Visit Sintra, the city of fairy tales : how to go, what to do, what to see, where to eat and sleep in Sintra and around in 2019

How to claim to have discovered Portugal and Lisbon without having visited Sintra? Indeed, Sintra is perhaps the most impressive city of Portugal. Located less than an hour from Lisbon, this city and its surroundings will surprise many. Between medieval castle, royal palace and mysterious park, Sintra can be visited and discovered throughout the year. Each visitor will have the impression of entering a fairy tale and the different palaces and mansions hidden in the forest of Sintra will make this visit a moment for sure unforgettable. What to visit in Sintra in 2019? How to get there ? What to do in the city of castles and palaces ? What are the best activities in Sintra and its surroundings ? Lisbob, the expatriate assistant in Portugal, introduces you to Sintra and its surroundings, the city of fairy tales.

· How to go to Sintra ?

· What to see and visit in Sintra ?

· What activities to do in Sintra ?

· Where to eat and sleep in Sintra ?

Visiting Sintra is a fantastic idea

Visiting Sintra is a fantastic idea

Get a private tour of Sintra and around in your language : discover the city of fairy tales !

HOW TO GET TO SINTRA?

Go to Sintra by car

Sintra is located about thirty kilometers north-west of Lisbon and is easily accessible by road or train. From Lisbon, it will take no more than an hour to reach Sintra and discover its surroundings. Sintra is located at the entrance of the natural park that bears the same name, and which protects the entire Atlantic facade of the Lisbon region. Even in summer, think about taking a little jacket: the Sintra region has a micro-climate that brings freshness.

 

The fastest way to get to Sintra from Lisbon is by car, which will also allow you to visit the surroundings. Half an hour will be enough to join Sintra.

Visit Sintra Portugal

Go to Sintra by train

If you want to visit Sintra from Lisbon by train, it is also possible. It takes a little more time, but you can look at the landscapes the Lisbon region has to offer. You can take a train to Rossio (or Oriente) station and the train will go directly to Sintra, with a train every 20 minutes in rush hour. Also, Sintra is the last station so you will not miss it.

visit Sintra Portugal

This railway line is operated by CP (Comboios de Portugal), the national railway company of Portugal. As this line is regional, it makes many stops before arriving at its destination, which means it takes a total of just over 40 minutes. The train journeys in Portugal are very cheap, a one-way ticket from Lisbon to Sintra costs only € 3.50.

It doesn’t take very long to go from Lisbon to Sintra by train

It doesn’t take very long to go from Lisbon to Sintra by train

WHAT TO VISIT AND DISCOVER SINTRA?

Quinta da Regaleira

The Regaleira Palace, Quinta da Regaleira in Portuguese, is a wonderful place that you absolutely must visit. This architectural ensemble is located not far from downtown Sintra. This palace and its park are famous around the world for the mystery around them. Quinta da Regaleira is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The palace and the gardens of its domain extend today on 4 hectares and attract each year more and more visitors in search of enchantment.

Quinta da Regaleira is a fantastic place to visit in Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira is a fantastic place to visit in Sintra

It is a place in the middle of the Sintra Natural Park and will surprise you in many ways. References to Alchemy, Freemasonry, and the Knights Templar are numerous in both the architecture of the palace and the design of the park surrounding it, and you can go from completely dark tunnels to magic fountains. Sometimes even you will have to "walk on the water" to visit the entire Quinta da Regaleira. Mystery visitors will be delighted.

Try to not get lost in Quinta da Regaleira

Try to not get lost in Quinta da Regaleira

Practical information :

  • Opening hours : every day from 9h30 to 19h

  • Year of construction : 1900

  • Tip : come early in the morning

 

Castle of the Moors - Castelo dos Mouros

When visiting Sintra and its surroundings, one can only see the Castle of the Moors, Castelo dos Mouros in Portuguese. Indeed, this ensemble overlooks the Sintra region and was built in the 8th century. Since 1995, the Château des Maures has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Full of legends, this castle was first held by Muslims, then taken over by Christians, and its destiny is closely linked to that of the Portuguese capital. From Castelo dos Mouros, you will have a breathtaking view of the Palácio da Pena and the Sintra region and its surroundings.

The Castle of Moors is exceptional in Sintra

The Castle of Moors is exceptional in Sintra

BOOK YOUR GUIDED TOUR OF SINTRA

Do you know the legend of the Castle of the Moors? At the time of King Alfonso I of Portugal, fearing a surprise attack on his forces by the Moors of Sintra, the ruler charged a knight of the Order of the Temple to form a group of twenty men of confidence to secretly observe the enemy movements while warning at the same time of a displacement of the Moors of Lisbon, passing by Cascais and the Tagus to Sintra.

The crusaders went on their way discreetly. To avoid being seen, they traveled by night, hiding by day, by the way from Torres Vedras to Santa Cruz, by the coast to Colares, trying to avoid Albernoz, fearing the Moorish leader of Colares who had a reputation as a killer of Christians. Between Colares and Penedo, the Blessed Virgin appeared to the frightened horsemen and said to them: "do not be afraid because you are going to twenty but you are going to a thousand, a thousand you are going because you are going to twenty".

Thus, full of courage that the Blessed Virgin was with them, after five days of course confronted the enemies, defeating them and conquered the Castle of the Moors. In tribute to this fact the Chapel of Our Lady of Melides was erected. Moreover, the term 'Melides' comes from mill ides (you go to a thousand).

From Castle of Moors you can see Palacio da Pena

From Castle of Moors you can see Palacio da Pena

Practical information :

  • Opening hours : Every day from 9h30 to 20h

  • Construction : 8th century

  • Tip : take a jacket because it is always cooler, not suitable for people with reduced mobility

 

National Palace of Pena - Palácio Nacional da Pena

The National Palace of Pena, Pálacio Nacional da Pena in Portuguese, is a must visit for anyone visiting the Sintra region of Portugal. Released straight from a fairy tale, the Palacio da Pena is the one that is most often photographed and it is normal. These multicolored buildings, with their architecture different from each other, will delight visitors looking for a change of scenery. This palace was built in 1838 and mixes architectural styles. Its creation was possible thanks to Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (king consort of the kingdom), of German origin and also Portuguese of adoption following its alliance with queen Marie II. The Pálacio da Pena was inaugurated the year of the king's death.

Palacio da Pena is worth a visit when you go to Sintra

Palacio da Pena is worth a visit when you go to Sintra

Visiting the Palacio da Pena is like going back in time and discovering a fantastic and mysterious scenery. You can visit the interior of the Palazzo de Pena and discover the most luxurious rooms of each other, or go around the Palacio and enjoy the beautiful view of the Sintra region and its surroundings. For sure, a visit to the Pena Palace in Sintra should be on your to-do list when you travel to Lisbon.

Amazing colours and architecture in Sintra

Amazing colours and architecture in Sintra

The interior of the Pena Palace is divided into different rooms, each unique in their genre. The cloister and the chapel offer a Manueline style peculiar to Portugal. The Arabic room, as the name suggests, presents frescoes and other ornaments inspired by the Orient. The ballroom mixes elements of oriental decoration with Prussian stained glass. The various balconies offer panoramic views of the Atlantic coast and the Tagus.

If you visit Lisbon and Sintra you must discover Palacio da Pena

If you visit Lisbon and Sintra you must discover Palacio da Pena

Practical information :

  • Year of construction : 1836

  • Opening hours : Every day from 9h30 to 20h

  • Tip : come in the morning

 

Sintra National Palace - Palácio Nacional de Sintra

Palácio Nacional de Sintra is located in the city of the same name. This building is the former residence of the Portuguese kings during the reconquest. The 1755 earthquake partially destroyed the original building but was rebuilt identically and using old-fashioned techniques.

The  Sintra National Palace  is very impressive and you must visit it

The Sintra National Palace is very impressive and you must visit it

Visiting the National Palace of Sintra is a must in Lisbon and Portugal. The Palace of Sintra, also called Royal Palace, became a museum in 1940 and it is possible to admire furniture of the time. Not to be missed during your visit, Europe's largest collection of azulejos, dating from the 17th century and covering the ceilings of the Palace of Sintra.

It’s Impossible to visit Sintra without discovering the National Palace of Sintra

It’s Impossible to visit Sintra without discovering the National Palace of Sintra

Practical information :

  • Opening hours : every day from 9h30 to 19h

  • Telephone : +351 21 923 7300

  • Tip : Come in the morning

 

National Palace and Gardens of Queluz - Palácio Nacional and Gardens of Queluz

Located a few kilometers from the city of Sintra and halfway to Lisbon, the National Palace and Queluz Gardens must be on your tour list. Indeed, how not to marvel at this palace, the last built in the Rococo style in Europe, and its royal gardens that extend as far as the eye can see. Built in the 18th century, this building housed the Portuguese regency following the fire of the Palace of Ajuda.

Located near Sintra, the Palácio Nacional de Queluz is one of the most beautiful in Portugal

Located near Sintra, the Palácio Nacional de Queluz is one of the most beautiful in Portugal

Le Palais National de Queluz ravira les visiteurs en manque de grandeur. Ces différentes pièces et salles, toutes plus exubérantes les une que les autres, sont aussi la résidence officielle des chefs d’état et de gouvernement étrangers lors de leur visite officielle au Portugal. Toute comparaison gardée, le Palais National de Queluz a des airs de Versailles, et fait partie des visites incontournables lors de votre séjour à Lisbonne et au Portugal.


Looking for an original visit to Sintra? Discover the Palácio Nacional de Queluz

Looking for an original visit to Sintra? Discover the Palácio Nacional de Queluz

Practical information :

  • Opening hours: every day from 9h to 19h

  • Address: Largo Palacio de Queluz, 2745-191 Queluz, Portugal

  • Date of opening: 1820

  • Tip: Book a group tour to make Queluz and Sintra

 

Park and Palace of Monserrate - Parque e Palacio de Monserrate

The Palace of Monserrate is one of the finest examples of Arabic style built in the nineteenth century in the city of Sintra in Portugal. The project leader was James Knowles. The parks and gardens of a total of 143 hectares give this palace an exuberant environment that will delight visitors looking for a change of scenery. Also, you will be surprised by these tunes of Arab palace, testimony of a time.

Another palace to discover in Sintra: Palácio de Monserrate

Another palace to discover in Sintra: Palácio de Monserrate

The Palace of Monserrate, Palácio de Monserrate in Portuguese, and one of the most beautiful Arab-style palaces of the Sintra region. Built in the 19th century, it is the palace of Monserrate and its gardens of 143 hectares were designed by James Knowles. In this park, you can discover and enjoy more than 2,500 floral species that come from 5 continents.

A discovery of Sintra and its surroundings would be incomplete without a visit to Palácio de Monserrate

A discovery of Sintra and its surroundings would be incomplete without a visit to Palácio de Monserrate

Practical information :

  • Opening hours : every day from 9.30am to 8pm

  • Year of construction : 1863

  • Telephone : +351 21 923 7300

  • Tip : dress well

 

WHAT TO DO IN SINTRA ?

Sintra is a region full of activities and visits. Whether you are alone, with friends or family, the activities in Sintra are many and varied. Of course, the best to discover and visit Sintra is to book a private guided tour.

Why ?

  • Pick up and return to your hotel in Lisbon;

  • Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle;

  • Personal insurance and accident;

  • Free Wi-Fi on board the vehicle;

  • Refreshments included

Start your tour with a visit to the magnificent Queluz Palace, a mixture of baroque, rococo and neo-classicism that resulted in one of Europe’s most beautiful palaces. In Sintra sierra, enjoy the verdant hills, the bubbling springs of crystal-clear water, the parks covered with multitudes of flowers.

The old village black stone pavements contrast with the old, colourful houses. Located in the middle of the mountain range, Sintra allows you to enjoy the surrounding fields and reveals the imposing Monte Magno. Visit the charming Pena Palace, the greatest exponent of Portuguese Romanticism.

After lunch, continue your tour at “Land’s End”, Europe’s westernmost point, be dazzled by the breath-taking landscape and, after it, enjoy the town of Cascais, where you will have free time to wander the old streets and do some shopping. Return to Lisbon along one of the old continent’s most beautiful roads.

Nothing beats a guided tour of Sintra to discover the region of fairy tales

Nothing beats a guided tour of Sintra to discover the region of fairy tales

There are also other activities and excursions possible in Sintra, including transfer from Lisbon. Here are some we have selected for you :

WHERE TO EAT IN SINTRA?

Taberna Criativa

This restaurant has one of the most famous of Sintra and its surrondings. Taberna Criativa offers an original menu with varied and fresh dishes. Its chef Vitor will prepare the best portions and especially advise you the best wines to accompany your meal.

Romaria de Baco

After a day of walking in the city of fairy tales, a good dinner will be fantastic. Romaria de Beco is one of the best restaurants in Sintra and its surroundings. The decor is very simple but the food is very good. Do not hesitate to taste Bacalhau (cod) or octopus.

Lisbob choose for you the best activities to do in Tomar.

Lisbob choose for you the best activities to do in Tomar.


Where to sleep in Sintra ?

Sintra has a varied hotel offering, so everyone will be happy. From the youth hostel to the beautiful apartment hotel, there are many possibilities to sleep in Sintra and it will be easy to find accommodation.

Here is a map of where to stay in Sintra and its surroundings :

Booking.com

Arribas Sintra Hotel

This beautiful hotel is located a few kilometers from Sintra, along the Atlantic coast, and offers sunsets all more extraordinary than the others. Those who wish can enjoy the swimming pool or sun loungers, and the rooms all have modern and comfortable facilities.

  • Adress : R. Serpa Pinto 43

  • ***

where to sleep in Tomar
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Chalet Saudades

In a more authentic style, the Chalet Saudades will allow all visitors to stay in a quiet and close to Sintra. The friendly and serious staff will answer your questions and welcome you during your stay in Portugal. The rooms, spacious and comfortable, will accommodate couples and families without any problem.

  • Adress : Largo Cândido dos Reis 1

  • ***

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