Would you like to feel like in a fairy tale? Then take a Sintra day trip from Lisbon. The small town is only 30 kilometers away, it is the former summer residence of the kings and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can discover beautiful castles, fortresses and fountains in Sintra. I tell you about my trip to the Sintra sights and give you tips on whether you should experience Sintra better on your own or with an organized tour.
This article contains referral links. If you book or buy something using these links, I will receive a small commission. You pay the normal price, it doesn't cost you anything extra. Thank you for your support!
Sintra Portugal: where the kings once spent the summer
The last time I saw Lisbon was in winter . During the three days in January I also went on a Sintra day trip. Because I had heard a lot about it and seen great photos. The small town is located in the Sintra Mountains and offers many fairytale sights such as:
- Palacio Nacional da Pena
- Quinta da Regaleira estate
- Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle)
- National Palace of Sintra
Sintra day trip from Lisbon
Whether you better do the Sintra day trip yourself or take part in a tour?
For me it worked without any problems on my own :
- On Saturday from Rossio train station in 40 minutes by train to Sintra, without changing trains
- Take bus 434 at Sintra station
- So drive to the Pena Palace
- Take the bus back to the city center
- From there, walk to the Quinta da Regaleira estate in 15 minutes
- Finally go back to Sintra train station and take the return trip to Lisbon
Getting there worked very well. The only thing I found difficult was that even in January it was full everywhere: in front of the 434 tourist bus, in front of and in the sights. I don't want to imagine what's going on here in high season.
I was in Sintra on Saturday. If you can I would go there during the week. I can also recommend a skip-the-line ticket to the popular Pena Palace .
Since it goes up and down in Sintra, running was a little tiring. In January I experienced 13 degrees and sunshine, there I went. In summer I would rather take part in an organized tour.
I always book tours through Get your Guide. On tours I check:
- Pick up from the hotel
- Duration of the tour
- Rating score
- individual ratings
- German or English speaking guide
- Free cancellation possible?
The day tour Sintra , Cabo da Roca and Cascais with a maximum of eight participants lasts eight hours. You will be picked up at your hotel, the tickets to the sights are skip the line. If necessary, you can cancel the tour free of charge up to 24 hours before the start.
On the tour you experience Sintra with the fantastically beautiful Pena Palace and can optionally see the Quinta da Regaleira estate . You also stop at the westernmost point in Europe, at Cabo da Roca. Finally it goes to Cascais, once the holiday destination of the European nobility. You can book an English-speaking guide on this tour.
From Lisbon to Sintra by train
. If you want to go on your own, I did the following: I stayed at the My Story Hotel Ouro ( Rua Aurea 100, Lisbon) . It was super central at the Praca do Comercio and was nice and quiet .
I took the metro from the airport, the Baixa-Chiado stop was only a few meters away.
For my Sintra day trip, I walked around 10 minutes to Rossio train station. There I got on one of the trains, it took me to the fairytale castles in 40 minutes (without changing trains).
Sintra bus 434
The 434 tourist bus runs from Sintra station. It has stops at the Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle.
When I arrived in Sintra by train that morning, many other visitors got out with me. The queue on the bus was accordingly long.
Here I could not use my Viva Viagem card for local transport, but had to buy an extra card for 6.90 euros. It was valid for a return trip.
Then it went through the mountains in serpentines. On the way you have a beautiful view of mountains, forests and flashing palaces, castles and mansions.
Sintra Castle: The fairytale Pena Palace
The architect really let off steam at the Palácio Nacional da Pena from 1854. The castle in all colors of the rainbow is considered the Portuguese castle Neuschwanstein. It is absolutely worth seeing from the outside and inside! I spent a total of two hours here.
Admission to the Pena Palace is 14 euros. You can book a skip-the-line ticket here .
First I looked at the castle from the outside. The visitors frolicked around on the wall. They took selfies and, like me, enjoyed the view of greenery and the sea.
The castle is also worth a visit inside. The magnificent rooms give an impression of how the royal family lived there.
I looked at the inner courtyard with its mosaics and the fountain. Aren't the patterns pretty?
There were many bedrooms with amazingly short beds. And magnificently furnished living spaces. I found the dining room particularly interesting: the table was lovingly set and I almost expected the guests to come to the table soon.
The café with a sun terrace was also nice. In the small shop you can buy something to drink and snacks and sit in the warmth. Unfortunately, all the tables and chairs were already occupied when I was there.
Sintra fountain at the Quinta da Regaleira estate
Also worth a visit is this manor house from 1910 with an enchanting garden. From Pena Palace I took the bus back to the city center and walked the rest of the way.
Doesn't it look a little like a haunted castle? I was here for about 1.5 hours , the entry costs 8 euros.
Above all, the fountain attracted me. You may know him from Instagram pictures.
I ran through the garden for a while and then uphill to the fountain. The initiation well was never filled with water, it was probably mainly used for ceremonies.
As in the Pena Palace, the fountain was very crowded. The visitors crowded around the edge and shot photos from above.
Few of them went down the 27 meters. Because they probably thought they would have to climb the spiral staircase again.
I started the descent. It was getting darker and cooler. Finally I got to the ground and looked up into the sunlight.
Through tunnels you will get out on this level. In places it was very dark, so the flashlight function of my smartphone helped.
I came across two exits. One crossed a pond on running boards. I preferred to take the normal dry exit.
I also really liked the garden: here you can see ferns, palm trees, colorful flowers and statues.
You can find more photos and videos in my Instagram Story Highlight Lisbon .
My conclusion on the Sintra day trip
The trip from Lisbon to Sintra was absolutely worth it! Overall, I was out from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. I saw the two sights Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira estate with its fountain. In my opinion, it is no longer possible without agitation on your own. Because the journey from Lisbon, the bus ride and the footpaths take time.
Have you already experienced the Sintra day trip?
Note: I paid and organized the Lisbon trip and the Sintra day trip myself, there were no collaborations.
Tips information at a glance
Sintra ticket tours
Palácio Nacional da Pena with park: skip-the-line ticket
Day tour Sintra , Cabo da Roca and Cascais - English speaking guide possible
Sintra, Cabo da Roca Cascais: day tour from Lisbon - German speaking guide possible
All Sintra tickets and tours on Get your Guide can be found here
Lisbon travel guide
Packing list city trip : Print out tick off for your perfect city trip
Lisbon tips pictures : the top 7 sights
Lisbon in winter : sights, tips pictures
Lisbon Cascais - a weekend trip
Lisbon sights for a Sunday
Lisbon tips food : vegan, vegetarian, delicious
Pasteis de Nata recipe : pudding tarts from Portugal
Newsletter social media
Would you like to be informed about new blog posts? Then subscribe to Travel on Toast via newsletter . So you get inspiration, insider tips and information about competitions once a month. You can also follow me on Instagram , Facebook or Pinterest . Here you can find out more about me .
Pin the Sintra Day Trip Tips on Pinterest
Latest articles by Anja Beckmann ( view all )
- Christmas market Cologne 2019: tips for the top 6 Christmas markets - November 27, 2019
- Travel gifts: the 30 best gift ideas - November 21, 2019
- Travel vegetarian and vegan: beautiful holiday destinations and hotels - November 16, 2019