Things To Do In Sintra

August 14th 2023 in Guide
Things To Do In Sintra

Things To Do In Sintra

Often eclipsed by Lisbon and Algarve, Sintra gives you all the attractions you can hope for in a holiday. If you want some fantastic history and architecture, including castles and palaces, then this is the destination for you. Located on the outskirts of Lisbon, the Portuguese town is an excellent option for your stay, or even a day trip if you’re staying in the capital. Want relaxation? Then ensure you have Sintra's beaches on your list of places to visit in Portugal.

Suitable for the family, Sintra offers an adventure you’ll never forget.

Sintra Is An Unmissable Destination

Placed within the luscious green hills of Serra de Sintra, you won’t have to trek for long to discover its breathtaking architecture, including colourful villas and hidden 10th-century castles. There are plenty of interesting buildings in its hills to fill a day trip or two – just make sure to pack your walking boots!

You’ll truly feel as if you’ve entered a fairy tale when you discover the castle ruins and palaces waiting for you around each corner. If you’re an Instagram fiend, then the Sintra hills are bursting with Insta-worthy selfie spots, perfect for bragging about your holiday.

Even if history isn’t your thing, the hills are full of awe-inspiring trails and scenery for you to get lost amongst.

Worried there’s too much to pack in? Here are a few of our unmissable sites you definitely need to visit:

The Palácio Nacional de Pena

Often referred to as the Pena Palace, the national monument and is an example of elaborate Romantic architecture from the 19th century. Unlike other famed royal structures, the castle is full of colour, matching the earthy tones of many other Portuguese buildings.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of Portugal, the Pena Palace is very popular with tourists and it’s easy to see why.

When not visited by eager tourists, the Palácio Nacional is also used for state occasions by government officials.

Its history dates back to the Middle Ages when it was a monastery, however, it was acquired by royalty in the 19th century when it gained its colourful look. Whether you’re into history or aesthetics, the castle is a must-see.

The Quinta de Regaleira

Unmissable for gothic fans, this mansion comes with some impressive gardens if you’re in need of a leisurely stroll.

But don’t worry, there is plenty to find on your walk around the gardens. Secret passageways, mysterious symbols and even a Knight’s well will keep all the family entertained.

Sintra's Castle: The Castelo dos Mouros

If you can make it to the peak of the Sintra hills, then this is your reward. At the very top lays the remains of the Moorish Castle. The ruins cover the hills, with a history going back to the 10th century.

Snaking around the hills, this is the perfect opportunity to take in some history as well as the beautiful Portuguese landscape beneath you.

A very popular destination, the Castelo dos Mouros has helped historians to discover the forgotten past of its inhabitants as well as the castle itself. This is certainly a site you don’t want to miss.

Monserrate Palace

A little different from the other buildings on offer within the Sintra hills, the Monserrate Palace is a villa inspired by Arabian culture.

Whilst legend says the Pena Palace was erected after an apparition of the Virgin Mary, the Monserrate Palace is dedicated to Our Lady of Monserrate. Built in 1858, its walls are covered in intricate detail and sculptings.

What’s possibly more impressive is its gardens, which were purpose-built for the Portuguese climate. Now, over 3000 species live in its gardens because of this. Your challenge is to see how many you can find on your inevitable visit.

After all that walking, it’s not surprising if you need a bit of rest. Thankfully, Sintra’s coastline is perfect for a leisurely drive at the end of a long take, looking over its gorgeous views. The town is inundated with world-famous beaches and you’ll find yourself itching to return to one on a sunny day.

Many tourists consider Sintra as a perfect day trip, but you’ll now know there’s more than enough to dedicate a whole holiday there. Its short distance from Lisbon means that, if you do find yourself craving the buzz of the city, you can have the best of both worlds.