Located in the foothills of southern Portugal, Sintra is widely known for its mystic beauty especially during rainy and windy days. This city’s mysterious beauty has long been famous for the castle walls and palaces rising out of its many foggy hills, and its beautiful fountains and wells. After you are done with visiting the vibrant, historical and artistic Lisbon capital, come to this small city for a day-trip. This suggested itinerary will help you walk through the most famous attractions of Sintra within a few hours.
The National Palace of Sintra - Parques de Sintra
As soon as you get off the train from Lisbon to Sintra, get a map at the only tourist information desk inside the station. This map has clear instructions on routes to get around Sintra. There are also signs all around the city, so you can even get around without a map. Start walking from the station to the town centre. Lying in the middle of the historic centre, the former palace of Sintra - the National Palace dates back to the Moorish period. The front courtyard of the palace offers a wonderful panoramic view of the city.
Quinta da Regaleira Park- UNESCO World Heritage Site
The next top is an estate near the historic centre - the Quinta da Regaleira. If you are a nature-loving traveler, this cultural landscape is the place to be. This luxurious land is nothing like an ordinary park, as it contains plenty of lakes, wells, benches, fountains and romantic palaces and chapels. The park is ideal for couples to spend romantic, quiet times together. There are several cultural activities organized here including theatre, opera, chamber music, concerts, and even an open-air cinema. Another park to check out in the municipality of Sintra is Monserrate Park.
Castle of the Moors
Lying in the middle of the Sintra Municipality, the Castle of the Moors is a hilltop medieval castle. Though Sintra looks like a small county on the map, the Castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros) is massive. You will need extremely comfy shoes to walk through the whole area to the top. There are several churches and museums on the way up. Do not miss visiting the world’s top rated Pena Castle that lies just few hundred metres from the exit of the castle.
Pena Palace and National Park
The Pena Palace is well known as one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, besides the famous Palace of Versailles in France or the Royal Palace of Madrid in Spain. Visiting the palace can be quite expensive (13.5 EUR or roughly 14.5 USD for adults), but it is worth the price, as the castle’s most unique and colourful parts are only visible from the inside. Next to the entrance, there’s a bus stop taking visitors straight to the main train station of Sintra. A single bus ride costs 3 EUR (roughly 3.5 USD). You can take a train from here back to Lisbon.
How to get from Lisbon to Sintra
There are frequent connections between Lisbon and Sintra daily. Load money on your transportation card in Lisbon and enjoy traveling to Sintra for 1.8 EUR (roughly 2 USD) for a single ride. The journey takes only about one hour and you will experience the most mysteriously beautiful small town of Portugal.
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