How to Spend a Day in Sintra

How to Spend a Day in Sintra

Sintra is the colourful and formerly royal haven based just west of Lisbon, closer to the coast of Portugal. A vibrant and delightful city, Sintra is the first point of entry to the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais which is home to countless castles, palaces, view points and towns to explore.

Sintra is very easily reached by direct train from Lisbon; check out the schedule and ticket prices here. In general, this region is very well-serviced by public transport, and buses run regularly to all the main attractions in the area.

After spending the bulk of my day exploring Sintra, I took a bus out to the coast to visit the westernmost point in all of continental Europe at Cabo da Roca, before watching the sunset in Cascais, to the south. You can read more about these below, but they did round out a great complete day trip in the region.

Here's everything I got up to during my sunny Sunday in Sintra:


Palácio Nacional de Sintra // Sintra National Palace

Built in the 11th century, this palace sits right in the heart of the city and is likely one of the first main buildings you'll come across. With sweeping views across the region from the plaza, you can visit the palace gardens for free or do a paid visit of the opulent interiors.

Buy tickets and find out information here.

jana meerman sintra portugal (2)
jana meerman sintra portugal (5)

The palace from above


Castelo dos Mouros

The ruins of this 10th century castle tucked up in the hills can be reached with a hike up from town. The trail goes past the house Hans Christian Andersen once stayed in while living in Sintra, before winding through beautiful forest and out to 360 degree views of Sintra and the far reaches beyond.

Buy tickets and find out information here.

jana meerman sintra portugal (4)

The house Hans Christian Andersen stayed in

jana meerman sintra portugal (10)
jana meerman sintra portugal (10)
jana meerman sintra portugal (10)

Parque e Palácio Nacional da Pena // Park and National Palace of Pena

Perhaps the most famous spot in all of Sintra, this colourful palace is the most iconic image you can conjure in your mind when you think of this region. It's extremely popular and very busy, but the brightly decorated facades and royal ornate interiors - featuring some of Portugal's first bathrooms! - are well worth the wander.

There are also plenty of other things to see on the grounds, such as a walk up to High Cross, the highest point in the Sintra Mountains, plus a chapel, lakes and other beautiful spots.

Buy tickets and find out information here.

jana meerman sintra portugal (13)
jana meerman sintra portugal (26)
jana meerman sintra portugal (26)
jana meerman sintra portugal (26)
jana meerman sintra portugal (26)
jana meerman sintra portugal (26)
jana meerman sintra portugal (26)
jana meerman sintra portugal (26)

Cabo da Roca

From Sintra train station, the 403 bus runs every half hour directly out to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of all continental Europe (of course, the Azores are further west, but we're talking mainland here!). It's SO windy here, but a pretty neat feeling you're as far west as you can get in all of Europe!

jana meerman cabo da roca portugal (1)
jana meerman cabo da roca portugal (1)

Cascais

For my last stop, I headed out to Cascais for sunset. With the shortening winter days, I didn't have enough daylight left to explore what I've heard is a lovely little city, but I did enjoy the sunset over the ocean at Boca do Inferno with the other sunset-goers.

jana meerman boca do inferno cascais sunset (1)
jana meerman boca do inferno cascais sunset (1)

CHECK OUT MY VLOG OF SINTRA HERE!


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