6 Reasons to visit Sintra on your next visit to Portugal.
About an hour northwest of Portugal’s capital lies Sintra, a picturesque fairy-tale land filled with castles, secret gardens, and adorable old men playing wooden flutes in the street.
After experiencing the chaos of Lisbon, the peaceful, intimate atmosphere of Sintra feels like a real breath of fresh air.
In this article, I’ll list some of the reasons why you should add Sintra to your European travel bucket list.
I recommend staying in Sintra for 2-4 days, so you can see everything without rushing.
If you don’t have much time to stay in Sintra and would rather just take a day trip from Lisbon, you can book your tour here! This tour has over 1,000 good reviews and costs just under $70 USD.
Here are 6 reasons to visit Sintra, Portugal.
1. The majestic Castelo Dos Mouros
Sintra’s city center rests under the watchful eye of a prominent fortress known as Castelo Dos Mouros.
Built in the 8th Century, this castle is one of the few standing remnants of Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula.
From the hilltop fortress, the views of the surrounding town and landscape are amazing.
You can take public transport to reach the castle, but I recommend hiking. The hike isn’t too long, less than an hour, and it takes you along a peaceful forest trail with some beautiful scenery.
2. The eccentric Pena Palace
Located just a little further up the mountain from Castelo De Los Louros, The Pena Palace is a feast for the eyes.
At first glance, the building looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, with its eccentric design and bright colors.
When you slowly explore and study the building in detail, you’ll find that there are intricate patterns and designs in even the tiniest little corners.
3. The cozy Nice Way Hostel
I stayed at Nice Way Hostel in Sintra and let me tell you, it’s one of the most charming hostels ever.
It feels like a big comfortable home, where there aren’t too many people and everyone is friendly and laid-back.
There’s a massive back yard where you can nap in the sun, read, write, relax, and have a barbecue.
The staff and other guests there really made me feel at home during my stay.
4. The Mysterious Quinta Da Regaleira
If there is one spot that epitomizes the fairy-tale essence of Sintra, it’s Quinta Da Regaleira.
This luxurious estate sits amongst a hypnotizing maze of gardens, fountains, statues, caves, ponds, bridges, winding staircases, and more.
Everything on the grounds is regal as if it were part of a royal garden. Yet, there is so much moss and overgrown greenery that it feels like the gardens have been abandoned for years.
You can spend hours getting lost in the caves and tunnels, including the famous winding, circular stone staircase.
Quinta Da Regaleira is located within walking distance of the Sintra town center and it costs 6 Euros to enter.
5. The beautiful Cabo Da Roca
Cabo Da Roca is the easternmost point in Portugal and in mainland Europe.
It’s a fun little day trip from the city; you can relax on the coastal cliffs, bring a picnic, and breathe in some salty sea air.
The easiest way to get to the coast from Sintra is by taking the local bus. Line 403 costs between 4-5 Euros for a trip.
6. The charming town center
Even if you were to take away all these wonderful attractions, the town of Sintra is still worth the trip from Lisbon.
The architecture is unique, the winding alleyways and cobblestone streets are enticing, and the parks and gardens are luscious and inviting.
If those 6 reasons haven’t convinced you to visit Sintra, then hopefully those photos will.
Sintra is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I always tell other people about Sintra and push them to go, because it’s THAT incredible.
If you’re traveling to Portugal, visit iVisa.com to find out if you need a visa.