December 6, 2022

If you’re visiting Lisbon on your next getaway to Portugal, you might want to spend some time in Sintra. 

Roughly 25 km from Lisbon, Sinta is a beautiful town steeped in history and was once home to poets, royals and aristocrats. Today, it’s perhaps best known for its lush greenery, impressive landmarks and expansive hilltops. 

Whether you’d prefer a day in Sintra or want to find out the best way to visit Sintra, we promise it’s worth the effort. 

Sintra is one of the most popular day trip destinations for tourists of all kinds. Here is your Sintra guide to finding the best way to visit Sintra. 

See also: Not to Miss Experiences in Lisbon

Best way to visit Sintra 

The best way to visit is by making a Sintra day trip since from Lisbon. However, you might decide to spend a few nights here instead if you’re super keen on moving from Lisbon to Sintra for a change of pace.

In our experience, the best way to go from Lisbon to Sintra is on a guided tour. 

One of the best value-for-money trips is a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra to discover Pena Palace, Cabo da Roca and Cascais on the same day. You can book it right here or search for dates below:

Everything is handled for you, so all you need to do is show up!

See also: Exploring Lisbon in 2 Days

Sintra guide to getting around 

There are a few options for visitors when it comes to making the trip to Sintra. Bus and train travel are the two most popular options, but you might also be able to find a taxi service that operates this route.  

The best way to visit Sintra via bus travel 

Visiting Sintra from Lisbon is relatively easy to plan. 

One of the closest bus stations is Marques de Pombal in Lisbon, which will take you directly to Sintra Station. 

The cost ranges between €10 and €15 depending on whether you’ve chosen a return or a single ticket. You should note that most guided tours include this ticket price in their cost – which will likely be more cost-effective! 

Once you’ve arrived in Sintra, one of the best options for travellers is to purchase a Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Travel Pass for Sintra and Cascais. This will ensure you don’t miss out on anything along the way and can spend ample time exploring the region to your heart’s desire. This is one of our favourite ways to get around when spending a day in Sintra. 

Train routes from Lisbon to Sintra

If you need more time, consider using a train when visiting Sintra from Lisbon.

There are also trains available for visiting Sintra from Lisbon. This route will take roughly 50 minutes. The two main stations along this route are Rossio Station, close to tourist attractions, and Estacao de Oriente, which serves visitors directly from the airport. 

The train is a great budget option, costing between €2 for a single ticket and €4.50 for a return trip. You’ll be able to get tickets at the train station.

Your Sintra day trip itinerary

When spending a day in Sintra, your proposed itinerary might look something like this:

  • Meet in Lisbon in the morning and catch the bus
  • First stop: a guided tour of Pena Palace, a Romantic castle nestled on the Portuguese Riviera
  • Next, grab some lunch and explore Sintra and its cobbled streets
  • After lunch, get back on the bus to visit the picturesque Cabo da Roca for a leisurely tour
  • Head to Cascais, an old fishing town close to Sintra that’s famous for its museums, manors and fantastic variety of bars and restaurants
  • At the end of the day, catch the final bus ride back to Lisbon, and the night is yours!

Sounds good to you? You can experience this specific Sintra day trip at Sintra’s Pena Palace, Cascais and Cabo da Roca if you plan ahead! 

Our Sintra guide has got you covered with everything you’ll need to prepare when visiting Sintra from Lisbon. 

Sintra guide: Castles in Sintra

Since Sintra is steeped in history, there are several castles and monuments. It’s worth checking out the top castles in Sintra to know what you can look forward to! 

Pena Palace

One of our favourite parts of Sintra is Pena Palace, which is also one of the most famous castles in Portugal. It was known as the Park and National Palace of Pena and was completed in 1854.

This castle is unique because it’s located on a hill above Sintra and can easily be seen from Lisbon when the clouds are gone. It was initially intended to be a summer residence for King Ferdinand II. However, it was later purchased by the Portuguese government in 1889 after his death.

This colourful castle is open from 9:30 AM until 6:30 PM every day. Peak viewing times are usually between 11 AM-12 PM and 3PM – 4PM, so avoid these peak times if you’d prefer a quiet tour. 

You can find Pena Palace tickets for around €15 (book online before to avoid the queue). You should book online in advance; all you need to do is show up and enjoy the majestic scenery.

Pena Palace, Estrada da Pena, Sintra, Portugal

Moorish Castle 

Castelo dos Mouros, also known as Moorish Castle in English, is one of Europe’s most famous medieval castles.  

From as far back as the 10th century, this castle in Sintra gives you an authentic glimpse into a time when the Moors took over Portugal. Its snake walls, cliffs, and stunning views over the city and Atlantic ocean are part of what makes it famous.

We suggest getting a Moorish Castle e-Ticket with an audio tour to boost your experience even more. Skip the line upon arrival and allow yourself to enjoy a self-guided audio tour at your own pace. Plus, walking on the ancient wall is a lot of fun! 

Castelo dos Mouros, Sintra
Castelo dos Mouros, Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira is a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Sintra.  This impressive manor was built in the 16th century. 

It’s well known for its interesting Romantic architecture that evokes styles of Roman, Gothic and Renaissance architecture all at once.  

A day in Sintra with an added visit to Cascais 

No Sintra guide would be complete without mentioning Cascais. It’s the perfect way to end off a day in Sintra.

Cascais is a beautiful town with a lot to offer. Most visitors are there for the fantastic beaches – there are 17 to choose from. Guincho beach is one of the most well-known, especially if you’re interested in surfing! The Boca do Inferno cliffs are another fantastic site to see while you’re here.

If you think the best way to visit Sintra is by visiting museums, you’ll love Cascais. Check out the Cascais Citadel Palace Museum, Casa Sommer, and Exiles Memorial Centre for an intriguing insight into the history of Cascais. 

Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, Sintra, Portugal
Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, Sintra, Portugal

Sintra guide: Cabo da Roca 

Any Sintra day trip would also be finished off nicely by visiting Cabo da Roca. Known as Cape Roca in English, this point is the westernmost point of Portugal and the European continent. 

It famously features a lighthouse in operation as early as 1772 and lies 165 metres (or 541 feet) above sea level. It’s an absolute must-see if you enjoy the combination of ocean and mountain all at once. 

Cabo da Roca in Portugal
Cabo da Roca in Portugal

Ready for a Sintra day trip?

Whether your visit to Sintra is centred around the castles or you’re enjoying a Sintra day trip to enjoy the many beaches, there’s something magical about the area.

Remember that you can follow a set Sintra day trip itinerary to remove any travel stress or planning fatigue you may experience. 

We hope you enjoy your trip in Sintra!