Sintra – Add This Day Trip To Your Lisbon Itinerary

Sintra Pena Palace Alfama lisbon portugal

There’s not many places where you can be transported into a fairytale. Experience brightly coloured palaces, hike through dense forests, explore castles, wander lush gardens and navigate underground tunnels. Yes, you can do all of this and more in Sintra!

Located a 30 minute drive or a 60 minute train trip out of Lisbon, this is one of the most popular day trips from Portugal’s capitol, and for good reason!

Must Do: Quinta De Regalia

Once a private property with many owners, the gardens and palaces of Quinta De Regalia are now a UNESCO World Heritage site and are a remarkable place to explore. There are palaces, grottos, tunnels, towers and lush gardens to explore. Despite not having the “instagrammable” nature of Pena Palace, this was easily our favourite part of our Sintra day trip!

Pena Palace: A Real Life Fairytale

Rarely can you see and wander through a castle that seems like it was transported out of your fairytales. Constructed in the 1800s, this palace is a vibrant gem standing atop the hill in Sintra. The palace and it’s gardens are worth a wander. Be sure to have your camera ready as it’s a pretty photogenic spot!

Optional Extras If Time Allows:

The Castle of The Moors: is situated oposite Pena Palace on the hill, and is another tourist attraction in Sintra. We didn’t get a chance to check this out as we wanted to avoid trying to “fit too much into one day trip”, but it’d be somewhere I would check out if I had another trip to Sintra. It offers an excellent view of Pena Palace, so likely provides photographers with a wonderful canvas.

Wander the Sintra Streets: we wandered through the delightful small town of Sintra, stopping for some food, shopping and a coffee.

Hike through the forests around Sintra. We did a short 1-2 hour hike up the hill between Quinta De Regalia and Pena Palace, but there are many other hike options around for those inclinded.

Tourist Trap:

The main Pena Palace is a stunning showpiece of Sintra, and well worth visiting. However, walking through the palace, especially during peak tourist seasons (e.g. July/August), is a little bit of a tourist trap. Why? While the inside of the palace is visually beautiful, you walk single file pressed up against hundreds of others, and the tour takes you through the whole house. There is no exit during the tour, and it can take up to 40-60mins pending how slow people walk. While it is beautiful inside, we felt it was a ‘tourist trap’.

Check out the things you MUST DO when visiting Lisbon!

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