The Best Guide to Sintra

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Sintra Portugal Guide

Sintra is a picturesque Portuguese town that is set amidst the pine covered hills of the Serra de Sintra, just to the west of Lisbon. This slightly cooler climate attracted the nobility and elite of Portugal, who constructed exquisite palaces, extravagant residences and decorative gardens. The variety of fascinating monuments and historic buildings makes Sintra a highly regarded tourist destination and is a popular day trip from Lisbon.

Palacio Nacional da Pena

The beautiful Pena Palace of Sintra

Most tourists to Sintra follow the popular one-day route, which visits the gothic Palacio Nacional, the Moorish Castle ruins and the stunning Pena Palace. To fully discover Sintra a second day is required and visits the Quinta da Regaleira, the grand Palacio de Monserrate and the austere Convento dos Capuchos.

Sintra is connected to Lisbon by a regular and inexpensive train service that departs from the Rossio train station in central Lisbon. The major tourist attractions of Sintra are spread across the steep hills of the region but fortunately there is a tourist bus that departs from Sintra train station.

Moors castle

The Moors castle overlooking Sintra

Sintra Gothic National Palace

The Gothic National Palace (Palacio Nacional)

Sintra is an enjoyable and highly recommended day trip that is suitable for all visitors, so let us at show to you this charming Portuguese town. Recommended pages to start your visit to Sintra include:

(Please click on the under lined links to go to the relevant page)

The "Things to See" guide details the major sights of Sintra and is designed for visitors who will exploring Sintra as day trip.

The "Things to Do" guide highlights the main activities of the Sintra region and is written for tourists who will be based in Sintra for a holiday.

The "Day Trip" guide explains in-depth all of the (suggested) stages of the common one day trip to Sintra from Lisbon, and is the suggested starting point for most visitors.

The "Lisbon to Sintra" article details how to travel between from Lisbon to Sintra by public transport (travel by car is not recommended).

For those tourists who are planning to visit the Lisbon region please read our suggested itineraries for a "3 Days", "5 Day" or "1 Week" holiday and do not forget to include a visit to the "Wonderful Beaches" of the area. We adore Sintra and Lisbon and have written over 300 travel guides, specifically designed for visitors to the Lisbon region. Use the following search box to search our entire Lisbon network:


A summary of the most popular and relevant pages are shown below and this can be found at the bottom of all of our web pages.

Extended Sintra Portugal Guide Introduction

The main attraction of Sintra are the three palaces; the National Palace, the Moors Castle and the Pena Palace. The Gothic styled National Palace stands at the centre of Sintra and is distinctive for the two massive chimneys that extend from the kitchens. The Palácio Nacional a favourite with the Portuguese nobility and it was a royal residence for over 500 years.


The Castelo dos Mouros is the oldest castle in Sintra, dating from before the Christian era and was constructed to guard the fertile lands of Sintra. The castle was a ruin for many centuries but was restored in the 19th century as an atmospheric ruin.

Sintra Portugal Guide

The Moors castle high above Sintra

The Palácio da Pena is the most stunning of the three palaces in Sintra as it was designed by an artistic king. The palace was designed to reflect that of an opera; the exterior is painted in vivid colours and intricate stone carvings adorn every surface. The interior of the palace has been restored to how it would have looked in 1910, when the Portuguese royal family where forced in to exile due to the revolution.

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The colourful Pena Palace near Sintra

These three palaces make for a popular day trip from Lisbon and can be easily seen in one day. Lisbon is connected to Sintra by a reliable and inexpensive train service and a tourist bus links all three palaces and the train station. Sintra is a great day trip from Lisbon and is highly recommended.

More Sights of Sintra

There is the beautiful Quinta da Regaleira with its extensive and decorative grounds, the Mogul-inspired Monserrate Palace the traditional summer resort of the Portuguese court and the Seteais Palace which has been transformed into a luxury hotel.

Sintra Gothic National Palace

The Gothic National Palace

All of these could take another day to discover, combine this with the pleasant walks Sintra and there is a lot to see, so let our Sintra Guide detail the sights to you. Sintra rightly, is one of the most popular tourist destinations after Lisbon and let us here at be your Sintra guide to this wonderful town in Portugal.

Around Sintra Portugal

Sintra is conveniently located close to both Lisbon and the resort towns of Cascais and Estoril. Lisbon is only 30 minutes away by direct train with the station in the centre of the capital. The journey time to the coast is even shorter and there are numerous public bus services. This short distance means that most visitors can discover Sintra as day trips from the excellent accommodation bases of the capital and coast.

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