If you find yourself in Lisbon and want to take an excursion for a day, Sintra is one of the most popular options!
How To Get From Lisbon to Sintra:
You have a few different options for getting from Lisbon to Sintra.
Option 1: Train:
This is probably the easiest and least stressful option. Train tickets only cost €4.50 for a round trip. If you hop on the train at Rossio station it takes about 40 minutes to get to Sintra. You can catch a train about every 30 minutes so you have a lot of options when deciding when you want to leave and come back. This was how I traveled to Sintra and I bought my ticket directly at the train station.
- Tip: If you ride the train I would recommend picking up breakfast on the way. There was a Starbucks in the train station but not very many other options. I would also bring along some cash.
Option 2: Car:
If you already have a car for your trip, it would be an easy drive to Sintra. One of the benefits of having a car is that not all tour buses go to every castle, so you could drive to the specific ones you wanted. You also wouldn’t have to base your time at each place around the bus schedule. Parking looked sparse but not impossible.
- Tip: Rent a smaller car so you don’t have issues fitting into small parking spaces. If you don’t feel comfortable driving from castle to castle you can also park your car at Praca Dom Afonso Henriques (right outside the city center) and take public transit to get around Sintra.
Getting Around Sintra
If you are not driving, you can take buses to bring you to the castles. I bought a day bus pass which was really convenient and I was able to hop on and off it as I pleased throughout the day. Do NOT try to walk from city center to the palaces. The roads are very steep and winding. It would not only be dangerous, but you also need to save your energy for all of the walking you will do around the castles.
- Sintra train station
- Sintra city center
- Castelo dos Mouros – Moorish Castle
- Palácio Nacional da Pena – Pena Castle
- Sintra train station
- Sintra City Center
- Quinta da Regaleira – Regaleira Palace
- Tivoli Palácio de Seteais – Seteais Palace
- Palácio de Monserrate – Monserrate Palace
Things To Do In Sintra:
You won’t be able to see everything in just one day, so depending on how much time you want to spend exploring each palace you will most likely only cover 3 (maybe 4) in one day. With such limited options for a day trip you may wonder: What palaces should I prioritize seeing? I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them honestly, but below are the ones I was able to fit into my trip.
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10AM to 6:30PM (last entrance at 5:30PM)
Ticket: 15€ for adult ticket
This is considered one of the principal tourist attractions in Sintra and is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. My favorite part were walking around the grounds to see the mini lakes, grottoes, wells, colorful benches, and fountains. It was rainy and sort of eerie when I went, but still so beautiful!
Hours: Mon-Sun 9:30 am – 8:00 pm
Ticket When Purchased Online: Park and Palace €13.30 , Park Only €7.13
Pena National Palace was restored in the 20th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The actual palace currently serves a museum. This is by far the most popular attraction in Sintra. If you google Sintra – you will 100% see pictures from this colorful masterpiece. The architecture of Palacio da Pena is an eclectic mix of Middle Easter style and European Baroque, a result of the creative genius of King Ferdinand II. It was abandoned when the nobilities relocated to Brazil in a bid to escape the impending revolution.
- 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! This is what I did.
- 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 is only one good spot to take a photo and most likely a line of people waiting to take pictures in that same spot.
Cabo Da Roca: Westmost point of Europe
Where to Have Lunch in Sintra:
When you are tried of exploring stop for lunch at Tascantiga. It’s the cutest little spot right in the city center. I got the most delicious open faced sandwich.
Thanks for stopping by!!