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All About Portugal | March 3, 2021

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One day in Sintra

Sintra Portugal Tourism
Clara Campos

If your visit to Portugal only leaves room for just one day in Sintra, I advice a visit to Pena Palace, Moorish Castle and National Palace.

Sintra is worldwide acknowledged as one of the most romantic getaway. Its beauty charms visitors for centuries and it has been celebrated by many important cultural figures, not just from Portugal but also from many other countries.

Lord Byron – probably its most famed fan – described Sintra as “Glorious Eden”. And in fact, with its steep mountains, lush forests and enchanted castle and palaces is a truly magical place, Sintra was elected as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Therefore, if you are staying in Lisbon please consider to spend at least one day in Sintra.

The best way to get there from Lisbon is by train as the ride only takes about 40 minutes. Then, from Sintra railway station take the bus #434 that takes a circular route to the various attraction of the village, including the Moors castle and the Pena Palace. The bus runs daily every 40 minutes from 10:20 a.m. until 5:15 p.m.. You may buy the tickets on board.

Sintra has a lot to be seen and to be enjoyed, within a fairy tale ambience. If you are coming by for just one day in Sintra then suggest a visit to the three most iconic monuments of this enchanted village, namely the Sintra National Palace, the Moorish Castle and the Pena Palace with its gardens.

National Palace of Sintra

Sintra National Palace
Photo by FlickrDelusions

Built in the 14th century by Dom João has served as a summer residence for Portuguese Kings ever since. In terms of architecture it shows traces of Gothic, Manueline and also Moorish styles. The Palace is amazing from the outside but is truly magnificent in the inside, especially on what concerns the tiles exhibited as they are some of the oldest and most valuable existing in Portugal and its impressive kitchens.
Serving as a museum, Sintra National Palace is full of interesting stories as the one linked to room above the chapel where Afonso VI was imprisoned for six years. According to the myth the floor next to the window is worn as a result of his constant pacing up and down.

Moors Castle

Moors Castle, Sintra

Photo by Monte da Lua

Built during the 8th century by the Moors and conquered to the Christians by Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese King, in 1147, the Moorish Castle offers breathtaking views to those brave enough to go up and down the rocky steps of its walls.
A word of advice: take comfortable shoes and a warm sweatshirt as it may be chilly up there even in a hot summer day.

Pena Palace and Pena Park

Pena Palace, in Sintra, Portugal

Photo by G. Figueiredo e E. Gomes

Welcome to a Disney-like palace that stands out for its colorful walls, its mythic figures guarding its gates, and magical gardens with lakes and follies.
Built in 1840’s under the orders of Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, husband of Queen Mary II, Pena Palace resembles the romantic and gothic Bavarian palaces. Its interiors are full of detailed and imaginative ornate. You should also not to miss a walk on Pena Palace’s terraces to enjoy the views over Sintra, the Atlantic and Lisbon.

To end up your day, nothing like recovering strength with a Sintra travesseiro or a few queijadas de Sintra, the irresistible pastry of Sintra.
Sintra Travesseiros

Photo by gomezzz

However, as said before, Sintra has a lot to be seen and enjoyed; therefore I invite you to come back for an extended stay so that you may visit other remarkable attractions like Seteais Palace, which nowadays works as a hotel, Quinta da Regaleira, one of the most magical and mysterious places you will ever visit, the unique Monserrate palace and gardens, the ancient Capuchos Convent or Roca Cape, the westernmost point of Continental Europe, just to mention a few.
Roca Cape, Sintra Portugal

Photo by cristophotos

Explore Sintra

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Queijadas de Sintra: 38.798264, -9.388377
Sintra Traveseiros: 38.796739, -9.390508
Lawrence Hotel: 38.795696, -9.392927
Pena Palace: 38.787400, -9.390451
Pena Park: 38.783333, -9.383333
Moors Castle: 38.792528, -9.389481
Regaleira Palace: 38.796252, -9.396277
Monserrate Palace: 38.793301, -9.419509
Roca Cape: 38.780417, -9.498885
Seteais Palace: 38.795996, -9.398835
Sintra National Palace: 38.797552, -9.390650
Capuchos Convent: 38.791667, -9.416667

Main image credits

Sintra Portugal Tourism


  1. Your website is lovely. Um dia pretendo ir a Sintra visitar. It looks breathtaking!

    • Thanks Marta! I am glad you like All About Portugal. Sintra is indeed a true paradise, however Portugal has so many other magnificent places to be discovered, like Tomar, for instance.

  2. Steve.

    Liked your site. I was thinking about paying for a tour but will now catch the train and walk and bus Sintra. Thanks.

    • Clara Campos

      Thanks, Steve. Sintra is a true paradise best discovered by foot. And please let me know your impressions on Sintra after your visit.

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