Bird's eye view of the Palacio da Pena in Sintra

Explore Best of Sintra

Sintra captivates with its timeless charm, where every corner reveals a story from centuries past. From the majestic turrets of the National Palace to the lush gardens of Monserrate, Sintra's UNESCO-listed landscape is a masterpiece of natural and architectural wonders.

Wander through the winding streets of the historic center, where colorful facades and quaint cafes beckon with local delights. Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of fairy-tale castles like the Moorish Castle and the whimsical Pena Palace, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

With its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Sintra is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences waiting to be discovered.

Sintra attractions top 10

Here is a list of top 10 tourist spots in Sintra that present a variety of cultural, historical and natural attractions:
Bottom view of the colorful facades of the Pena Palace in Sintra
Perched majestically atop a verdant hill, Pena Palace stands as a vibrant symbol of Romanticism. Its kaleidoscopic facades, adorned with intricate motifs and pastel hues, evoke a fairytale allure that captivates visitors. Inside, opulent chambers adorned with ornate furnishings and historic artifacts offer a glimpse into Portugal's royal past, while the surrounding parkland boasts winding pathways, exotic gardens, and panoramic vistas stretching to the Atlantic Ocean.
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View of the gray facade of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra
Nestled amidst lush woodlands, Quinta da Regaleira is a Gothic masterpiece brimming with mystery and intrigue. Its enchanting gardens and ornate architecture invite exploration, revealing hidden tunnels, secret passages, and mystical symbols shrouded in esoteric meaning. At the heart of the estate lies the enigmatic Initiation Well, a subterranean spiral staircase descending into the depths of the earth, symbolizing a journey into the unknown.
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Top view of the fortress wall at Mouros Castle
Perched atop a rugged hill, the Moorish Castle offers commanding views of Sintra's picturesque landscape. Dating back to the 9th century, this ancient fortress bears witness to centuries of history, with its imposing walls and battlements standing as a testament to Portugal's medieval past. Visitors can wander along the ramparts, exploring towers and turrets while soaking in panoramic vistas of rolling hills, lush forests, and distant horizons.
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A postcard view of the famous village in Sintra and the open-air swimming pool - Azenhas de Mar.
Azenhas do Mar captivates with its dramatic coastal cliffs, picturesque whitewashed houses, and azure ocean views. This charming seaside village offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city, where visitors can stroll along cobbled streets, savor fresh seafood at waterfront restaurants, and bask in the serenity of its idyllic setting. At sunset, the cliffs glow with golden hues, casting a spellbinding aura over this coastal gem.
Facades of Montserrat Palace decorated with lace in Arabic style
Tucked away amidst verdant gardens, Monserrate Palace is a masterpiece of Romantic architecture, blending Moorish, Gothic, and Indian influences into a harmonious whole. Its ornate facades, adorned with intricate carvings and colorful tiles, exude an air of exoticism and grandeur. Inside, opulent salons and lavish chambers transport visitors to a bygone era of aristocratic splendor, while outside, lush botanical gardens offer a tranquil oasis of serenity and beauty.
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View of Cape Roca and an opening panorama of the ocean
As the westernmost point of continental Europe, Cabo da Roca stands as a rugged promontory overlooking the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Here, dramatic cliffs plunge into the sea below, creating a breathtaking panorama of crashing waves and endless horizons. Visitors can stand atop the windswept cliffs, gazing out at the horizon where sky and sea merge into an infinite blue abyss, offering a profound sense of awe and wonder.
Wooden ramp leading through the sand dunes to the popular Guincho Beach
Known for its wild beauty and world-class surfing conditions, Guincho Beach is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Nestled between towering sand dunes and rugged cliffs, this windswept coastline offers exhilarating waves and pristine sands stretching as far as the eye can see. Whether you're seeking adrenaline-pumping water sports or simply a leisurely stroll along the shore, Guincho Beach promises an unforgettable seaside experience.
View of the National Palace of Sintra with its famous cone-shaped roof structures
Steeped in history and architectural splendor, Sintra Palace stands as a testament to Portugal's royal heritage. With its distinctive twin chimneys and colorful facades, this medieval palace exudes an air of regal elegance and grandeur. Inside, visitors can explore opulent chambers adorned with exquisite tilework, intricate tapestries, and historic artifacts, offering a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Portugal's monarchs.
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An old and traditional tram painted in yellow and red colors in the vicinity of Sintra
The railway line traverses from the Sintra mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Lasting approximately 45 minutes, passengers are treated to a captivating sightseeing experience that showcases the stunning vistas during the distance of 10 kilometers. With its charming wooden interiors and open windows, the Sintra tram evokes a sense of nostalgia and romance, making it a beloved attraction for visitors and locals alike.
Two women in the center of the square look around among the restaurants and beautiful facades of Sintra
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sintra's historic center is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, charming cobblestone streets, and historic landmarks. From medieval castles to majestic palaces, ornate churches to quaint cafes, every corner of this enchanting town tells a story of centuries past. Visitors can wander through labyrinthine alleys, browse artisan shops, and savor local delicacies, immersing themselves in the timeless beauty and allure of Sintra's historic heart.

Before traveling to Sintra

There are several things you should know to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:
Spiral staircase flanking a cylindrical recess at Quinta de Regaleira in Sintra
Quinta da Regaleira
1. Weather: Sintra experiences a mild and temperate climate year-round, but weather conditions can vary, especially in the mountainous areas. Be prepared for occasional rain showers, especially in the cooler months, and bring appropriate clothing and footwear for exploring outdoors.

2. Transportation: Sintra is easily accessible from Lisbon by train, with regular services departing from Rossio Station. Once in Sintra, the town's attractions are spread out, so be prepared to walk or use local buses, taxis, or tuk-tuks to get around. Consider purchasing a combined ticket for the hop-on-hop-off tourist bus, which stops at major attractions.

3. Attractions: Sintra is famous for its stunning palaces, castles, and gardens, including the Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and the Moorish Castle. Many of these attractions have limited capacity and can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. Purchase tickets online in advance to skip the lines and ensure entry.

4. Timing: Plan your visit to Sintra wisely, taking into account the time needed to explore each attraction and any special events or closures. Arrive early in the day to avoid crowds and make the most of your time. Some attractions may have reduced hours or be closed on certain days, so check in advance.

5. Comfortable footwear: Sintra's attractions are spread out over hilly terrain, and exploring often involves walking uphill and navigating uneven paths and stairs. Wear comfortable walking shoes with good grip to ensure safety and comfort while exploring the town's attractions.

6. Local cuisine: Sintra offers a variety of dining options, from casual cafes to upscale restaurants serving traditional Portuguese cuisine. Don't miss the opportunity to try local specialties such as queijadas (cheese pastries), travesseiros (almond pastries), and local wines. Be aware of restaurant opening hours, as some may close between lunch and dinner service.

7. Respect local customs: As with any destination, it's important to respect local customs and traditions while visiting Sintra. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and be mindful of noise levels and littering in public areas. Take care to preserve the natural beauty and historic heritage of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed town.

Duration to allocate for Exploring Sintra

Unlocking the Enchantment of Sintra: Crafting Your Perfect Itinerary
It's possible to see the main highlights of Sintra in a day trip from Lisbon, when spending at least two days in Sintra will allow you to explore the town at a more leisurely pace and visit additional attractions.

If you have only one day, prioritize visiting the must-see attractions such as the Pena Palace and one of the following options: Moorish Castle, Monserrate Palace, or Quinta da Regaleira. Consider starting early in the morning to avoid crowds and make the most of your time. You can explore the historic center of Sintra, including the National Palace and its charming streets lined with shops and cafes.

For a more relaxed and comprehensive experience, plan to spend two or three days in Sintra. This will allow you to explore all must see attractions such as the Pena Palace, Moorish Castle, Monserrate Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, historic center, Cabo da Roca and the beautiful beaches of Praia da Adraga or Azenhas do Mar. You'll also have more time to savor the local cuisine, wander through the picturesque streets, and soak up the enchanting atmosphere of this magical town.

When planning your trip to Sintra, be sure to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Consider purchasing tickets for popular attractions online to skip the lines and save time. It's also a good idea to check the opening hours of attractions and plan your itinerary accordingly. Whether you're traveling independently or joining a guided tour, allow for flexibility in your schedule to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and history of Sintra.

The fortress wall and the views from it of the interior of Moorish Castle and the picturesque landscapes that open up
Moorish Castle

How to get from Lisbon to Sintra

Getting from Lisbon to Sintra is convenient and straightforward. Here are some of them:
1. Train. The most popular way to travel between these two cities is by train. Trains depart regularly from Lisbon's Rossio Station or Oriente Station to Sintra Station, and the journey typically takes around 40 minutes.

2. Bus. Another option is to take a bus, with several bus companies operating routes between Lisbon and Sintra.

3. Taxi. Taxis services are available for those who prefer a more direct and flexible mode of transportation.

4. By car. Parking in Sintra can be challenging, especially during peak tourist seasons or weekends when the town tends to be crowded. While there are several parking lots and street parking spaces available in and around the town center, they can fill up quickly. Additionally, some streets in Sintra may have limited parking or restricted parking hours. It's advisable to arrive early to secure a parking spot, or alternatively, use public transportation such as the train or bus to avoid parking difficulties. Some hotels in Sintra may also offer parking facilities for their guests. Overall, while it's possible to find parking in Sintra, it's essential to plan ahead and be prepared for potential challenges, especially during busy times.
Stylish facade of Lisbon Central Station decorated with patterns and other decorative elements
Rossio train station
Rossio Station, situated in the heart of Lisbon, serves as the departure point for trains bound for Sintra.

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There are numerous day tours available from Lisbon to Sintra that include visits to the town's most popular tourist spots. These tours typically depart from Lisbon and transport visitors to Sintra, where they explore attractions such as the Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, Moorish Castle, and the historic town center. Many tours also include stops at other nearby attractions like Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and the coastal town of Cascais. Guided tours often provide insightful commentary about the history and significance of each site visited, making for a comprehensive and enriching experience.

Travelers can choose from various tour options based on their preferences, budget, and desired itinerary, with options ranging from group tours to private excursions.
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Food in Sintra

In Sintra, gastronomy is as enchanting as its landscapes, offering a delightful blend of traditional Portuguese flavors and innovative culinary creations. Visitors can embark on a culinary journey through the town's charming streets, discovering a myriad of dining options to satisfy every palate. From cozy family-run taverns to upscale restaurants, Sintra boasts a diverse culinary scene that caters to all tastes and preferences.
View of the coastal village of Azenhas de Mar with its cascading houses and a swimming pool built into the rocks
Azenhas do Mar
For those seeking an authentic dining experience, venturing into the historic center of Sintra reveals a treasure trove of traditional eateries serving regional specialties. Indulge in hearty dishes like "cozido à portuguesa," a comforting stew featuring an array of meats and vegetables, or savor the iconic "bacalhau com natas," a creamy codfish casserole beloved by locals and visitors alike.

As you wander through Sintra's picturesque streets, be sure to explore the quaint cafes and pastry shops dotted throughout the town. Treat yourself to an array of delectable pastries, including the famous "travesseiros" and "queijadas," sweet treats that showcase the rich culinary heritage of the region. Pair your pastries with a cup of aromatic Portuguese coffee for the perfect midday pick-me-up.

For a more refined dining experience, head to one of Sintra's upscale restaurants, where talented chefs showcase their creativity with innovative interpretations of traditional Portuguese cuisine. From fresh seafood delicacies to inventive vegetarian dishes, these establishments offer a culinary journey that delights the senses and leaves a lasting impression.

Top 10 best beaches in Sintra

These beaches offer fantastic opportunities to unwind and bask in the sun, conveniently located just a short distance from Sintra. Here are the top 10 best beaches near Sintra:
View along Praia Grande beach with a rock in the background
As one of the largest beaches in the area, Praia Grande attracts both locals and tourists alike. With its wide stretch of sand and consistent waves, it's a popular spot for surfing and bodyboarding.
Known for its dramatic cliffs and golden sands, Praia da Adraga is considered one of the most picturesque beaches in Sintra. Surrounded by rugged rock formations, it offers excellent conditions for surfing and sunbathing.
The magnificent Guincho Beach with its greenery and golden sand
Praia do Guincho is a captivating stretch of coastline renowned for its wild and windswept beauty. Located in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, this expansive beach boasts golden sands framed by towering cliffs and dunes.
Tucked away amidst cliffs and rugged terrain, Praia da Ursa is a secluded gem known for its wild beauty. Accessible via a steep trail, it offers stunning views and a sense of tranquility away from the crowds.
Situated between Praia Grande and Praia das Maçãs, Praia da Samarra is a hidden gem with soft sands and pristine waters. It's a great choice for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful day by the sea.
Nestled between cliffs and pine forests, Praia da Vigia offers a tranquil setting for beachgoers seeking relaxation. It's a great spot for swimming and snorkeling, with calm waters and rocky formations to explore.
Located near Cabo da Roca, Praia da Aguda is a small, secluded beach surrounded by cliffs and lush vegetation. Its remote location makes it ideal for those seeking a quiet escape and unspoiled natural beauty.
With its golden sands and clear waters, Praia da Aroeira is a popular choice for beach lovers and families. It offers ample space for sunbathing and beach games, as well as facilities such as showers and restaurants.
Known for its rugged beauty and wild waves, Praia da Magoito is a favorite among surfers and adventure seekers. Its expansive sands and stunning cliffs make it a great spot for long walks and scenic picnics.
A postcard view of Azenhas de Mar with its famous artificial swimming pool and houses scattered along the cliff
Azenhas do Mar is a picturesque seaside village located along the Atlantic coast of Portugal, approximately 40 kilometers northwest of Lisbon. One of the most striking features of Azenhas do Mar is its natural seawater swimming pool carved into the rocks, which allows visitors to take a refreshing dip while enjoying panoramic views of the coastline.
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Excursions to and around Sintra

Explore the enchanting surroundings of Sintra with a variety of captivating excursions that offer a glimpse into its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and cultural heritage. From guided tours of majestic palaces to scenic hikes through lush forests, there's an adventure for every traveler to enjoy. Dive into the mystical world of Sintra and uncover its hidden gems with these unforgettable excursions. Here are some of the best excursions in Sintra:
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Best location to stay in Sintra, Portugal

There are many great areas to stay in Sintra, depending on your preferences and budget. Here are a few of them:

Luxurious Retreats

Sintra has several excellent 5 star hotels offering luxurious accommodation, a high level of service and amenities:
Nestled amidst the lush greenery of Sintra's hills, Valverde Sintra Palácio de Seteais exudes timeless elegance and charm. This luxurious hotel, set within a historic palace, offers guests a serene retreat surrounded by stunning gardens and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Indulge in the opulent accommodations, adorned with period furnishings and modern amenities, and savor gourmet cuisine at the hotel's exquisite restaurant. With its blend of old-world sophistication and contemporary comfort, Valverde Sintra Palácio de Seteais promises an unforgettable stay in the heart of Sintra.
Set within a sprawling estate amidst the Sintra Mountains, Penha Longa Resort offers guests a luxurious retreat in a breathtaking natural setting. Surrounded by lush gardens, championship golf courses, and historic ruins, this five-star resort provides an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Relax in elegant accommodations boasting modern amenities and scenic views, indulge in world-class dining at the resort's restaurants, and rejuvenate body and soul at the luxurious spa.
Situated in the heart of Sintra's historic center, Lawrences Hotel offers guests a charming retreat steeped in history and character. Housed within a beautifully restored 18th-century building, this boutique hotel exudes old-world charm while providing modern comforts and amenities. Each guest room is elegantly appointed with antique furnishings and unique decor, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Guests can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape from the hotel's rooftop terrace, savor delicious Portuguese cuisine at the onsite restaurant, and explore the nearby attractions, including the iconic Pena Palace and Moorish Castle.

Charming Mid-Range Gems

Sintra has many excellent mid-priced accommodation options that offer comfortable rooms, convenient amenities and a satisfactory level of service. Here are a few such options:
Nestled in the heart of Sintra's historic center, Chalet Saudade offers guests a charming retreat steeped in history and elegance. Housed within a beautifully restored 19th-century building, this boutique hotel exudes old-world charm while providing modern comforts and amenities. Each guest room is tastefully decorated with antique furnishings and plush fabrics, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Guests can relax in the hotel's tranquil garden courtyard, sip on a refreshing drink at the bar, and savor delicious Portuguese cuisine at the onsite restaurant.
Ideally located in the heart of Sintra's historic district, NH Sintra Centro offers guests a comfortable and convenient base for exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site. The hotel's modern and stylish accommodations provide a welcoming retreat after a day of sightseeing, with amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. Guests can start their day with a delicious buffet breakfast at the onsite restaurant, and unwind with a drink at the cozy bar in the evening.
Set amidst the scenic beauty of the Sintra Mountains, Sintra Marmòris Camélia offers guests a luxurious retreat in an idyllic setting. This boutique hotel, housed within a beautifully restored 19th-century mansion, combines historic charm with modern sophistication. Each elegantly appointed guest room features plush furnishings, marble bathrooms, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Guests can indulge in gourmet cuisine at the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant, relax by the outdoor swimming pool, or unwind with a pampering spa treatment.

Affordable Excellence

Sintra has some excellent accommodation options for those looking for more affordable prices, but not wanting to give up comfort and a fun accommodation experience. Here are a few such options:
Situated in the heart of Sintra's historic center, Palácio de Sintra Boutique House offers guests a unique blend of old-world charm and modern comfort. Housed within a beautifully restored 18th-century palace, this boutique hotel features elegantly appointed rooms and suites, each showcasing traditional Portuguese decor and luxurious amenities. Guests can start their day with a delicious breakfast served in the hotel's elegant dining room, and relax in the peaceful courtyard garden or rooftop terrace overlooking the picturesque surroundings. With its prime location near iconic attractions such as the National Palace of Sintra and Quinta da Regaleira, Palácio de Sintra Boutique House provides the perfect base for exploring the enchanting sights of Sintra.

Offering a truly unique accommodation experience, Sintra WOW - Unique double Smart Room in 17th-century Palace! welcomes guests to a charming 17th-century palace nestled in the heart of Sintra's historic center. This one-of-a-kind Smart Room combines historic elegance with modern technology, featuring innovative amenities such as voice-controlled lighting and climate control, as well as a state-of-the-art entertainment system. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape from the room's large windows, or explore the nearby attractions, including the National Palace of Sintra and the Moorish Castle.
Located in a beautifully restored historic building, Casa do Vinho Sintra Guest House offers guests a cozy and welcoming retreat in the heart of Sintra. The guest house features comfortable and tastefully decorated rooms, each equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Guests can relax in the communal lounge area, which boasts a charming fireplace and traditional Portuguese decor, or enjoy a leisurely stroll through the nearby streets lined with shops and restaurants. With its warm hospitality and convenient location, Casa do Vinho Sintra Guest House provides the perfect home base for exploring the sights and attractions of this enchanting town.

Family-Friendly Havens

When choosing a place to stay in Sintra with your family, it is important to consider various factors such as location, room size, availability of child-friendly amenities and services, and budget. Here are a few areas and hotels that may be good options for families:
Nestled in the heart of Sintra's historic center, Vila Município offers guests a stylish and contemporary retreat infused with urban chic charm. This boutique hotel boasts modern design elements and sleek furnishings, creating a sophisticated atmosphere for guests to enjoy. The rooms are elegantly appointed with upscale amenities and feature vibrant pops of color, adding to the hotel's trendy ambiance.
Set amidst the lush greenery of Sintra's countryside, Villas de Cintra offers guests a tranquil escape surrounded by natural beauty. This charming hotel comprises a collection of cozy villas nestled within expansive gardens, providing a serene retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation. Each villa is tastefully decorated with traditional Portuguese decor and offers spacious accommodations with modern amenities. Guests can unwind in the peaceful outdoor areas, which include private terraces and garden spaces, or take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque surroundings.
Situated in a quaint neighborhood of Sintra, Boutique house with Pateo offers guests a charming and intimate retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. This boutique guest house features cozy accommodations with rustic-chic decor, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere for guests to enjoy. The highlight of the property is its charming pateo, a traditional Portuguese courtyard, where guests can relax and unwind amidst lush greenery and tranquil surroundings. The guest house's convenient location allows easy access to nearby attractions, including the historic town center and the enchanting Sintra mountains, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking a peaceful and authentic experience in Sintra.
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As you set off on your adventure to Sintra, prepare to be enchanted by the city's magical allure, where history, nature, and beauty converge to create an unforgettable experience. Allow yourself to be swept away by the charm of Sintra's historic landmarks, verdant forests, and breathtaking vistas, promising moments of wonder and discovery at every turn. May your journey be filled with joy, inspiration, and a deep appreciation for the rich tapestry of culture and heritage that Sintra has to offer. Safe travels, and may the spirit of Sintra's enchantment guide you on your path to unforgettable memories.