Sintra: The Ultimate Travel Guide To Portugal’s Most Charming Town
Although everybody is aware of how rewarding a trip to Portugal is, most people tend to choose the obvious, most famous cities of the country to visit.
However, those who have done their research have chosen to visit the hidden gems of Portugal, one of which is Sintra, the country’s most charming town.
This little town is the perfect day trip destination from Lisbon and an unforgettable place whose beauty will stay in your mind forever.
In this article, we have put together the ultimate guide for your trip to Sintra with the best places to see and visit while you are there.
So, keep on reading below to learn more about this little Portuguese town that will steal your heart!
Places To Visit In Sintra
Sintra National Palace
The Sintra National Palace, situated in the center of the town and distinguished by its twin white towers, has much more to offer than it appears to.
This building was built in the 15th century, ranking it among Sintra’s older attractions.
Take also into account that this has been an official palace for hundreds of years, as well as the fascinating combination of architectural designs, and you have a fascinating sight.
Pena Palace And Park
The Pena Palace and Park is Sintra’s greatest and most beloved place. It is a unique, brightly painted yellow and red palace that looks like it belongs in Disneyland.
It might be hard to imagine that this palace is real, and yet its bold colors and unique architectural style dating back to 1854.
When you get there, you could either wander in the park and the palace’s courtyards or enter the palace and get a full tour.
If you are a nature lover, you will have a great time exploring the woods and flower beds in the park, while if you love architecture and design, you can explore the ornamental flooring and luxurious furniture inside the palace.
The magnificent Monserrate Palace is located west of the downtown area. While it is a few km far from Sintra’s major attractions, it is also among the most serene ones and unlike any other venue, you will visit.
Despite the fact that the present palace is not older than the other palaces, Monserrate Palace has the single most powerful Mudéjar Moorish Revival bearing out of all the attractions.
It also has a unique English affiliation, having had a lengthy list of English landlords throughout the centuries.
Castelo Dos Mouros
This hilltop castle was created by the Moors throughout their occupation of the area in the 9th century, but it ended up losing its value after the formation of the Portuguese kingdom.
Fortunately, the castle has been revived, and tourists can now wander along its walls, move up its towers, and enjoy the breathtaking views that it offers.
Quinta Da Regaleira
The Quinta da Regaleira, among the numerous villas that beautify the cliffs around Sintra, is an ostentatious gothic mansion with one extremely unique view that you have to enjoy.
The inside of this 20th-century mansion is incredibly regal and worth a walking tour, yet it is the mansion’s park with its underground caves and gardens that will truly mesmerize you.
Convent Of The Capuchos
The modest look of the Convent of the Capuchos is an intriguing juxtaposition to the elegance of the regional castles. But besides its modest look, this ancient chapel secreted deep in the dense forests is very compelling.
Moving Around In Sintra
Sintra is a small town, but its sights are all over it, so you’ll need to plan ahead of time how you’ll get around.
Some modes of transportation will be dependent on how you arrive, yet there are essentially three alternatives.
You Can Walk
There are many people who believe that the only way to know a place is to walk it. If you are one of them, then exploring Sintra on foot is the only way you can really appreciate this place.
While strolling through the city isn’t difficult, trying to climb the hillsides is more difficult.
Attractions like the Castelo dos Mouros might look as if it’s nearby when you look at the map but the road to get there is uphill and a bit demanding if you expect a leisurely walk.
If you are staying in Sintra for more than a day, walking is indeed the best way to explore the town, but if your time there is limited, perhaps you should choose public transportation or hire a car.
You Can Jump On The Tour Bus
Using the municipal tour buses that will transport you across all the sightseeing places in town is a more efficient and cost-effective method of getting around in Sintra.
There are numerous buses covering different itineraries in Sintra, so you’ll most likely have to jump on many of them in one day.
You Can Rent A Car
Lastly, if you are already planning a road trip to Sintra, it stands to reason to drive from one sightseeing to the next one on your checklist.
It will undoubtedly assist with isolated rural ones such as the Convent of the Capuchos.
However, keep in mind that the access roads that lead to many of Sintra’s places of interest located in the hills are much narrower and more challenging than the ones downtown.
So, if you are not confident driving on such roads, perhaps it’s best to park the car somewhere near and go on foot or visit the accessible sights by car and then take the tour bus to the remote locations.
The Bottom Line
The town of Sintra is the most charming of all in Portugal and a short visit there is enough to prove that (Also check out What To Pack For A Weekend In Lisbon?). However, if you can, try to spend the night there so that you can make the most out of what the city has to offer the next day too.
Alternatively, choose to explore the town and its remote attractions by bus or by car, as walking there will end up taking a lot of time.
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