ESTORIL COAST FAQ'S
Those interested in visiting the Estoril Coast will be entering Portugal via air at Lisbon`s Humberto Delgado Airport (called Portela Airport by locals, IATA code LIS). Lisbon`s airport is located about 18 miles from Estoril and 22 miles from Cascais. Lisbon`s Portela Airport is a hub for flag carrier TAP Air Portugal.
TripMasters recommends that you reserve a rental car during the vacation booking process. Upon arrival in Portugal, consult your reservation information and keep in mind the name of the company from which you have rented. The rental car companies are based in Terminal T1, in and around the P3 parking lot.
Driving directions from Lisbon Portela Airport: Get on the E1 motorway, which may also be labeled as `Segunda Circular` or `2a Circular`. After about 2.5 miles, follow the exits for Zona Portuaria Alges/A5/Cascais. The A5 motorway is also called the Estoril Coast Motorway. The exit for Estoril is labeled `N6-8/Estoril/Alcoitao` and the exit for Cascais is labeled `Cascais Centro/Amoreira/Abuxarda`.How do I get around using public transportation on the Estoril Coast?
Public transportation in Estoril, Cascais and points further afield is provided by Scotturb (www.scotturb.com/pt, website in Portuguese). Some of the more important bus routes you should know about, as a tourist, are Bus Route #400 (Giro Cascais), which loops around important points of interest in Cascais; and Bus Route #401 (Giro Parede), which runs from the CascaiShopping plaza through Estoril and ends in Parede, near Carcavelos, before looping again. Tourist tickets cost €15 before taxes and fees and can be purchased from the ticket office, online, or directly from the bus driver. The tourist ticket entitles you to unlimited rides for the day on which you bought the ticket.
If you are interested in traveling to Sintra, which also runs on the Scotturb system, you may want to purchase the Viva Viagem card. You can buy these Viva Viagem cards at Cascais bus station, across from Cascais railway station; and Estoril bus station, in the same complex as Estoril railway station, on Avenida Marginal across from Tamariz Beach.How do I call/hail a taxi?
Taxis, like in Lisbon, are cream-colored and regulated by the local government, so it is acceptable to either hail them from the street (if they are vacant) or call the dispatch office directly. It is also acceptable to take a taxi from taxi ranks, such as the ones near the bus and train stations.
Fares on the Estoril Coast begin at €3.50 for the first mile and €1 for each additional mile. Expect to pay 20 to 30% more on nights, weekends and holidays, an extra €1 for booking over the telephone, and an extra €2 for each piece of luggage stored in the boot (trunk) or on top of the taxi via the roof rack. Expect to pay €10-€15 between Cascais and Estoril. The fare goes up to €12-€18 to Carcavelos from Cascais, and €16-€22 from Cascais to Paco de Arcos/Oeiras. Taxis from the airport or to the airport, from either Estoril or Cascais, will set you back €45-€50 minimum. For more information, visit site.taxiscascais.com/en (Cascais, English) or www.taxislinhadoestoril.pt (Estoril, Portuguese).How easy is it to explore the sights on the Estoril Coast?
It is fairly easy to access all the sights of the Estoril Coast, whether you self-drive or if you choose to take taxis, trains, buses or other forms of transportation. The distance between the Boca do Inferno, west of Cascais, and the Paco do Arcos is approximately fifteen miles. The two cities are connected via the A5 motorway, also called the Estoril Coast Motorway, and the N6 road, which runs parallel to the coastline. Out of all the areas in the Estoril Coast, perhaps Oeiras and Paco do Arcos have the widest circumference, stretching for nearly two-thirds of a mile from west to east. Cascais and Estoril are fairly compact cities, where you will rarely walk for more than a half-mile between any two points.How safe is the Estoril Coast region?
The Estoril Coast is a fairly popular tourist destination, so police will be present in many tourist areas to keep things as safe as possible. The most common problems you will encounter can happen in many major cities: pickpocketing, petty theft and drugs. If anyone offers you a deal on drugs as you are walking down the street, just ignore them and move on; sometimes engaging with them and saying `no thank you` will make them want to wear you down. In addition, remember to keep your wits about you, and always look like you know where you are going, even when you may not. Be sure to keep your valuables on your person at all times, and never keep all of your money in one place; split up your cash into various pockets in your clothes. Finally, take only well-lit and well-populated routes, and if the sun is setting and you are in doubt about the area around you, head back to your accommodations as soon as you can do so.What is shopping like on the Estoril Coast?
The Estoril Coast is known in particular for its luxury shopping, and both of the major shopping centers in the area are located in Cascais: CascaisVilla Shopping Center (Avenida Dom Pedro I, near Cascais train and bus stations) and CascaiShopping (Rua Sao Joao, Alcabideche). Another noteworthy shopping excursion you should plan is a Thursday trip to Carcavelos`s market (Praca Doutor Manuel Rebello de Andrade 3). The local market sells not only food, but also handicrafts, clothes and accessories, many of which were made locally.Are there any Michelin-starred restaurants on the Estoril Coast? Do fancy restaurants require reservations in advance?
There is one Michelin-starred restaurant on the Estoril Coast (as of 2018), Fortaleza do Guincho (Estrada do Guincho, Cascais, +351 214 879 076). The restaurant serves food in the French and Portuguese fusion style. Other popular restaurants on the Estoril Coast will most likely require reservations, so call at least a couple of days in advance to reserve your table. A restaurant such as Fortaleza do Guincho may require reservations weeks in advance.Can I pay/tip in U.S. dollars?
The currency of Portugal is the Euro (€) and U.S. dollars are not accepted for payment. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks and ATMs can be found at the airport and at many locations throughout the region.I do not speak Portuguese. Do many people speak English?
It is more common to find English speakers in Portugal than it is in other southern European countries, such as Spain. A recent European Union language survey found that 32% of Portuguese people over the age of 18 can speak English on a conversational level or better.
With that said, you may encounter some difficulty finding an English speaker away from tourist areas such as hotels, museums, the airport, or the bus or train station. It is recommended to brush up on basic Portuguese phrases before arriving, like basic pleasantries and numbers from 1 to 10. To ask someone if they speak English, say `Fala ingles?`
Note: Do not speak in Spanish to a Portuguese person, thinking they will understand you when you do so. Responses will range from stunned silence to outright hostility; the Portuguese people are proud of their culture and heritage, and such an act will cause nearly everyone to take personal offense. On another note, the vocabulary and pronunciation in Portuguese differs from Spanish more than you may realize.What are the drinking laws in Portugal?
The legal drinking age in Portugal is 18, whether you find yourself in a pub or a nightclub. Asking for proof of age upon ordering an alcoholic beverage or entering a nightclub is becoming more commonplace, especially if you appear younger. Keep your passport with you as it doubles as proof of age and identification.
If you are renting a car, do not drive after consuming alcohol. A blood alcohol content level of 0.05 is considered the legal limit; penalties can range from fines to a jail sentence of up to one year. Save yourself the potential trouble and heartache.