Your Complete Guide To Visiting Sintra Portugal

Sintra Day Trip Guide

Just 30 minutes away by train, Sintra is one of the most popular day trips from Lisbon. And for many great reasons! Sintra offers breathtaking views, lush gardens, and spectacular palaces – not to mention the historical center. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to stay an extra day or two! So here’s your complete guide to visiting Sintra.

Tip: Buy the tickets in advance online. You will save time and money. The only place you can’t purchase ticket in advance is Quinta Regaleira.

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How To Get To Sintra from Lisbon?

There are several ways to get to Sintra from Lisbon. Depending on how you plan to explore Portugal, the train or the car may be more convenient for you.

From Lisbon To Sintra By Train

If you are going on a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon, the easiest way to get there is by train. Start your journey at Rossio Train Station in Lisbon and take the non-stop train to Sintra Tran Station.

The train ticket cost €2.25 Euros one-way, or you could use your Via Viagem card – it’s a very convenient way to pay for public transpiration and enjoy reduced prices, get the refillable card at any metro station. Trains depart every 20-30 minutes, so you have plenty of option. But arrive early, as it can get hectic, especially on the weekend.

Tip:

• Make sure to bring cash with you

• Have breakfast before departing or bring snacks with you

Form Lisbon to Sintra By Car

If you are embarking on a road trip - or ending if Lisbon is your last stop - you can certainly drive to Sintra. It will give you a lot more flexibility as you can go to any of the palaces at any time without the wait - the palaces are not all on the same bus line and in the summer you can expect long wait time. But keep in mind that parking can be tricky, but not impossible. I had a small car with me and was able to squeeze in tight spots.

Tip:

• Rent a small car so you can squeeze in everywhere!

• People tend to start at Palacio de Pena - if it’s too crowded when you arrive, skip it and come back during lunchtime or later. You will find a lot more parking spots.

• You can also park at Praca Dom Afonso Henriques (right outside the city center) and take public transportation around Sintra.

From Lisbon to Sintra by car - Driving in Portugal

Getting Around Sintra

If you are not driving, getting around Sintra is pretty straightforward. There are buses available that will take you to the palaces. You can get a bus ticket for the day, and you can hop on and hop off. You could also get on a tuk-tuk or join a tour. Uber is also available.

 
 

Bus 435
Price: 5€
Stops:

• Sintra train station

• Sintra City Center

• Quinta da Regaleira - Regaleira Palace

• Tivoli Palácio de Seteais - Seteais Palace

• Palácio de Monserrate - Monserrate Palace

Bus 434
Price: 6.90€
Stops:

• Sintra train station

• Sintra city center

• Castelo dos Mouros - Moorish Castle

• Palácio Nacional da Pena - Pena Castle

 
 

Do not hike from the historic center to the palaces – the roads are steep and winding. You will be doing plenty of walking even after arriving at the site. Your time will be better spent exploring the different castles and gardens.

Tip: Buses are a very popular method of transportation, which means long lines. If your budget is flexible, skip the line and hop on a tuk-tuk to get to your next destination.

Things to Do In Sintra

Like I previously mentioned, Sintra is very popular to visit on a day-trip from Lisbon. But you won’t be able to see everything in just one day. Depending on how much you want to spend exploring each palace, most likely you will only cover 3 places (maybe 4) in one day. With such a limited option, you may wonder: What palaces to see in Sintra? Don’t worry, here are my top recommendations and tips on how to seize the day.

One Day in Sintra

Pena National Palace

Hours: Mon-Sun 9:30 am – 8:00 pm
Ticket When Purchased Online: Park and Palace 13.30 €, Park Only 7.13 €
Site


Pena Palace is the most popular attraction in Sintra hands down – and probably the main reason why people flock to Sintra every year. The architecture of Palacio da Pena is an eclectic mix of Middle Easter style and European Baroque, with splashes of bright colors – a result from the eccentric taste (or creative genius?) of King Ferdinand II. It was abandoned when the nobilities relocated to Brazil in a bid to escape the impending revolution. Pena National Palace was later restored in the 20th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The actual palace currently serves a museum.

Tip:

  • If you only purchase the Park Only entrance, you can still roam around the outside of the palace and take pictures of the exterior. No need to wait in line!

  • The Park and Palace ticket is to give you access to the museum - where you are not allowed to take photos unless you are on the terrace - there’s only one good spot for photo and most likely a line of people waiting to take pictures in that same spot.

  • There are security people inside the palace/museum to make sure you don’t take any sneaky photo.

  • The very long line that you will see spilling out to the garden, it’s ONLY to enter the museum.

  • The museum is interesting, but not 2.5-hour-wait interesting, nor the rush once inside. I highly recommend skipping the museum if you visit during the high season, unless you plan to arrive as soon as they open.

Quinta De Regaleira

R. Barbosa du Bocage 5, 2710-567
Hours: Mon-Sun 9:30 am – 7:00 pm
Ticket: 8€
Buy in person only

The Quinta da Regaleira is best known for its gothic style, hidden passages, and lush garden. The Quinta was built by a wealthy businessman in 1904, and it has one of the most exciting and unique histories. I highly recommend taking a guided tour or at least an audio tour.

Monserrate Palace

2710-405 Sintra
Hours: Mon-Sun 9:30 am – 8:00 pm
Ticket When Purchased Online: 13.30 €
Site


Often overlooked, the Palacio De Monserrate is a stunning traditional summer villa of the Portuguese court. It is a stunning blend of Indian, Gothic, and Moorish architecture, creating a genuinely unique palatial villa. The palace also offers spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, and a serene atmosphere amid lush garden and stunning architecture. When you are done admiring the design, you can get lost in the beautiful garden.

Luckily for me, visitors often overlook the Palacio De Monserrate as it’s located further away from the historical center, and many run out of time on their day trip. But it was by far my favorite place in Sintra.

Sintra Historic Center

If you have extra time in between palaces and Quinta, make sure to explore Sintra historical Center and grab lunch. You will want to explore its picturesque cobblestone streets

Tip: If you are driving, make sure you park at a designated parking lot. I don’t recommend driving around the Historic Center.

Lisbon To Sintra Tour

If you don’t want to deal with the logistic of traveling to Sintra and getting around, book this tour. It includes a guided tour to Pena Palace, Monserrate Palace, and Quinta da Regaleira. It also provides pickup and drop-off in Lisbon.

 
 

Book Your Sintra Tour

 
 

Extra Days in Sintra

Moorish Castle

2710-405 Sintra
Hours: Mon-Sun 9:30 am – 8:00 pm
Ticket When Purchased Online: 7.60 €
Site


Perched above one of the highest hills in the area, the Moorish Castle or the Castelo dos Mouros is one of the most popular attractions in Sintra. It retains the charm of an ancient ruin amid the beautiful Serra de Sintra’s rich forest. The Castle of Moor was built in the early 9th century in a bid to guard Sintra but was overtaken by Christian forces after the fall of Lisbon. King Ferdinand II later somewhat restored it in the 19th century. You can visit the castle for beautiful views of Sintra.

National Palace of Sintra

Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, 2710-616 Sintra
Mon-Sun: 9:30AM–7PM
Ticket When Purchased Online: 9,50 €
Site

With a history that dates back to more than a thousand years, the National Palace of Sintra is one of the most iconic destinations of the city. This palace was designed and built by the Muslims during the occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. But by the 11th century, the National Palace was revamped to suit the style and taste of Portuguese kings. The inner courtyards and beautiful outdoor spaces further add to the charm of this place.

Where to eat in Sintra

where to eat in Sintra Portugal
 

Café Saudade
Site | Cafe, Healthy $$
Av. Dr. Miguel Bombarda nº6, 2710-590 Sintra
Mon - Sun: 8:30 am - 7:00 pm

Tascantiga
Site | Mediterranean $$
Escadinhas da Fonte da Pipa 2, 2710-557 Sintra
Mon - Sat: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Metamorphosis
Site | Mediterranean $
R. João de Deus 43, 2710-580 Sintra
Mon - Sun 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Incomum
Site | Portugese Cuisine $$
R. Dr. Alfredo da Costa 22, 2710-631 Sintra
Mo - Fri: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sat: 4:30 pm - 12:00 am
Sun: 12.00 pm - 12:00 am

Restaurante Apeadeiro
Site | Portugese Cuisine $$
Av. Dr. Miguel Bombarda 3, 2710-631 Sintra
Fri - Wed: 11:30 am–11:00 pm
Thu: Closed

 
 

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Visiting Sintra? Pin it!

 
 

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