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Sintra is a pretty attractive and delightful town in Portugal that nests an array of tourist attractions including luxurious palaces and a variety of ancient castles. There are plenty of places to visit in Sintra. Basically, this city is very well renowned for its romantic lifestyle that is even expressed by the magnificent buildings here. Some of Portugal’s must-sees can be found in this town alone. Rich with Unesco world heritage sites, royal family historical treats and century-old hidden gems, below I am going to guide you on some of the best things to do in Sintra.
Whether you are visiting on a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon or staying for the weekend. I will take you through what to see in Sintra Portugal. From Sintra’s Pena Palace to Sintra castle. So sit back as we explore Sintra’s points of interest to add to your list of places to see in this coastal town in Portugal. Unless you rush through most of these you really do need to spend at least a weekend in Sintra. If you only have a day in Sintra, pick some of the favourites and those in close proximity or arrive really early from Lisbon.
The Best Places to Visit in Sintra Portugal | Tourist Attractions In Sintra
Whether you have a couple of days in Portugal or wondering just what are the best places to visit during a 1 week in Portugal, Sintra has to be on your itinerary. You can combine my 3 day Lisbon itinerary with a visit to Sintra. That post covers places to visit in Lisbon in addition to this post which covers places to visit in Sintra, all bases are covered!. Besides, sintra and Lisbon are among the best cities to visit in Europe so definitely worth visiting.
Pena National Palace
As far as what to see in Portugal this is up there with must see Lisbon attractions. Pena Palace in Sintra is considered to be one of the first romantic palaces in Europe and 2007 it was considered as one of the seven wonders situated in Portugal. Moreover, in 2013, Pena National Palace was the most visited palace in Portugal. A culture trip to Sintra is incomplete withough checking out on of the most popular Portal tourist attractions. Places to check out when you visit Pena Palace are:
1. Noble Hall
3. Main Entrance of the Royal Family
4. Queen Terrace
Convent of the Capuchos ( Convento dos Capuchos)
A must on the list of things to do in Sintra. Convent of The Capuchos is the embodiment of an ancient architecture in Portugal. It was originally built to house 12 monks in the 16th century. However, in the 20th century, the state opened the building for public, and since then, its farmhouse, hall of retreat and penitence and courtyard have attracted visitors. Its magnificent building was built and designed to fit into the natural environment of boulders made up of granite along the edge of Sintra Mountains. Even today, the place is located outside the city and is hidden in the dense woods. This is because it was designed for reclusive energy and solitude.
Sintra National Palace (Palácio Nacional de Sintra)
Another stunning palace to add to your list of places to visit in Sintra. The thousand-year-old history of the Palace of the Town of Sintra began during the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors. Already mentioned in texts from the 11th century, the original Moorish Palace became the property of the Portuguese Crown after the conquest of the city of Lisbon by Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal, in 1147. The vertical arrangement of its spaces, adapting to the nature of the terrain; the intimate organisation of the interior courtyards, outdoor spaces in which one can hear the sound of running water; the windows with their surmounted arches; and the walls covered in glazed tiles with rich geometrical patterns, are all features that underline the Moorish links of the craftsmen who built and embellished the Palace.
Castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros)
The history of Sintra’s castle traces back to the 8th century when Muslims settled the region all the way down to Spain. You will find Moorish influence in many of the architecture in this region of Europe. The Moors were later conquered by the Portuguese rulers. Castle of the Moors is located at the top of a cliff with its block walls encircling the castle. The double fortress wall and cylindrical tower are engraved into the cliff and have stood with resilience since the 8th century. This is definitely a must even for a day trip to Sintra.
Quinta da Regaleira
I shared a post recently on Quinta da Regaleira. This is yet another popular tourist attraction in Portugal’s Sintra. It has been owned by the city of Sintra for the last twenty years. It’s chapel is still owned to be the private home of a local millionaire in Portugal. Its large grounds are covered by a number of luxurious buildings and frescoes. Quinta da Regaleira nests two spiral-staired wells as well which were known for ceremonies, divination ceremonies, now popular attractions to visit in Sintra in their own right. There are a number of underground tunnels that connect the buildings. It’s an enchanting place to visit in Sintra. There are gardens, fountains, underground walkways, all waiting to be discovered as you explore.
Azenhas do Mar
It is located approximately 14 km away from Sintra and a cool place to include on your visit to Sintra, especially if you are doing more than just a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon. This unique village is carved in cliffs on the shore of Atlantic Ocean and is indeed an embodiment of architectural magnificence. The surrounding area is also fascinating as you can enjoy natural pools and an array of viewpoints. This is a very picturesque village located right in the arms of the Atlantic.
Among the many beautiful palaces and castles to see in Sintra, this is up there with the beautiful Pena Palace. Monserrate Palace is one of the most beautiful architectural and landscape Romantic creations in Portugal. The Palace combines gothic and Indian influences as well as Moorish suggestions together with exotic and plant motifs which are harmoniously extended to the exterior. When you visit the palace make sure you include the gardens in your itinerary. The gardens have received species from all corners of the world, which were planted according to their geographical origin.
Where to Stay In Sintra
You can easily do a day trip to Sintra from Portugal but to really get the most of Sintra at a minimum aim for at least 2 days to really explore Sintra’s tourist attractions without rushing through them. So, what is a good hotel for a stay in Sintra, Portugal? There are a couple of options, Sintra Nova is super cute, also check out Galamares and The Biester Charm House. This really depends on the budget. Also, bear in mind that there aren’t that many hotels in Sintra that are close to the attractions. the ones that are in Sintra sell out pretty quickly so make sure you book well in advance. Especially in the summer period.
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