Welcome to Avis

The top 10 Lisbon beaches to visit

Guide to Lisbon's beaches: Our favourites and travel tips

The capital of Portugal is known as the City of Light for its stunning white limestone buildings but from its hilltop cobbled streets the blue Atlantic Ocean beckons below. While many see Lisbon as a great city break, the coastal areas in this part of Western Portugal are worth exploring too. In fact, there are multiple beaches near Lisbon together with gorgeous seaside towns most within easy reach by car or public transport. We’ve compiled our list of the top ten Lisbon beaches nearby the centre – perfect for escaping the bustling city and enjoying some relaxed coastal living.


How far is Lisbon from the beach?


Technically, the closest beach to Lisbon city centre is Praia de Cruz Quebrada – Praia means beach in Portuguese. Home to the Alges Legal Graffiti Wall, this tiny strip of sand is more popular with dog walkers than sunbathers. The nearest beach to the capital for a chilled day in the sun is the next stop on the train line from Lisbon to Cascais at Praia de Caxias. Just 20km from the city along the N6 coast road, it is also convenient to reach via public transport as it has its own station opposite the beach.

Car hire Portugal
Cascais, Lisbon

Our top 10 beaches in Lisbon

From the clear, calm shallow waters and softest golden sandy beaches along the shoreline from Lisbon to the surfing and watersports paradise further west on the rugged Atlantic Coast, the beaches near to Lisbon all have something different to offer.


Find out what we love about Lisbon's top 10 beaches below and use the map to help plan your trip.

Map of Lisbon beaches

Guincho Beach

1. Praia do Guincho Costa da Caparica

Praia do Guincho may be recognizable to Bond movie fans as it featured in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. A 40min drive west along the A5 highway, Guincho is just up the coast from the historic Farol de Cabo Raso lighthouse and nestled below the Sintra Hills. Unlike the more sheltered beaches closer to Lisbon, Praia do Guincho faces west and is fully exposed to the force of the Atlantic Ocean. This accounts for the breathtaking waves and quality of its surfing. A collection of high-end bars and restaurants specializing in seafood make this an even more popular destination, but the remote location (and wind) mean it is rarely overcrowded.


Best for: This wild and relatively isolated beach is a must for experienced surfers and foodies alike.

2. Praia de Carcavelos

One of the Lisbon coast’s widest beaches – just over 2km – and also one of the closest to the capital, the sweeping Praia de Carcavelos is a magnet for city dwellers in the summer. It is around 22km from central Lisbon via the N6 coast road and there is plenty of parking along the esplanade. The beach is also easy to reach on public transport. It’s just a few stops on the train line from the city and a short 10min walk to the beach from the station.  Popular with families and tourists alike, there is a range of independent restaurants and cafes along the beachfront.


Best for: If you want to get into surfing the beach is known for the consistency of its waves and there are several surf schools dotted around the bay.

Scenic view of sea against clear sky during sunset, Praia de Carcavelos, Portugal
Praia do Tamariz, Cascais, Portugal

3. Praia do Tamariz

Set at the end of the waterfront gardens in Estoril, Praia do Tamariz was once known as the ‘elegant’ beach for its popularity with film stars and royalty – the Monaco royal family still owns the castle at the eastern end of the bay. Today, its golden sandy beach filled with rock pools at low tide, remains appealing and with its bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs, it is one of the most flocked-to beaches along the Lisbon coastline. It is a 30min drive from the city centre and is also easily accessible by train The beach has disabled access and is family-friendly with lifeguards and facilities including sun beds, wifi, toilets and showers.

Best for: a great all-rounder with good amenities and access to the city.

4. Praia da Conceição

In the beautiful south-facing bay of Cascais, the Praia da Conceição offers sheltered calm waters making it ideal for young families. In the summer months beach volleyball and football are popular with local Lisbon residents and tourists. The many cafes, restaurants, bars, and clubs in Cascais are within 5min of the beach. There is a lifeguard station on the beach in the summer months and disabled access. Praia da Conceição is a short train ride from Lisbon or a 30min drive from the centre of the city on the A5 highway.


Best for: Family days out.

5. Praia de São João

On the west coast of the Costa da Caparica, south of Lisbon, the stunning white sandy beach at Praia de São João is a popular getaway for Lisbon residents. While surfing is possible – and surfing lessons are available here - the waves are also gentle enough for swimming, making this a good all-rounder for families as well as water sports enthusiasts. With a choice of restaurants, covered parking and a range of amenities, the beach is ideal for a day of lazing in the sun. On the downside, at just a 20min drive, Praia de São João is very accessible from Lisbon and can get crowded in the peak season.


Best for: Learning to surf or kite surf.

6. Praia de Ursa

The westernmost beach in Europe, Praia da Ursa (Bear Beach) – named after a bear-shaped rock on the beach - is a highlight on this spectacular stretch of coastline, as wild and unpredictable as its name suggests, the beach is a 50min drive from Lisbon and involves a short hike from the Cabo de Roca lighthouse. There are no facilities, cafes or restaurants at the beach and the strength of the waves means swimming here is not recommended, but it’s perfect for a day getting away from it all in a remote and beautiful location.


Best for: Nature and photography – ideal for fueling your Insta feed.  

Praia de Ursa beach

7. Praia da Lagoa de Albufeira

With a lagoon on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, the Praia da Lagoa de Albufeira, a 46min drive to the south of Lisbon, offers contrasting conditions ideal for a range of watersports. The calmer waters of the lagoon are perfect for windsurfing while the ocean waves on the beach draw experienced surfers. A sandbank offers shelter from the strong ocean breeze and the lagoon is safe for swimming. There is a lifeguard service by the beach, two restaurants and parking.


Best for: Watersports.

Two people enjoying the view from the steps leading to the coastal village of Azenhas do Mar, Colares, Sintra, Lisbon district, Portugal

8. Praia da Adraga, Sintra

On the rugged Atlantic coast to the northwest of Lisbon, Praia da Adraga, is a hidden and unspoiled cove below the historic town of Sintra. The beach lies at the opening of a steep sided river valley and is quieter than some of Sintra’s other beaches. Just a 35 min drive from Lisbon, Praia da Adraga offers a seasonal lifeguard service and has showers and toilets and has a restaurant serving local seafood and local specialties. Parking is limited at the beach in peak season so it’s best to get there early in the morning.

Best for: Unspoiled cove with popular seafood restaurant.

9. Praia da Figueirinha

Located to the south of Lisbon a 50min drive across the River Tagus to the town of Setubal, Praia da Figuerinha lies on the sheltered Sedo Estuary. A lovely feature of this beach is the calm, clear lagoon which emerges below the sandbar at low tide. With its backdrop of Arrábida Hills, the beach offers the best of both worlds; an idyllic setting offering a range of facilities including lifeguard services, cafes, restaurants and bars. Its appeal is universal and it can be busy at the height of summer.


Best for: Great for a day trip for family and friends.

10. Praia de Galápos

A nature-lover’s paradise Praia de Galápos is a gem in the Parque Natural da Arrábida, south of Lisbon. Easily reached in just a 45min drive from the city, or by boarding the 30min train ride to Coina and taking a taxi to the beach. In summer there is a regular bus service from Setúbal train station that stops right above Praia de Galápos. Acclaimed as one of the best beaches in Europe, the calm, clear waters of the sheltered south-facing bay are ideal for snorkelling. There is a bar and seafood restaurant and sun loungers are available to hire.


Best for: Natural beauty and snorkelling.

Lisbon beaches FAQs

What is the closest beach to Lisbon?

The closest beach to Lisbon is Praia de Cruz Quebrada, just 12km from the centre of the city.


What are the most popular Lisbon surf beaches?

Just 26min by train, Carcavelos is the closest surfing beach to Lisbon. Other popular surfing beaches include; São Pedro do Estoril; Guincho; Praia da Lagoa de Albufeira and the beaches along the Costa da Caparica.


Can you swim in the sea in Lisbon?

Yes, you can swim in the sea in Lisbon. The best beaches for swimming near Lisbon are on the sheltered south-facing coast towards Cascais and also south of Lisbon on the Costa da Caparica. The stretch of coastline on the west coast is subject to stronger currents from the Atlantic Ocean.


When is the best time of year to visit the beaches in Lisbon?

The weather and climate in the Lisbon area is suitable for days on the beach between May and September. July and August are the peak season. The month of June is possibly the best month to visit when the weather has warmed up but before the crowds arrive. It’s worth remembering that the Atlantic coastal waters are chilly even in the height of summer.

Get ready for your Lisbon beach adventure

There you have it, our guide to 10 of the best beaches in Lisbon proving there is more beyond a city break in the Portuguese capital. If this has made you want to pack your bags for a summer break combining the best Lisbon has to offer with some lazy days on the beach, our friendly Avis team is on hand at our car rental locations around Lisbon to help you make the best of your trip. You can familiarise yourself with the latest advice and road rules with our handy guide to driving in Portugal and if you want to discover more great Portuguese beaches, why not join our experts on a tour of the Algarve in search of Faro’s loveliest coves.