Heading to Lisbon soon and looking for things to do around the Lisbon area? Grab a box of Portuguese custard tarts (because one is never enough) and head out on a weekend getaway from Lisbon to Sintra. This Lisbon to Sintra Guide will have you ready and excited to explore the fairytale town of Sintra.
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Where is Sintra, Portugal
Sintra is located right next to Lisbon, about 30 minutes west of the Portugal capital city. The area starts inland in the town of Sintra and spreads all the way to the Atlantic coast where it meets the ocean. It’s one of the best cities to visit in Portugal, and I’m sure you’ll love it.
Now let’s see how to reach Sintra from Lisbon for a weekend getaway!
How to Get to from Lisbon to Sintra
When you’re staying in Lisbon, there are 2 main ways to reach Sintra: there is the Lisbon to Sintra train or you can drive to Sintra from Lisbon. Once in Sintra, you can rent a fun electric car and drive around Sintra to Cabo da Roca. Check for up to date prices for an electric car rental here.
Lisbon to Sintra by Car
The best way to get from Lisbon to Sintra is by car. The best way is to get a rental car Lisbon. It’s the best way as it gives you the freedom to come and go as you please. It also allows you to explore the surrounding areas freely.
Time: 40 minutes
Approximate Cost: 25€/day
To get around we like to rent a car. It is the most convenient way for us to get around. We love booking our cars with Auto Europe as we find they always have the best rates.
READ NEXT: 7 Days to Explore Lisbon and Algarve
Lisbon to Sintra by Train
Alternatively, you can get from Lisbon to Sintra by train, with the green line Linha de Sintra. The trains from Lisbon to Sintra run frequently, around 6 per hour in the summer. Catch the Lisbon train to Sintra at the Rossio Train Station in Lisbon. That will take you to the terminus. Make sure to check the Lisbon to Sintra train schedule.
Time: 40 minutes
Cost: 5€ round trip
Now that you know how to get to Sintra, let’s see the best things to do there!
Pena Palace Information
Address: Estrada da Pena, 2710-609 Sintra, Portugal
Entrance Fee: Palace and Park: 14 euros Park: 7.5 euros
Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm daily. The last tickets are sold at 5:00 pm. The last entry is at 5:30 pm
TIP: Buy your tickets ahead of time! I would highly recommend purchasing skip the line tickets to save you time. Buy your skip the line Pena Palace and Park tickets here.
Castelo dos Mouros
Up next on the list is another castle, the Castelo dos Mouros, or Castle of the Moors. While it’s also a castle, it’s completely different than Pena Palace. Castelo dos Mouros was built in the 10th century. It doesn’t have the luxury and charm of a palace; rather, it’s a war fortification, just like you can see in the movies. The castle is in ruins today, but the fortified walls and towers are still standing. You can walk on the battlements, and it almost feels like walking on the Great Wall of China. Built on top of a hill, the Castelo dos Mouros offers great panoramic views over the valley. It’s also one of the best places to see Pena Palace from outside. Get your fast track tickets here.
Castelo dos Mouros Info
Address: 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
Castelo dos Mouros Entrance Fee: €8.00
Hours: 9:30-20:00 (summer season) or 10:00–18:00 (winter season). The last admission is 1 hour before the closing time. Plan your visit for 1 to 1.5 hours.
READ NEXT: Where to Find the Best Fado in Lisbon
Quinta da Regaleira
Another palace? You bet! This UNESCO World Heritage Site is more than just a palace. Yes, the palace itself is stunning, but there is so much more to discover in the park (if you can still call that a park). The park is famous for the initiation well, a massive well with a spiral staircase, that you can access by walking on stepping stones across a pond, then going behind a waterfall, and walking in a tunnel to the well. In the park, you’ll also find a chapel, the Regaleira Chapel, with rich decorations on the facade and inside. This is probably one of the places where you’ll spend the most time in Sintra.
Quinta da Regaleira Info
Address: R. Barbosa du Bocage 5, 2710-567 Sintra, Portugal
Quinta da Regaleira Entrance Fee: €6.00
Hours: 9:30 – 20:00h (summer season) and 9:30 – 18:00h (winter season), with the last admission 1 hour before closing time.
Ok, yes, another palace. I told you in the beginning that Sintra was filled with castles, didn’t I? The last castle on our list of things to see in Sintra is the Sintra National Palace or Palácio Nacional de Sintra.
It was a royal residence from the 15th century all the way to the 19th century; it’s now open to the public, and it’s the most well-preserved royal residence in all of Portugal.
You might not be impressed by the outside of the Palace, especially compared to the Pena Palace, but trust me the inside is absolutely worth a visit.
Sintra Palace Information
Address: Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, 2710-616 Sintra, Portugal
Ticket price: €10 for adults
Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. (last admission 6:30)
A typical visits last between 30-60 minutes
Cabo da Roca
After visiting all the castles in Sintra, it’s time to head to the west, towards the coast. The first spot to visit on the Sintra coast is Cabo da Roca. Cabo da Roca, or Cape Roca, is the westernmost point of continental Europe. There you’ll find impressive cliffs and a nice lighthouse.
Address: Estrada do Cabo da Roca s/n, 2705-001 Colares, Portugal
Praia da Ursa
Oh, Praia da Ursa… Probably one of my favorite beaches in Portugal, if not of Europe. It was pretty underrated up until recent years but has started getting recognition, often being called the best beach in Lisbon. This beach is hard to reach, and you’ll have to hike down a steep trail to get all the way down. But even without going down the beach, the view you get from the top of the cliffs is absolutely breathtaking.
Azenhas do Mar
And we’ll end this list of the best things to see in Sintra with Azenhas do Mar. It’s a small town in the north of Sintra, built on top of a cliff, facing the ocean. You can enjoy the beach there, and even the oceanside pool at the bottom of the village. The view of the village itself is probably the best part, though, and watching the sunset over the ocean, in front of the village, is definitely one of the best things to do in Sintra.
So there you have them, the best things to do in Sintra on a weekend getaway from Lisbon!
Now let’s see the best places to stay in Sintra for your little escape.
Where to Stay in Sintra
If you’re planning to spend a couple of days in Sintra, you’ll need a place to stay. Here are some of the best accommodation choices in Sintra, that will suit any budget.
Recommended hotel: Casas da Biquinha is located right in the center, this apartment will be the perfect place to stay for your 2 days in Sintra.
Budget Pick: Galo Preto – This bed & breakfast with private bathroom is the best affordable option for you: at around 20€/night per person with breakfast included, it’s hard to find a better place to stay.
Luxury Stay: Vila Gale Sintra – This 5-star hotel has everything you’ll need for a dreamy stay. The inner pool is a treat to swim in, and you should try the spa for maximum comfort!
Whatever hotel you decide to book, make sure to book in advance. This part of the country gets booked pretty quickly, especially during the summer months.
Final Thoughts on a Weekend Getaway to Sintra from Lisbon
Lisbon is definitely one of the most interesting cities in Europe, and there are plenty of things to do and discover in the town. If you have extra time in the city, going for a weekend getaway to the nearby Sintra is a great way to switch things up, and to discover another side of Portugal, filled with palaces and incredible beaches.
I hope you’ve found this guide useful, and that you have all the info you need to plan your weekend getaway!
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