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Whimsical and fanciful, Sintra, Portugal seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon – yet it is easy to reach on a Sintra Day Trip.
The Lisbon-to-Sintra train whisks passengers between the two cities in less than an hour, making it a popular Portugal tourist destination. Visitors can choose to embark on a fun Lisbon to Sintra day trip with a guide or on their own – and we are sharing top tips for both options.
Additionally, we are providing our detailed Day Trip from Lisbon to Sintra Itinerary that shows fellow travelers how they can plan their trip. Plus, we offer tips and need-to-know info about how to get there, how to get around, costs involved and what you will need to take with you when visiting Sintra from Lisbon.
Sintra Day Trip: Why Travelers Should Go
While there are numerous destinations for day trips from Lisbon, visiting Sintra ranks at the top (and for good reason!). Historic, beautiful and charming, the destination appeals to a wide range of visitors.
For centuries, Sintra has been a retreat used by Lisbon’s elite; they built the region’s sprawling estates and grandiose castles that are today’s main attractions. The historic and cultural landscape of Sintra has been so well-preserved that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The colorful palaces, fairytale forts and delightful gardens that dot the Sintra Cascais Natural Park are all open for tourists to explore.
Our Sintra Day Trip Guide highlights exactly what to see and do in Sintra – one of the most enthralling UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Portugal.
Things To Do in Sintra, Portugal
In order to plan the best day tour to Sintra from Lisbon (or choose the best tour), you need to know what to see in Sintra, Portugal!
As we mentioned above, visiting the beautiful palaces, historic forts and planned parks are the top Sintra things to do – but they are spread far and wide.
The Sintra region extends roughly 11 miles from the Old Town Sintra village to the picturesque coastline – and there are historic attractions scattered throughout the mountainous, tree-covered landscape.
That said, some of the very best things to do in Sintra are located within close proximity to the Sintra Station – making it very convenient for visitors on Lisbon day trips to Sintra to plan their own adventure.
Top Things To See in Sintra in One Day
The top attractions that most travelers want to see on a Lisbon to Sintra trip are the Pena Palace and Park, the Moorish Castle, Vila Sassetti, Regaleira Estate, the National Palace of Sintra and the historic Sintra Old Town.
These are the Sintra sights that are in close proximity to the Sintra Train Station and can be reached on foot or with the sightseeing bus.
We are highlighting each sight with a brief description along with ticket prices. You will find more information – about buying tickets, getting around and our itinerary for Sintra – later in the article.
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#1 Pena Palace – Palacio Nacional da Pena
The colorful, hill-topping Palace of Pena is the highlight of Sintra – and it’s not to be missed!
The Neo-Romantic palace incorporates parts of a previous chapel (Our Lady of Pena) and monastery that survived the 1755 Great Lisbon Earthquake. In the mid-1800s, King Consort Ferdinand II had the ruins converted into a royal summer residence.
Pena Palace was built in the Romantic style – but other elements, such as Medieval, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance and Islamic touches, can be observed throughout the property.
The Pena Palace interior is richly decorated and the terraces and watchtowers provide exceptional views of Sintra (all the way out to sea on clear days!).
Pena Palace + Park Tickets
Adult (18-64): €14 | Youth (6-17): €12.50 | Seniors (65+): €12.50 | Family (2 Adult + 2 Youth): €49
Note: As of 2023, tickets for the interior of the Pena Palace need to be purchased in advance with a specific date and time selected for your visit.
#2 Pena Palace Park
The expansive Palace of Pena Park encompasses more than 200 acres of land around the Pena Palace. The planned park features numerous statues, pleasant ponds and wonderful viewpoints.
Trees and plants from around the world decorate the garden – and a network of trails weave through the park. It’s a stunningly serene and exceptionally beautiful green space.
Pena Park Only Tickets
Adult (18-64): €7.50 | Youth (6-17): €6.50 | Seniors (65+): €6.50 | Family (2 Adult + 2 Youth): €26
#3 Moorish Castle – Castelo dos Mouros
Strategically located for defense purposes, the imposing Moorish Castle was constructed from the 8th to 10th centuries. Built by the Berbers (Moors) who controlled the territory at the time, the castle has been expanded and altered throughout history.
From the 12th century to the 15th century, the castle featured a chapel and was used more for religious functions than as a military fort. In 1840, King Consort Ferdinand II renovated the castle and, soon after, an archaeological investigation began.
Moorish Sintra Castle Tickets
Adult (18-64): €8 | Youth (6-17): €6.50 | Seniors (65+): €6.50 | Family (2 Adult + 2 Youth): €26
#4 Vila Sassetti Sintra
Built in the 1890s, Vila Sassetti was designed as the summer residence of Victor Carlos Sassetti, a wealthy hotel owner. After Sassetti’s death, the home passed through several entities – and both the compound and garden were expanded.
Inspired by castles in the Northern Italian region of Lombardy, the residence features a turret and terracotta decoration. Antique 17th century tiles are found on the outer wall near an entrance door.
Vila Sassetti Admission
Tickets are not required to visit the Vila Sassetti Estate. However, visitors are not permitted to go inside the building itself.
#5 Quinta da Regaleira Estate
The Regaleira Estate is named for the Viscountess of Regaleira, the original owner of the property, but it was Caralho Monteiro who transformed the land into the fairytale Sintra estate it is today.
Constructed between 1904 and 1910, the extraordinary complex includes an intricately decorated palace and chapel (both of which can be visited), as well as a hillside garden that is fraught with extravagant features. It’s simply fascinating and an absolute Sintra must-see!
Quinta da Regaleira Estate Tickets
Adult (18-64): €11 | Youth (6-17): €6 | Seniors (65-79): €6 | Senior or Child (80+ or <5): Free
#6 Palace of Sintra – Palacio de Sintra
Easily recognizable by the double cone chimneys, the historic Palace of Sintra was established sometime before the 10th century under Islamic Moorish rule. Destroyed, expanded and embellished over the years, the Palace of Sintra was used by the Portuguese royal family from the 15th to 19th centuries.
The iconic Portuguese royal residence palace is located in the heart of the Sintra old town.
National Sintra Palace Tickets
Adult (18-64): €10 | Youth (6-17): €8.50 | Seniors (65+): €8.50 | Family (2 Adult + 2 Youth): €33
#7 Sintra Town
The town of Sintra, which crawls up the hill toward the Moorish Castle, is quaint and beautiful. Cobblestone lanes and narrow alleys weave in between historic buildings, passing boutique shops and bakery cafes. Wander through the Sintra historic center and admire the architecture.
The Sintra Old Town is free to explore – no tickets required!
Pro Tip: We share more details about Sintra sightseeing tickets – including a combined Sintra Pass – later in the post.
More Tips of What To Do in Sintra, Portugal
Above, we outlined our top picks of what to see in Sintra in One Day. Detailed further in our Sintra Itinerary below, they are the most famous Sintra sights and are ideal Sintra destinations for first-time visitors.
However, there is much more to see in the region. Guests with a car, those staying in Sintra or anyone looking to make multiple trips to Sintra might want to add these attractions to their Sintra sightseeing itinerary.
Additionally, organized Sintra tours (which we outline later) include some of these attractions that are found further from the historic center of Sintra.
Founded on the site of an ancient chapel, Monserrate Palace was built in 1863, using Romanticism, Moorish Revival and Neo-Gothic elements. The property is surrounded by a large park that features grottos, ponds and exotic plants. Tickets required to enter.
The national landmark Seteais Palace was built in the late 1700s and expanded in the early 1800s. The neoclassical structure houses a luxury hotel and the restaurant offers a decadent Portuguese Afternoon Tea. Visitors are welcome to enter the hotel and dine at a restaurant.
Sintra to Cabo da Roca
Cape Roca is the westernmost point of Portugal (and the European continent) – and can be reached from Sintra by car, bus or bike. Steep cliffs and weathered rocks line the coast and the prominent red lighthouse is one of the oldest in the country.
Seaside Cascais is an inviting tourist town famous for its beaches and dramatic coastline. Long a summertime escape for Lisbon’s wealthy, Cascais exudes a posh ambiance. It’s 10 miles from Sintra and it takes just 20 minutes to get from Sintra to Cascais.
Top Tip: While it is possible for visitors to create their own DIY tour to Sintra and Cascais, we don’t recommend it without a car.
There are a handful of small museums in Sintra that visitors might want to see during their day tour of Sintra. These museums charge a small fee during the summer season and may even be free to visit during the off season.
Natural History Museum
The Sintra Natural History Museum opened in 2009 and is a interesting place to see for families planning a Sintra day trip with kids. The artifacts on display belonged to the private collection of Miguel Barbosa. Top attractions include fossils and a Big Bang simulation.
Ferreira de Castro Museum House
The museum celebrates the writings of author Ferreira de Castro – and displays some of his personal affects.
Anjos Teixeira Museum House
A small, 4-room museum showcasing the sculptures of father-and-son artists, Artur and Pedro Anjos Teixeira.
Leal da Camara Museum House
Home of Portuguese caricaturist, Tomas Leal da Camara, the tiny museum shares the story of his life and works.
MU.SA Sintra Museum of Art
An array of artworks housed in a beautiful old casino building. Exhibitions range from sculptures to photographs to contemporary works.
Tour or DIY Day Trip: Sintra from Lisbon
Now that you know what to see on Lisbon day trips to Sintra, you need to decide if you want to join an organized Sintra tour or plan a Sintra visit on your own.
Organized Lisbon to Sintra Tour
Organized Lisbon tours offer an easy way to visit Sintra. When you join a tour, you don’t need to worry about the specifics. All the plans for your one day in Sintra are orchestrated by your tour guide.
That said, organized day trips to Sintra from Lisbon can be expensive. Furthermore, participants are kept to a regimented schedule and will likely have little time to explore on their own.
Best Organized Lisbon Day Tours to Sintra
We are highlighting a few of the best guided Sintra tours from Lisbon. Bear in mind that while these Lisbon excursions visit Sintra as a highlight of the tour, they often include multiple destinations.
For example, there are day trips from Lisbon, Portugal that visit both Sintra and Cascais in one day.
On the other hand, very few guided Lisbon to Sintra tours include all of the best sights in Sintra – instead only visiting the Pena Palace and Sintra Old Town and then moving on to the next destination. Before booking one of the day trips from Lisbon to Sintra, make sure you understand what sights will be included.
Sintra Cascais Tour Options
Lisbon visitors who want to see both Sintra and Cascais can join one of the many tours that makes stops in both destinations.
On a popular day trip from Lisbon to Sintra and Cascais, participants visit the Pena Palace in Sintra, Roca Cape coastline and Cascais Beach. Read the Reviews!
On a similar Sintra daytrip, guests can visit both Sintra and Cascais – but this tour also includes visiting both the Pena Palace and Regaleira Estate in Sintra. Book it here!
Private Sintra Half Day Tour or Full Day Tour
On a Private Sintra Tour, guests can let their guide know exactly what they want to see – without having to sort it all out.
Visitors can embark on one of the half-day Sintra private tours that allows guests to completely customize the tour. Choose which sights you want to see within a 4-hour timeframe on this Sintra guided tour. Find out more about a personalized half day trip to Sintra from Lisbon!
Alternatively, book a private guided tour from Lisbon to Sintra for the entire day – allowing for much more sightseeing. Learn more about private tours from Lisbon to Sintra!
Sintra, Cascais, Belem and Lisbon City Tour
Visitors short on time can join a guide for a full-day private tour of the best of Lisbon and the surrounding area. Guests begin by exploring Sintra, then travel along the coastline to Cascais and Estoril before arriving at Belem to see those sights. End the day discovering Lisbon’s Alfama district with a tour guide leading the way through the narrow streets. Get the details!
Sintra Day Trip Tuk Tuk Tour
Visitors who make their own way to Sintra – but want a personal tour guide to the best viewpoints – should consider taking the Sintra Tuk Tuk Tour. While this 2.5-hour tour does not enter any of the attractions, it does offer a good overview of the region led by a professional Sintra tourist guide. Get tour info!
DIY Tours to Sintra from Lisbon
While organized trips to Sintra from Lisbon are great for many travelers, they are not for everyone. Visitors on a budget – and those who simply like touring at their own pace – can plan their own day trip to Sintra.
Personally, we think the very best Sintra day tours from Lisbon are ones that you plan on your own.
If you are wondering how to visit Sintra from Lisbon on your own, the following information is exactly what you need! We share a copious number of details for planning your own Lisbon day trip to Sintra in our comprehensive Sintra Trip Guide.
Why We Created a 1 Day in Sintra Guide
On our first Lisbon to Sintra day trip, we failed miserably. Without doing prior research, we arrived late in the afternoon from Cascais without a clue of what to do in Sintra. We spotted the cylindrical cones of the Sintra Palace and strolled in that general direction.
Somewhat predictably, when we arrived at the palace doors it was closed for the day. We wandered aimlessly through the Old Town of Sintra, popping into a few souvenir shops, stopping at a café for a glass of wine and wondered what all the fuss was about. It was only then that we spotted the faint outline of the Moorish Castle and the vague silhouette of Pena Palace perched far up the hills behind us. “Ohhhhhhhh…”
At dusk, we followed the hordes of people (“Where did they all come from?”) back to the Sintra train station to catch the next Lisbon train. To sum it up: It was the worst planned day trip to Sintra…ever.
Sintra Tour from Lisbon (Take 2)
On a return trip to Lisbon, we were determined to complete a successful Sintra day tour. We researched the top things to do in Sintra, Portugal a few days prior. We made a list of Sintra sightseeing destinations and nearly memorized the Lisbon to Sintra train timetable.
Because of our detailed planning, our second Sintra day tour from Lisbon went off without a hitch! Not only did we see the highlights and enjoy the nature, but our trip was incredibly affordable when compared to the cost of a guided Lisbon-Sintra tour.
Now, we are sharing our detailed Sintra day trip itinerary to help other travelers enjoy their day trip to Sintra from Lisbon.
How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip to Sintra
Before we jump into the outline of places to visit in Sintra on a day trip, we need to cover a few important details. Planning ahead is key to having a successful Sintra day trip from Lisbon.
Therefore, in addition to our timeline Sintra Itinerary, we first need to cover important information for Sintra day trips. In this guide, we share how to get to Sintra, essential Sintra transport info, admission ticket tips, how to prepare for a Sintra day trip and the cost of a DIY Sintra tour.
How to Get to Sintra from Lisbon
If you are wondering how to get from Lisbon to Sintra – don’t worry. Getting to Sintra from Lisbon is actually easy. Simply hop on the direct Lisbon-Sintra train at the Rossio Train Station in Lisbon city center and depart at the final stop, Sintra Station.
The train to Sintra (sometimes called the Rossio-Sintra Train) is a commuter train used by both locals going to/from work and tourists going on day trips from Lisbon by train.
A second Lisbon train line originating at the Oriente Station also terminates at Sintra Train Station. The Oriente-Sintra line is likely not as convenient for most Lisbon tourists, but it’s best to check both routes for the closest station to your Lisbon accommodations.
Current Lisbon to Sintra train times can be found online at the official Comboios de Portugal (CP) website and in this PDF of the Lisbon to Sintra Train Schedule (2023).
Sintra to Lisbon Train for the Return Trip
Catching the Sintra to Lisbon train for your ride back to the city is just as easy as the train ride to Sintra – but we do have a couple of tips!
At the Sintra Railway Station, check the board to ensure you get on the correct Lisbon-bound train! If you want to end in the Lisbon city center, board the Rossio train. Trains run late into the night, with the last train from Sintra to Lisbon departing after midnight at 12:20am.
What Does the Lisbon to Sintra Train Cost?
Train fares are calculated by the number of zones you travel through. Passengers traveling from Rossio or Oriente to Sintra will cross 4 zones. Find a complete fare explanation here – and use our tips below to help determine which Sintra train ticket is best for your trip.
Single Lisbon-Sintra Ticket
Single train tickets for Sintra day trips from Lisbon can be purchased from the machine or at the counter and cost €2.30. If the train from Lisbon to Sintra is the only public transport you will be using in on your trip to Lisbon, then single tickets are the best option.
Viva Viagem Green Card
Fares can also be paid by using the Viva Viagem Transport Card – and the ride costs less if you use the ‘Zapping’ fare. The cost of the Viagem card is €.50, but you need to pre-load it (in increments of €3, 5, 10, 15, 25) and each traveler needs their own card. When using the card, make sure to ‘Tap On’ before boarding the train. You will also be required to ‘Tap Out’ to exit the train station in Sintra.
The benefit of the Viva Viagem Card is that is can also be used for discounted fares on other methods of Lisbon transport. For example, paying cash for the Lisbon tram costs €3, but with the card it is only €1.35. It can also be used to ride the ferry across the Tagus River if you’re visiting Cristo Rei.
Top Tip: Buy – and top up – a pre-paid Viagem Card the day before you travel to Sintra to avoid long lines (and possibly missing your desired train) on the morning of your trip.
Another way to get to Sintra by train is to purchase the Tourist TravelCard fare, which is also loaded onto the Viva Viagem Card. The fare can be used for unlimited travel for 24 or 72 hours for a flat rate.
Sintra Green Card All-Inclusive One Day Pass
A NEW Sintra day pass is now available for visitors planning a DIY Sintra, Portugal day trip. The Sintra Green Card is an all-in-one pass that includes the Lisbon train to Sintra – plus transport in Sintra and entry into some sights.
We will discuss this is more detail under the Tips for Sintra Tickets section.
FAQs for How to Get to Sintra from Lisbon
Now we’ll answer a few of the most frequently asked questions for the train to Sintra from Lisbon.
How Far is Sintra from Lisbon?
The distance from Lisbon to Sintra is about 30km (18 miles). It takes 40 minutes for the train to travel from Rossio Station to Sintra. The Oriente-Sintra train takes about 10 minutes longer. From our experience with trains in Portugal, they’re not particularly punctual.
Can I Buy a Reserved Train Seat Online?
No. There is no reserved seating on the Lisbon to Sintra train.
Is There a Bus from Lisbon to Sintra?
Getting from Lisbon to Sintra is possible by bus, but the route takes longer and costs about the same price. The best way to get to Sintra from Lisbon is by train.
How to Get Around Sintra on a Day Trip
Once you are actually in Sintra, Portugal, there are multiple ways to get around, including walking, buses, taxis, mini cars, tuk tuks and bikes. When we were determining the best (as in, easiest and cheapest) methods of getting around Sintra, we compared the benefits of the Sintra Hop On Hop Off Bus, the Sintra Bus Line 434 and using our own two feet.
Sintra Walking Trails
The top Sintra things to do are linked together by intertwining trails through forested nature parks. The paths allow visitors to create their own Sintra walking tour from sight-to-sight.
Not only is it free to walk on the paths between the sights, but it’s also less chaotic and requires zero time standing in lines. (Because, there will be lines for the Sintra sightseeing buses.)
That said, the region is covered in hills – and the uphill walk can be strenuous. Relatively fit people with good walking shoes shouldn’t have any issue, but rainy season can make the dirt paths muddy and the summer heat can make for an arduous trek.
Top Tip: Get a map of the Sintra Pedestrian Path from the tourist office.
Sintra Bus 434
The 434 Sintra Bus is an economical and fairly straight-forward way to get to the sights in Sintra without walking. The Sintra tourist bus route, Circuito da Pena, departs from the train station (Sintra Estacao) and makes stops at the important Sintra sights.
The route includes stops at the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace. Passengers can choose a one-way ticket or a Loop Ticket, which allows passengers to disembark and re-board at each stop, but only in order.
Important Note: Loop Ticket passengers will want to visit the Moorish Castle first and then Pena Palace (which differs from our recommended 1 Day Sintra Itinerary outlined below).
Bus 434 departs frequently (usually every 15 minutes) from directly outside the train station (just follow everyone else and remember your patience). If buying a one-way or Loop ticket, fares are purchased from the driver. Payment is still with cash, so it is useful to have exact change.
Sintra Bus Route 435
Another Sintra Bus, 435, makes stops at four palaces: National Palace, Regaleira Palace, Seteais Palace and Monserrate Palace. This Sintra hop-on-hop-off bus offers the entire route for a single ticket.
This route is economical way to travel to these palaces, but only if you plan on going to Seteais and Monserrate (which we do not include in our one-day Sintra itinerary). While the route does make a stop at Regaleira (which is included in our one-day Sintra tour), the estate is only a short walk from the city center and can easily be reached on foot.
The Sintra bus company, Scotturb, also sells a daily tourist ticket that is good on all of their routes. However, we can’t imagine how a first-time, day-trip visitor from Lisbon could get adequate use out of it, unless skipping the main sights for the lesser-visited ones.
Hop On Hop Off Sintra Bus
The red Sintra sightseeing bus runs two convenient routes. Perks of the bus include an open-air upper deck, free on-board wifi and pre-recorded commentary about the sights. Visitors can choose where and when to hop on and off to see Sintra attractions.
Visitors with mobility issues and those who are only interested in exploring 1 or 2 sights, but are eager to see the area may find value in the official Sintra Hop On Hop Off Bus.
Sintra Day Trip Sightseeing Car
Travelers who want to go further afield, but want to move at their own pace, can hire a compact e-car that features GPS enabled commentary about the sights and region. Fellow travelers proclaim that these cars are easy to drive and park – making it simple to get around on your day tour in Sintra. Learn more about the sightseeing talking cars of Sintra!
Sintra Self Guided Tour via E-Bike
One of the things that makes it difficult to get around Sintra is all of the hills – but not with an e-Bike! Sintra day trippers can rent an e-Bike for the day to explore not only the sights of Sintra, but all the way to the coast. Travelers can choose from pre-set routes or create their sightseeing tour. Reserve your e-Bike here.
The Best Way To See Sintra Sights
We think the best way to see Sintra is a combination of bus and walking. We recommend buying the one-way ticket on Route 434 at the bus/train station. You will save time and energy by riding uphill to Pena Palace – and then walk between the sights the rest of the day.
However, ambitious travelers and nature lovers can bypass the bus and just hike the entire park!
Top Tip: Do not use the road to walk to the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace! Although Google Maps does not show the hiking trail, there is a path that leads to both.
About Exploring Sintra Sights
It is important to note that taking the bus – or anything with wheels – will not completely eliminate the need to walk in Sintra. After passing the gates, sights like the Palace of Pena and the Moorish Castle, still require a long walk to actually enter them.
Additionally, the parks at both the Pena Palace and the Regaleira Estate are part of the attraction and really shouldn’t be missed. Even if you plan on using a bus to get between Sintra sights, be prepared for some walking.
Sintra Tickets Tips
Tickets are required for almost all Sintra sightseeing – including most of the sights on our Sintra Itinerary. Although they are not individually expensive, the prices do add up – so we are sharing some advice about buying tickets for Sintra attractions.
Buy Sintra Tickets Online
Buying your Sintra tickets online saves time and hassle on the day of your trip, but also costs less.
Tickets for the Parques de Sintra Monte da Lua sights – including the Pena Palace, Moorish Castle and Sintra Palace – can be purchased on the official park website for a 5% discount.
Keep in mind that if you plan to go inside Pena Palace, it is required that you purchase tickets in advance for a specific date and time.
Pena Park Only tickets, however, cannot be purchased online and are just available in person on the day of your trip.
Quinta da Regaleira Estate tickets are available on their own website or in person.
Pro Tip: The above is our recommended way to purchase tickets for Sintra and how we online our itinerary below.
Sintra Combined Ticket
The best way to buy Sintra tickets combined is via the Sintra Green Card (which we mentioned in the above section on How To Go To Sintra from Lisbon).
The all-in-one card is inclusive of train fare to and from Sintra, transport in Sintra on the circuit sightseeing bus – plus entry into select sights.
The Sintra Green Card 1 includes admission into Pena Palace and Park, the Sintra Palace and one Sintra Museum. It costs €31 and can only be purchased at Lisbon train stations (including Rossio Train Station) on the day of your Sintra Day Trip (not in advance).
Is the Combined Ticket Sintra Card Worth It?
We have mixed feeling about whether or not it is worth it to purchase the combined Sintra Day Ticket. It does save a couple of euros to buy the Sintra Pass over purchasing tickets individually on the day of your trip. However, it only makes sense if you are planning to use the circuit bus to everywhere and intend on visiting a pass-included museum.
It’s important to note that the museum options included with the pass normally only charge 1 or 2 euros to enter (and, honestly, they are not highlights of a Sintra day trip).
Furthermore, visitors who want to visit the Moorish Castle and Regaleira Estate will need to purchase those tickets separately (which defeats the purpose of an ‘all-in-one Sintra pass’).
On the other hand, travelers seeking an easy one-time purchase – and are interested in visiting the sights included with the pass – will likely find it to be beneficial. Check the details and decide if this Sintra special offer is of value to you.
Note about a Previous Offer for Tickets to Sintra
We are mentioning this combo ticket to Sintra because many websites still recommend it, although we have found no evidence of it being offered anylonger.
Guests could purchase a discounted, Sintra combination ticket for the Parques de Sintra Monte da Lua sights: The Pena Palace (plus Park), Moorish Castle and National Palace of Sintra.
Visitors who bought the Sintra tickets combined – all three tickets at the same time – got a 6% discount. If you purchased two sights on the Sintra Combination Ticket, a 5% discount was applied. The Regaleira Estate was not included in the Sintra combination ticket.
Please let us know if you find this combo ticket available on your trip to Sintra!
Lisbon Day Pass
The Lisbon Card entitles you to discounted admission to some of the best things to do in Sintra. Plus, the Lisbon Card also provides discounts on some organized Lisbon-Sintra Tours. Be aware, however, that different Lisbon city passes offer different discounts – so check before purchasing to see if it offers the Sintra discounts you expect.
One Day in Sintra Itinerary (Plus Trip Cost)
Our trip to Sintra includes a timeline of the perfect DIY Sintra day trip – beginning with a few essential tasks that need to be completed the day before.
On our Sintra full day tour, we offer a step-by-step plan to get the most out of your visit. We include information about each stop and how to travel from sight-to-sight, as well as a Sintra map of attractions that includes all the attractions.
The Day Prior to Your Sintra Day Trip
The day before you set off on a day trip to Sintra, get prepared.
If you plan on visiting the inside of Pena Palace, be sure to book your time slot! Buy your Sintra tickets to attractions online so that you won’t have to wait in long lines when you arrive.
Buy food for a picnic lunch and other snacks. Top up (or buy) your Viva Viagem Transport Card so that getting on the Sintra train from Lisbon is a breeze in the morning.
Stop at the Lisbon Tourist Information Office to get pamphlets for your trip (these are also available at ticket offices in Sintra if you don’t have time to pick one up in advance).
Finally, we found that reading up on the history of Sintra on wiki gave us a better appreciation of the region.
Start Your Day Trip: Hop Aboard a Lisbon to Sintra Train
Embark on your Sintra trip! Rossio Train Station Map.
In order to make the most of the day, visitors need to be on one of the early trains from Lisbon. To allow for a full day in Sintra, we recommend being on a train that departs around 8am.
If you are taking public transport to get to Rossio Station (or any other station), give yourself plenty of time for connections. Buses and trains don’t always run on time – and a late arrival by bus could result in missing your Rossio to Sintra train.
Top Tip: If you do miss the first train, don’t fret! Just get on the next one and keep an eye on the time throughout the day.
Arrive in Sintra, Portugal and Hop on a Bus
Sintra Train Station Map. When you arrive at the Sintra railway station, you will need your Viagem Card to tap out, so keep it handy. There will likely be lines to exit the station, as there are limited exit points. There is a toilet inside the station, which costs €.50 to use.
Exit the station through the main building and find the 434 Bus Stop (to the right). Purchase a one-way ticket from the driver and ride to Pena Palace.
Top Tip: Sights open at 9:30am and the first Sintra Bus 434 leaves the station at 9:15am. All sights have free toilets, but not all have potable water.
Pena Palace Map. Pena Palace is the best place to visit in Sintra. It is typically crowded by mid-day, so make it the first stop of your day trip to Sintra. Allow 3 hours to visit the Palace of Pena and adjoining garden (or 2 hours if you are only visiting the castle exterior, grounds and park).
All visitors – even Park Only ticket holders – can (and should) walk up the ramp to explore the incredible details of the exterior of the Pena Castle.
Key points of interest include the Coat of Arms (above the second archway leading up to the castle), the main façade geometric tiles, the intricate Triton (Half-Man Half-Fish) creature above the entrance, the watchtowers, the west-facing balcony and the Wall Walk.
To Visit or Not To Visit the Pena Palace Interior
The inside of Pena Palace is lavishly decorated with decorative tiles, luxurious furniture and special touches. Visitors have access to the main rooms – including the King and Queen bedrooms, the dining room, kitchen and Noble Hall.
Determining whether or not to visit the interior of the Pena Palace should be based on your personal interests, Sintra timeframe and overall budget.
Personally, we opted to skip visiting the Pena Palace interior – as there were so many other sights we wanted to fit into our Sintra Day Trip Itinerary. You will need to decide for yourself whether or not to include it on your trip to Sintra.
Top Tip: Remember that visitors need to buy Sintra Pena Palace Tickets for the interior of the palace in advance online.
After exploring the palace (at least the outside of it), start your exploration of the adjoining Palace of Pena Park.
Pena Palace Park
Take a leisurely stroll through the park, finding your way along twisting paths, around picture-perfect lakes and up to viewpoints. Hidden among the lush grounds are statues, sculptures and grottos.
While we think it is best to simply enjoy the gardens and see what you stumble upon, top sights to track down are the Temple of Columns, Warrior Statue and High Cross (Cruz Alta) scenic viewpoint.
Work your way downhill to the Valley of Lakes (pictured above) and exit the park – then walk (slightly uphill) to the Moorish Castle.
Moorish Castle Map. Travelers interested in historic sights and epic views will not want to miss the Moorish Castle, which is the next stop on our Sintra One Day Itinerary. Castle of the Moors Tickets allow access to all parts of the castle grounds and it is best to buy tickets in advance.
Inside the Moorish Castle, visitors are free to explore the grounds, towers and walls. (Allow at least 1 hour).
The Castle Keep provides incredible views of the Old Town of Sintra and out to sea, while the Royal Tower overlooks the Palace of Pena. Spend time taking in the panoramic views, visiting the Cistern and learning about the history of the castle.
Take note of the different flags flying from the towers; each represents a different ruler.
When you depart the castle, rather than exiting through the archway to the main road, detour to the right onto the Sintra Pedestrian Path.
Sintra Forest Path
The Sintra Forest Pedestrian Path (which is not recognized on Google Maps) is a little forest trail – and the direct way to get to the next sight on our 1 Day Itinerary for Sintra, Vila Sassetti. Allow a half hour to walk from the Castle to the Vila.
There is no fee or ticket required to walk on the path. The trailhead is on the right through an arch just before exiting the Moorish Castle to the street.
The nature trail, which initially runs parallel to the road, leads to a simple viewing platform. Stop and take in the grandeur of the magnificent Moorish Castle before heading down the stairs and continuing through the forest.
The path winds around the base of the Penedo da Amizade – a towering 150-foot sheer cliff face, which is used for recreational rock climbing. The route passes through two doorways and then begins a decent of switchbacks through gardens.
Follow the serpentine path down to Villa Sassetti.
Villa Sassetti Sintra
Vila Sassetti Map. Not nearly as popular as other tourist attractions in Sintra, you likely won’t have any crowds to contend with at Vila Sassetti. There is no fee or ticket required to visit the grounds of Vila Sassetti. Allow 15 minutes.
Admire the quaint, stone residence – making sure to see the antique tiles near the door that date to the 17th century. Then, step into the surrounding tranquil garden.
Continue walking down the sloping path to Estrada da Pena street. Go right to the intersection and then turn left on R. Mal. Saldanha. Carefully walk along the side of the road; you will pass the Cascata de Pisoes waterfall and the Regaleira Estate exit. Continue following the road around the corner to the left and uphill to the Quinta da Regaleira entrance. The walk will take about 20 minutes.
Quinta da Regaleira Estate
Regaleira Estate Map. An absolutely fascinating property, we think Regaleira Estate is a must on your day trip to Sintra. Tickets, pamphlets and audio guides are purchased just inside the main gate (or online before your trip). Allow 2-3 hours.
Start your tour of the Regaleira estate complex inside the mansion and chapel – then discover the sights that are sprinkled (and sometimes a bit hidden) throughout the garden. In addition to the fountains, ponds and towers, the land is riddled with a network of tunnels (which are open to be explored – just bring a flashlight!).
The most intriguing sights at Quinta da Regaleira are the Initiation Wells – or Inverted Towers. Never used as water wells, stairs spiral underground and provide access to the tunnels.
After exploring the grounds of the Regaleira Estate, retrace your steps toward town. At the fork in the road, bear left onto R. Consiglieri Pedroso and follow it to the National Palace of Sintra. Map Route.
Sintra Old Town and the Palace of Sintra
Palace of Sintra Map. The Portuguese palace is a recognizable landmark in the center of historic Sintra. Allow 1 hour to visit the National Palace interior and 1 hour to tour the town of Sintra.
Start your visit admiring the grand, white Sintra Palace with its cone chimneys (and decide whether or not to go inside), then spend time exploring the heart of town.
To Visit or Not To Visit the Sintra Palace Interior
Not as colorful or embellished as the flashy Pena Palace, the National Sintra Palace is a place of royal history. All of Portugal’s kings and queens resided in the palace until 1910, when the last monarch left in exile.
Now a Portuguese national monument, visitors can tour the spacious palace rooms where furniture, paintings and a collection of artifacts are on display.
We skipped visiting the interior of the National Palace of Sintra based on fellow traveler’s reviews. During this visit to Portugal in the winter, we learned that many of the rooms were vacant or closed and all of the rooms lacked informational plaques.
Tickets are required to enter the palace (and can be purchased online in advance), but the pretty garden, Jardim da Preta, is a free Sintra attraction!
Sintra Town and Treats at Casa Piriquita
Tour the lanes of Sintra and pop into the shops or stop at a café for a refreshment.
Visitors can get a taste of the Portuguese liquor, Ginja, at Pateo das Laranjas. However, we highly recommend finding the famous Casa Piriquita for a classic Sintra sweet treat.
Founded in 1862, the Casa Piriquita churns out delectable sweets that are legendary in Sintra. The shop is just across the street from the palace (Map).
The original owners and bakers were well-known for their Queijadas – a small confection made using requeijao cheese, eggs, milk and sugar. In the 1940s, the founder’s granddaughter created a new pastry, the Travesseiro. Often referred to as the Sintra Pillow Pastry, the recipe for the rectangular, cream-filled pastry is kept secret.
We recommend buying one of each and enjoying them on the Sintra Palace steps!
Your Sintra day trip is coming to a close, but on your way to the station for the train to Lisbon, stroll through the Sintra historic center and admire the architecture.
Our favorite building is the Camara Municipal de Sintra – Town Hall – which has several unique features, including an ornate clock tower and tiled roof (Map).
Sintra Train Station
After a full day of discovering Sintra, it’s time to head back to Lisbon!
Make your way back to the Sintra railway station for the next train to Lisbon. Make sure to get on the Rossio Station train if you are heading into the Lisbon city center.
Cost of a DIY Sintra Day Trip
For budget-conscious travelers, it might help to see the total cost of a day trip to Sintra – including transit to Sintra from Lisbon and entry fees into Sintra attractions.
- Lisbon to Sintra Train Via Viagem Card: €1.90 (Single Ticket Ride: €2.30)
- Sintra Bus 434 One-Way: €4.10
- Sintra to Lisbon Train: €1.90 (Single Ticket Ride: €2.30)
- Pena Palace €14 (or Pena Park Only: €7.50)
- Moorish Castle: €8
- Regaleira Estate: €11
- Sintra Palace: €10
- Piriquita Pastries: €2.30
Add up all the sights you intend to see and transit you plan to use to figure the total cost a Sintra Day Trip DIY style.
With single ride train tickets and visiting all attractions, plus pastries, our Total Cost of Sintra Day Trip = €54 per person.
Remember that purchasing tickets online in advance for Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle and Sintra Palace will result in a small discount, making the total cost slightly less.
Sintra Tourist Map
Before you travel from Lisbon to Sintra, we highly recommend that you get a map of Sintra places to visit from the tourist office. However, you can use our Map of Sintra Attractions below – or this link to Google Maps – to locate the top sights!
What You Will Need for your Sintra, Portugal Day Trip
Sintra trips from Lisbon are a lot more enjoyable if you are prepared with necessities. Don’t visit Sintra, Portugal without these essential items!
Walking Shoes for Visiting Sintra from Lisbon
With hilly terrain and expansive sights, comfortable and functional travel shoes are a requirement for your one day trip to Sintra from Lisbon. Hiking boots are not necessary, but a good pair of shoes with a slip-resistant sole are. I like these shoes by Columbia and Kris prefers these by Merrell.
Water Bottle for your Sintra Day Trip Tour
Make sure to bring plenty of water with you on your tour to Sintra from Lisbon; we recommend carrying a liter of water per person. There are some places to refill water bottles (but look for signs to make sure the water is potable).
Sunscreen, Wide Brimmed Hat, Umbrella
Many of the top sights in Sintra are outdoors, which means you need to prepare for the elements. In the summertime, be sure to bring sunscreen and a wide-brimmed travel hat. In the winter and spring, bring a travel umbrella or packable rain jacket.
Travel Camera for Sintra One Day Trip
Sintra is super photogenic – so don’t forget your camera! Although phone cameras can capture the beauty of the town, it’s far better to upgrade to a real travel camera. We always travel with a Canon Rebel, which is a great budget DSLR camera, and use a 18-135mm zoom lens.
There are places to eat during your Sintra one day tour, but you can save time and money by packing a picnic lunch. Get basic items – like fruit, bread, meat and cheese – from the grocery store in Lisbon and have a picnic during your Sintra day trip.
We found an incredible place to eat our picnic lunch: the tallest turret at the Pena Palace. The location couldn’t be beat!
A Sintra to Lisbon Day Trip Day Pack
It’s best to carry a day pack for your trip so that you can keep your items secure. Like in most tourist towns, pickpockets are a problem…so it’s best to keep your valuables zipped up!
A great day bag is the best place for your wallet, tickets and any souvenirs you pick up along the way. We also recommend bringing a small first-aid kit – just a few band-aids, pain relief pills and allergy meds. You wouldn’t want a headache, blisters or pollen ruining your day!
Portugal Travel Insurance
Travel insurance can come in handy when the unexpected happens. If you haven’t already purchased trip insurance, consider traveling protected with World Nomads.
Patience for your Day Trip to Sintra
Patience may be the most important thing you will need for your day trip to Sintra! Crowds are inevitable. We encountered lines to exit the train station, lines to board the bus and lines to buy tickets…and we visited Sintra in the wintertime on a weekday. It’s best to take a deep breath, relax and roll with it.
More Lisbon, Portugal Travel Tips
Lisbon is a fascinating city with so much to see and do! Use our guides to help plan your absolute best trip!
- How To Spend 3 Days in Lisbon
- The Best Lisbon Viewpoints
- Top Churches To Visit in Lisbon
- Free Things To Do in Lisbon
- Christmas in Lisbon
Planning a Trip to Portugal
Stay on top of all your Portugal trip details with our printable Travel Planner!
Also Visiting Porto? Great! Be sure to check out our complete Porto Itinerary and our step-by-step Free Porto Walking Tour – and use our tips on where to get the most amazing Porto Food and the Best Craft Beer in Porto!
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