Sintra is a resort town that can be found in the foothills of the famed Sintra Mountain Range. The delightful Portuguese town is about half an hour away from the capital city of Lisbon but will seem like an entirely different world. It’s filled with so much character and charm in every aspect - from the unique architecture of its buildings to the friendly people who reside there. Be sure to visit all of their amazing attractions such as the Park and Palace of Monserrate, The Castle of the Moors, and Quinta da Regaleira. If you’re looking to just sit back and relax, then head on over to one of Sintra’s beaches or have a picnic in the park. No matter what kind of traveler you are, a trip to Sintra is sure to be one of your most memorable vacations.
1.Quinta da Regaleira
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Having been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, Quinta da Regaleira has a history that dates back to the 1800s. The quinta, or estate, is one of Sintra’s most popular tourist attractions and allows people to step back in time and better understand the rich history. You’ll be able to explore key aspects such as the Gothic-style palace which has five floors of rooms, living rooms, dining rooms, game rooms, and more. Other features include a chapel and a luxurious park with fountains, grottoes, lakes, wells, sculptures, and an aquarium. A unique feature is the estate park’s extensive system of tunnels which has multiple entry points from the chapel, cave, and lake.
Address: R. Barbosa du Bocage 5, 2710-567 Sintra, Portugal, Phone: +35-12-19-10-66-50
2.Park and National Palace of Pena
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The Park and National Palace of Pena can be found standing tall on top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains. On a clear day, you can see the palace from Lisbon and a majority of the metropolitan area, but it’s beauty can only truly be appreciated up close. The inside of the national monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site is filled with amazing stuccos, various revetments in tile from the 19th century, and painted walls in trompe-l’oeil. Visitors usually spend hours afterwards exploring the surrounding forested area, Pena Park, which spans for over 200 hectares and a vast array of terrain.
Address: Estrada da Pena, 2710-609 Sintra, Portugal, Phone: +35-12-19-23-73-00
3.The Castle of the Moors
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The Castle of the Moors can be found in the heart of Sintra’s central Portuguese civil parish of Santa Maria e Sao Miguel. The medieval castle was built by the Moors in the 8th and 9th century to be used as an important strategic point during Reconquista. Over the years the castle had been lost to invading Almoravid, surrendered to Christian forces, and even housed a chapel which became the parish seat. Today, the castle is one of Sintra’s most visited attractions. You will be able to see the double line of granite military walls, the stunning chapel ruins with its arched doorway, and some stunning animal motifs on gryphons and basilisks.
Address: 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal, Phone: +35-12-19-23-73-00
4.Park and Palace of Monserrate
Situated on the banks of the Portuguese Riviera, Monserrate Palace is a palatial villa used as the traditional summer resort of the Portuguese court. Renowned British architect, James Thomas Knowles, began working on the eclectic architectural structure in 1863; prior to that the site was said to house a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Visitors love learning about Monserrate’s history and taking in design aspects such as the Mudejar Moorish Revival architecture and Neo-Gothic elements. Afterwards, take a walk around the surrounding park which is filled with grottoes, fountains, lakes, and springs. You’ll also see tons of trees and plants like tree ferns from New Zealand and yuccas from Mexico in the flourishing gardens.
Address: 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal, Phone: +35-12-19-23-73-00
Casa Piriquita was originally opened in 1862 as a bakery owned and operated by husband and wife team Amaro dos Santos and Constancia Gomes. Today, over five generations of the family have maintained the secrets of their products, ingredients, and techniques which make their concoctions so renowned. Be sure to try their travesseiros, which was developed by Constancia Cunha, the granddaughter of the family, and is a pastry stuffed with sweet eggs and has a hint of almonds. Other popular Piriquita pastries and sweets are the queijadas, the nozes douradas, and the pasteis de cruz alta.
Address: Rua das Padarias 1/18, 2710-603 Sintra, Phone: +35-12-19-23-06-26
6.Tivoli Palácio de Seteais
© Tivoli Palácio de Seteais
Tivoli Palacio de Seteais is one Sintra’s most luxurious hotels; it is housed in a romantic palace that will take you back to a more elegant time. You can stay in one of their ornately furnished rooms for an overnight stay, or just visit the boutique hotel for a day trip to make the most of their facilities. Have a delicious meal surrounded by magnificent paintings and frescoes at their Seteais Restaurant, discover rare local wines at the Seteais Colares Doc, or have a drink with friends while enjoying a terrific view of the Sintra Mountains at Bar. You can also spend your time at the hotel indulging in a rejuvenating treatment at Anantara Spa.
Address: R. Barbosa du Bocage 8, 2710-517 Sintra, Portugal, Phone: +35-12-19-23-32-00
7.Beaches in Sintra
Sintra is home to so many wonderful beaches where you can spend the day basking in the sun, take a dip in the water to cool off, or test your limits with some exhilarating water activities. Praia das Macas, or Apple Beach, is one of the most popular choices as you can take in striking views of Lisbon from the beach. Praia Grande is a good choice if you’re traveling with little kids and prefer amenities such as nearby shops and restaurants. For a more secluded and romantic experience, try out Praia da Adraga which is a little cove surrounded by deep valleys, high cliffs, and a stunning panorama of the water.
8.Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca is a gorgeous cape which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It can be found on the westernmost point of the Sintra Mountain Range and within the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Be sure to take along your camera because you’ll want to take pictures of the stunning panoramic views of towering granite boulders and sea cliffs that surround you. Other aspects also include a beautiful monument which marks the westernmost point of continental Europe and the breathtaking and historic Cabo da Roca lighthouse. You’ll run into a lot of the local flora and fauna during your visit to Cabo da Roca as well - keep an eye out for unique residential and migratory marine birds.
Address: Estrada do Cabo da Roca s/n, 2705-001 Colares, Portugal, Phone: +35-12-19-28-00-81
9.Curral dos Caprinos
No vacation is complete without indulging in the local cuisine, and there’s no better or more authentic restaurant to try the best of Portuguese food than at Curral dos Caprinos. The restaurant initially opened in 1971 and has kept its doors open to locals and visitors since then. The restaurant itself is beautiful and is surrounded by the lush pastures of the Sintra Hills. All of their dishes are inspired by traditional Portuguese cuisine, using only original ingredients and techniques. Some of their specialty dishes are their fried mushrooms and prawns tossed in a creamy sauce, the grilled alheira which is a type of Portuguese sausage, and the Special House Kebab which has prawns, pork, and beef tenderloin cutlets.
Address: R. 28 de Setembro, 2710-125 Sintra, Portugal, Phone: +35-12-19-23-31-13
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10.Azenhas do Mar
© Azenhas do Mar
Azenhas do Mar is a famed Portuguese restaurant that specializes in fresh and flavorful seafood. As soon as you get there, you’ll be taken aback by the scenic location which overlooks the cliffs and nearby beach. Once you walk in, the aroma of spices and other flavors will leave your mouth watering. Begin your meal with a delicious starter like their delicious clams or the octopus salad. If you’re unsure of what to choose for your main entree, try one of the house specialties like the shrimp curry, the lobster and shellfish risotto, or their yummy grilled octopus with roast potatoes and vegetables.
Address: Azenhas do Mar, Sintra, Portugal 2705-084, Phone: +35-12-19-28-07-39
If you find yourself craving authentic Japanese cuisine in the middle of Sintra, Portugal, then head on over to Midori. The restaurant has been around since the early 1990s and is an intimate and cozy dining establishment with views that look out to the Penha Longa gardens. Many of the Japanese dishes use original flavors but there are a few that are also inspired by Portuguese cuisine, so as to make the best of both culinary worlds. Some of the must-try dishes that you’ll find there are the toro cubes, the bean puree, and the native beans, also known as the fermented Japanese beans.
Address: Penha Longa Golf & Resort Hotel, Estrada da Lagoa Azul, Sintra, 2714-511, Phone: +35-12-19-24-90-11
12.Lawrence's Hotel Restaurant
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Lawrence's Hotel Restaurant is a wonderful family-friendly dining establishment that has a relaxing and inviting atmosphere where you can enjoy a delicious meal. The unique restaurant works hard to ensure all of their patrons have an amazing culinary experience complete with high quality foods and the best service. All of the items on their extensive menu are made using the freshest local meats and vegetables - be sure to try out popular favorites such as the veal ravioli with mushroom sauce and thyme, the grilled salmon served over mashed potatoes, and their special cheesecake with a lemon sorbet.
Address: R. Consiglieri Pedroso 38, 2710-550 Sintra, Portugal, Phone: +35-12-19-10-55-00
12 Best Things to Do in Sintra, Portugal
- Quinta da Regaleira, Photo: Vladimir Gerasimov/stock.adobe.com
- Park and National Palace of Pena, Photo: Andrei Nekrassov/stock.adobe.com
- The Castle of the Moors, Photo: Nenad Basic/stock.adobe.com
- Park and Palace of Monserrate, Photo: arkady_z/stock.adobe.com
- Casa Piriquita, Photo: malajscy/stock.adobe.com
- Tivoli Palácio de Seteais, Photo: Tivoli Palácio de Seteais
- Beaches in Sintra, Photo: moedas1/stock.adobe.com
- Cabo da Roca, Photo: F8studio/stock.adobe.com
- Curral dos Caprinos, Photo: siraphol/stock.adobe.com
- Azenhas do Mar, Photo: Azenhas do Mar
- Midori, Photo: ake1150/stock.adobe.com
- Lawrence's Hotel Restaurant, Photo: Oran Tantapakul/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: JCas/stock.adobe.com