Two of Lisbon’s most popular options for day trips are Cascais – a beach resort town – and Sintra – a historic village known for its old castles. Both cities are only about an hour away using Lisbon suburban rail line, Comboios. I chose to visit the quaint and charming Sintra and its majestically quirky storybook castle. There’s an admission fee to enter the castle grounds and the castle’s terraces – but I think it’s worth it to get an up close look at such a colorful spectacle perched high among the clouds. Of course, you’ll have to share the view with lots of other visitors and photo-snappers.
Exploring the town center with its lush gardens, outdoor art installations, and tiny shops and bars is a must either before or after visiting the castle.
If a leisurely day at the beach followed by gazing and shopping at cute boutiques is more up your alley, Cascais is the better option. But, why choose? If you have the time, visit both.