Whether you want to take a day trip from Lisbon or spend a night, Sintra needs to be on your itinerary for Portugal.
A village of sintra It's a wonderful place, half an hour from Lisbon. In addition to the numerous tourist attractions there, it is also great for escaping the city and getting in touch with nature. The fog creeps in on the green mountain paths, which lead to mystical gardens, colorful palaces and breathtaking landscapes. Here we have all the tips about Sintra Portugal, which will make your tour unforgettable.
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A prime location from the Sintra mountain range, close to Lisbon and with excellent visibility in any direction, it has always attracted occupations. Until the Portuguese reconquest in 1093, Sintra was under Muslim rule. At ruins of the Moorish Castle – the name by which the Arabs were known in Portugal – is proof of that.
From then on and especially in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, the town of Sintra had a special place in the heart of the Portuguese crown. The palaces that are there were sent build for nobility, primarily as a vacation retreat. Afterwards, they ended up becoming, in some cases, permanent residence.
The nobility was not the only one to fall in love with Sintra. In the XNUMXth and early XNUMXth centuries, writers and painters from all over the world could not resist the romantic atmosphere. Looking for inspiration, Lord Byron and Eça de Queirós, for example, stayed here.
Today, both the natural beauty and the cultural landscape of Sintra continue to attract visitors all year round. This rich history and beautiful scenery classified the city as UNESCO World Heritage.
Worth visiting the Sintra National Palace, to get to know the strong arabic influence in Portuguese culture. The palace dates back to the XNUMXth century, when the region was taken over by the Moors. However, it underwent several changes over time, after being reconquered by the Portuguese. The rooms and interior patios kept some allusions to Arab architecture, through details such as the beautiful tile coverings.
The palace in the village of Sintra has always been frequented by kings. It was here, for example, that King Manuel I learned of the arrival of the navigators in Spain. It is right in the center of the village, a ten-minute walk from the Sintra train station. To visit it, you can buy the ticket online and or at the entrance and costs 10 euros. #Tip: If you are going to visit more than one monument, it is cheaper to buy the combined ticket, which gives up to 10% off.
One of the must-see spots here is the Pena Palace. built in cliff tops towering from the mountain forest, it can be observed from anywhere in Sintra, Portugal.
classified UNESCO World Heritage, is one of the best examples of Romanticism in Europe, a favorite style in Portugal in the XNUMXth century. Take a trip back in time to the halls that hosted the royal family and court in summer.
To arrive by public transport, take the bus 434 in the historic center and enjoy the ride there. The entrance to the Pena Palace costs 14 euros and includes a visit to the beautiful gardens and surrounding paths. #Tip: If you are going to visit more than one monument, it is cheaper to buy the combined ticket which gives up to 10% discount.
Close by, just 200 meters from Pena Palace, is the famous Moorish Castle. Today in ruins, it was once an important point of Arab occupation in Portugal. From the top of the cliff, the landscape goes as far as the eye can see. Making it possible, at that time, to control the roads that reached there.
climb the walls and walk through the castle from one end to the other, always with the Atlantic Ocean in the background on sunny days. From the historic center, take bus 434, which takes a circular route through the mountains. The entrance to the castle costs 8 euros and can be purchased at the entrance. #Tip: If you are going to visit more than one monument, it is cheaper to buy the combined ticket, which gives up to 10% off.
One Sintra's most mystical places, Portugal, is undoubtedly Quinta da Regaleira. Visit the palace before getting lost in the huge garden, which looks like something out of a fairytale. There's an amazing Initiation Well, designed for Freemasonry rituals. Nowadays, it is possible to descend through the underground galleries, full of symbolism and mysteries.
It's worth booking a two hours at least to enjoy the walk in the woods, passing by lakes and caves that make the imagination fly. the ticket costs 6 euros, and unfortunately it does not enter the combined ticket for the remaining parks and palaces in Sintra.
The Palace of Monserrate is one of the Sintra's most exotic palaces, which you need to know. Its architecture has influences Arabs, Gothics and even Indians, present in the perforated panels that are scattered throughout the building. The dome of the main atrium, the gallery and the staircase are absolutely beautiful.
Take the opportunity to stroll through the charming palace gardens, and discover the collection of botanical species from all over the world. From Sintra train station, it is possible to take bus 435 that connects to Palácio de Monserrate. Entrance to the palace and gardens costs 8 euros and can be purchased at the entrance. #Tip: if you are going to visit more than one monument, it is cheaper to buy the combined ticket, which gives up to 10% discount.
If you are in the car, it is really worth going to Cabo da Roca to see the sunset on the sea and then dinner at Azenhas do Mar. The westernmost point of Europe has stunning views of the rugged coastline and also gives another perspective of the Sintra mountain range. To get there, just go down the mountains until you reach the sea, along a green road of 20 kilometers.
Another cool place to visit from Sintra is Apple Beach. Take the opportunity to travel there by cable car, a super charming tour. Arriving at the beach, be sure to eat at one of the many fish and seafood restaurants there.
Sintra is just 30 minutes from Cascais, but the route there has many points that you cannot miss. #Tip: The best way to make the most of it is to go by car.
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From the center of Cascais, take the road that goes along the sea to the Guincho Beach. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and in the summer the Winch bar It is a mandatory stop to see the sunset. Continue your tour by the sea and this time go to the Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe and from where the view is wonderful. From there, follow the signs to Necklaces, a village between Sintra and the beaches of the region, and keep going up until you reach the heart of the mountains.
Read more about Cascais in our post Cascais Portugal – What to do, essential tips
Arriving in Sintra, follow the signs that lead to Moorish Castle, Pena Palace and other attractions. The walk that leads to them goes through the forest and there is always parking at the entrance of each park.
To get to Sintra, Portugal, from Lisbon we recommend two possible options.
The first is to go from public transport, to avoid the headache of having to park there. And the good news is that it's super easy to get to know Sintra without a car. Just take the train that departs from Rossio station, in the center of Lisbon, which goes to the center of Sintra. THE trip takes 40 minutes and tickets cost 4,50 euros round trip and cannot be bought online, only at the station's ticket office.
To visit the monuments, take the tourist buses from Sintra station. The number 434 that costs 6,90 euros, go to the Pena Palace and Moorish Castle. And the number 435 costs 5 euros and leads to Monserrate Palace and Seteais Palace. You can buy either one from the driver and you can get off and on as many times as you want on the same day.
The second option to go from Lisbon to Sintra is by car. Leaving the center, take the IC19 highway and in 30 minutes you will be there. However, along the way, it is worth stopping at Queluz Palace. The baroque architectural building and charming gardens were the residence of the royal family until the move to España in 1807.
You cannot go to Sintra and not taste the famous Pillow and Cheesecakes. For this, “Casa Piriquita” has no mistake, as it is there that the best and most traditional sweets in the region are found.
for a meal typical portuguese, book a table at “Curral dos Caprinos” and order the kid roasted in the oven, accompanied by Colares wine. If you thought of something lighter, try “Tascantiga”, which is close to the National Palace of Sintra. There, the good choice is the traditional snacks, such as the octopus à lagareiro and eggs with farinheira.
At the end of the day, it is common to get the fog in the village of Sintra, Portugal. That's when the romantic atmosphere da serra is contagious and makes you want to spend at least one night there.
As it could not be otherwise, it is possible if stay in one of Sintra's palaces. This is the most sophisticated option, which prolongs the feeling of magic that the walk in the mountains gives us. O Tivoli Palácio de Seteais It is an incredible 5-star hotel, with a privileged view of the Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle.
Another option is to stay right in the center of the village, in the Moon Hill Hostel. Here you can book a private room, overlooking the Sintra National Palace, or family rooms. In addition, it also has dormitories shared with other travelers, which is more affordable.
Now that you know everything about Sintra Portugal, how about starting to plan your trip?
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