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Things to do in Sintra

Colorful palaces and boundless panoramic views await you in this fairytale town at a stone's-throw from Lisbon.

Our most recommended things to do in Sintra

Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

1. Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

Escape Lisbon and go on a full-day, guided journey to some of Portugal’s most popular locations stopping at the iconic Pena Palace in Sintra, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Cabo da Roca, and the ritzy seaside town of Cascais. Choose between the shared tour or private tour options. Your journey from Lisbon starts at the famous city of Sintra, whose Romanticist architecture, historic estates and villas, and numerous royal palaces and castles have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the freedom of choice on whether you want an included entry ticket and tour of the colorful Pena Palace, or whether you prefer to gain some extra free time instead. Arriving early at Sintra means greater chances of avoiding long lines if you choose to go with your guide on a comprehensive tour through its lavish interiors and lush gardens. Marvel at the palace’s fairy-tale-like appearance, beautiful facade and extravagant interior. Next, head over to the center of Sintra and get 1.5-hour of free time to wander on your own. Get recommendations of the city’s must-see locations as well as the best restaurant options for delicious traditional Portuguese dining from your guide. Continue to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and take in the impressive views of the ocean crashing against the high rocky cliffs. If weather permitting, stop at Guincho beach, whose strong winds and high swells have made it a popular surfing destination. Lastly, arrive in Cascais, an elegant seaside resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Stroll through the lovely city center and make sure to check out Cascais’ luxury marina, its charming fishing port, and a restored fort that houses many local craftsmen. After your free exploration time in Cascais, relax back on board your air-conditioned vehicle, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

Sintra: Quinta da Regaleira Skip-the-Line Entry & Audio Tour

2. Sintra: Quinta da Regaleira Skip-the-Line Entry & Audio Tour

Experience Quinta da Regaleira at your own pace with a skip-the-line e-ticket and an engaging self-guided audio tour on your smartphone. Receive your ticket by Email, download the app and the audio tour on your phone, and travel back in time to the glory of the Quinta da Regaleira. Put on your headphones and discover the aquarium, Fountain of Abundance, and greenhouse as well as the castle’s treasures. Learn historical information and hear lesser-known stories about Sintra.  Benefit from in-depth research combined with original storytelling that will make your visit both engaging and informative. Gain valuable insights into one of Sintra’s main and most well-known attractions, the Quinta da Regaleira, and relate to your surroundings in an entirely original way.

Lisbon Card: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Pass

3. Lisbon Card: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Pass

Unlock the city of Lisbon with the flexible Lisbon Card. Enjoy unlimited travel on city transport, and free admission to 39 museums, historic buildings, and more. Benefit from discounts at a vast range of attractions, vouchers for different shops, and a handy guide that explains how to use the card. After exchanging your GetYourGuide voucher for the magnetic card, the Lisbon Card immediately provides 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour access to the public transport system. Eligible on the Carris metro, buses, trams, and cable railways, it also works on CP trains between Cais do Sodré and Cascais, and trains between Oriente, Rossio, and Sintra.   Skip the lines to enter Jerónimos Monastery, and climb the Belem Tower. Enjoy free access to the National Tile Museum, the National Coach Museum, and others. Admire stunning palaces, including the Mafra National Palace and the Ajuda National Palace. Ride the famous Santa Justa Lift, and much more—all with one card. The Libson Card provides free entry to the following attractions: • Jerónimos Monastery / Monasterio de los Jerónimos• Pilar7 Bridge Experience / Experiencia Pilar 7 • LISBOA Story Centre• National Tile Museum / Museo Nacional del Azulejo   • National Coach Museum / Museo Nacional de Carruajes  • National Ancient Art Museum / Museo Nacional de Arte Antigua• Sintra Mitos e Lendas• Santa Justa Elevator / Ascensor de Santa Justa• Mafra National Palace / Palacio Nacional de Mafra• CARRIS• METRO• CP-Comboios de Portugal• FERTAGUS• National Pantheon / Panteón Nacional• Ajuda National Palace / Palacio Nacional de Ajuda• Chiado Museum - National Museum of Contemporary Art / Museo del Chiado Museo Nacional de Arte Contemporânea• National Ethnology Museum / Museo Nacional de Etnología      • National Costume Museum / Museo Nacional del Traje     • National Museum of Theatre and Dance / Museo Nacional del Teatro y de Danza  • National Archaeology Museum / Museo Nacional de Arqueología• National Music Museum Music / Museo Nacional de la Música• Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves Museum-Residence / Casa-Museo Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves• Republican National Guard Museum / Museo de la Guardia Nacional Republicana• Ceramics Museum - Sacavém / Museo de la Cerámica - Sacavém• Air Museum / Museo del Aire• Batalha Monastery / Monasterio de Batalha • Alcobaça Monastery / Monasterio de Alcobaça• Tomar Convent of Christ / Convento de Cristo - Tomar• Museum of Neo Realism - Vila Franca de Xira / Museo del Neo Realismo - Vila Franca de Xira• Museum of the work Michel Giacometti / Museo del Trabajo Michel Giacometti• Casa da Cerca - Museum of Contemporary Art - Almada / Casa da Cerca - Museu de Arte Contemporanea - Almada• Chapel of the Holy Spirit of the Mareantes - Sesimbra / Capilla del Espíritu Santo de los Mareantes - Sesimbra• Museum of Setúbal - Municipal Gallery / Museo de Setúbal - Galería Municipal• Rua Augusta Arch / Arco da Rua Augusta• Greenhouse / Invernadero Frío• Maritime Museum of Sesimbra / Museo Marítimo de Sesimbra• Museum Tesouro Real• CIRES – Roaz Interpretive Center of the Sado Estuary / CIRES - Centro Interpretativo del Roaz del Estuario del Sado• Royal Treasure Museum / Museu do Tesouro Real  The Libson Card also provides discounts on the following attractions:• Dom Fernando II e Glória ship – 20% discount• Biester Palace (Sintra) – 10% discount• Video mapping (Immersivus Lisboa – O Cubo) – 15% discount• SEOTours – 15% discount• Setubal Alive – 10% discount

From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Full-Day Tour

4. From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Full-Day Tour

Discover Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on this day tour. Admire the town via minivan, surrounded by a natural park, a medieval castle, palaces, and chalets. Walk along the medieval streets of Sintra and drive through the national park. Take in the rare fauna, the unique trees, the Moorish Castle, Monserrate Palace, and the several chalets along the road. Next, visit Pena Palace, one of the most impressive architectural expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world, and one of Portugal’s seven wonders. Continue on to the westernmost point of continental Europe at Roca Cape. Finally, travel along the Atlantic coast. Discover the natural seawater pools at Azenhas do Mar beach. Stop in Cascais, was once a holiday retreat for the royal family and the European aristocracy.

From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

5. From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

Discover Sintra’s beautiful architecture, admire the beauty of one of the highest hills of the region Walk the narrow streets of Sintra in your free time and visit with our fantastic tour guide Quinta da Regaleira. Arrive at the romantic Pena Palace in Sintra, which has a profusion of styles much in accordance with the exotic taste of Romanticism. Explore the ancient castle, which was one of the favorite residences of the royal family throughout the 19th century. Walk through the fairytale-style building and learn about its fascinating history. Take some free time to stroll through Sintra and purchase lunch if you're feeling hungry. Get recommendations on what to see and eat in the area. Afterward, begin a guided tour of the main landmarks of Sintra, and hear about local secrets and stories. Visit the picturesque village of Cascais, linked to the Portuguese royals who summered here. Stroll along beautiful beaches, mansions, museums and photogenic streets. Return to Lisbon at the end of the day.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

6. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

Benefit from a guided tour inside the Quinta Regaleira and Pena Palace. Fall in love with Sintra, a village full of magic and mystery, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period and also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Opt to treat yourself and your loved ones to a private experience with your own guide and pickup from your own hotel. Alternatively, you can get picked up from a convenient location in the center of Lisbon. Accompanied by a tour guide, visit Quinta da Regaleira and enjoy its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Well. Uncover the mysteries of each place and learn about the orders of the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. During the lunch break in Sintra's old town, you will have free time to explore the historical and charming streets. You will also have time to taste the traditional pastry, travesseiro. After buying your entry ticket with your guide, step into a fairy tale when you enter the romantic Pena Palace and Park. Understand its unique architectural expression of Romanticism. Spot how it blends many styles, including Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, and neo-Renaissance. Stroll around the park with its astonishing variety of plants and trees. Marvel at the palace's amazing views of the castle and the Atlantic Ocean, a perfect way to end the day before returning to Lisbon.

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

7. Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle-like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantastical version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the former Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the top of the hill above Sintra and had been left unoccupied since 1834 when the religious orders were suppressed in Portugal. The monastery consisted of the cloister and its outbuildings, the chapel, the sacristy and the bell tower, which today form the northern section of the Palace of Pena, or the Old Palace as it is known. King Ferdinand began by making repairs to the former monastery, which, according to the historical sources of that time, was in very bad condition. He refurbished the whole of the upper floor, replacing the fourteen cells used by the monks with larger-sized rooms and covering them with the vaulted ceilings that can still be seen today. In roughly 1843, the king decided to enlarge the palace by building a new wing (the New Palace) with even larger rooms (the Great Hall is a good example of this), ending in a circular tower next to the new kitchens. The building work was directed by the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 repair works restored the original colors of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. In transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showed that he was heavily influenced by German romanticism, and that he probably found his inspiration in the Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the banks of the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. These building works at the Palace of Pena ended in the mid-1860s, although further work was also undertaken at later dates for the decoration of the interiors. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira, Pena Garden and Cascais Tour

8. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira, Pena Garden and Cascais Tour

Discover Sintra, so-called the “Garden of Eden” by Lord Byron. Tour its paradisiacal streets and gardens and admire the ornate palaces, villas, and estates throughout this colorful city. See Pena National Palace, famed for its romantic architecture and recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. Located approximately 500 meters above sea level, soak up the stunning city views over Sintra. Continue to Sintra's Quinta da Regaleira and take a guided tour of the palace, lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions. Learn about its connection with the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. Head to Cabo da Roca, the most western point of mainland Europe, passing Guincho Beach. Experience the Portuguese Rivera as you drive along the Estoril Coast and visit the village of Cascais. See why many exiled European royalty choose to live there.

From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights and Pena Palace Full-Day Tour

9. From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights and Pena Palace Full-Day Tour

Fall in love with Sintra, a lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period, on a day trip from Lisbon via an air-conditioned bus. See the stunning landscape classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided tour of monuments like Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Monserrate Palace. Start the tour by exploring the exotic Pena Park and the magnificent Pena Palace. This remarkable building is complete with different decorative styles, symbols, and intriguing features, and was once the royal family's official summer residence. Walk through Sintra's charming city center. Stop by the decorative Quinta da Regaleira estate. Explore the initiation well as well as its many lakes and fountains, and the aquarium on its grounds. Spend your lunchtime strolling through the historical village. Enjoy a quick stop at local patisseries to try some of Sintra's well-known delicacies. Conclude your journey at the eclectic Monserrate Palace, a glorious estate that once served as a summer residence for the Portuguese court.

Sintra: Historical Jeep Tour

10. Sintra: Historical Jeep Tour

Hop into a classic Portuguese jeep to explore Sintra’s wonders. See the best of Sintra with the help of your tour guide, as you learn the incredible histories and explore the must-see landmarks in this 7-hour tour. Drive around three of the five stunning palaces of Sintra, the National Palace, Seteais Palace, Monserrate, as well as Moorish Castle. View the stunning palaces from multiple vantage points. Take in the gorgeous panoramic views of Sintra. Stop to visit Quinta de Regaleira. Marvel at the breathtaking architecture. Look deep into the initiation wells, that were once used for ceremonial purposes. Visit Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. Admire the gorgeous views atop the cape and hear the immensity of the ocean clashing into the land beneath you. If your group chooses to, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue on to a wine tasting, and relax with some of the finest wines Sintra has to offer. As the last stop on your tour, enter Pena Palace. Admire the colorful, unique palace, that looks like it has come straight out of a fairytale. Capture your final tour photos, before your guide returns you to your drop-off.

Available activities

  • Palaces, castles, & gardens
  • Sintra on wheels
  • Cabo da Roca & Cascais
  • Portuguese wine tasting
  • Sintra mountain & forest treks
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Frequently asked questions about Sintra

What top attractions are a must-see in Sintra?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Sintra?

The best day trips and excursions from Sintra are:

Cascais

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Other Sightseeing Options in Sintra

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What people are saying about Sintra

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 21,602 reviews

Ana is hands down the best guide we've had during our time in Lisbon and Portugal. She has an incredible amount of knowledge of the history of the area. We learned a lot and enjoyed amazing views of Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira. We enjoyed a sunny and not very crowded visit to the Palace. Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much, Ana!

Our Guide was wonderful. Doing both English and French throughout the day must be a lot, but she was super friendly and enthusiastic with making sure everyone was enjoying themselves and giving a personal touch to each part of the day. Overall an incredible and unforgettable day that was worth the spend!

Definitely worth getting a ticket in advance. DO NOT drive up to the castle! Park in the centre of town somewhere and take public transportation up

Even though the weather was not the best, we managed to have a fun time

Very knowledgeable guide, perfectly organized tour. I advise!