Sintra : day trip from Lisbon
Portugal’s fairytale town “Sintra ” is located northwest of Lisbon, on the western edge of Portugal. In my opinion its the most beautiful place in the country.
Take a quick glance at these photos and you will know why. I feel any trip to Portugal is incomplete without a visit to Sintra. So if you are planning a trip to Portugal consider: Sintra day trip from Lisbon and also include Cabo do roca (if you can squeeze an extra day, I will highly recommend staying at least a night in Sintra). Both places are very well connected by public transport and could be done and can be covered in a small budget.
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How to reach Sintra from Lisbon ?
There are two ways, either bus or rail . I recommend the latter as its faster and is more comfortable.
You can either take a train from Rossio train station (station at the historic centre of Lisbon & most probably you will be taking a train from here) or Orient train station (if you are coming from Lisbon airport). The journey is roughly around 40-50 minutes, and will cost you around €4.5. A train departs every 30 minutes, so you don’t have to book online. There is only one main train station in Sintra which also is a final stop for both the trains.
Once you reach the train station , there are two options. Either walk to the historic centre (around 1.5km) or take a bus . I took a bus cause you have a lot to cover on foot later.
WORD OF ADVICE ; Please carry your best walking shoes.I cannot stress this enough. Even if you take a bus to all the attractions, you will be walking A LOT. Sintra is an uphill town, though extremely picturesque, but it will take a toll on your feet. But at the end its gonna be worth it. I promise you 😉Sintra day trip from Lisbon
Get Insured Before Traveling To Sintra
I never ever travel abroad without a travel insurance. Really ! In case something goes wrong , you must have a travel insurance. Frankly speaking, it will be stupid to head off to a new destination without one.
I will recommend World Nomads. Simply because they are backed by reputable insurers, 24-hour assistance providers and offer travel insurance to travellers from over 140 countries.
Even if you don’t get one from World Nomads, make sure to get your travel insurance sorted before you actually start traveling.
What to do in Sintra ?
- Pena Palace and Park
Have you ever wondered what would it be like living in a disney castle? Being a princess for day, waiting for your prince whisk you away on a white horse?
Now I can’t promise you prince charming but a visit to Pena palace will sure make your disney dreams come true. Get lost exploring the eccentric Moorish-Manueline designed interiors, its elaborate tile work and colorful history where each room dazzles brighter than the last. Though this Palace oozes romance but it’s a beauty that you will enjoy by yourself no less ☺️.
Consider buying Skip the line tickets in advance. You will thank me later haha.
- Quinta da Regaleira
Regalaria in english translates to “royalty” and this place reflects that in every way. It has a palace and a four hectares of land (yesss it’s that huge). The park itself has dense trees, tunnels, wells, lakes, fountains and the aquarium, but I was most excited to see the famous initiation well (picture on the right) which is sort of inverted tower that plunges deep into the earth. Its pretty cool . If you are interested in photography, you can’t get a better landscape then Regaleria.
- Monserrate Palace
Although many tourist skip this, I absolutely loved it. Its mogul style architecture is something unique to the country. Although the palace itself is quite small but the work is simply stunning. For me the main highlights were the huge lush green lawns in its premise. I will suggest going in the afternoon to give yourself a break from all the walking you must have done, stretch your legs, take a quick nap if you like haha (I literally slept for 30 minutes because I was that exhausted 🙈)
Word of advice; Carry a water bottle and some snacks. Its important to keep yourself hydrated. You still got lot of Sintra to see😋
Cost ; €7
- National Palace of Sintra (optional)
This palace is in the historic centre and if you are coming from the train station you will most likely cross this. If you are a fan of castles-Go for it. I skipped this because I had my fill of disneyland. If you are buying the ticket to Pena then I really don’t advice you to buy the ticket here but it all depends on your personal interest.
Cost ; €10 Official Website
Other Attractions ;
- Moorish Castle ; Cost is €8. Although I did plan on visiting the castle but due to limited time I had to skip this. Its old, really old, built in 11th century .This medieval castle is located on one of the hilltops of Sintra and thus you can imagine how incredible the view must be from here.
- Palace of Seteais ; Well initially I didn’t plan on visiting this palace but I stumbled upon this on my way from Regaleira to Monserrate palace. I am so glad I did. The view of Sintra from here is mesmerising and the entrance is absolutely free. Its just a win-win. Squeeze this in if you can.
how to get around in Sintra ?
Sintra is a small town thus traveling options are limited which makes it simpler to understand. There are mainly two bus routes 435 & 434. Both are hop on and hop off which means you only buy ticket once for each. 435 is around €5 and 434 is €6.5. They both run on a circular route.
435 starts from the Train Station-> Historic Center-> Regaleira Estate-> Seteais Palace-> Monserrate Palace-> Seteais Palace-> Regaleira Estate-> Historic Center->Train Station
434 also starts from the Train Station-> Historic Center-> Moorish Castle-> Pena Palace and Park->Historic Center->Train Station
Have I convinced you enough to take a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra ? No ??? Well this will……
What to Eat in Sintra ?
Like any other region in Portugal Sintra is also famous for its sweets and special pasties. Queijada is like a cheesecake with caramelized top (its my favorite). Another famous desert is Travesserio which is doughy pasty with almond filling. Have them with some warm coffee. You can try them at Fabrica das Verdadeiras Queijadas da Sapa (its a small family owned shop conveniently located at the historic centre).
Cabo Do Roca : Western Most point of Europe
Cabo Do Roca ” where land ends and sea begins “. I can’t begin to explain how much I love this place. No words can do justice to how scenic and untouched this place is. Located just 30 minutes away from Sintra, making it very convenient to include in your; Sintra day trip from Lisbon .How many people in the world can say they been to the most western point of Europe? Exactly. There ain’t much to do here though, there is one small coffee shop near the lighthouse . You can take the bus 403 towards Cascais from Sintra train station which stops at Cabo do roca and the same bus for coming back to Sintra (other option is staying a night at Cascais).
Return ticket to Cabo do roca from Sintra is around €8.5. Better option is to get an all inclusive bus pass for €12 i.e for 403, 435 & 434 (valid for one day)
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