Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and millions of people visit each year. If you’re one of them, you’d be crazy not to take a Sintra day trip. Here, I explain why you need to visit.
In Lisbon, you can visit many museums, walk in the street markets, eat seafood and admire the world’s biggest art nouveau monument. The city offers plenty to visitors. But Sintra is just a train ride away and it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s almost a magical land and it is well known for the Palácio da Pena, a fairy tale-like building that was constructed in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II.
Taking a Sintra day trip
Sintra is an hour away from Lisbon. It is a perfect day trip for people who are looking to explore the city, whilst also experiencing Portugal’s natural landscapes.
There’s a list of things to do in Sintra, but if you are there for one day, then here’s my list of activities that you should not miss out on.
- Explore Pena Palace
- Visit the National Palace of Sintra
- Have lunch at Quinta de Regaleira
- Walk around downtown Sintra
- Eat, drink and take in your surroundings
Visiting Pena Palace and Park
If you’re going on a Sintra day trip, then a visit to Pena Palace and Park is almost none negotiable.
You have to explore the beauty of this place! Pena Palace and Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is often considered as one of the most beautiful parks in the world.
Built during the 19th century, Pena Palace is on the site of an old monastery. British architect Edward Hargreaves designed the palace. He adapted Queen Marie Amelie’s neoclassical ideas into a romantic Medieval revival style. Portuguese architect Carlos Mardel later extended the palace.
The park has a Moorish-style garden with plants, lakes, fountains, waterfalls, exotic birds and peacocks roaming freely around the grounds. One of its most beautiful features are its cascades that drop from a height of 40 metres into natural pools below.
If you’re based in Lisbon, then taking a Sintra day trip is really easy. You can drive there, catch a train, or jump on a bus.
Trains from Lisbon leave from Rossio Station, which is in the centre of the city. They tend to leave around every half an hour. The journey can take up to an hour, depending on the service you catch. Some stop at a lot of different stations, whilst others are more direct. Train tickets are very cheap and you shouldn’t have to pay more than a couple of euros. Just keep in mind that the route can be busy during the height of summer.
Driving, or going by bus, will take around 45 minutes. However, as the train is so cheap and easy, I would recommend that you went via rail.
You have to go!
Lisbon is an amazing city and there’s plenty to see, do and explore. However, Sintra has an amazing natural environment and lovely architecture. With it being so close to Lisbon, it is well worth the visit!
If you get any chance to go on a Sintra day trip during your Lisbon trip, please do. You will get to see a whole different side of this amazing country!