Around one hour train ride from touristy Lisbon, in the foothills of pine covered Serra de Sintra lies small picturesque Portuguese town, Sintra. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to it’s architectural monuments combined with beautiful landscape. Given the amount of things to see in a small town, it’s one of the must do day-trips from Lisbon. However, if time is not an issue, this small town has plenty to keep you busy for days!
An early tip: if it’s a day-trip, try to go early in the day to avoid the crowd. Event better are the weekdays!
Based on our travel, 5 of the things which one must see/visit are :
- Visit colourful Pena Castle/Palácio da Pena, the not-to-be missed experience in Sintra.
- See the ruined Moorish Castle/Castelo dos Mouros, built high above Sintra to fulfil one sole purpose – ‘to defend the town of Sintra’.
- The National Palace in the historic centre is a Gothic styled building built during the Moorish era with two enormous conical chimneys, serving as the hallmark of the town.
- See the other monuments in UNESCO historic centre like Town Hall, Clock Tower, Moorish Fountain and few other, which can be seen as one walks along.
- Regaleira Palace and Gardens/Quinta da Regaleira – is an estate with a decorative 20th century residence with awesome gardens with lots of tunnels, grottos and turrets. Couple of highlights here are: Initiation well and the waterfall.
Covering the above things in one day will make it very tiring as it was for us. We always thought of Sintra as only a ‘day-trip’ destination from Lisbon, however, frankly speaking and after being there, the town definitely deserves more than a day and spend an evening/night to feel the town’s atmosphere once the crowd has left.
Now, getting around to different spots in the city is not an issue if one is going to walk, however, since we did a day trip we opted for a day’s bus pass, as we knew visiting above things would also need time.
Getting to Sintra is also very easy from Lisbon. There are trains going to Sintra every 20/30 minutes and the journey time is of around 35-40 minutes.
Until next time, keep tasting the travel. Tchau! 🙂