Visiting Sintra from Lisbon: how to get there and what to see

Who I am
Aina Martin

Author and references

  • What to see in Lisbon
  • 8 tips for a trip to Lisbon
  • The best neighborhoods to sleep in Lisbon

I wanted to list them all because with those 3 articles you can make them a truly complete overview to really appreciate the city and its cultural heritage, thanks to which it has been included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

But let's get to the gist of this article, one of the more beautiful and colorful Portuguese towns: Sintra.

Where is Sintra located?

It is located west of the capital. From the windows of the Palacio National from Sintra you can see the ocean. Sintra is only 25 km from Lisbon, half an hour by car and 1 hour by train. Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of the entire European continent, is only 15 kilometers away.

Where to sleep in Sintra?

The advice is to sleep in the town and be ready to visit its buildings before the arrival of tourists from Lisbon -> CLICK HERE to see all the hotels available in the area.

The Palacio da Pena seen from the High Cross

How to get to Sintra: connections from Lisbon

The most comfortable way to reach Sintra from Lisbon it is undoubtedly the train. I have to be honest, as a great lover of ontheroad itineraries I thought about renting the car (you might be interested in: How to rent a car) and be able to run around for a while independently. After some confrontation with friends who had visited Sintra before me, I had come to the conclusion that it was not the best idea.

Why? Simple… Sintra is a maze of uphill roads and to reach the various entrances to the places of interest you have to make several big corners. So opt for the train! Trust this advice.

If by chance yours will be a round ontheroad for the Portugal, then try to park in Sintra and still take the panoramic bus to visit the various buildings.

Panorama from the Palace

From Lisbon to Sintra by train

You have two alternatives regarding the Lisbon Sintra connections:

  • Take the train from Rossio station from Lisbon to Sintra
  • Take the train from Oriente station; it is advisable only if you have arrived in the East by train or if you want to go to Sintra as soon as you arrive from the airport as it is one of the first stops of the red metro that leaves and arrives at the airport.

From my point of view, if you are already in town, opt for Rossio. The small station is located northwest of Praça Dom Pedro IV, or Rossio Square. There is a train approximately every 15 minutes.

By train to Sintra with the Lisboa Card

I have already talked about it extensively in the tips for visiting Lisbon, but in this case I want to suggest it again because the trains to Sintra are part of the Lisbon public transport network. You can therefore reach Sintra from Lisbon using your own Lisboa Card .

** The card can have a duration of 24-48-72 hoursCLICK HERE to access and purchase it in advance. **

This is another advantage of owning it, as well as a thousand others during the visit to the city. Just pay attention to the hourly deadline because it is valid 24/48 or 72 hours. For me it expired just before I got the return tickets. A return trip costs € 4,50.

Sintra: what to see and how to get around

Once you arrive in Sintra, the search for the bus will begin, which will "drive" you along the various routes and points of interest. There is not just one bus, but there are several and each takes a different tour.

You will find them all between the various stops just outside the Sintra station. It will be very simple because the station is small and outside it there is only a "country road" where one car passes at a time. Regarding tickets, for example, for the 434 it costs € 6,90 to be able to get on and off several times. If you want to combine with other buses, the prices will go up.

Small tip: if you have time and want to rely on a guide to visit Sintra -> I recommend this FREE TOUR (free tour with the possibility of free cancellation) .

I bus numbers main are the following:

  • 434: you will find it on your right as you exit the station. It allows you to visit the Palace of Pena, Palacio Nacional de Sintra and Castillo de los Mouros.
  • 435: allows you to visit the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, Palacio de Seteais Vacation Specials and Palacio de Monserrate.

On closer inspection, the road is one-way. The buses whiz by at incredible speed, skimming guardrails and rock faces. If by chance you make a mistake at the stop, you will have to do the whole loop again. So really do pay attention to which stop to get off.

What to see in Sintra?

The advice is to speculate at least one night in Sintra to be able to see the various buildings with all the tranquility you need. Otherwise you will have to make a choice, but be aware that, however, the choice will be limited. In one day you will be able to see the Palacio Nacional de Pena and at most one other palace.

Among things to see in Sintra and that you absolutely cannot miss are: the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, the Palacio Nacional da Pena, the Palacio de Monserrate, Palacio de Seteais, the Castillo de los Mouros and the beautiful Quinta da Regaleira.

For more information from a cultural point of view I link to Wikipedia.

Learn more about the Palacio Nacional da Pena and its large park

Inserted in a huge park, this palace located in an enviable position with a panoramic view of the ocean has been defined one of the 7 wonders of Portugal.

How to blame "who made this choice". It is truly grand, as equally beautiful is its park which features additional points of interest such as the must-see High cross (the High Cross) from which you can see both the Palace and the ocean.

Panorama from the Cruz Alta

Arabic, Manueline, Gothic, Baroque… united in a very brightly colored palace.

Consiglio: use the map of the park because you could get lost inside it is so big.

Duration of the visit: to best visit the Palacio Nacional, its beautiful interiors and take a tour in the park, you will need at least 3/4 hours.

The excursion to either Cascais or Cabo da roca

You want to visit Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of the European continent? You will have to take bus 403, after Cabo da Roca the bus will proceed to Cascais. It's great if you want to visit this beautiful Portuguese city too.

Caution: travel times are long. Although I wanted to visit Cabo da Roca, I gave up because I would not have made it with the times. That's why I recommend you sleep one night near Sintra, at least you will have more time to visit the surroundings in peace. For all the palaces and the various excursions, I recommend a 3/4 days. I understand that if you have to combine Lisbon with it, you will have to make choices. Personally I opted to see the Palacio National and its beautiful park at its best.

Alternative to visit Cabo da Roca with a wonderful excursion

If you want to experience this little piece of Portugal to the fullest, one of the best ways is to participate in a 4 × 4 tour to Cabo da Roca. They will pick you up directly at the hotel and will take you to discover the area off the tourist route until you reach Cabo da Roca. CLICK HERE to see the tour. You can choose between the 4-hour tour or the full day tour.

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