Magical Sintra: the perfect day trip from Lisbon

A day trip to Sintra is definitely worth your time, when staying at Lisbon! It’s a magical romantic town you just have to explore! Take the train at the Rossio train station in the center of Lisbon to station Estefania, Sintra. During weekdays there’s a train every 15 minutes, in the weekend every 30 minutes. The trip takes about 40 minutes. Sintra is located only 30km northwest from Lisbon and is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. After your arrival you’ll soon be thinking you’re in a fairytale. Sintra is just a small town, but it’s surrounded by royal retreats, castles, estates,… all looking very different. You can easily stay a few days there. I only spend one day in this beautiful place, so I had to make a choice out of all the magnificent palaces.

Sintra-Palacio-da-Pena

Sintra’s most famous: Palacio da Pena

The first palace I explored was Palacio da Pena which is situated on a hill. After arriving in Sintra by train, you can take bus 434 to the main entrace of the palace. There you can buy a combi ticket for both Pena and Dos Mouros (16€ in 2012). For an additional 2€ you can take the small shuttle bus to the palace (it’s a serious climb). Pena is absolutely gorgeous with all its colors and different towers. I was intrigued by the “triton gateway” which is supposed to be a newt, symbolizing the allegory of creation of the world. The interior is also beautiful but you are not allowed to take pictures. I didn’t visit the Pena gardens, but I know people who did and they told me the gardens are breathtaking. So I will definitely visit them if I go back one day. When you’re walking around the palace and the weather is clear you’re able to see the ocean. You’ll also get a look of other palaces on the ground such as Monserrate and Quinta da Regaleira.

Sintra-Palacio-da-Pena

Sintra-Palacio-da-Pena

Sintra-Palacio-da-Pena

Sintra’s most raw: Castelo Dos Mouros

After visiting Palacio da Pena you can take the shuttle bus back to the main entrance. At the main entrance you turn left and walk down the street for about 200m. At the right you will find the entrance to Dos Mouros (castle of the Moors). It’s a mediëval castle also situated on a hilltop. It offers fantastic views of Pena, Monserrate, Quinta da Regaleira and the city center. Walking up and down the many stairs of this castle is sometimes a little scary. But it brings you back to mediëval times and you start to wonder how knights in shiny armors were able to move around there. (I don’t think it was that romantic back in those days).

Sintra-Dos-Mouros Sintra-Dos-Mouros


Sintra’s most romantic: Quinta da Regaleira

After exploring Dos Mouros you can take bus 434 back downhill to the city center of Sintra. From there you can walk to Quinta da Regaleira (it only takes 5 to 10 minutes) a wonderful estate with a beautiful garden and even its own chapel! Even though I think Pena is gorgeous, this one is absolutely magical! The white estate itself looks very romantic surrounded by hundreds of flowers. The interior is fantastic. But what I love most of all is the garden; it has caves, wells, small gorgeous buildings, fountains, wonderful flora,… It has a mystical vibe. (it was grey and cloudy all day and once we entered the domain, the sun started to shine!) Make sure you get a free map of the garden because it is big and you don’t want to miss out on things!

Sintra-Quinta-da-Regaleira

Sintra-Quinta-da-Regaleira

Sintra-Quinta-da-Regaleira

Sintra-Quinta-da-Regaleira

After visiting these 3 masterpieces you can wander around the small city center for a while and return back to Lisbon. When I go back in the future I’ll definitely visit Monserrate and the Pena gardens.

Before you head off to Sintra don’t forget to check the weather and bring a sweater and a scarf because it can be very chilly and windy on the hilltops. It’s also better to bring lunch with you.

 

If you like my pictures I suggest to follow my Instagram account where you can find a lot more!

 




5 thoughts on “Magical Sintra: the perfect day trip from Lisbon

  • February 21, 2016 at 2:39 AM
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    From Sintra s train station, you can walk for around 20 minutes to go to the town. But if you want to save energy, you can just take bus 434 and it will take you there.

  • March 17, 2016 at 5:07 PM
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    Thank you for this! You visited the three places I want to go to while in Sintra next month. Great to get an idea of transport/directions. Beautiful photos as well! 🙂

    • March 17, 2016 at 7:15 PM
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      Thank YOU for your positive comment! 🙂
      Glad my article was helpful!
      Enjoy your trip!

  • June 14, 2017 at 7:12 PM
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    If you are not lazy you can walk from the station to the center of the village, not far. You can also go to the castle, the only problem is that it is always going up.

    • June 15, 2017 at 2:53 PM
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      I only took the bus to go to Pena Castle and Dos Mouros and turn back. The centre isn’t that far from the station. Loved Sintra!

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