Sintra, Portugal – A Day trip to sintra From Lisbon
A day-trip to Sintra is one of the things that I had on my to-do list when I went to Portugal. My research before leaving the UK highlighted quite a few places that I knew I would enjoy seeing.
Why take a day trip to SINTRA?
Sintra is around 25km from Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. I was staying at an Airbnb close to the Benfica football stadium so I took the metro from Alto dos Moinhos to the last stop on the blue line Reboleira. From Roboleira there is a direct train to Sintra that takes less than 30 minutes and I think cost under €5 return.
The initial plan was to visit Castelo dos Mouros, Pena Palace and finally Sintra National Palace as Mrs Silver Surfer Traveller loves walking. I changed that plan pretty quickly after seeing how many steps there were in the Moorish Castle. The Sintra National Palace would have to wait for another day.
Coming out of the train station, just to the right is the bus stop where you can get either the 434 that takes a circular route around town from Sintra Train Station – Historic Center – Castelo dos Mouros – Pena Palace and Park – Historic Center – Sintra Train Station
(image courtesy of Sarah from House of Wend)
Or you can get the 435 from Sintra Train Station which goes to the Historic Centre, Regaleira Estate, Seteais Palace and Monserrate Palace before heading back to Sintra Station in the reverse order.
If you are going to do a number of these places in one day, I would suggest you buy the daily tourist ticket for €15. This ticket lets you hop on and hop off at your leisure.
There is also a third option which some of you would enjoy. You could take a Tuk Tuk. You will find them just outside the station near the bus stop. Just stop and tell the driver which sites you want to see, discuss the price and they will be your chauffeur for the day.
I wouldn’t advise coming up by car as the local government has restricted parking in town to residents, city buses, emergency and commercial vehicles and taxis.
SPOILER ALERT – VERY HILLY
OK, one thing you need to know from the start is that there is lots of uphill climbing and stairs to tackle. If you are not that mobile, then this trip will not be for you. But if that’s not a problem then you will enjoy visiting Sintra.
If you book to go to more than one place you will get at least a 5% discount on tickets. We did the Moorish Castle & Pena Palace combo which came to €20.90 per person.
Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle)
The entrance to Castelo dos Mouros came after a little trek uphill from the bus stop.
The first thing I did when I got there was to practise my Portuguese, “Onde e o banheiro por favour” as I was bursting for a pee. When you get to my age, you can’t hold it as long as you used to.
The Moorish Castle is a medieval hilltop castle that was built in the 8th and 9th centuries. Although at first sight, it doesn’t seem that it is all that big, walking around its walls and turrets gives you some idea of how deceptively large it is.
Standing atop the towers gives a magnificent 360-degree view of the surrounding areas across the whole of the Lisbon region below.
You can see the amazing Palace of Sintra below.
Just around the corner from the Moorish Castle is Pena Palace. Again, it’s uphill. So, If you find walking difficult, this might not be the place for you.
Pena Palace stands on top of the hill in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And one of the seven wonders of Portugal. It is a magnificent building and you can see it from quite a distance away, as it’s quite high up on the hill. On a clear day, you can quite easily see it from Lisbon. My first view of it was from the atop of the Moorish Castle.
Formerly the home to past kings and queens of Portugal, it is now mainly a tourist attraction, although it is still used for state occasions by the President and government officials.
There is a cafe and also a restaurant on the premises, so if after a long day of walking you feel peckish, you are in the right place.
Pena Palace, in my opinion, is one of the best places to visit in Sintra Portugal.
After The Day Trip To Sintra
After leaving, we took the 434 bus back to Sintra Station. There we found a lovely little restaurant called Incomum. If you ever take a day trip to Sintra be sure to visit them. You can find their website by clicking here. They served the most delicious Bacalhau that you will find.
Check out their water funky little water bottle below.
If you want to see more on my day trip to Sintra why not take a look at my Sintra video on Youtube below. Please don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel by clicking here