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Ultimate Sintra Day Trip from Lisbon – Sintra’s top attractions

Day Trip from Lisbon to Sintra what you need to know

Here is the ultimate guide to the perfect day trip from Lisbon to Sintra. This Itinerary covers transportation and an interactive map highlighting where to go.

Visiting Sintra is a must if you’re in Portugal. Sintra is a day trip away from Lisbon and is a treasure trove of history waiting to be discovered. This guide includes information on:  the iconic colourful Pena Palace, the enchanting Quinta da Regaleira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Moorish Castle.

Contents

  • Sintra Interactive Map
  • Getting around in Sintra
  • This guide includes:
    • Pena Palace
    • Moorish Castle
    • Sintra National Palace
    • Regaleira Palace
  • Where to eat and drink in Sintra
  • Tips and tricks for a day trip to Sintra

Sintra Day trip from Lisbon Interactive Map

Getting to Sintra from Lisbon

There are several ways you can get to Sintra – we took the train as it was convenient for us. 

By train: Trains run frequently from Lisbon’s Rossio Station to Sintra and a journey time of approximately 40 minutes. We took a train from Rossio Station in Lisbon to Sintra Station and it was very convenient and a smooth journey. Right outside the station, we walked to the bus stop. They are quite frequent too so perfect for getting the most out of the day. 

By bus: You can take a bus from Lisbon to Sintra. The bus journey takes slightly longer than the train but is a bit more budget-friendly. 

By car: For those who prefer the freedom and flexibility of driving, renting a car is a great option. The journey from Lisbon to Sintra by car takes around 30 minutes. The benefit of this is that it allows you to explore Sintra at your own pace.

Make sure you validate your ticket if you’re going through public transport. You can use the Viva card to get from Lisbon to Sintra. 

Sintra Tourist Bus - 434 and the 435

There are 2 circuits for the tourist bus in Sintra:

  • The 434 is the orange line which goes through to Sintra Station >> Biesten Palace >> Moorish Castle >> Pena Palace >> Sintra National Palace. 
  • The 435 is the green line which goes through Sintra Station >> Sintra National Palace >> Regaleira Palace >> Seteais Palace >> Monserrate Palace. 

Both lines are Hop-on and Hop-Off for 24 hours which means you can jump on the bus at any stop. As of Jan 2024, the cost of a ticket is €13.50 per person for the whole day, it’s a bit expensive but there’s no other way of getting around and the turns these bus drivers make are insane so worth it. Do keep in mind that it is a circle and only goes one way and at particular stops it does get really busy so it would be best to get there before the scheduled departure times. Departure times differ between high and low season. 

You can find out more information here: https://scotturb.com/turismo-2/descubra-sintra-2/

Exploring the Pena Palace

Pena Palace is likely the most popular Palace in Sintra, renowned for its beautiful romantic architecture and yellow and red coloured exterior which sits on top of the Sintra hills. 

Particularly because of this, the Palace is very busy and therefore you can only enter the Palace at specific times. Therefore, I would suggest booking and going early! When we arrived at around 11 am we could only get a ticket for the 13:00 slot to the palace so we spent time walking around the Park in the meantime. 

The park and the palace are huge so I would suggest scheduling in 2-3 hours here to fully explore the area. Afterwards, we enjoyed lunch at the Palace canteen which was very busy so again so I would be prepared.

Hiking through the walls at Moorish Castle

Walking about 10mins back from Pena Palace is Moorish Castle a great place to walk around and soak in the history of the 10th century. Be aware that the famous walls which snake around the hill are not for the faint-hearted and are not the easiest to walk. There are some narrow spots and traffic sometimes goes both ways but it is worth the stunning views.

Visiting Central Sintra and the National Palace of Sintra

After time at the top of the hill, jump back onto the hop-on and hop-off bus to the National Palace of Sintra. This stop is where most of the restaurants and shops are, as well as the National Palace of Sintra. This is a great place to relax and rest before heading off to the next stop. 

If you have time try and give Casa Piriquita which is a very popular pastry house for a reason. We loved all the pastries here. 

National Palace of Sintra

The oldest palace in Portugal is the National Palace of Sintra set in the heart of Sintra. Overall a beautiful palace which takes you back to the history of the Moorish Rule. Luckily, at around 2 pm, the Palace wasn’t too busy so we managed to explore most of the place and the garden within 1-2hours. 

Our last stop was Quinta da Regaleira, the plan was to jump onto the bus to get us to the entrance. However, not too sure what the reasoning was we were told by a tourist information ambassador that no buses were going that way. Walking was the only option. The walk from the National Palace to the Quinta da Regaleira was about a 10-15 minute walk but do be aware that it is quite hilly. 

Visiting the Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira is one of the most beautiful and romantic sites in the world. There is a reason that this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unquestionably, not a place to miss if you’re in Sintra. This place is absolutely beautiful and huge so save some time during the trip to fully explore the sites and the garden. 

Poco Iniciattico (Initiation Well)

One of the famous places here is the Poco Iniciattico (Initiation Well). The unique well links to the Percursos subterraneos a cave network with hidden passageways. Unsurprisingly because of the well’s popularity, there are queues. Therefore, if you want to visit then do try and get there straightaway. Then afterwards, continue with the garden.

Tips and tricks for a day trip to Sintra:

  • Booking your trip in advance 
  • Go early! There is a lot to do in Sintra so do go early to make sure that you don’t miss out on anything you planned. 
  • If you’re short on time, go on a Monday. Most places in Portugal/Lisbon are closed on this day. If not, try another weekday to avoid the crowds. The reason is that a lot of people know about the Monday hack so try another day to avoid crowds.  

Conclusion

Hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspired and helped you plan your trip from Lisbon to Sintra. Check out more posts below. 

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