If you have read my six days Portugal itinerary, then you know I spent two days in Sintra. Sintra is a UNISCO world heritage site. It has a very different vibe from Lisbon and it's very relaxed. It's really great for the summer as well because it's much more mild than Lisbon and the evenings get a little cold. You can do Sintra in one day for sure, but you won't be able to see more than three sights because each one would need two-four hours depending how fast you want to be. In this post, I am sharing the activities I have done and the places I have visited in Sintra.
Palaces and Castles Visited:
- Palace of Sintra
- Castle of the Moors
- Pena Palace
- Quinta de Regaleria
Other Points of interest in Sintra:
- Cabo De Roca
- Praia De Ursa beach
The great thing is the city knows what people wants to see and they have three possible bus routes that goes from the city centre. Each bus has a specific route that passes by different castles. You might be tempted to walk since the distances aren't huge, but I wouldn't advice you to do so because the hills are very steep and the roads are not big enough for cars and people.
The 435 bus takes you to the Quinta de Regaleria. It's a good idea to start with this bus because it stops by the sights located in the lower hill. It only costs 2.50 euros for each stop.
The 434 bus takes you to the more popular sights and the queue to get on it is long. We had to wait for the second bus because the first one filled up quickly. It's every 10-15 minutes. It's affordable! It only costs 5.50 euros and it's a hop on and off style.
There is a payment bundle that enables you to use all buses and there is a very easy to follow route plan on the bus. One of the buses also stops at the famous Cabo De Roca. That point forms the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal. From there you can walk to the beach! More infromation on that below.
Sintra Palace/ National Palace
This is just facing the historical centre of Sintra and it's the first thing you would see when you get to the city from the bus stop. Hence why I started with it. It was interesting inside and had very detailed designs and some geometric patterns that I loved! The palace used to be the royals residency place from the 15th to the 19th centuries and that's why it's very well preserved. So make sure you visit if you want to see how the royals lived.
Entry fee 10 Euro
Moorish Castle/ Castle of the Moors
I was very excited about this one because I thought there will be a lot of Moorish influence and patterns, but there wasn't. It was still really good to go up there and walk around. It was more like a fort rather than a castle.
Entry fee 10 Euro
This is the palace you see in most of the Sintra marketing material. The Palace with the sticking yellow and red on top of the hill. I can see why everyone is crazy about it. It is gorgeous and it has colourful patterns and a nice park attached to it. When you get there I would advice you to get their own shuttle bus up to the castle and save some time. It is busy as you would expect, but it was still nice and a little quiet by the end of the day.
Entry fee: Joint Ticket with the Moorish Castle 11 Euro
Quinta de Regaleria
The Quinta de Regaleria mansion is what fairytale dreams are made of! It was stunning in every way. It was whimsical and magical. I would happily go back there again (with a few more dresses because it's a good photoshoot location as well!) My only regret is going there midday. It was SO busy and there were so many loud teenagers who thought this mansion was a game not a piece of art to be appreciated. I would either go there really early or at the end of the day. 11pm is prime time. The funny thing about this mansion is it wasn't built by royalty or someone from history. It was some rich businessman with a wild vision. He is my spirtit animal! lol
Entry fee 10 Euro
Dresses I would wear next time I go to the Quinta de Regaleria 😂
Other Points of interest in Sintra are the Cabo De Roca and the Praia De Ursa beach. These two are the main reason we stayed the second day in Sintra. Getting to the Cabo De Roca on the bus is a little long. It took over 40mins to get there. The wind there was so cold. It was cool to see it, but the total time spent there was half an hour. We saw that there is a beach nearby on Google Maps called the Praia De Ursa. Google Maps wasn't much help in term of directions. All we knew was we are on the way to it. We randomly walked down the steep hill and wearing sandals wasn't an ideal thing to do. After walking for an hour and a half (I think we took the very long way down) we got to the beach. It was as quiet as I hoped and I LOVED IT! Getting there at 3pm meant that sun was already light and the water was FREEZING! I would get there for 11pm if I ever go back. It was worth the climb down and UP!
Beach goodies anyone?
Find a place to stay in Sintra: