"The Pinnacle of Portugal !" Top 5 Page for this destination Sintra by Bwana_Brown

Sintra Travel Guide: 537 reviews and 2,150 photos

Castles & Palaces

Did we ever start our trip to Portugal off on the right foot! The morning of our first full day in the country broke sunny and warm so we took heed of all the tips that we had received from other VT members - we boarded a train in Lisbon and headed for the outlying town of Sintra.

This amazing UNESCO World Heritage site surpassed all of our expectations, and despite the fact that we saw so many great places and sights on our two-week trip, we still rate this first day's experience as the 'pinnacle' of our Portugal visit!

We started off with a wander around the quaint streets of Sintra itself and then began trekking upward through a beautifully forested trail to the 8th century Moorish Castle that controls the skyline high above. After enjoying its battlements and views (seen here) we descended back into town for lunch and then a tour through the Sintra Palace, summer home to Portugese Royalty for over 500 years.

This place is not to be missed, and it is a very easy day trip from Lisbon by either train or car! In fact, we did come back here with our rental car on the last day before we left Portugal. We had realized that there was so much more to see so we took the scenic 'Serra de Sintra' drive through Pena Park to Cabo da Rocha lighthouse and the Peninha chapel at 1600-ft up! However, that is a story for my 'Distrito de Lisboa' page!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Amazing Structures and Views
  • Cons:Requires Time to See it All
  • In a nutshell:Top of the List for 'Must See' !!
  • Last visit to Sintra: May 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (22)

Comments (49)

  • adema29's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Nice place indeed and nice page also. We are preparing our trip to Lisbon (beginning of April) and I am wondering if it will be enough a day only, with a 8 yrs old boy to see "all" Sintra.
    That walking through the forest is impressive, shall we go to the palace by buss and walk back to Sintra after the visit? Thank you for your tips. Some of them are now on our "trip planner" :) Do you have any other special reccommendation for us?!

  • slothtraveller's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Great page on Sintra, Glenn! Seems like a lot of walking was involved but for those views, it definitely looked worth it! A short break to the Lisbon area is ever more enticing for me...

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2009 at 12:39 AM

    Sintra looks lovely! I will defenitly take a daytrip there from Lisboa when I visit Portugal for a week next year. Thanks for great tips Glenn!

  • ThiagoRamos's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2009 at 8:28 AM

    Great pics and tips!!! Congratulations!!! I´ve been there with my family when I was 11 and I´m really looking forward to visit it again... Regards from Brazil!!!

  • Apr 21, 2009 at 5:27 PM

    Now I am REALLY excited for our trip next month!! GREAT tips and THANKS a million!!! Jen

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    Thanks Glenn, you have convinced me that I should go to Sintra when I am in Lisboa with the VT herd :-)) The Moorish Castle is a must for me, I just love it!!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2008 at 7:28 PM

    Our time in Lisbon was too short to make it to Sintra but it's definitely on the list of Things-to-do when we make a return visit. Your photos and commentary on the day make it sound very appealing. leyle

  • Jan 28, 2008 at 5:01 PM

    I loved Sintra. It is beautiful and the people amazing. Pity I have never got round to developing my photos. now may be they are too old to develop :( At least your page helped me remember it's charm! :)

  • betako3's Profile Photo
    Jan 15, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Thank you for your very kind comment on my Alanya page. You're so right about the hill's resemblance to Sintra's Moorish castle!The ruins in your photos look very intriguing.Speaking of fortified hills, there's another one I'd recommend in Cefalu,Sicilia.

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2007 at 3:13 PM

    What a beautiful place. Another to add to the ever-increasing list of 'must-see'. Wonderful photos :))


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