Visit Sintra, a lovely and picturesque village close to Lisbon! It is located in the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais and it extends in the north part to the mountains “of the moon” Mons Lunae. The city is full of artistic and historical testimonies. In fact, there are villas, castles and palaces with colorful domes and towers.
Visit Sintra in an outdoor natural setting with a mild climate all year round! Sintra strikes the visitor due to its colorful and eccentric architecture, but also for its scenery. Therefore it became, along with the city itself, a UNESCO heritage. Through the centuries, Sintra has managed to preserve an authentic and, at the same time, fairytale charm. It was also chosen by the Portuguese rulers and aristocrats for their stays during the summer.
Sintra is compared to a paradise in Lord Byron’s work, in the poem “Childe Harolds Pilgrimage”:
“Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes
In variegated maze of mount and glen.
Ah me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen,
To follow half on which the eye dilates
Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken
Than those whereof such things the bard relates,
Who to the awe-struck world unlocked Elysium’s gates?”
Visit Sintra: things to do
When you visit Sintra some picturesque narrow streets connect the three most interesting areas:
- First of all there is Sintra Vila, the ancient city, with its cobbled streets lined, locals, ornamental fountains, museums, including the Toy Museum and sights of the valley and the hills. The most important monument is the majestic Palacio Nacional de Sintra, a royal palace of the XIV famous for an imposing staircase and some Gothic arches.
- Estefania instead houses a large public park that develops between the railway station and the city.
- Sao Pedro, a small hillside village where there are panoramic observatories and some churches. But the most impressive architecture is the Palacio da Pena, which stands on a rocky peak. There are gothic towers, Arabs minarets, Renaissance and baroque features domes, all painted in different colors.
Going uphill you reach the Castelo dos Mouros of the VII century. From here, along the surrounding paths, in a single glance you can admire Sintra and its vast plains and, on the horizon, the ocean.
In addition we also suggest you to visit the outskirts of Sintra. Taking the road to Colares, you will come across the Palacio de Seteais of the XVIII (now become a luxury hotel) built on the model of Versailles. You will find the Quinta de Monserrat Palace, probably one of the most spectacular attractions of the surrounding area. Because of the Victorian garden, unique in the world, it is a must to visit! It also worth a stop at the Convento dos Capuchos immersed in a magnificent park on the ruins of a small monastery of 1500. In conclusion we strongly recommend a visit to Cabo de Roca, the western point of Europe, of which we will talk about in one of our next post.
Visit Sintra with our recommendation and suggestion!
Sintra is easy to reach from Lisbon by a railway network that starts from the Rossio train station, in the center of the historic Baixa. During the day there is a service every 20 minutes and the first train is at 7 am and the last is at 11 pm. The journey takes 30 minutes and a ticket costs € 2.15 for an adult and € 1.10 for a child.
Furthermore the old town of Sintra is about 1.5 km from Sintra Railway Station.
Here you can find an easy tourist bus service that connects the station, the town center and the three most important buildings. The bus number is 434 and this is the best way to visit Sintra. The bus tours along a single direction, so you will have to wait a lot at the station. Take the chance to taste the famous strong Portuguese espresso!
Visit Sintra if you want to make a kind of relaxing and naturalistic holiday. In fact, you can reach the attractions, most of them with paid admission, through paths in the woods, walking between cliffs, streams and wooden bridges. Visit Sintra and be aware that you might find a Disney princess who sings and dances in the woods!