Sintra Museums & exhibitions

Our most recommended Sintra Museums & exhibitions

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

1. 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.

Sintra and the Amazing Dream Villages Tour

2. Sintra and the Amazing Dream Villages Tour

In a quiet environment a few minutes from the capital, explore a great selection of the best villages near Sintra. The fact that these villages continue to have unusual life habits, they recreate the way of life of Portugal's ancestors, preserved through smells, colors, and traditions. Visit the charming Azenhas do Mar, a village that has become one of the most famous Portuguese tourist spots. Discover the village of Penedo, perched high on a hillside still home to traditional houses. Walk along its steep and winding streets and alleys. It is a treasure of the traditional architecture of the saloia region. Visit secret villages where you will feel like you are in an open-air museum, where the way of life of Portugal's ancestors is preserved. Travel back in time in the village of José Franco. Get to know a local man's dream that recreated a village of ethnographic character, a testimony to the way of life of the ancient local people.

Sintra Myths and Legends Interpretative Center Entry Ticket

3. Sintra Myths and Legends Interpretative Center Entry Ticket

Get a unique lesson in the history of Sintra with an entrance ticket to the Sintra Myths and Legends Interpretative Center. Journey into the mysticism and romanticism of the town through its history, music, literature and more. Using multimedia techniques and sensory experiences, reality and fiction intersect at all 17 points of a project designed by architects, set designers, scriptwriters, historians, and specialists in audiovisual productions, augmented reality, 3D films and more. See photos of the town and listen to the sounds of the forest as you take the elevator to listen to a narrator who will tell you when the rocky hills were created. Then, interact with historical events through touchscreens and animation. Gaze in wonder as legends are told through full-size holograms that invite you to become a player in the game and run through woods and avoid obstacles. Marvel at the animated portraits of authors who found inspiration in the resort town.  Make your way down to the basement, where new adventures await. Experience the heaving seas aboard a ship, venture into a pagan world of nature, animals, fairies, and more. 

Classic Lisbon and Sintra: Full-Day Combined Tour

4. Classic Lisbon and Sintra: Full-Day Combined Tour

Explore Lisbon and visit its many historic sites on the morning of your full-day combined tour. Begin by crossing the 25th April Bridge, and on the return, enjoy fantastic views of Lisbon and it's hills before traveling on to Belém Quarter. See monuments dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, such as Belém Tower. The Monument to the Discoveries, built to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator, memorializes those who took part in Portugal’s Age of Discoveries. Next you’ll visit the St. Jerome Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a masterpiece of the Manueline style. Continue to The National Coach Museum, home to a collection of some of the most important old carriages in the world! Travel along the river to Alfama, the city’s old and traditional district, where you’ll walk along the narrow streets. As you pass by the downtown area, known as the Baixa district, you’ll admire Lisbon´s most important squares such as the monumental Trade Square, Rossio Square, at the heart of Lisbon, and Restauradores Square. Afterwards you’ll enjoy a drive along Liberdade Avenue, Lisbon’s main boulevard. Finish the Lisbon part of your tour at Pombal Square, before having some free time and a break for lunch.  Head off for an unforgettable afternoon in Sintra, a UNESCO Cultural Landscape. Be sure to taste the delicious local sweets such as queijadas or travesseiros, in a traditional tearoom. Travel through the Sintra Mountains where you’ll admire lavish and exuberant vegetation before arriving at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in Europe. Along the coast, you’ll pass by Guincho Beach, where you can see windsurfers, and Boca do Inferno, a grotto created by erosion. Throughout this part of the journey you’ll have constant views of the sea and surrounding landscape. In coastal Cascais you’ll be able to see out over the bay. On the return journey to Lisbon, pass through Estoril and enjoy a panoramic view of the casino and its gardens.

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The best day trips and excursions from Sintra are:

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What people are saying about Sintra

Having a ticket before you enter makes things easier. The tour of the palace takes about 45 minutes. However, you can make a day out of walking the grounds, etc.

Easy access having the advance tickets. Just scan and enter. Choosing a time was only for the line to enter the inside.

The line is long and you have to wait a while to get in! The walk up to the palace is not 30 mins it’s really 15 mins!

It was so good to get my ticket ahead if time. One still has to wait in line for your time slot but so much easier

Precioso castillo / palacio. La vista es espectacular