Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Sintra is a train ride away from central Lisbon from Rossio Station and I would highly recommend spending at least 2 days in Sintra to be able to make the most of what it has to offer. A day trip is popular and is good but definitely not enough, if like me, you want to do it all! :) And trust me, you want to do it all! 

Sintra, the capital of 'Romantismo', is stunning and no wonder the town was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape in 1995. There is so much to visit in Sintra and here is my TOP 5 places to visit when in Sintra. 

1. SINTRA - The Old Town 
Once you arrive in Sintra, you are in another world. We started by visiting the old town of Sintra where the Palacio Nacional de Sintra is located. You will recognise the Palacio by the 2 big white chimneys rising above the Royal Palace. Take a tour inside the Palace if you want to learn all about the history and the architecture. 

For a snack, stop at Piriquita for some Travesseiros. This is an absolute MUST! They are fabulous! 

They are so delicious. Light, crumbly and melts in your mouth! You have got to stop at Piriquita. They have 2 shops in Sintra now to be able to cope with the demand so this is how good they are and no visit to Sintra would be complete without this in the belly! :)

The Palace of Pena, or Palácio da Pena, stands on the highest peaks of the Serra de Sintra. The Park and the Palace of Pena constitute the most important part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra's World Heritage site and we understand why. The Palace is spectacular, painted in bright colours of Yellow, Red and Blue with a mix of architectural styles. Visiting the Park and the Palace may take you about 2 hours. Enjoy and get lost in the Palace. It is huge!

Also known as the Moorish Castle, the Castle of the Moors is basically what is left of a Military Fort built around the 10th century. It is enormous and really impressive as one ventures up the fortress ruins. 
Although not as rich in history as the Palace of Pena or the Palace of Sintra, visiting the Moorish Castle is recommended just for the panoramic views of Sintra and the Atlantic coast. 

This was my favourite of all in Sintra. Quinta da Regaleira is one of the most surprising and enigmatic monuments of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra. Start by exploring the garden of the Regaleira Estate and discover a succession of magic and mysterious places.

 Then, enter the castle, which is not really a castle, it is rather the Summer residence of the Carvalho Monteiro family built in the neo-manueline style, involving some of Portugal's best Artists. This is one not to be missed! 


Cabo da Roca is the most western point of the European continent. Found at the very end of Serra de Sintra, the best way to get there is to take the bus from Sintra. From Sintra Station, take the bus 403 and this will take you straight to Cabo da Roca. You can read more about our stop at Cabo da Roca on this post here : Cabo da Roca

So these are my TOP 5 of what to do when in Sintra

There are a few other stops that can be done in Sintra but we didn't have time for a proper visit so had to leave it for next time! They are:

Not much to visit here because part of the building has been converted into a luxury hotel and the beautiful garden is for the residents only. We manage to take a quick look at the garden from above and that was the only pretty part of it. Other than that, we didn't have time to explore properly.

We only saw the Palace of Monserrate from far as we did not have enough time to get there. It is meant to be really beautiful with amazing landscape surrounding it but we did not have enough time for this too so we decided to give it a miss and head back to the old town of Sintra. 

As you can see even with 2 full days in Sintra, we didn't have to time to cover everything there was to explore. We were really tired after all the walking through the palaces and parks though and we were glad that we had comfy shoes and were well prepared with our snacks bag and water. 
So be prepared when you decide to go :)  It is seriously almost magical! 


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