Sintra is the regarded as the best day trip from Libson, a visit to this delightful town must be included in your visit to Lisbon. Hidden within these pine covered hills are extravagant palaces, mansions and the ruins of an ancient castle. Just remember in your visit that this is a Tourist destination, there are crowds and high prices for both entrance fees & transportation. It’s not often on your travels that you step right into a fairytale and yet, this is exactly how it feels once get to Sintra.
Tips for bringing kids: Do not attempt to bring a stroller, if you can’t wear your baby/toddler, I’d say skip Sintra. A stroller will hold you back from really being able to explore the palaces. I brought my backpack carrier for my 18 month old daughter and it was perfect, I let her walk a bunch, but some areas were not kid friendly and it was much easier to just wear her. Another side note, you can not take children under 7 in a Tuk Tuk, so plan accordingly, you will need to take a taxi or bus to get around. There is a lot of walking in Sintra, so be prepared.
The highlights of a day trip to Sintra are the Palácio Nacional da Pena, the Castelo dos Mouros and my favorite Quinta da Regaleira. We had our Uber drop us off at Quinta da Regaleira, explored the grounds and got a bite to eat at the Cafe, then walked back to Sao Martinho, and caught a taxi to the Palace of Pena, from here we opted for the bus that brings you from the gate to the Palace and back. Then we walked downhill to Castelo dos Mouros and walked the walls of the whole Castle. From here we caught an Uber back to Lisbon.
Quinta da Regaleira was built in 1904 e 1910, in the last days of the Portuguese monarchy. Carvalho Monteiro, commissioned the Italian architect Luigi Manini to transform the property into the place it is now. The grounds were magical and enchanting, you could spend hours exploring. The footpaths twisted through the lush gardens leading to grottos and underground passages. The Initiation Well and Waterfall lake were two sights you must not miss, the moss lake with stepping stones was so magical.
Castelo dos Mouros was restored in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II, who transformed it into a romantic ruin. The ruins loom high above the enchanted pine forests. When the clouds peel away, and the fog burns off, the vistas over Sintra across to the glittering Atlantic are breathtaking. The walk along the ruin walls is not en easy one, the uneven stairs, lack of rails and incline were not for the faint of heart.
Park and National Palace of Pena, is located in the Sintra hills, the Park and Palace of Pena are the fruit of King Ferdinand II’s creative genius and the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal, denoting clear influences from the Manueline and Moorish styles of architecture. The palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park, disney land castle . Pena National Palace, outside Lisbon in Sintra, Portugal, is about as real as fairy-tale castles get. The Pena Palace is said to have inspired King Ludwig II’s German castle, Neuschwanstein, which inspired Walt Disney’s castle at Disneyland.`,
Cost: Sintra is a tourist destination, and therefore it is not a cheap day trip. There are entrance fee’s to all of the Palaces, and transportation rates are very high compared to everywhere else in Portugal.
- Quinta da Regaleira Adult €8,00 / Child €5,00 / Child under 5 €0.00
- Palace de Pena You can see plenty with just a pass for the Park, I would skip buying the pass for the Palace & Park. Make sure to walk the walls! Adult €8,00 / Child €6,50 / Child under 5 €0.00
- Pena Palace I highly recommend this round-trip transfer, the walk from the entrance to the Place would take forever Per Person €3,00
- Castelo dos Mouros Walk the walls of the castle ruins, this offers stunning panoramic views, as well as a great view back to Palace de Pena Adult €8,00 / Child €6,50 / Child under 5 €0.00
Getting here from Lisbon: is easy. Trains are the most common means of travel, driving a rental car to Sintra is not encouraged, as the roads are narrow with a lot of tourist traffic and parking is very limited.
- Train: There are trains at every 30 minutes, from Lisbon’s city centre Rossio station. The journey takes about 40 minutes (a round-trip ticket is €4,50 per person).
- Uber: We opted to take an Uber, as I was travelling with my 18 month old daughter, the convenience outweighed the cost, which was about €28,00.
Getting around Sintra: There are many options for getting around Sintra, but be sure to go with a plan of what palaces you want to see, I would recommend 3 in one day, that leaves you plenty of time to explore the palaces and for getting around.
- Tuk: They usually charge € 10,00 / per person, however keep in mind, children under 7 are not welcome on board.
- Taxi: They usually charge.dy6t.m,.mmm € 10,00 / per person
- Bus: The 434-bus service is the best and cheapest method visit Sintra. The 434-tourist bus service provides a one-directional loop, which connects the station, f,,333wthe historic centre and the hill where the Pena Palace and Moors castle are located. A ticket costs €6,90 and the bus departs from outside the train station. There are up to four departures every hour, but there can be very long queues in the peak summer season