You would hardly expect to find a sleepy little fishing town so close to a thriving capital city; and it is exactly this unexpected rurality that gives Cacilhas its charm. Only a short 5-minute boat ride from Lisbon’s main ferry port, Cacilhas is traditional yet urban: an eclectic mix of the two which renders it entirely unique. The main reason people visit? Seafood.
Although semi-abandoned, Cacilhas is becoming more and more developed, with new businesses and buildings echoing somewhat that of the city which looks over it. Its intricate tiles and haphazard cobbles are Lisbon-esque, but with a slightly edgier twist. If you’re looking to escape the city for a while, and experience a more local Portuguese lifestyle, then Cacilhas is the answer.
From its chaotic yet delicious fish restaurants to its art-adorned industrial walls, here are all the spots that can’t be missed when spending an evening in Cacilhas.
From Lisbon city centre, access to Cacilhas is much easier and quicker than it may seem. Head over to Cais do Sodré ferry port and look for platform 3. If you already have a Viva Viagem metro/bus card, then these tickets will work on the ferry, too. If not, a single ticket across the water is only €1,50, making a return a mere €3. Make sure to bag yourself a window seat, as the view back across the city is pretty incredible!
The last boat leaves at around 1am, so make sure not to miss it.
For shopping: Retro Queen
Rua Cândido dos Reis 60A, 2800-269 Almada
When you step off the boat and into the bustling square of Cacilhas port, you would never expect to find an on-trend vintage store just minutes away. But this town is full of surprises! Retro Queen is a large second-hand store which stretches deep into the back of the building. Located on Cacilhas’ main street, the store’s style ranges from hippie-chic to biker babe, with everything in between. If you’re looking for a prom dress or a pair of vintage Levi’s, you can be sure to find them here.
For exploring: Rua do Ginjal
With unparalleled views across Lisbon, spanning all the way over to the Ponte 25 de Abril, Rua do Ginjal is an urban, semi-abandoned riverside walkway, connecting Cacilhas to the bottom of the Criso Rei statue. Splattered in colourful artwork, with crumbling jetties reaching out over the water, this street is one of the best spots in the city to watch the sun go down.
Within the old factory buildings lie hidden bars, and range of small boutique stores and tattoo parlours. During the summer months, grab a beer from the quiosque in the Largo Alfredo Dinis and sit by the river.
For drinks & dancing: Ginjal Terrasse
Cais do 7, 1º andar, Rua do Ginjal, Almada
Strolling past this all-encompassing nightclub/restaurant/bar, the doorway will certainly catch your eye; the frame is decadently adorned with bright white shells. Its retro signage and old-fashioned décor make it all the more inviting. With a little something for everyone, Ginjal Terrasse boasts live music, good food, and views across the water towards the city. Perfect for both evening drinks and a late-night boogie, Ginjal Terrasse will see you through right until the early hours of the morning (except on Sundays and Mondays, when it closes).
For dinner: Boteco 47
Rua Cândido dos Reis 47, 2800-676 Almada
One of the more modern dining options in town, Boteco 47 is renowned for its unique take on classic petisco dishes. With a specials menu which changes each day, and a lengthy wine list, this tiny restaurant’s outdoor seating stretches all the way across the square. Highly recommended are their fresh cod, their fried calamari, and, of course, their sardines.
For dessert: Solo Gelato
Rua Cândido dos Reis 29, 2800-677 Almada
It’s almost illegal to end an evening without dessert; and the best place in town for anyone with a sweet tooth is Solo Gelato. Not just your regular ice cream parlour, the ice-cream crepes are pretty spectacular. They always ask if you’d like it to be drenched in chocolate sauce, too – as if the answer would ever be ‘no’! Choose from a range of gelato flavours to accompany your pancake, or simply opt for the classic ice cream cone.
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