After focusing my three previous posts on Lisbon, Belém and fado, I’m excited to finally share with you the ultimate highlight of my weekend in Lisbon – a day trip to Sintra. Filled with beautiful sights, colours and textures, surrounded by nature and many opportunities for adventure, Sintra encapsulates my version of perfection.
It is such a picturesque and beautiful place, despite the fog and overcast sky on the day we visited, it just made Sintra all the more magical. It felt like we had stepped into an other-worldly place. All of the buildings you walk past seem to have been lost in time, with moss crawling all over them. I would happily go back there, I didn’t really want to leave in the first place…
After arriving at the train station in Sintra from Rossio (45 min journey, 4€ return ticket), we hopped on a round-trip bus (5€) to head to the Pálacio da Pena. It felt a bit pricey, but as we had a limited amount of time to see everything we wanted in a day, it was a better option than walking, also bearing in mind that the palace is on top of a very big hill!
We were very disappointed that there was no reduced entry fee for EU students to the Pena Palace and had to pay the full rate of 11.50€. You can pay a reduced rate to just enter the gardens and outside of the Palace, but you do not have access into the interior. However once inside, it felt like the cost of the entry fee didn’t even matter because it was so beautiful and worth the money. The palace showcases a mix of styles of Romanticism and it is basically a very colourful, fairytale castle.
Before it became the beautiful palace as it is known today, the site served as a monastery, however it was in ruins after the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Despite this, the chapel avoided serious damaged and if you pay to enter the palace, you can see it for yourself.
Afterwards, we got the bus back to the town centre and walked to the second place we wanted to visit in Sintra: Quinta da Regaleira. There was reduced entry fee for students here (4€) which made me happy.
If there is one thing you must do whilst in Sintra, it is to visit Quinta da Regaleira. It is simply not possible to go to Sintra and not go here – the highlight of the highlight of my trip. We explored the caves, tunnels, pathways, towers. Every way you turn there is a photo opportunity. What has been created here is very special and it is easy to spend all day exploring the estate.
There are many more things to see in Sintra, such as the Moorish Castle, Monserrate Palace and the Sintra National Palace but you need several days if you wish to see more of Sintra. I’ll leave you with some pictures of Quinta da Regaleira, which will hopefully show some of its magic: