bars and clubs of Bairro Alto.
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