Are you making the magical journey from Lisbon to Sintra and wondering how to get there and what to do? Then keep on reading!
Visiting Sintra, Portugal feels like a Disney-princess dream. The beautiful castles, lush landscapes, delicious restaurants, and breathtaking views make Sintra a must-go day trip on any visit to Portugal. Luckily this stunning destination is only a short distance from Portugal’s capital city: Lisbon making it the perfect day trip!
This guide provides an overview of the perfect day trip from Lisbon to Sintra and how to fill your day in this fairytale-like place. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring some water, as you will be walking quite a bit between the different sights. Despite the plethora of walking the views and attractions, you will discover are beyond worth it.
Find everything you need to know about going from Lisbon to Sintra below!
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Lisbon to Sintra: A Complete Guide
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How to get from Lisbon to Sintra
Located only a convenient 20-minute train ride outside of Lisbon, Sintra is a popular day-trip destination. It can be quite touristy, so it is best to get there early in the morning to beat the crowds. However, the trains run to Sintra from Lisbon all day, so you don’t have to worry too much about booking transportation ahead. Visiting the city itself of course is free of charge, but there is a cost of €15-20 to access the different palaces and sights. If you bring a valid student ID, they offer a small discount.
When you arrive at Sintra, you have to walk up to the main square from the train stop. This takes about 10-15 minutes and is a beautiful adventure. Along your walk, there are numerous local artisans selling handmade local treasures – Portuguese cork, tile, jewelry, and more! If you are in the market for souvenirs, be sure to have a little cash on hand.
Top Attractions in Sintra
By far one of the most famous sights in Sintra and what most people think of when they imagine their visit to Sintra is Pena Palace. The multi-coloured castle sits on a hilltop in the Sintra mountains and is a sight like no other. The reds, oranges, and purples stand stark against the blue sky backdrop and the architecture is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Just admiring the exterior is a breathtaking experience in itself.
You can also tour the inside of the palace to see the beautiful 1910 architecture from when Portuguese royalty lived inside. More so, you can explore the lush gardens on the grounds as you walk up to the site. The palace is a gorgeous piece of history, and there are many terraces and lookouts where you can see all of the city below. This is one of the most beautiful sights in Portugal, and maybe even in all of Europe, which is why making the journey from Lisbon to Sintra to see it is a must.
Castle of the Moors
The Castle of the Moors is a little different from Pena Palace in that it is reminiscent of an old fortress rather than a traditional castle. This is because the Castle of the Moors was constructed between the 8th and 9th centuries, making it the oldest castle in Sintra.
It is a bit of a steep climb to get to the top as it is even further up the mountains than the Pena Palace, but the way up is picturesque, filled with lush natural landscapes, and well-marked and maintained. Although it is a bit of a hike, it feels very safe and with all the beautiful sights it goes by quickly. Plus, who doesn’t want to get those 10,000 steps in!
Once you reach the Castle of the Moors, you can get a panoramic view of both the city below and even some of the surrounding areas like Mafra and Ericeira. This is an amazing photo-op and exploring the stone rooms and pathways gives you a taste of what Portugal might have been like hundreds of years ago. This one is a must-see during your adventures from Lisbon to Sintra.
Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira is a stunning stone palace in Sintra that is a must-see while visiting the region. This palace was constructed at the turn of the 20th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is incredibly well preserved and the perfect place to get lost wandering around and admiring the beauty of the grounds and palace.
You could easily spend a full day just at this palace viewing all the gardens, towers, caves, monuments, and more! The price to visit for adults is €8 which provides you with a map and brochure. For a guided tour the price is €12 euros.
National Palace (Palácio Nacional de Sintra)
The Sintra National Palace is a unique royal palace in Portugal located in Sintra. It is a very distinct building full of rich history. Amongst the other sights and attractions to see in Sintra this is not the most popular but is worth an hour of time if you can spare it. A tour of the inside will give you a little history lesson on Portugal and you can admire the unique interior designs and remarkable decor.
Tips for Visiting Sintra
- Try to visit in the offseason. In the summer months, Sintra is packed with tourists which can make lines for attractions longer and the visit slightly less enjoyable. Plus, in the summer the weather is very hot which makes the walks a little bit harder.
- Visit in the morning. Since Sintra is so popular and busy it is best to plan your visit in the early morning to avoid some of the crowds.
- Wear good walking shoes. Having sturdy walking shoes in Sintra is imperative! You will be doing a lot of walking and you want to make sure your feet don’t start to hurt, which would ruin your time.
There is no better day trip from Lisbon than to Sintra. The region of Sintra is beyond breathtaking and full of some of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in Portugal. Making the quick and effortless journey from Lisbon to Sintra is one of the best things to do when visiting Lisbon!
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