Best Things to Do in Sintra

Colourful, whimsical Sintra must be one of Portugal's most unusual destinations. While just a short distance from Lisbon and Cascais, it has an atmosphere all of its own. This is largely a result of the city's extraordinary assortment of castles, palaces and green spaces. So special are they, that much of Sintra has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The one that is sure to bring a smile to your face is the Romanticist design of Pena National Palace, which stands proud on a hill overlooking the town. In form it lies somewhere between a child's fantasy and Disney fairy-tale castle. Visible from Lisbon on clear days, it also acts as a perfect introduction to the natural beauty of the 145 square kilometre Sintra-Cascais Nature Park, which includes some simply exquisite beaches whether you're looking for family-friendly sands or tiny hidden coves and the rocks.

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  • Sintra Town Hall

    Visitors flock to the UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site town of Sintra to admire the stunning collection of palaces and villas built as country retreats for the wealthy, amongst the wooded hills and beautiful vistas of...

    Sintra
    Palaces and Historic Houses
  • Monserrate Palace - Sintra

    This exotic palace was Built in 1858 for English nobleman, Sir Francis Cook. The Moghul-inspired features are not out of place alongside other examples Romanticism in Sintra

    Sintra
    Palaces and Historic Houses
  • National Palace - Sintra

    The National Palace mainly dates back to 15th and 16th century. Set in the heart of Sintra's old town, the twin conical chimneys still dominates the skyline. Built in a mixture of Gothic, Manueline and Moorish styles, the palace is not out of place in Sintra

    Sintra
    Palaces and Historic Houses
  • Moors Castle - Sintra

    Situated on a high hilltop above the town of Sintra the site does indeed date back to the Moorish occupation of Portugal. The walls and towers that you see now though are the Romantic/decorative work of the 19th century King Ferdinand II

    Sintra
    Castles
  • Quinta da Regaleira - Sintra

    Stunning romantic style palace and chapel set in parkland featuring lakes, grottoes, wells and fountains. Built by Carvalho Monteiro at the turn of the century as a private residence the estate was in private hands until it was purchased by the local council in 1997

    Sintra
    Palaces and Historic Houses
  • Palacio de Seteais - Sintra

    This 18th century neoclassical palace was built for the then Dutch Consul. It later came into the hands of the 5th Marquis of Marialva who extended it significantly, adding the arch in 1802.

    The Seteais Palace occupies a prime position on...

    Sintra
    Palaces and Historic Houses
  • Pena Palace Sintra

    Fairytale castle meets Disney palace set on top of the hill high above Sintra. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the finest examples of 19th century Romanticism anywhere in the world

    Sintra
    Palaces and Historic Houses
  • Convento dos Capuchos

    If you’re looking to escape from Sintra's well-trodden tourist hotspots, and find a quiet, contemplative spot, this former monastery is just the spot. Almost hidden in a shroud of greenery, it gives a glimpse of the simple lifestyle of 16th...

    Sintra
    Churches Unusual
  • Cabo da Roca

    The rocky headland of Cabo da Roca , 40 kilometres southwest of Lisbon, has the distinction of being the most westerly point of mainland Europe and the Eurasian landmass and there is a monument here to tell you just that. To make...

    Cascais Sintra
    Natural
  • Casino Estoril

    Whilst maybe not quite as glitzy as Las Vegas the Casino in Estoril is reputed to be the largest in Europe. Whether or not this is still case the casino is definitely big, offering over 1,000 slot machines. Game tables include roulette, blackjack...

    Estoril
    Unusual

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Sintra

Sintra travel guide »

Considered not only one of the wonders of Portugal but indeed of Europe, Sintra is truly a gem. Once the royal town of the country, it now deservedly holds UNESCO world heritage status and attracts hordes of visitors throughout the...