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Lisbon to Sintra by Train
Sintra is a delightful Portuguese town that lies 25km to the west of Lisbon and makes for a popular day trip from the capital. Lisbon and Sintra are connected by a reliable and inexpensive train service and this direct train means that Sintra is easily accessible for all visitors.
This guide will explain in detail how to travel from Lisbon to Sintra by public transport and by car, although driving is not recommended due to the limited parking in Sintra. For a guide detailing how to travel from Lisbon airport to Sintra or an overview of a typical Sintra day trip, please click on the previous underlined links.
The train to Sintra, in Rossio train station Lisbon
Lisbon to Sintra Overview
The suggested means of travel from Lisbon to Sintra is by the direct train service. The Sintra train is so convenient that it is preferential to driving. Lisbon is notorious for driving; with crowded roads, erratic drivers and virtually no parking and this lack of parking extends to the hills of Sintra. If you must drive please read the warnings and advice in the later section. Traveling by train to Sintra is also recommended over the public bus services. The Lisbon-Sintra bus routes have longer journey times and the departure bus stations are not as convenient as the train station.
Lisbon to Sintra by Train
The train to Sintra departs Lisbon from the Rossio train station, which is located in central Lisbon. The train station is connected to the green metro line and is served by the Rossio metro station. Rossio train station is conveniently located in the heart of the city and is within walking distance of the Baixa district, the main tourist center of Lisbon.
Rossio train station in Lisbon
The Lisbon to Sintra train is a regional service therefore seats cannot be pre-booked. The trains are made up of 6-9 carriages but due to the popularity of Sintra and the commuter towns the train serves certain service may be standing room only. Also there can be long queues for train tickets at the middle of the day. It is always advisable to start a trip to Sintra early in the day.
A single from Lisbon to Sintra costs €2.15/€1.10 (adult/child) and a return is double the price at €4.30. The fare is charged to the reusable “Viva Viagem” public transport ticket, which is used for the buses, metro and trams; the initial purchase price for the card is €0.50. The Sintra train fare is not included by the 24hour unlimited public transport ticket (€6.00, purchased from a metro station) and the train fare must be charged to a second Viva Viagem card if this unlimited ticket is already in use.
The Sintra to Lisbon train is an important commuter route and there are numerous services throughout the day. There are generally three to four services an hour during day light hours and services start early in the day and continue late into the night. The train journey takes 40 minutes and passes through the non-descript residential areas that surround Lisbon. The latest timetable can be found on the CP (Comboios de Portugal) website:
(Note: the link opens a new window and a PDF file)
Sintra train station
Sintra train station is 1.5km to the east of the historic town centre, while the Pena Palace and Moors castle are situated further away and at the top of a steep hill. Luckily there is a tourist bus (service 434) which connects the train station, the historic town and the Pena Palace.
Sintra By Car and Sintra Car Parking
The route from Lisbon to Sintra follows the IC19 highway, west out of Lisbon. The road can get very busy in rush hours as people commute in and out of Lisbon. The roads of Sintra are very narrow, especially the roads which climb the hill to the Pena Palace. Car parking in the historic area of Sintra is very limited and the entire area is very busy during the week.
Do not even attempt to drive in historic Sintra at the weekend during the summer months. There are only two car parks in the historic centre, one outside the national palace (20 spaces) and one near the Museu Anjos Teixeira (30 spaces) with only 20 spaces near the Pena-Moorish castles. In the residential side of Sintra (1.5km to the east), close to the terminus of the N249 is a major car park and this is the best option during the summer.