Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum – Cascais, Portugal

Farol de Santa Marta Museu

Lukas has been asking to visit a lighthouse for quite some time but although there are plenty of lighthouses in Portugal not many are open to the public. Santa Marta Lighthouse in Cascais is now a museum and one of the few options available where you can climb up the lighthouse tower so we decided to go there. On our first time, we found it closed and discovered that on weekends you can only visit it on the fourth Saturday of the month so we had to plan ahead.
Cascais is a perfect place to visit if you are visiting Lisbon so you can easily fit a visit to the lighthouse and to Cascais and I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. It’s a perfectly sized coastal city full of that Portuguese street charm that many people are looking for. If you are arriving by train you can walk to the marina to find the lighthouse while getting to know the Cascais famous coastline.

See our video here:

The lighthouse

With an architecture project by Francisco and Manuel Aires Mateus, the lighthouse was restored to perfection and it’s quite a beautiful example of a small and stylish lighthouse, it looks great on the end of the marina. The blue and red accents really make it stand out and the views from the top are just superb. It’s an easy climb because the lighthouse is not that big so even a 3 year old like Lukas can get up with ease. Also, the surrounding location is full of garden areas and places to lounge. Also if it’s summer take your swimsuit because the beach right next to the lighthouse is a dream.
So light up your day and visit the lighthouse 🙂

cascais lighthouse

The museum

The museum part is small but full of maritime marvels if that’s something you enjoy you will love it. Our son is quite curious about things so we did take longer than expected to try to learn and explain what everything was. The history and life of a lighthouse keeper are well documented and explained so that certainly helped. You can see a little more of the museum in our video above. But it offers:

Exhibits: A variety of exhibits that delve into the history of lighthouses in Portugal, the technology used in maritime navigation, and the role of these structures in coastal safety.

Artifacts: You can explore historical artifacts, including old lighthouse lenses, nautical instruments, and archival photographs that illustrate the evolution of maritime navigation.

Art Gallery: The museum also hosts art exhibitions, often focusing on themes related to the sea, maritime history, and the coastal environment.

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When is it open?

Timetable (visits to the tower)
Wednesday to Friday: 11:00am to 12:00
fourth saturday of the month: 11:00am to 01:00pm


Tuesdays to Fridays from 10:00am. to 05:00pm
Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am to 01:00pm and from 02:00pm to 05:00pm
Closed on Mondays and public holidays

How much does it cost?

€4 at the time of our visit

Where is it?

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