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

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

4. 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 and Pena Palace Guided Tour

5. 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: Guided Tour and Entry Ticket to Quinta da Regaleira

6. Sintra: Guided Tour and Entry Ticket to Quinta da Regaleira

Meet your friendly local guide at the entrance of Quinta da Regaleira and get ready for a cultural deep-dive into one of Sintra's iconic palaces. First, get immersed with a brief introduction to Sintra's history, legends, and curiosities. Learn about tales of the Templars Freemason secrets to the international poets who were inspired by this fairy-tale location. Then, it's time to step inside the palace and explore the impressive Quinta da Regaleira. Learn how the Gothic architectural masterpiece was built in the 19th century with alchemy in mind. Finally, wander its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Wells. At the end of the tour, you'll leave enriched with amazing facts and memories of the palace.

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

7. 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 quaint village of Cascais which is linked to the Portuguese royalty that once summered here. Walk along beautiful beaches, mansions, museums, and photogenic streets. Return to Lisbon at the end of your day trip.

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

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

On this full-day tour, you’ll discover Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the town which is surrounded by an amazing natural park, a medieval Castle, and beautiful Palaces and Chalets. Take a walk along the medieval streets of Sintra and drive through the national park noticing the rare fauna, the unique trees, the Moorish Castle, Monserrate Palace, and the several chalets along the road. Visit Pena Palace, one of the most impressive architectural expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world and one of Portugal’s seven wonders. Say goodbye to Sintra with an optional visit to mystical Quinta da Regaleira, a palace surrounded by luxuriant gardens, lakes, caves, and enigmatic constructions that hide obscure alchemist meanings, evoked by Freemasons, Knights Templars, and Rosicrucians. Continue on to the westernmost point of continental Europe at Roca Cape. Travel along the coast and embrace the Atlantic, stopping in Cascais, once a holiday retreat for the royal family and the European aristocracy. Enjoy all these amazing places from a comfortable seat in a small air-conditioned minivan. Pickup and drop-off at your hotel or apartment in Lisbon make for an even more pleasant experience.

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: Moorish Castle Entrance E-Ticket With Audio Tour

10. Sintra: Moorish Castle Entrance E-Ticket With Audio Tour

Experience the Moorish Castle in Sintra at your own pace with a skip-the-line e-ticket and a fascinating self-guided audio tour on your smartphone. Visit the fascinating castle at your leisure, without having to abide by large group tour schedules or long waiting lines. Receive your ticket by email, download the app and the audio tour on your smartphone prior to your visit, and travel back in time to experience the glory of one of Sintra’s main attractions, the magnificent Moorish Castle. Put on your headphones and discover the breathtaking Castle Keep, the Royal Tower, the Second Circle of Walls, and the Castle’s breathtaking treasures through the power of storytelling. Learn historical facts and uncommon stories and anecdotes for this spectacular attraction of Sintra. Leaving knowing you've gained valuable insights into one of Sintra’s main and most well-known attractions, the Moorish Castle, and relate to your surroundings in an entirely original way.

Frequently asked questions about Sintra

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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

We are super satisfied with the Sintra highlight tour. Everything went to plan and we enjoyed it to the maximum. Gustavo was an excellent guide, took care of the group, and made of this tour a never forgetting experience. A nice detail from the company: because of the rain, we had to stop at a cafe in Sintra, and when asking for the bill, they told us it was on GYG, that is, it was an invitation from them. A nice attitude which shows they care for the people. Well done!!!! Highly recommendable.

What a lovely trip! I am totally impressed by Miguel - the best tour guide in Lisbon!! Love him. He is very friendly, knowledgeable and provided the best tourist experience for this trip. It is totally exceeded my expectations!! Hope I can Miguel as my tour guide again in the future…..he deserves 10 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I bought a trip for me and my friend and I absolutely loved it! Our guide Pedro was the best guide I’ve ever seen in my life! He is a bright, charismatic and super intelligent person. He definitely likes his job and makes everything to involve everyone in his stories. Totally recommend this tour!

Absolute amazing place!! This is definitely a must do! The tour guide we have was so knowledgeable and amazing, he really made the trip soo much fun and such a great experience. Would 10/10 recommend, money well spent!!

Ricardo was an amazing tour guide. The whole day went smoothly with a good amount of time in each location.