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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Cascais 2024
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Guincho beach in Cascais, Portugal


7 Tips for Living in Cascais

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Advice for people moving to Cascais or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Cascais or thinking about moving there.

Living in Cascais as an expat or digital nomad can be an exciting adventure. This charming coastal town offers a unique blend of traditional Portuguese culture, stunning natural beauty, and a vibrant expat community. However, to make the most of your time in Cascais, it's important to understand the local customs, lifestyle, and opportunities. Here are seven key tips to help you navigate life in Cascais.

1. Learn the Language

While many locals and expats in Cascais speak English, learning Portuguese can greatly enhance your experience. Not only will it make daily tasks like shopping and dining easier, but it will also open doors to deeper connections with the local community. Consider taking a language course or using language exchange apps to practice your Portuguese.

2. Explore the Neighborhoods

Cascais is made up of several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own character and charm. The historic center, known as Cascais Vila, is filled with picturesque streets, traditional Portuguese houses, and a variety of shops and restaurants. Meanwhile, Estoril is known for its beautiful beaches and the famous Estoril Casino. Guincho, on the other hand, is a haven for nature lovers, with its stunning beach and natural park. Spend time exploring each neighborhood to find the one that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

3. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Portuguese cuisine is a highlight of living in Cascais. The town is particularly known for its seafood, with restaurants like Mar do Inferno and Restaurante Hemingway offering fresh, locally-sourced dishes. Don't miss the chance to try traditional Portuguese dishes like bacalhau (codfish) and pastéis de nata (custard tarts). Also, be sure to visit the local markets, such as Mercado da Vila, to buy fresh produce and local delicacies.

4. Embrace the Outdoor Lifestyle

With its mild climate and stunning natural beauty, Cascais is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Take advantage of the town's extensive network of cycling paths, go surfing at Guincho Beach, or hike in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. For a more relaxed outdoor experience, spend a day at one of the town's beautiful parks, such as Parque Marechal Carmona.

5. Understand the Cost of Living

While Cascais is generally more affordable than many European cities, it's important to understand the cost of living to manage your budget effectively. Rent, groceries, dining out, and leisure activities can add up. However, by shopping at local markets, eating at local tasquinhas (small restaurants), and taking advantage of free or low-cost activities, you can live comfortably without breaking the bank.

6. Get Involved in the Community

One of the best ways to feel at home in Cascais is to get involved in the local community. There are numerous clubs, groups, and events that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether you're into sports, arts, or social causes, you're likely to find a group that aligns with your interests. Volunteering can also be a rewarding way to contribute to the community and make new friends.

7. Navigate the Healthcare System

Portugal has a high-quality healthcare system, and as an expat or digital nomad, it's important to understand how it works. If you're a resident, you may be eligible for the national health service, Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS). However, many expats also choose to have private health insurance for more comprehensive coverage. Be sure to research your options and ensure you have adequate healthcare coverage while living in Cascais.

Living in Cascais, Portugal offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Portuguese culture, enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, and be part of a vibrant expat community. By understanding the local customs, exploring the town's neighborhoods, enjoying the local cuisine, embracing the outdoor lifestyle, managing your budget, getting involved in the community, and navigating the healthcare system, you can make the most of your time in this charming coastal town.

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Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.
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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Guincho beach in Cascais, Portugal

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Allianz CareAllianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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