What to see in Sintra, a fairytale town very close to Lisbon. rock cape

Very close to Lisbon, about 30 kilometers away, there is a dream place that you should not miss. This is Sintra, a beautiful city to which you can dedicate an excursion from the Portuguese capital.

In addition, in the surroundings there are very interesting places such as Cabo de Roca, Estoril or Cascais, which are also worth a visit.

In Sintra we can highlight two very different parts. On the one hand, the historic center located on the slopes of a mountain, and on the other hand the Castelo dos Mouros and the Palacio da Pena, located at the top of that mountain.

The best things to see in Sintra in one day

1. The Pena Palace and the Castle

portugal-sintra-pena-palaceWithout a doubt, the Palacio da Pena is the best-known monument in Sintra and the reason why many people make an excursion from Lisbon to this city.

It is the great attraction of the city and is also a World Heritage Site.

The Palacio da Pena, which is located at the top of the mountain, was the residence of the Royal Family of Portugal during the 19th century, so it retains a very exquisite decoration and ornamentation that make it unique.

But from the outside it is also a spectacular palace thanks to its color and its high towers. As much as the views that are offered from it.

portugal-sintra-castelo-dos-mourosThe Palacio da Pena was built in the 19th century by order of King Ferdinand II in the same place where a monastery was in ruins due to the famous earthquake of 1755 and its construction is a mixture of styles ranging from Renaissance to Neo-Gothic. for the Islamic.

Pena Palace can be reached by car but it is usually very crowded and it is difficult to park, so we recommend going from the center of Sintra on foot or by bus.

Nearby is the Castelo dos Mouros. Actually what they find are the ruins of the castle. This monument was of great importance in the history of Portugal as it was key in the reconquest from the Moors. It dates from the 9th century and can be easily reached on foot from the Palacio da Pena.


2. What to visit in the center of Sintra

portugal-sintra-national-palaceThe most important thing to see in Sintra is the Palacio da Pena, but you should not miss the opportunity to also visit its historic center, located at the bottom of the mountain.

Sintra is made up of narrow, steep streets lined with pretty buildings, shops, and restaurants.

portugal-sintra-quinta-da-regaleiraThe best thing to do in romantic Sintra is to wander around and discover its main places of interest such as the Sintra National Palace, built in the 16th century and which also belonged to the Portuguese royal family. Like the Palacio da Pena, it is a mixture of styles, but in this case it stands out for its tiles and Manueline-style decoration.

The Quinta da Regaleira is the other point of interest in Sintra, although located on the outskirts, you should not miss it. It is a very interesting estate in which there is also a small palace. Strolling through its gardens is a unique experience and don’t miss the famous initiation well.

Also not to be missed is the Capuchos Convent, also located outside the city.

3. Nearby Cabo da Roca

Lisbon - Cabo da RocaA visit to Sintra should not end without visiting the nearby Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe.

Cabo da Roca is only 20 kilometers from Sintra but the winding road will take more than half an hour to get there.

Of course, you will be able to enjoy the landscape as this wonderful place is located within the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.

On the cape there is a lighthouse, built in 1772, which guides the boats that approach the cliffs at your feet and which you can admire from the Cabo da Roca viewpoint. Going at sunset is the best time because it is when you can enjoy the landscape of this beautiful place much more.

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