How to plan a day trip or overnight trip to Sintra from Lisbon

Sintra is the perfect day trip from Lisbon. It is a bombshell of culture and history in one small village.  The entire town is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Sintra is close enough to Lisbon to easily make it a day trip, but it is hard to squeeze all that it has to offer into one day. 

We are talking about a fairy tale village that has four castles, fantastic dining, rugged beaches, and even golf nearby.

Quinta da Regaleira Estate is a must-see on any daytrip or overnight trip from Lisbon to Sintra
Quinta da Regaleira Estate is a must-see on any daytrip or overnight trip from Lisbon to Sintra

The four must-sees in Sintra are the Moorish castle, Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and the National Palace.

Moorish Castle

Moorish Castle, Sintra, Portugal
Moorish Castle, Sintra

The oldest structure in Sintra, the castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros) was built by the Muslim Moors in the eighth century. The Christians seized it after the fall of Lisbon in 1147.

The Moorish Castle in Sintra is a great stop on a daytrip or overnight trip from Lisbon

The castle was a great strategic battle point as you have clear views for miles around. You will see when you climb the towers and battlements.

Admission is €8 for adults, €6.50 for children and seniors.

Quinta da Regaleira 

Palace at Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra
Palace at Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra

The palace is also known as the palace of the millionaire. This is due to its former owner, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, a Brazilian businessman who inherited a fortune and then expanded it in the coffee industry. 

Monteiro bought the palace in 1898 for 25,000 reales.

The palace is known for having a stunning park that has lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and other works of art.

The palace was privately owned until 1997 when the Sintra town council purchased it.

The palace is five stories and also has a chapel.

Below the Quinta (Estate), there is a strange network of tunnels connecting various points such as the well, Regaleira tower, and Leda’s Cave.

The Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira Estate is one of the coolest things to see on a daytrip or overnight rip from Lisbon to Sintra
The Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira Estate is one of the coolest things to see on a daytrip or overnight rip from Lisbon to Sintra

One of the most interesting things to see in Sintra is the Initiation Well on the grounds of the Quinta da Regaleira.

The well has nine levels, and at the bottom, you can see the cross of the Knights Templar.

You can walk down to the bottom of the well, and exit through one of the tunnels.

This is a must-see site in Sintra, so it might be best to try to find the well early in the morning or late in the day before closing.

Admission to Quinta da Regaleira is €6 for adults, €4 for those under 18 or over 65. Official website: Início (

Pena Palace

Pena Palace Is an example of 19th-century romanticist architecture.

The castle stands on a hilltop that can be seen from Lisbon on a clear day.

Couples enjoying the view from the top of Sintra's Pena Palace

According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared on this hilltop in the 14th century. A Chapel was built at that time.

King Manuel had a monastery built on the site and for centuries it was a quiet village housing just 18 monks.

The monastery was destroyed in the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, but many of its artworks survived the quake.

The Triton guards the Coral Gate at Sintra's Pena Palace.  You can visit Pena Palace on a day trip or overnight trip from Lisbon.
The Triton guards the Coral Gate at Sintra’s Pena Palace

In 1838 King Ferdinand acquired Pena Palace, the Moors’ Castle, and some of the surrounding land. 

He wanted to turn the monastery into a palace for the royal family.

The castle was built between 1842 and 1854 under the leadership of a German architect.

The Portuguese government bought the castle from the king in 1889 and turned it into a museum.

In 1995 UNESCO declared Sintra and the Pena palace to be a World Heritage Site. It is now one of Portugal’s most visited monuments.

When visiting Pena Palace, it is a good idea to arrive at 9 AM, a half-hour before the Palace opens, and also it is a good idea to purchase tickets in advance.  Official site: Palácio Nacional da Pena – Sintra (

Pena palace admission is €14 for adults between 18 and 65. Under 18 and senior citizens pay €12.50

Sintra National Palace

Also known as the Town Palace, the Sintra Palace was occupied by the royal family from the 15th until the 19th century.

Originally in the 12th century, the palace was the home of the Muslim Moorish ruler Al Taifa.

Alfonso Henriques took the village from the Moors and later set himself up in this palace.

A great remodeling took place in the 15th and 16th centuries. 

Nothing remains from the time of Muslim rule or King Afonso.

One odd and interesting fact about the palace is that in 1675 King Afonso VI was deemed mentally unstable and removed from the throne by his brother.

Afonso had to live out the rest of his life without leaving the castle.

In the 19th century, the Palace remained very popular with members of the royal family.

Eventually, in 1910 with the Republican Revolution, the palace became the property of the people. 

Admission to the national palace is €14 for adults, and €12.50 for those under 18 and over 65.

For more information on Sintra’s parks, see the official site

Monserrate Palace

kkmarais, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Monserrate Palace is the traditional summer home of the Portuguese royal court.

Construction on the building started in 1863.

Legend says that Afonso Henrique built a chapel to the Virgin Mary on this site and 1098.

After its destruction, a second chapel was built, dedicated to our Lady of Monserrate in 1540.

Destroyed again with the 1755 earthquake, an Englishman purchased the land and built a farmhouse. Francis Cook bought the property in 1863, and it stayed in his family until the government purchased the property in 1949.

The palace gardens contain plant species from all over the world.

Admission to Monserrate is €8 for adults. Children under 18 or over 65 pay €6.50.

Quinta de Relógio

See what  $8 million can buy for you.

The Estate of the Clock-Tower has four floors and takes up 21528 square feet. The house has seven bathrooms and four bedrooms.

Currently on the market for a little over $8,189,000.

The Portuguese Moorish revival-style house includes a beautiful garden, a lake, the caretaker’s house, and views of Sintra in the Morrish Castle.

Eating in Sintra

Two foods that come from Sintra are quiejadas and traveseiros.  Quejadas are small sweet cakes made from cheese rather than butter.

Traveseiras are rectangular pastries made from dough and almond paste

Sintra has many great restaurants to choose from.  Below are the three highest-rated restaurants on

Nau Palatina

Calçada de São Pedro 18.  Closed on Mondays. Opens every day from 4 PM until midnight. On Sundays opens from 11 AM until 7 PM.  Prices range from $9 to $30. Tapas, wines, teas.

Some have said it was their favorite restaurant in all of Portugal. 

The restaurant has outdoor seating, street parking, and is wheelchair accessible.

They have a full bar and table-service.

Bacalhau na Vila

Arco do Terreorinho 3

Hours: Sunday 12 PM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday noon until 5 PM. Friday evening reopens from seven until 10 PM. Saturday hours are noon until 3:30 PM.

The price range is $12-$30.

They serve Portuguese, international, contemporary cuisine with vegetarian-friendly, vegan options, and gluten-free options. Excellent seafood.

Bacalhau na vila

Taberna Criativa

Avenida Helioodoro Delgado 26

Noon – 3:30 and then 7pm  – 10 pm, seven days a week

Outdoor seating available

Mediterranean, European, Portuguese, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options

Taberna Criativa

Other things to do in Sintra

Praia da Ursa

Image by Jonathan Smit from Pixabay

With its two big rock formations that are said to resemble a mother bear and her cub, Bear Beach might be one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.

It also has spectacular sunsets.

The beach is an unspoiled space that is very hard to access.  

It is a bit of a hike down a rocky cliff with loose soil to reach the beach.  

Wear good shoes.  Best not to attempt the hike if it has been raining.  

If you are planning to watch the sunset from the sandy beach below, make sure you have a headlamp for climbing up the hill once the sun goes down.

You could also watch the sunset from the top of the hill.

There are no bathrooms, no phone service, and no cell reception in the area.  Bring all the food and water you will need.

If you take the 403 bus to Cabo da Roca, near the lighthouse and visitor center, you will find a trail leading down to Praia da Ursa.  40-minute walk. When the trail forks, go left.

Sintra Tram

The Sintra tram runs a 40 minute route from the Museum of Modern Art (Avenida Heliodoro Salgado) to the  Praia das Maçãs.   

The tram costs €3 for adults and €2 for children and seniors.

There is only one tram running, and it has room for 45 people.

Lines are long and the tram is often delayed. 

If your goal is to get to the beach, you can also take the 434 bus, which follows the same route.

Golf in Sintra

If you are interested in playing golf while in Sintra, Robert Trent Jones’ 27-hole course, Penhalonga, is one of the top 10 courses in Portugal and the top 30 in Europe.

Another option is Rocky Roquemore’s 18 hole, par 72 Beloura.

Sintra Tours

Lisbon on wheels

An eight-hour private tour, with pickup at 9 am.  €200 per group of 2-8 people.

See the village of Sintra, tour the Queluz palace and the Moors’ castle. 

You will stop at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in Europe, and Guincho Beach, which is a popular spot for surfers.  

After that, you will stop into Cascais and Estoril, two resort towns on the way back to Lisbon.


Viator offers a wide array of private tours and small group tours of Sintra.  Options include half-day or full-day

They offer tours which also include Sintra and Cascais and Cabo da Roca.

Viator also offers a two day tour of Sintra, Cascais, Fatima, Nazaré and Óbidos.


Getyourguide offers eight-hour walking tours of Sintra.  Hotel pickup is available.

Package options include a tour of historic Sintra only, or a combination trip to Cascais.

Also, they offer private and group tours.

Interestingly, Get your guide also offers a 3 1/2 hour Rock climbing tour with views of the palaces and the town.

Equipment, insurance, and transportation are provided for $78.

Get your Guide offers a 4 x 4 jeep tour of the region. 

You will see the castles but you will also explore the region’s other villages and beaches.

After leaving the center of Sintra, you will visit the village of Colares, and see the oldest wine cellar in the country.  

From there you will visit Praia Grande and Praia Pequena, and the seaside village Azenhas do Mar.  

Next, you will stop at Adraga Beach, and finally a secret off-road location in the 4X4. 

This tour costs $82.

Fishing trip on the Cascais Coast from Dreamboats.

A 4-hour fishing expedition with views of  Sintra and Cabo da Roca.  Insurance, bait, gear, and equipment, welcome drink, and alcoholic beverage provided. 

This trip costs $90 per adult.  

Hotel pick-up and drop-off is not included.

How to get from Lisbon to Sintra

Start your trip as early in the day as possible or plan to spend the night. 

The quickest way to get to Sintra is by train. 

Trains frequently leave Lisbon from two stations: Oriente and Rossio.

Most tourists take the train from Rossio station which is centrally located.  The trip takes 40 minutes.

From Oriente station the trip takes 47 minutes.

The  schedule for both trains can be found at:

Train tickets cannot be booked in advance. 

A train ticket to Sintra costs €2.25.

A return ticket is €4.50. 

You can use the Viva Viagem card to buy the ticket. What is the Viva Viagem Card? Everything you need to know

Although it is only a 19-mile trip, which can take more than 40 minutes, driving is not recommended because parking is very difficult.

Here are the GPS coordinates if you choose to drive:

38º 47′ 50.50” N 9º 23′ 25.87” W


If you are driving a rental car to Sintra you will take the IC19 Highway, which is very busy and should be avoided during rush hour. 

 Also, know that the roads around Pena Palace are very steep and narrow.

Getting around Sintra

Once you are in Sintra, bus 434 is a tourist bus.  It does a loop around all of the tourist sites.  

It picks up just outside of the Sintra train station, the entire loop is €7 one-stop is €3.50

Uber is available and is a faster option.

Lodging in Sintra

Casa Azul Hostel

Casa Azul Hostel  Rated 9.9 on, Highest rated hostel in Sintra, beds for $19 a night

Casa Azul Hostel – Amenities

  • Pool:  N/A
  • Spa:  N/A
  • Fitness Center:  N/A
  • Private pools / Jacuzzis: N/A

Casa Azul Hostel – Food and Drinks

  • Restaurant: N/A
  • Lounge / Bar: N/A
  • Breakfast:  Yes, included
  • Room Service: N/A

Casa Azul Hostel – Rooms

  • Room Type: Six Bed mixed dorm $17 -19, double private , triple private $72 night
  • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms:  N/A
  • Best Room:  N/A

Casa Azul Hostel – What’s Nearby?

  • Nearby Restaurants:  Resturante Sabores do Mercado, Pizaria do Mercado, Monkys Hamburguers, Petiscos, and Gin, Sopa d’ Avo (Portuguese cuisine)
  • Nearby Bars and Taverns:  Caipirinha Bar, Bar Saloon Sintra, O Carocha
  • Nearby Market or Grocery:  Minipreço, Minimercado Joaquim Gomes, Pingo Doce
  • Nearby Attractions:  Quinta da Regaleira 0.7 miles, Moorish Palace 0.8 miles, Pena Palace 1.2 miles

Hotel Nova Sintra number one ranked and under $100

Hotel Nova Sintra

  • Address:  Largo Afonso de Albuquerque 25
  • Nearest Metro:  N/A
  • Ages:  Children over four are welcome
  • Pet policy:  Pets are not allowed
  • View:  The terrace has fantastic views of the castle. Some of the rooms do as well.
  • Parking: Free public parking is available nearby. Reservations are not possible.
  • Nice perks:  soundproof rooms, air conditioning, WiFi in all areas, TV, concierge, slippers (airport pickup / drop-off, available for an extra charge)
  • Email:
  • To book:

Hotel Nova Sintra – Amenities

  • Pool: N/A
  • Spa: N/A
  • Fitness Center: N/A
  • Private pools / Jacuzzis: N/A

Hotel Nova Sintra – Food and Drinks

  • Restaurant:  N/A
  • Lounge / Bar:  N/A
  • Breakfast:  Yes
  • Room Service:  N/A

Hotel Nova Sintra – Rooms

  • Room Type: Double Room with full bed 199 sq. ft. mountain and castle view $90, Twin Room with two twin beds 215 sq. ft. $115, Twin room with two twin beds, a terrace, and courtyard view $132.
  • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms:  Only on ground floor
  • Best Room: 

Hotel Nova Sintra – What’s Nearby?

  • Nearby Restaurants: Taberna Criativa, Incomum by Luis Santos, Apeadeiro
  • Nearby Bars and Taverns:  Caipirinha Bar, Bar Salla de Estar, Bar Saloon Cintra
  • Nearby Market or Grocery:  Mercearia Urca, Pingo Doce
  • Nearby Attractions:  Sintra National Palace .05 mile, Pena Palace .05 mile, Moorish Castle .07 mile

Sintra Boutique Hotel $123 a night

Sintra Boutique Hotel – top-ranked hotel between $100 and $200 per night

  • Address: Rua Visconde de Monserrate 48
  • Nearest Metro:  N/A
  • Ages:  All ages are welcome
  • Pet policy:  Pets are not allowed
  • View:  Some rooms have mountain and castle views
  • Parking: Free public parking is available nearby.
  • Nice perks:  air conditioning, a mini-bar, WiFi in all areas, TV, concierge, (airport pickup / drop-off, baybysitting, laundry, and drycleaning available for an extra charge)
  • Email:
  • To book:

Sintra Boutique Hotel – Amenities

  • Pool: N/A
  • Spa:  N/A
  • Fitness Center:  N/A
  • Private pools / Jacuzzis: N/A

Sintra Boutique Hotel – Food and Drinks

  • Restaurant:  Yes, Contemporary Portuguese cuisine
  • Lounge / Bar: Yes
  • Breakfast: Yes, in room
  • Room Service:  N/A

Sintra Boutique Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Type: Standard room, Double room 237 sq. ft. full bed $106, Twin room with views 237 sq. ft. $155 night, Superior double room full bed 269 sq. ft. $155, Superior twin room 269 sq. ft. with views $164, Deluxe double with king bed 301 sq. ft. with views
  • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms:  yes, well-designed
  • Best Room:  Deluxe Double

Sintra Boutique Hotel – What’s Nearby?

  • Nearby Restaurants:  Taberna dos Torvadores, Incomum by Luis Santos, Apeadeiro (Mediterranean, Portuguese cuisine)
  • Nearby Bars and Taverns:  Messias Wine Bar, Xentra, Sintra Terrace, Bar Fonte Pipa
  • Nearby Market or Grocery:  Mercearia do Beco
  • Nearby Attractions:  Quinta da Regaleira .01 mile, Sintra National Palace .01 mile, Moorish Castle .03 mile


Tivoli Seteais Palace Hotel

Tivoli Seteais Palace Hotel Built between 1783 and 1787, This hotel could be listed as one of the historic monuments to visit in Sintra, but now it is a hotel and you can spend the night in the former palace. 

Tivoli Seteais Palace Hotel– Amenities

  • Pool: Outdoor pool
  • Spa: Anantara Spa has Vichy shower therapy to all-natural Biologique Recherche products. Couples sessions available. Extra charge for spa sessions.
  • Fitness Center:  tennis court, equestrian center,
  • Private pools / Jacuzzis: 

Tivoli Seteais Palace Hotel – Food and Drinks

  • Restaurant: Bar and restaurant, restaurant open for lunch and dinner, Restaurante Seteais
  • Lounge / Bar:  Yes. The bar has a terrace with views of Sintra.
  • Breakfast:  Breakfast available, $29 per person, in room
  • Room Service:  Yes

Tivoli Seteais Palace Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Type: Superior Double or twin with garden view $295
  • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms: Yes, very well- designed
  • Best Room: 

Tivoli Seteais Palace Hotel

– What’s Nearby?

  • Nearby Restaurants:  Tacho Real upscale seafood and Portuguese cuisine with terrace, Cantinho do Picadeiro Portuguese cuisine, outdoor seating, playground for kids, and parking
  • Nearby Bars and Taverns:  Bar do Binho, Kasbah Club
  • Nearby Market or Grocery:  Minipreço, Minimercado Joaquim Gomes
  • Nearby Attractions:  Quinta da Regaleira 1850 feet, Sintra Palace 2600 feet, Moorish Castle .6 miles, Pena Palace .8 miles

Final thoughts on visiting Sintra

Everyone agrees that if you are going to Lisbon, you should take the time and effort to get out to the forested fairy-tale village of Sintra. If you only do one quick trip outside of Lisbon, this should be it.

For more information on Sintra, you can check out my friends article, Visiting Sintra? Here are 20 Essential Tips.

If you have time for other day or overnight trips in Portugal, let me recommend two great seaside towns – Ericeira and Nazaré. See my other articles:

How do you pronounce Ericeira? And is Ericeira worth visiting?

Nazaré, Portugal – Biggest waves in the world, less than two hours from Lisbon

I hope you have found useful information for your day trip to Sintra or overnight trip to Sintra. I may earn a commission if you book a hotel mentioned on this page. That does not affect the price you pay. Prices may vary though. Thank you for reading.