The Castles and Palaces of Sintra, Portugal

The Castles and Palaces of Sintra, Portugal

The Castles and Palaces of Sintra, Portugal

Sintra in Portugal is a UNESCO site with hilltop castles, fairy tale palaces, and exotic gardens. The castles of Sintra are a short 40-minute train ride away from Lisbon and therefore it’s one of the best things to do in Lisbon. Due to its microclimate, forests and gardens are able to cover the hills with lush green. Discover Pena Palace, Moorish Castle and much more inside the huge natural park on a day trip to Sintra, Portugal.

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day trip lisbon sintra castles

Sintra’s Castles and Palaces

The small Sintra town is where you arrive by train and has accommodation, restaurants, and transport to the castles and palaces. First, read about the things you can see inside the park followed by planning your visit.

Tip: Remember the places you want to visit and buy tickets in advance as the ticket booths will get busy. Get your tickets online

Pena Palace Sintra (Palacio da Pena)

Palacio de Pena in Sintra is a red and yellow fairy-tale castle located at the highest point overlooking the entire region. It was once designed in 1854 by the king who released all of his creative imagination his castle and park to become his summer house. (Yes, a summer house!)

Pena Palace has become a beautiful mix of architectural styles, trees from all over the world had been important making it an exotic garden.

sintra portugal pena palace

Pena Palace castle has become the icon of the Sintra region and therefore also the busiest. Entrance tickets for the park and palace cost 13,30 EUR (15 USD), which can be bought at the door but best to buy in advance.

Tickets: 15 USD / Bus-line: 434 / Get tickets here

Moorish Castle

Castle of the Moors was once a military fort. Nowadays, visiting this “Lord of the rings” castle are possible. Take the stairs up for an impressive view and walk along the walls of a centuries-old castle. An entrance ticket to Moorish Castle cost 7,60 EUR. (8 USD)

Tickets: 8 USD / Bus-line: 434 / Get tickets here

things to do lisbon Moorish castle

Quinta da Regaleira

The gardens of Quinta da Regaleira were designed to hide a network of tunnels, passageways, and even towers. The inverted towers (Initiation Well) looks like a well but is accessible by a spiral stair that goes down to one of the tunnels. Quinta da Regaleira makes this UNESCO region so diverse in the kind of sites that you can visit. Entrance tickets to Quinta de Regaleira are 8 EUR (9 USD) can be bought online or at the door.

Tickets: 9 USD / Bus-line: 435 / Get tickets here

Quinta da Regaleira

Sintra National Palace (Palacio Nacional de Sintra)

In the heart of Sintra town is the royal Sintra National Palace. The two huge chimneys have become the iconic view of the town. Get an entrance ticket of 9,50 EUR (11 USD) to visit the decorative rooms inside the palace.

Tickets: 11 USD / Bus-line: 434 and 435 / Get tickets here

Monserrate Palace (Palácio de Monserrate)

The Monserrate Palace is an incredible gothic, Arabic, and Indian designed palace with an exotic garden that once won a European Garden Award. It is often skipped as it is slightly off the route but many do not know that this probably is the most beautiful palace of Sintra.

Tickets: 8 USD / Bus-line: 435 / Get tickets here

sintra portugal Monserrate Palace

How to get to Sintra, Portugal?

A day trip to Sintra from Lisbon a great way to visit the UNESCO site. From Rossio Station in Lisbon, take the train that departs every 20 minutes. Within 40 minutes you arrive in Sintra Town. Please note that on Sundays, the train departs only once every hour. A one-way ticket costs 2.25 EUR (2.5 USD) and can be bought at the ticket counter or machine.

Train to Sintra – 2.50 USD – 40 minutes

How to travel around Sintra, Portugal?

Once arrived in the town, there are two main bus routes that pass the palaces and castles of Sintra: line 434 and 435. Decide beforehand what sights you want to visit so you know which bus to take. 

Line 434 – Train Station – National Palace – Moorish Castle – Natural History Museum – Pena Palace

Line 435 – Train Station – National Palace – Quinta Da Regaleira – Seteais Palace – Monserrate Palace

sintra bus route

Bus tickets are available at the bus or train station and run every 15 to 20 minutes starting at 9:15 AM. A return hop-on hop-off ticket costs 6.90 EUR. (~ 7.50 USD)

sintra bus

How long do I need in Sintra, Portugal?

Sintra-Cascais Natural Park is an enormous park of 142 square kilometers that stretches all the way to the coastline. Ideally, two or three days would be good to see all aspects of the park. But for a Sintra day trip from Lisbon, it is recommended to at least take half a day.

Tip: Think about which sights you would like to see and buy the tickets in advance as the ticket booths will get busy. Get your tickets online

things to do lisbon Palace

Best time to visit Sintra, Portugal

Sintra has its own microclimate and it always a little cooler than Lisbon. The best time to visit Sintra is from April to June and September to November.  

Hotels in Sintra, Portugal

Are you planning to spend multiple days in the park? Sleep in either Sintra town or in Lisbon. If you are on a budget, Lisbon is the best option to go with.

Hotels in Sintra

Hotels in Lisbon

Blog comments (9)

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  • Albert Brown

    Thank you so much for these tips. The pictures of castles are really spell-binding. No doubt, they are absolutely fairytale castles.

  • Jim Leonard

    I will be traveling to LISBON — thank you for sending tips on day trips. I am also interested in walking tours. Obrigado!

  • Went to Sintra 2 years ago, was raining like hell but still enjoyed it a lot. Had a really topical vibe due to the rain, the smells were amazing. Definitely would recommend to go. Great content btw keep it up!

  • Sasi Kerala

    This is just beautiful. I love it. I can’t wait to visit these places. Thanks so much for sharing. The pictures are just gorgeous.

  • Maria Shelby

    Sintra is so beautiful. Amazing photographs. Good job on this one.

  • Ratheesh R Nath

    Great photos! Makes Sintra seem like a worthy destination in itself, rather than just a stopover city. I really loved the picture of Quinta da Regaleira, it’s simply a brilliant architecture.
    Thanks for sharing this post.

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