Sintra
Culture & History

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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: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

2. 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.

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

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

4. 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 villa that’s surrounded by an amazing natural park, a castle, beautiful palaces and chalets. Take a walk along the medieval streets of Sintra an drive through the national park and see the rare fauna, the unique trees, the Moorish castle, Monserrate Palace and the chalets. Visit Pena Palace, one of the most impressive expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in architecture 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 Freesmasons, Knights Templar and Rosicrucians. Continue on to the westernmost point of continental Europe at Roca Cape. Travel along the coast and embrace the Atlantic, and stop in Cascais and Estoril, once retreats for the royal family and the European aristocracy.

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: Hidden Gems Guided Walking Tour with Pastry

6. Sintra: Hidden Gems Guided Walking Tour with Pastry

Uncover the mysteries of Sintra and discover hidden gems on this guided walking tour of Sintra. Listen to local curiosities, legends, and secret stories from your guide.  Meet your friendly and passionate local guide outside Sintra train station. You will start your tour admiring the fantastic city hall building. Walking along the promenade towards the center of the village, admire the statues displayed along the way. After a brief stop at the Moorish fountain, head into the historical center. Now it's time to have a tasting of the typical pastry from Sintra, the famous Travesseiro. Enjoy the impressive views of Moorish castle from the National Palace. Next, head towards the Palace of Seteais, passing by the church of San Martinho, the oldest hotel on the Iberian Peninsula, and a small romantic waterfall. From the Palace de Setais, you can enjoy a fabulous view of the Pena Palace and the Atlantic Ocean. End the tour by visiting the impressive Quinta da Regaleira and explore its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Well.

From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour

7. From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour

Depart Lisbon and journey by air-conditioned, 8-seat vehicle to Pena Palace atop a rock overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Hear the romantic story of the palace and feel like a member of the Portuguese royal family. Then, head to Cabo da Roca for panoramic views from continental Europe’s westernmost point. Pass the stunning beaches of Cascais, including the scenic Praia do Guincho. Experience the mystery of the Devil's Mouth cave, created by the crashing of the waves on the rocky bluff. Stop in the elegant resort town of Cascais, favored by the nobles of Europe for its idyllic setting. Stroll along the harbor before traveling back to Lisbon.

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

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

To start this excursion, we have to go to Plaza Don Pedro IV, where our guides will be waiting for us at the fountain in front of the National Theater. In half an hour we will arrive at our first stop, Quinta da Regaleira. And, what is the Quinta da Regaleira? Well, they are gardens and a palace that we find in the heart of Sintra Park. It was built in the 20th century with a clear slogan: that the palace had all the artistic movements of the moment. The Quinta da Regaleira and the Palacio da Pena are just three kilometers away. We will go by bus and it will take us a quarter of an hour. This is also the best way to get to the Palacio da Pena, because staying here is at a high point. This castle was one of the favorite residences of the royal family throughout the 19th century. Contemplating it is like contemplating a fairytale castle, something magical that, not in vain, has made it the most famous monument in Sintra and the most visited place in Portugal. As a good castle that prides itself on being one, this one also has its history: originally this sumptuous palace was a convent of the Jerónimos, but when they left, Fernando II bought the ruins in which it had remained and built this castle to give it to him his wife, Maria II of Portugal. The name of the Palacio da Pena is not for any sad reason (this environment calls for everything but sorrow) but because of the name of the medieval chapel that stood here and was dedicated to Our Lady of Pena. We will go down to Sintra where we will have free time to eat. We will share with our guide the best ideas to eat in Sintra. Not only will he tell us the best proposals, adapted to all tastes, but he will tell us which dishes of Portuguese cuisine and the area we cannot miss! After lunch, our guided tour will begin, with which we will get to know the most important places in Sintra and a good part of its secrets and stories. And after all this, it's time to head to the last destination of this tour, Cascais. Cascais has always been linked to the royalty of Portugal, who spent the summer here since the 19th century, and to the most important landmarks in the country, largely due to its strategic position. Once we have arrived, we will walk through the places to see in Cascais in one day. This typical fishing village boasts of having some of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, 19th century mansions, museums and corners in which to recreate the past of this town so closely linked to the sea. To end this day, and before getting off the bus, we can enjoy a panoramic tour of Lisbon, where we will pass through some of the most emblematic points of the Portuguese capital, including the famous Torre de Belém. Do not miss the opportunity to get to know the surroundings of Lisbon, learn about its history, its traditions and its gastronomy, book now!

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

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

Start with a pickup from your hotel at around 9:00 AM and take the route to Queluz Palace. As a palace of the 18th-century, it was built as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza, who would later be her husband and King Consort of his niece, Queen Maria I Portugal. Stop to take pictures. Continue with the tour through the historic center of Sintra, where you can see the wonderful old streets and take pictures at the National Palace of Sintra and make a short walking tour. Continue with your tour to Regaleira, a romantic place for excellence. It is the result of the achievement of the myth magical dreams of its owner, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro (1848-1920). Stop for photos and visit its interior. Then, explore Pena Palace, the most extravagant Portuguese palace built on a rock with an altitude of 500 meters dominating the entire coast of Lisbon. The Arabic architecture and Manueline style present in this palace, give life to the pure Portuguese romanticism. Mandatory visit to Chalet of Edla Condess, and pass through Moors Castle, Seteais Palace and Mosserrate Palace. Next, go to Roca Cape, “where the land ends and the sea begins.” Dominating the tumultuous waters 140 meters high which beat noisily against the rocks. It offers superb views of the Atlantic Ocean at its most wild but before, you will make a stop at Adraga Beach for lunch. Nearby Cascais, you will find Hell’s Mouth. This gap in the rock is a giant canyon carved by the sea with the beating of the waves. A worthy spectacle to enjoy the sound of the waves reminding the devil’s voice growling and spitting squirts of water. Finally, the tour goes through Cascais fishing village since the 12th-century and so remained until today, a privileged place for the exiled European nobility during the two world wars, still keeping its glamour and architectural richness of other times. Return to Lisbon by following all along the coast through Estoril and Carcavelos admiring the immense beaches the coast offers. Expect to return back to Lisbon at 5:00 PM.

Sintra and Cascais: Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Travel Pass

10. Sintra and Cascais: Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Travel Pass

Get access to all the tourist lines and local bus routes in the towns of Sintra and Cascais with a 24-hour travel pass. Enjoy comfortable rides on air-conditioned buses to visit all the main landmarks in the area at your own pace. Hop on and off as many times as you wish for 24 hours without paying extra. Once you have finished visiting a landmark, simply catch the next bus and enjoy a comfortable journey to the next location. Discover the mesmerizing landmarks of the UNESCO Cultural Landscape of Sintra, including the stunning Quinta da Regaleira, the Moorish Castle, and the famous Pena Palace. Enjoy panoramic views of stunning locations such as Cabo da Roca and Guincho Beach as you explore the charming coastal town of Cascais and its surrounding area. Visit: • Cascais Bay • Boca do Inferno • Guia Lighthouse • Guincho Beach • Cabo da Roca • Moorish Castle • Pena Palace • Sintra Town Palace • Quinta da Regaleira Palace • Monserrate Palace • Azenhas do Mar

Frequently asked questions about Sintra Culture & History

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What people are saying about Sintra

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 7,718 reviews

The trip itself is amazing with all the history, agriculture, flora and monuments but Miguel helped it be an over the top experience. Very funny and quick witted!

Agnes and Paolo were excellent hosts and knowledgeable tour guides. Had a great time! Very friendly and would tour with them again!

excellant guide in Luis so flexible and accommodating. would definitely recommend this tour highly informative

Pedro was outstanding above and beyond all expectations… thank you so much

To see lot of different things under one day. 4 stops is ok.