The sleepier sibling to culture-stacked Cascais, Estoril is the coastal town for a slow-paced beach break on this surfy stretch of coast. With a short walk between the two towns, you can dip into the best of both worlds: breeze-ruffled crescents of golden sand and barefoot bars in Estoril – then swish brasseries and proud citadels in Cascais. Food-wise, Estoril has a good mix of seafront fish grills and upmarket international options in the town centre. Try one of our local faves after an indulgent day on the beach.
Hefty wooden beams criss-cross exposed brick walls at this old-school, half-timbered Estoril institution. Recline on cushioned chairs on the long, slender terrace for a knockout sea view as waiters talk you through the hearty, traditional menu – a creamy, shellfish-packed soup here, a partridge soaked in Madeira wine and rosemary there. It’s one of the pricier establishments in town, but you get leather-bound menus, a vast wine list and reverent service that feels unchanged since it opened in 1952.
For affordable Portuguese and pan-Mediterranean classics cooked to perfection, this sweet, unassuming side-street restaurant is worth seeking out. Tuck into sauteed octopus with sweet potato, duck doused in port, or pesto-stuffed mushrooms at simple tables dressed in mint green and backed by a huge blackboard scrawled with guest compliments in dozens of languages. The fixed-price lunch menu is a godsend for travellers on a shoestring.
You’ll eat a lot of seafood, grilled meats and rich stews in Portugal. For something entirely different, seek out this cult Italian in the town centre, near the Jardim do Estoril. Its light, peppery Caprese salads, zingy wines and delicately sauced ravioli have left the locals buzzing – and you’ll love the friendly team and bright dining room that’s styled like a home kitchen, with primary-coloured chairs. Head to the counter to peruse the trays of freshly made pasta before you order.
On Praia do Tamariz – the seafront just east of Estoril’s central beach – this cavernous restaurant is inlaid with glossy blue-and-white tiles and has a serene patio facing the promenade and sea beyond. Glowing-gold sunsets are not uncommon and it’s worth staying on after your well-timed aperitif for affordable plates of local sardines, clams, dorada or cuttlefish, served with chips or new potatoes.
With a sprawling, sunkissed terrace facing the manicured Jardim do Estoril gardens, there’s definitely an “I’m on holiday” feel to this glam Chinese restaurant that’s some way back from the beach. It’s part of the historic Casino Estoril, catering to the high-rollers and inhabitants of the five-star hotels in the area. Expect a zesty, aromatic take on the cuisine – like bamboo steamers of dainty dumplings or shredded duck with bean sprouts and radish. You’re here as much for the luxurious, well-heeled atmosphere as for the food.
This laid-back beach bar and restaurant on the promenade between Estoril and Cascais is great for a laid-back lunch or a relaxed family meal where no one will tut at your boisterous toddler. A friendly young team furnishes you with chunky jugs of sangria, comfortably priced draught beers and a huge selection of Portuguese wines by the glass, as you peruse the enormous menu. This is a good spot for lighter and healthier dishes after a week of indulgence – think tuna salads and monkfish kebabs.
Venturing out for dinner in livelier Cascais is a must and this minimalist spot on the east side of town is the raved-about reservation of the moment. Book well in advance to devour its flavour-packed inventive tapas, divided into quirky menu sections – such as From the Garden or Share with Friends. Greatest hits include the pork belly with paprika and clams and the peanut butter parfait with black chocolate nougat. Tiffany-blue seating and overflowing planters bring a luminous, millennial vibe, too.
Saunter back to one of these Estoril hotels, or head back to the city to one of Lisbon’s top boutique hotels, now bookable on Culture Trip. Explore the main attractions in the capital, or do something slightly off the beaten track like learn about the city’s street art scene and find the best place to try pastéis de nata.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.