The best independent guide to Lisbon
The best independent guide to Lisbon
Cais do Sodre is an important transport interchange, which combines a train and metro stations with a commuter ferry terminal. The Cais do Sodré train station is the Lisbon terminus for the Cascais railway, which connects the capital to the stunning beaches west of Lisbon and resort town of Cascais, Estoril and Oeiras.
The Cais do Sodré ferry terminal provides commuter routes that cross the Tejo Estuary to the towns of Cacilhas, Seixal and Montijo. Cacilhas boasts great seafood restaurants and is the departure location for bus services to the Cristo Rei Statue.
Cais do Sodré is the final stop of the green metro line, and this busy metro station is the most westerly station of the network, providing access to the Cais do Sodré district.
Cais do Sodre station is an important and hectic interchange, and you will find yourself passing through here on numerous occasions during your holiday to Lisbon. Luckily the station is relatively easy to navigate, and there are excellent facilities. This article will provide an overview of the Cais do Sodré train station, ferry terminal and metro station.
Related articles: Lisbon ferries – Lisbon metro – Cascais Guide – The Cristo Rei Statue
Cais do Sodré is located to the west of central Lisbon (GPS 38.70587, -9.14497), on the Avenida de Ceuta, close to the Timeout Food Market. The station is in the Cais do Sodré district, which is approximately 1.5km from the Baixa district and central Lisbon. To travel to the station, most tourists catch the metro, but it is also served by the E15 tram and local bus services. If you are travelling to Cais do Sodré from the airport, either take the metro (Red then Green metro lines) or catch the Aerobus bus service.
Related articles: Travel from Lisbon airport – E15 tram
There are three distinct sections to Cais do Sodré; the bustling railway station, the expansive metro station and the ferry terminal, which is in a separate building to the train/metro station. There is good signage between all sections of the station, and it is easy to navigate around, but it is always a busy, especially at rush hour.
Within the station complex, there is a range of cafes and shops, and this includes a Pingo Doce supermarket, which is hidden opposite the train station ticket offices. The station does not have any left luggage facilities, and there is no car parking close to the station. The station handles a large number of visitors so there are always long queues for the ticket offices
Warning: Cais do Sodré is a favourite for opportunistic thieves and pickpockets; always keep valuables hidden away.
Cais do Sodré is the departure station for the Lisbon-Cascais railway, and this route follows the coastline to the west of Lisbon and passes through the coastal towns of Paço de Arcos, Oeiras, Estoril and Cascais. The train service also passes close to the popular beaches of Praia de Santo Amaro de Oeiras, Praia de São Pedro, Praia de Carcavelos, Praia do Tamariz and Praia da Conceição. Generally, if you are wanting a day on the beach, you will be passing through Cais do Sodré.
Our opinion: The Praia de Carcavelos is the largest and best beach that is easily accessible from Lisbon, and we would recommend it for your first day on the beach.
Related articles: Lisbon’s beaches – The beaches of the Estoril coastline - Praia de Carcavelos
One of the best ways to discover Lisbon and to meet fellow travellers is to join a guided tour. We have worked with Getyourguide.com for the last six years, and some of the best tours of Lisbon include:
The Lisbon-Cascais railway is a suburban service, which is operated by the national rail company, Comboios de Portugal (CP). The train services are frequent and inexpensive, but as it is a suburban service there are many stops, and journeys can feel very long. The railway is divided into different fare zones, and a summary of the fares (single) and journey times for popular stations are summarized below:
• Paço de Arcos (Three Zone ticket €1.95, 19min journey)
• Santo Amaro Beach (Three Zone ticket €1.95, 23min journey)
• Oeiras (Three Zone ticket €1.95, 17min journey)
• Carcavelos Beach (Three Zone ticket €1.95, 19min journey)
• Sao Pedro Beach (Four Zone ticket €2.25, 24min journey)
• Estoril (Four Zone ticket €2.25, 29min journey)
• Cascais (Four Zone ticket €2.25, 33min journey)
Note: Departing from Cais do Sodré are two train services; an express service which skips the early stations and terminates at Cascais and a stopping service, which ends at Oeiras – Always check you are boarding the correct train.
The train fares are charged to the "Viva Viagem" reusable card, which costs €0.50 for the initial purchase. There are no return tickets and two single tickets must be purchased. During the previous two summers, CP has offered a 3- or 5-day beach pass, which allowed unlimited travel along the railway and provided exceptional value for money. A detailed description of all suburban train fares can be seen on the CP website:
The train to Cascais and Estoril
The Lisbon to Cascais railway is a major commuter route, and there is a train departure every 20 minutes during daylight hours, with the first train at 5:30am and the last train at 1:30am. For the latest timetable, please see the Comboios de Portugal (CP) website:
Note: The Cascais railway is very scenic, for the best views of the coastline sit on the left side (southern side) of the carriage.
Tickets are purchased from the ticket office or from the ticket machines, and these machines have instructions in all major European languages. The train station can get very busy, and there can be long queues for the ticket office.
The Cais do Sodré Ferry Terminal (terminla fluvial) provides three commuter routes to the towns of Seixal and Montijo, and Cacilhas on the southern side of the Tejo estuary. These ferry services are important commuter routes, as they avoid the bottleneck of the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge.
Crossing the Tejo estuary by ferry is an enjoyable and inexpensive tourist activity. The recommended route is from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas, which passes close to the Ponte 25 de Abril and provides a waterside view of Lisbon. Moored at Cacilhas docks is the Fernando II Gloria, the last sail-powered ship constructed by the Portuguese navy, while departing from Cacilhas bus terminal are buses to the Cristo Rei Statue (service 101, €3.00 return).
Note: Unfortunately, there are no outside decks on the commuter ferries.
A single ferry ticket from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas costs €1.25 (a return is €2.50) and is charged to the “Viva Viagem" reusable card. The average crossing time is 10 minutes and services start early in the day (Cais do Sodré first departure is at 5.20am) and continue late into the night (Cacilhas last departure is at 1:20am). There are multiple departures per hour, but it is best to avoid the ferry during the rush hour when it can be very crowded. The latest timetables for the ferry can be seen on the Transtejo Soflusa (TTSL) websites:
The modern catamarans are used for the longer crossings
The other two ferry routes are longer and use the modern (and faster) catamarans. There is very little for tourists to see at Seixal (20minutes crossing time) or Montijo (25 minutes crossing time). A detailed description of fares can be seen on the Transtejo Soflusa (TTSL) websites:
Historically, the official time of Portugal was set against a clock which once stood outside the train station. The clock set the official time from 1914, until a digital service was introduced in 2001.
Cais do Sodré Lisbon was the scene of Lisbon's deadliest structural disaster. On the morning of May 28th 1963 the interior of the main station collapsed, killing 49 commuters and severely injuring 40. The roof collapsed due to badly designed reinforced concrete, which had been constructed during the 1950s.
The Linha de Cascais was opened in December 1890, but the final terminus was at Alcantara-Mar, approximately 3 km further down the train line. The Cais do Sodré Lisbon was added to the train line in 1895.
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