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Guincho beach in Cascais, Portugal


9 Tips for Living in Cascais, Portugal

By Betsy Burlingame

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Expats in the beautiful seaside city of Cascais, Portugal discuss how they chose to move to Cascais. They share information about expat life in Cascais - cost of living, international schools, housing and more.

Cascais, Portugal grew from a fishing village to a popular resort city on the Estoril Coast with a population of over 200,000. Expats in Cascais love that it is located about 40 minutes west of Lisbon by car or train.

1. Is Cascais, Portugal a good place to live?

"Everyone loves Cascais with its lighthouse, museums and beaches. There are 5 golf courses within a few miles of Cascais," wrote one member.

"Hey, I'm retired in one of the most gorgeous locations in Europe, of course I've increased my eating and drinking... but I've also vastly increase my beautiful sea side walking, biking, and hiking," confessed a retiree who loves living in Cascais.

"Portuguese are intrinsically accepting of others, so they embrace diversity. They respect American, British and Scandinavian persons highly among foreigners; they will not embrace 'Gypsies' but won't go out of their way to disrespect them. A good size foreign population lives here, representing all of Europe, South Africa, Asia, Middle East and South Americans," commented another expat.

"Cascais is that unusual combination of a picturesque village and vibrant community, a mix of old and new architecture, of cultures, of nationalities and ages. Museums, parks, concerts and restaurants attract us night and day, along with international sailing and equestrian competitions almost all year long. We have single men and women, a welcomed LGBT community, students to seniors who mingle and form life-long friendships," remarked another expat in Cascais.

2. Is it expensive to live in Cascais?

Rental prices in Cascais vary widely. You can find a good selection of charming 2 bedroom flats in the historic district for €1,850 a month, and 1 bedroom flats for €1,200.

"Housing costs are lower here, but we're comparing a mortgage on a million-dollar plus condo in the US to rent on a 2 bedroom apartment with ancient appliances. It is easy to find a clean, modern, 2 bed/2 bath apartment with new appliances in the upscale, coastal Estoril/Cascias area for less than $2200/month if one works with a local realtor, and can cut those costs in about half in the smaller towns and villages inland. Utilities per month can add about $100. Internet service is about $30. On average, this feels like one can get a bit more with less but Portugal's Lisboa coast isn't a low cost choice. South and North and inland are less costly," explained one expat in Cascais.

"I think one could live quite well, everything included, for around $3000 per month, and if one were to budget a bit, probably even less than that," said another expat.

"Cascais is the most expensive (it includes Mt Estoril and Estoril) yet Oeiras, Parede, Caixas are also on this train line along the sea and more affordable. With a car you can go further east, inland," added another expat.

3. What is the weather like in Cascais?

In Cascais, temperature reaches mid to high 70s to low 80s from May through September. Winter temperatures range from lows in the upper 40s to highs in the high 50s.

4. What are the pros and cons of living in Cascais?

"I am wondering what the pros and cons of living in the Cascais area are? I hear a lot of pros but would love to hear some negatives to to keep it in balance," asked one newcomers. "I rejected Cascais as a place to live within a few hours of arriving there. It's very touristy, essentially a resort town. Lots of shops selling sunglasses, trinkets, and sunhats. You hear more English on the street than Portuguese; and plenty of French, Italian, and Spanish as well. There are touts standing in front of the restaurants badgering you to go in, and the menus are all in five languages," replied one member. Another added, "Everything the gentleman who replied is true. But there are many restaurants that are frequented by locals and it is easy to stay away from the touristy areas."

For more on this topic, read our article, Pros and Cons of Living in Cascais.

5. Are there good schools in Cascais?

There are several schools for expats in Cascais including International Christian School of Cascais, IPS Cascais, St. James Primary School and King's College School. Pre-schools in Cascais include Lisbon Montessori School and St. John's Pre-School. In addition to the Cascais schools, there are many other schools for expats in nearby towns and cities. These include Prime School in Sintra (22 minutes by car), Saint Dominics International School in Outeiro de Polima (21 minutes by car), Carlucci American International School of Lisbon, which is located in Sintra not Lisbon (20 minutes by car), Oeiras International School in Oeiras (30 minutes by car) and St. Julian's School in Carcavelos (20 minutes by car).

One parent shared their experiences with the International Christian School of Cascais saying, "This is a small school with very loving, caring teachers. It is a 'family' atmosphere. The focus is more on academics rather than sports. Go and visit; it might not be for you if you are against your child learning the Bible. We are Christians, so we like that. There are many other non-christian families though that appreciate the good morals that are encouraged here."

Another expat talked about the Prime School International of Portugal saying, "The school is located in Sintra and Cascais. Prime School in Sintra is located in Portela surrounded by Sintra unique beauty and nature. The school has been awarded and certified by Eco Schools and is therefore involved in many environmental activities one of which includes a vegetable garden at the entrance of the school that have been planted and cared for through the year by the students. The Cambridge program also allows the students through it curriculum to adjust to the changes and transitions from their home country to their new country."

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Portugal Residency Advisors is a full-service consulting firm dedicated to providing personalized services to individuals and families seeking to relocate to Portugal. With a team of experienced professionals and strategic partnerships, we are well-positioned to assist clients with all aspects of the relocation process.

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Portugal Residency AdvisorsPortugal Residency Advisors

Portugal Residency Advisors is a full-service consulting firm dedicated to providing personalized services to individuals and families seeking to relocate to Portugal. With a team of experienced professionals and strategic partnerships, we are well-positioned to assist clients with all aspects of the relocation process.
Connect

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

6. Do people speak English in Cascais?

With its large expat community and popularity as a tourist spot, many people in Cascais speak English. That being said, if you move to Cascais, you will have a different experience if you take the time to learn some Portuguese. Being able speak Portuguese (even if you can only say a few phrases) can make day-to-day life more interesting and open up the possibility of friendships with locals.

7. Are there golf courses in Cascais?

Oitavos Dunes, Quinta da Marinha Golf Course, Estoril Golf Club, Belas Clube de Campo and Penha Longa Resort are all in or near Cascais.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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8. What do people choose Cascais over other areas of Portugal?

An expat in Cascais shared how she ended up choosing to move to Cascais, "We came to Portugal last year for 2 weeks. We explored two areas only: first, the Algarve and next, Lisboa. These selections were based on weather, as we didn't want the colder weather in the North of Portugal. The Algarve is dead in winter, congested in summer, and just stuffed with Brits. The Lisboa area was delightful but we were sold when we took a train from Lisboa to Cascais. This is ideal: generally reliably nice weather, pristine beaches, restaurants all over the narrow streets and squares as well as along the pedestrian esplanade along the ocean. An easy train ride into Lisbon any time you want more culture or diversions, while plenty of museums, shows and parks in the Estoril/Cascais area. IDEAL!"

"Spend time here -- two weeks or so -- before making any commitment. Renting for a few months or longer is most common and affords the flexibility to try other towns, as the lifestyle varies quite a bit between city and village or rural life. This is not a dirt-streets beach town; it is historic, relaxed, casual yet chic," reported one expat living in Cascais.

9. What's the best way to find a place to live in Cascais?

"Highly helpful to work with a realtor while on your scouting trip. In the Cascais area, three are among the most trusted: MAP, Rose Realty and Porta de Frente," advised one expat. For a short-term rental, one expat living in Cascais advised, "Suggest you go to the MAP, Casasapo and RE/MAX sites for properties, see where they are on the map, and narrow your search -- but most of all, just get a one or two month rental first and get acclimated, go around with realtors to see properties in your favorite areas."

"We are in a mid-rise condo building, renting a 2 bedroom apartment. We scoured all of the online sites, and fortunately took the advice of the owner of a holiday rentals site (Portugal Portfolio) to rent through here for 1 month and take that time to look around. This resulted in us finding our current home that we'd have never known about, at a better price, and ideally situated in an area of both local residents and holiday-renters, with every amenity within walking distance. We have no car -- we walk to the market, beach, restaurants. We rent a car for excursions further away, as we are visiting every part of Portugal that we can, taking a trip every few weeks," explained another expat.

Portugal Residency AdvisorsPortugal Residency Advisors
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Portugal Residency Advisors is a full-service consulting firm dedicated to providing personalized services to individuals and families seeking to relocate to Portugal. With a team of experienced professionals and strategic partnerships, we are well-positioned to assist clients with all aspects of the relocation process.

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Portugal Residency AdvisorsPortugal Residency Advisors

Portugal Residency Advisors is a full-service consulting firm dedicated to providing personalized services to individuals and families seeking to relocate to Portugal. With a team of experienced professionals and strategic partnerships, we are well-positioned to assist clients with all aspects of the relocation process.
Connect

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

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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Comments

wfb1943
Apr 26, 2016 14:24

$2200 for a 2/2 apartment? Those are big city USA prices. I am only paying $700 for a 3/2 home here. It doesn't seem like Portugal is so cheap to live after seeing that price. Was that a typo? That would eat up my entire monthly budget.

guest
Feb 13, 2017 11:55

$2200 for a 2/2 apartment? Those are big city USA prices. I am only paying $700 for a 3/2 home here. It doesn't seem like Portugal is so cheap to live after seeing that price. Was that a typo? That would eat up my entire monthly budget.

Guincho beach in Cascais, Portugal

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