What to do in Sintra in 1 day?
Sintra is a magical municipality situated 30km away from Lisbon, famous for its 19th century Romanticist architecture and for its landscape inserted in the mountains. Its historic villas, numerous royal palaces & castles, and large gardens and nature parks won Sintra a place in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1995.
The fastest way to go from Lisbon to Sintra is to go by car (the trip can cost you around 17-20€ per car with Kapten/Uber/Taxify services and takes 25-30 minutes). However, the two options by public transportation are also very handy:
1. Train from Rossio Train Station (Praça do Rossio) to Sintra Station, which takes around 40-45 minutes.
2. Train from Oriente Station (closer to Lisbon Airport) to Sintra Station, which takes around 45-50 minutes.
Once in Sintra, the best way to get to the main attractions is by Tuk-Tuk (ecologic one), although you can also access by foot.
Plan your Visit
Pena Palace, Moorish Castle and Quinta da Regaleira
Being part of Sintra Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these attractions are mandatory, and Pena Palace is still one of Portugal’s 7 Wonders.
Many tourists give priority to Palácio da Pena, for its colorful towers above the mountains, which is a truly unique sight.
However, you can’t leave Sintra without visiting Quinta da Regaleira, which is this luxurious park with lakes, tunnels and a romantic palace that makes us feel inside a fairy tale.
Even though having a much simpler architecture compared to the other two, Castle of the Moors does not stay behind on the amazing views, and definitely makes you feel part of the ancient history.
We would recommend starting your day by visiting Quinta da Regaleira which normally takes around 2h. Explore the amazing gardens and epic tunnels with a guided tour to know all the details.
After learning a bit about the history of one of the most famous spots in Sintra, it’s time to take a break and have lunch.
Enjoy the vintage spirit and get lost on the tiny, sloping streets of Sintra centre where you will definitely have to try the Queijadas and Travesseiros de Sintra, as well as the “Ginjinha”. There are two very famous places where you have to get these pastries, called Casa Piriquita (Casa I and Casa II). To warm up your throat take the Ginjinha, which is a Portuguese liqueur made out of ginja berries (served in normal cup or chocolate cup), that you can have for just 1€ in several shops in this historical centre!
In the afternoon, in order to enjoy the fact that there are fewer visitors, we would recommend visiting the Park and Pena Palace, which normally takes around 2h30.
To end the day on a high note, enjoy the sunset with the privileged view over the Atlantic Coast and Serra de Sintra from the Moorish Castle. This is just 12 min walking distance from the Pena Palace.
Please note that when you buy the Lisbon-Sintra Pass, you have free entrance to Park & Pena Palace and Moorish Castle, plus 20% discount for Quinta da Regaleira.
When you still have any questions please feel free to check our F.A.Q. here.