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Sintra Tourist Bus 434 – The Circuito da Pena Route
The 434 bus route is specifically designed for tourists who are visiting Sintra as day trip. The route connects the train station, the town (location of the National Palace) and then climbs into the hills for the Pena Palace and the Moors castle, before returning back to the train station. The 434 bus service makes it possible to travel to Sintra by train and visit the three major sights of region in a single day.
This guide will provide an overview of the Sintra 434 bus and includes tourist information, fares and details of the timetable. At the end of the article is advice for visiting Sintra during the summer months and how to avoid the major queues.
The 434 Sintra tourist bus
Why take the 434 Sintra Bus?
The main tourist attractions of Sintra are spread across the steep hills of the Serra de Sintra and hiking between the attractions is not enjoyable, especially in the heat of the summer sun. The train station of Sintra is situated 1.5km east of the historic centre and involves a 20-minute walk along a busy road. It is not recommended to drive to Sintra as the roads are very narrow and there is virtually no car parking.
The queue for the bus in the summer months
The Sintra bus route 434 performs a one directional loop, which starts at the train station, passes through the town centre, then climbs the hills to the Pena Palace before returning to the train station. This bus route allows visitors to spend more time at each of the historic monument and not waste time walking between them.
Sintra Bus 434 Details, Fares and Timetable
The 434 bus service is designed specifically for tourists and is therefore comparatively expensive, but is the only feasible method to discover the Sintra in a single day. A single loop ticket of the 434 bus service costs €5.00 and the ticket is purchased from the bus driver. The Lisbon Viva Viagem Zapping tickets and the Carris 24hour unlimited public transport tickets are not valid on the Scotturb Sintra bus route.
The frequency of the 434 bus route has been greatly enhanced for 2017, mainly to accommodate the dramatic increase of tourists. There are four bus departures per hour between the peak tourist hours of 10am until 5pm, and buses leave the train station at 5min, 20min, 35min and 50min passed the hour (correct 2017). The first bus of the day is at 9:15 and the service continues until 19:50. The buses are operated by Scotturb and the bus route is called the Circuito da Pena, latest timetable can be found at the Scotturb website:
(The site is in Portuguese and the link opens a new window)
Other Combined Ticket Options
There is a selection of combined travel tickets, which provide slight reductions on the overall costs of using public transport for traveling to and around Sintra.
The flamboyant Pena Palace
Scotturb sell a 1-day bus pass which allows for unlimited travel on all Scotturb buses. This ticket is beneficial for tourists who will be traveling to Sintra from Estoril (via route 418) or Cascais (bus route 403) and will be using the 434 route in Sintra. This ticket costs €12.00 and also includes the 435 bus route which connects Sintra to Monserrate Palace and the Quinta da Regaleira.
The train is the best way to get to Sintra from Lisbon
Combois de Portugal (national train operator of Portugal and often abbreviated to CP) sell a ticket that covers trains between Sintra-Lisbon, Cascais-Lisbon and buses of the Scotturb network (mainly the bus from Sintra to Cascais). This 1-day ticket allows Sintra and Cascais to be visited in one day but is a lot to see in one day and recommended a day for each town. The ticket costs €15.00 and is purchased from Rossio or Cais de Sorde train stations.
Important Considerations for the 434 bus
Lisbon has become a very popular tourist destination and Sintra is the main day trip from Lisbon, which means the town can get very busy especially at the weekends. If visiting Sintra during the summer months it is advisable to arrive as early as possible to avoid the coach loads of tourist, the first 434 Circuito da Pena bus is at 9:15.
The Moors castle high above Sintra
Another option if arriving in Sintra around mid-morning is catch the 434 bus from the train station and to go straight to the Pena Palace and visit the town and the National Palace in the afternoon. As the 434 bus does a one directional loop it tends to focus tourists in the town in the morning and moves them to the hills of the Pena Palace in the afternoon. By visiting Sintra in the opposite way can avoid some of the long queues. Also try to avoid the weekends which will always be the busiest. Another option is a join a guided tour, which avoids the need for queuing for the bus or entrance tickets.
The walk from Sintra town centre to the Pena Palace is only 2km but it is up a very steep hill and is a challenging hike. It is a much better option to take the bus and hike through the pretty Pena Park.