Top 7 Unmissable Sintra Attractions
Must-See Places In Sintra, Portugal
Discover the enchanting allure of Sintra, Portugal—a city that exudes an air of magic and beckons you to explore its captivating wonders. With a plethora of breathtaking attractions scattered throughout the village, mountains, and hidden beaches, Sintra promises an unforgettable experience. To help you navigate this charming destination, we have carefully curated a list of the top seven unmissable attractions that you simply must visit. Prepare to be mesmerized as you embark on a journey through Sintra‘s extraordinary beauty.
What is the reason behind the abundance of palaces in Sintra?
The abundance of palaces in Sintra can be attributed to several factors that have made this town a magnet for royal families and wealthy individuals:
1. Natural Beauty: Sintra’s stunning natural surroundings, nestled within the lush Sintra Mountains, have long been a source of inspiration. The scenic beauty of the landscape, with its verdant forests and dramatic terrain, provided an ideal backdrop for the construction of palaces.
2. Pleasant Climate: Sintra enjoys a unique microclimate that is cooler and more refreshing than the nearby city of Lisbon. The cooler temperatures and fresh mountain air made it an attractive summer retreat, particularly for those seeking respite from the heat.
3. Historical Significance: Sintra’s historical significance as a royal retreat dates back centuries. Its allure was recognized by the Moors, who built fortresses here, and it later became a favored location for Portuguese monarchs to build summer residences.
4. Cultural Influence: The town’s historical and cultural significance, combined with the influence of various architectural styles over the centuries, led to the creation of unique and fantastical palaces. These styles include Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance, Romanticism, and more.
5. Wealth and Prestige: Wealthy individuals and aristocrats were drawn to Sintra, desiring to showcase their prosperity and social status by constructing opulent palaces in this idyllic setting.
Collectively, these factors contributed to the proliferation of palaces in Sintra, creating a remarkable and diverse collection of architectural gems that continue to captivate visitors from around the world. The legacy of Sintra’s palaces endures as a testament to the town’s enduring appeal and its historical significance in Portuguese culture.
What are some must-visit attractions in Sintra?
Sintra offers several must-visit attractions, including the Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, Castle of the Moors, Monserrate Palace, and the National Palace of Sintra. Each of these sites showcases unique architecture and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Sintra Landmarks are:
Castle of the Moors
Perched majestically on a rocky peak within the Serra de Sintra, the Castle of the Moors stands as a testament to the rich history of the region. Originally constructed by the Moors during the 8th or 9th centuries, this formidable fortress played a significant role in the area’s past. The Romans bestowed upon the mountain range the name “Moon Mount” or “Mons Lunae” in Latin. Following the Christian reconquest, the castle underwent numerous expansions and fortifications, solidifying its strategic importance.
Aside from its historical significance, the Castle of the Moors offers visitors a breathtaking panoramic view of the picturesque village of Sintra and its surrounding region. From the castle’s lofty vantage point, one can marvel at the stunning landscapes that stretch out before them. Prepare to be captivated by the harmonious fusion of history and natural beauty as you explore the Castle of the Moors in Sintra.
Gardens and National Palace of Queluz
Situated in Queluz within the Sintra municipality, the Gardens and National Palace of Queluz beckon visitors with their elegant charm. Influenced by both French and Italian styles, these meticulously crafted gardens and palace boast a remarkable fusion of architectural elements. The collection encompasses the opulence of Baroque, the intricate details of Rocaille, and the timeless grace of Neoclassical design.
Once the cherished royal residence of Queen D. Maria I and her husband, Dom Pedro III, the palace holds a significant place in history. It served as the enduring abode of the Royal Family until their departure for Brazil amidst the tumultuous Napoleonic invasion in 1807.
Sintra National Palace
Nestled within the heart of the village, the Sintra National Palace stands as a testament to centuries of regal heritage. Serving as the residence of the Portuguese royal family since the 12th century, this palace showcases a distinctive blend of architectural styles that mirror the preferences of different monarchs. As you explore its grand halls, you’ll encounter a remarkable fusion of medieval Portuguese design with notable influences from the Gothic and Manueline eras.
Make sure to take a moment to visit the kitchen, where a fascinating sight awaits. Look upward to behold the towering 33-meter-high chimneys adorned with their imposing conical structures. These massive chimneys, a true marvel of engineering, offer a captivating glimpse into the palace’s historical culinary traditions.
Explore More Gorgeous Destinations in Portugal Here
Ranked as the 8th most awe-inspiring architectural masterpiece worldwide, Pena Palace stands as a testament to artistic brilliance. Embracing a Romanticist architectural style, this extraordinary palace seamlessly blends a diverse array of influences, including Neo-Manueline, Neo-Islamic, and Medieval elements.
Originally constructed in 1836, Pena Palace is the visionary creation of King Don Fernando II, renowned as the Artist King. With meticulous attention to detail, the palace boasts an exquisite array of furniture, garments, personal artifacts, and more, showcasing the opulence and refined taste of its former inhabitants.
In recognition of its cultural and historical significance, Pena Palace was rightfully bestowed with UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1995. Prepare to be enchanted as you immerse yourself in the mesmerizing world of Pena Palace, an unrivaled gem among Sintra’s palaces.
How much does it cost to get into Pena Palace?
To explore the captivating wonders of Pena Palace, there are three ticket options available, each offering a unique experience:
- Parque da Pena Ticket: This ticket allows access to the Pena Palace’s exterior, including its terraces, where you can marvel at the stunning architecture. The cost is 7.50 euros for adults and 6.50 euros for children and pensioners.
- Palace and Gardens Ticket: For a more immersive visit, the Palace and Gardens ticket provides access to both the palace and its splendid gardens. This comprehensive ticket is priced at 14 euros for adults.
- Palace, Gardens, and Bus Ticket: If you prefer a convenient way to reach the palace’s hilltop location, the Palace, Gardens, and Bus ticket is ideal. This option grants access to the palace gardens and includes the use of the bus within the palace grounds. Given the uphill terrain, the bus offers a comfortable and efficient transportation solution. The cost of this ticket is 17 euros for adults.
For an effortless and unforgettable experience in Sintra, we highly recommend booking a Sintra Day Tour that not only includes the entrance fee to Pena Palace but also offers the convenience of a private driver exclusively at your service.
Imagine being chauffeured right to the doorstep of the magnificent Pena Palace, with your driver ensuring a seamless and stress-free entrance. No need to worry about queuing for tickets; we take care of that for you. It will save you time and energy because we know the best times to visit the palace, ensuring you have the most enjoyable and uncrowded experience!
By choosing our Sintra Day Tour, you’ll maximize your time, minimize hassles, and create lasting memories of this remarkable site. Join us for a day of discovery, where every detail is taken care of to provide you with an exceptional Sintra experience. Don’t miss this opportunity; book your private service now, and let us make your visit to Pena Palace truly exceptional.
How many hours do I need to visit Pena Palace?
Embark on an extraordinary journey through time and witness the grandeur of Pena Palace, an architectural masterpiece brimming with a thousand captivating details. With a visit lasting approximately 2 hours, you’ll have ample time to immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere and uncover the fascinating stories behind every corner.
Inside the palace, you’ll be transported to a bygone era as you explore the opulent chambers adorned with exquisite furniture, delicate china, ornate silverware, and majestic desks adorned with royal insignia. Step into the world of the royal family and envision their daily lives within these hallowed halls.
To ensure an unforgettable experience, we invite you to join our 7-day Portugal Tour, which includes a guided tour of Pena Palace. Our knowledgeable guides will unravel the palace’s secrets, sharing historical insights and intriguing anecdotes along the way. From the palace’s breathtaking interior to its picturesque surroundings, our tour provides a comprehensive and enriching exploration of this iconic landmark.
Don’t miss this opportunity to delve into the magnificence of Pena Palace. Book your Portugal Tour now, and let us guide you through a journey of wonder and discovery.
Quinta da Regaleira
Prepare to be enchanted by the mystical allure of Quinta da Regaleira, an extraordinary estate that embodies the essence of mystery in Sintra. Constructed in the early twentieth century by the affluent António Carvalho Monteiro, also known as Monteiro dos Milhões, this architectural marvel exudes an aura of enchantment.
The building itself showcases a captivating blend of architectural styles, embracing the Romanesque revivalist approach. Gothic, Manueline, and Renaissance elements intertwine seamlessly, creating a visually stunning and harmonious composition. Beyond its architectural beauty, Quinta da Regaleira is renowned for its profound esoteric symbolism, inviting visitors to delve into its enigmatic depths.
As you wander through the estate, you’ll find yourself immersed in a lush oasis, where vibrant vegetation envelops the surroundings. Two notable highlights within Quinta da Regaleira beckon to be explored. The Chapel of the Holy Trinity stands as a testament to divine beauty and tranquility, while the iconic initiation well captivates with its mesmerizing spiral staircase, inviting contemplation and intrigue.
Prepare to embark on a journey through the mystical wonders of Quinta da Regaleira, where architectural splendor, verdant landscapes, and esoteric symbolism intertwine to create an experience unlike any other.
Old Centre of Sintra
If you search for gifts or souvenirs. Sintra is known for its textiles and pottery. And there are plenty of opportunities to window-shop while for lunch.
Are there any local delicacies in Sintra?
Yes, Sintra offers some delightful local delicacies. Travesseiros and Queijadas de Sintra are two famous pastries you must try. Travesseiros are puff pastry rolls filled with almond cream, while Queijadas are small cheesecakes made with fresh cheese, sugar, eggs, and cinnamon.
Indulge in a delightful culinary experience at Café Piriquita, conveniently located near Sintra National Palace. Treat yourself to the exquisite flavors of queijada and travesseiro, two delectable pastries that have become a trademark of this historic bakery. With a remarkable heritage dating back to 1862, Café Piriquita is a true gem of Sintra.
Legend has it that the bakery’s owner, Constância, was of petite stature, earning her the endearing nickname “Piriquita” bestowed upon her by King D. Carlos I. As you savor the mouthwatering pastries, take a moment to appreciate the connection to history, knowing that King D. Carlos I himself admired the delicacies offered by Café Piriquita.
Immerse yourself in the ambiance of this charming bakery, where time-honored recipes are lovingly crafted to perfection. And if you happen to visit Pena Palace, keep an eye out for the pictures of King D. Carlos I, serving as a testament to his appreciation for the delectable treats of Café Piriquita.
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the delightful flavors and rich history of Café Piriquita during your visit to Sintra. Let the aromas and tastes transport you to a bygone era, leaving you with a lasting memory of this culinary treasure.
Where is Sintra in Portugal? How far is Lisbon to Sintra?
This city is 30 kilometers (18 miles) northwest of Lisbon. It is a town and municipality in Lisbon Metropolitan Area.
How To Get To Sintra From Lisbon
If you plan to visit Sintra, you can get the train from Lisbon (Rossio Train Station) to Sintra. The journey takes about half an hour and when you arrive. Look for bus number 434, which will take you to the town center of Sintra, the Castle of the Moors, and Pena Palace. However, the bus is always crowded!
Take attention! Access is not authorized to private vehicles! If you plan to rent a car and visit by yourself, check where you can park your vehicle. The Mayor restricted the use of private vehicles in the Sintra. Why? For security! The badly parked cars made it difficult for firefighters to move in an emergency. So, you must take a taxi or public bus to visit palaces or castles.
You are on vacation! You need to relax! So, avoid long queues or stress about where to park your car. Book online here our Sintra Private Tour.
If you are looking for a package vacation with 7 days or more, take a look at our guided tours in Portugal. It always includes the total ticket to Pena Palace in Sintra, accommodations, private transfer, a local guide, and much more!
Beyond the cultural landmarks, guided tours also take you to hidden gems and lesser-known spots, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in Sintra’s captivating ambiance.
What is the closest airport to Sintra, Portugal?
The nearest airport to Porto is Lisbon Airport (LIS).
What is the Best Day to Visit Sintra? Is the Pena Palace in Sintra open on Mondays?
If you are planning to visit this city, avoid Monday! Reason: the palaces, museums, and castles are open Monday in Sintra. And in Lisbon, everything is closed. Conclusion: queues and traffic in Sintra are a nightmare!
Tram in Sintra
If you are a tram fan, you must take the tram from Sintra to the beach (Praia das Maçãs). The tram station is close to Sintra National Palace, around a 20-minute walk. That is a short trip, only 45 minutes, but it connects the mountains to the Atlantic Ocean.
Strike in Sintra: What to do?
In the rare event of a strike affecting major attractions such as Pena Palace, Moors Castle, Queluz Palace, Sintra National Palace, Capucho Convent, and Monserrate Palace in Sintra, there are still plenty of captivating activities and places to explore. Here are some alternative options to make the most of your time in Sintra:
- Explore the Historic Center: Take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Sintra’s historic center. Admire the traditional architecture, browse local shops, and indulge in the local cuisine at cafes and restaurants.
- Visit Quinta da Regaleira: Discover the mysticism of Quinta da Regaleira, a captivating estate renowned for its beautiful gardens, underground tunnels, and iconic initiation well. Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of this unique attraction.
- Hike in the Sintra Mountains: Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an adventure through the breathtaking Sintra Mountains. There are several hiking trails offering stunning views and an opportunity to connect with nature. The Pena Park trails and Cruz Alta viewpoint are popular choices.
- Enjoy Sintra’s Natural Beauty: Explore the natural wonders surrounding Sintra. Visit the stunning Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe, or take a scenic drive along the coastline to discover hidden beaches and picturesque cliffs.
- Visit the Toy Museum: Delve into a world of nostalgia and childhood memories at the Toy Museum (Museu do Brinquedo). Explore an extensive collection of vintage toys from different eras and immerse yourself in the whimsical atmosphere.
- Biester Palace, located in Sintra, Portugal, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This 19th-century mansion boasts a unique blend of architectural styles, including Neo-Gothic and Moorish influences. With its intricate detailing, colorful tiles, and ornate façade, Biester Palace is a true feast for the eyes. While not as well-known as some of Sintra’s other palaces, its charm and historical significance make it a worthwhile visit. Step inside to explore its elegant interiors and imagine the lives of the aristocrats who once called this palace home. Don’t miss the opportunity to uncover the secrets of Biester Palace and add a touch of enchantment to your Sintra experience.
- Experience Local Cuisine: Treat your taste buds to the flavors of Sintra. Sample traditional delicacies such as queijadas and travesseiros at local bakeries or indulge in a delicious meal at one of the town’s charming restaurants.
While a strike may temporarily affect access to certain attractions, it opens up an opportunity to explore alternative facets of Sintra’s beauty and immerse yourself in its cultural, natural, and culinary delights. Embrace the unexpected and create a unique and memorable experience in this enchanting destination.
What are the best restaurants in Sintra?
Incomum by Luis Santos
Chef Luis Santos offers gourmet cuisine with local products at an economical price! This restaurant is one of the hidden gems in Sintra. We highly recommend it!
Romaria de Baco
Traditional Portuguese restaurant without the tourist crowds. It is close to the Sintra National Palace.
What to Wear in Sintra
You should bring comfortable walking shoes. Wear sneakers or at least sturdier sandals (read our tips). Please don’t wear slippers or high heel shoes. When it’s hot out, we recommend applying sunscreen on exposed body parts and a pair of sunglasses. Due to its altitude and location closer to the coast, Sintra is often colder than Lisbon. The temperature can decrease by 5 to 10 degrees compared to Lisbon. We recommend dressing in layers and bringing a jacket, sweater, or anorak.
Embark on an unforgettable travel adventure in Portugal, starting with the mesmerizing town of Sintra. With its enchanting palaces, stunning natural landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Sintra promises a journey of wonder and awe. And now, you can book your Sintra experience with complete peace of mind.
Leave your worries behind as you plan your visit to Sintra, knowing that your arrangements are in capable hands. From exploring the architectural marvels of Pena Palace to indulging in the delicious pastries at Café Piriquita, every moment in Sintra will be filled with captivating experiences.
Whether you’re drawn to the historical sites, picturesque gardens, or the idyllic charm of the village, now is the time to secure your travel plans. Choose from a range of accommodations, select the attractions that ignite your curiosity, and get ready for an adventure that will leave you with cherished memories.
Don’t wait any longer — book your Sintra travel experience today and embark on a journey that will captivate your senses and immerse you in the magic of Portugal. Let the beauty of Sintra unfold before your eyes as you create lasting memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.