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Sintra Day Trips from Lisbon

To complete your trip to Lisbon with an excursion to its surroundings, Sintra and Cascais are probably the best option.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

7 min read

Sintra Day Trips from Lisbon

Sintra | ©Drew Bae

The excursion to Sintra is a must. Only half an hour away from Lisbon is this town presided by the Pena Palace, one of the most important centers of European Romantic architecture.

There are different alternatives to go to Sintra. Choosing one or another will depend on what you want to see or the time you have. I tell you the best options:

Best value for money

Sintra, Cascais, Pena Palace, Cabo da Roca and Regaleira Day Trip from Lisbon

The most popular and complete tour, at the best price

If you want to enjoy the charm of Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca while seeing the outside of the Pena Palace, this is the most economical option.

Duration: 8 hours

A visit to Sintra during our trip to Lisbon will allow us to know a little more of the neighboring country and leaving the Portuguese capital, we can enjoy landscapes with a unique charm. But since we are determined to leave Lisbon for a few hours, it is best to make the most of the visit and make the most of our journey through Portuguese lands.

To begin with, in the surroundings of Sintra there are tourist sites that are worth a visit. This is the case of the town of Cascais or the impressive Cabo da Roca from which you can see wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean. This day trip to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais and Estoril is designed to enjoy the contrasts of the Portuguese landscape.

And of course, high in the Sintra mountain range is the spectacular Pena Palace built in the 19th century by a German architect for Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. This is one of the most romantic palaces in Europe and therefore the main attraction of this small town, although this option does not include the entrance. In this tour excursion to Sintra you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will reveal its history. On the way back you will also pass through Estoril.

Meals and drinks are not included in this tour, but you will have free time to eat at one of the places recommended by the guide. You can also take some food with you, but I recommend you to try the local food.

Why I like this option: The best thing about the tour is that it is the most complete tour I could find at the most affordable price. In addition, it also includes pick up and drop off at your hotel, so it couldn't be more convenient!

Recommended if... you are looking for an economical and quality option to spend a different day during your trip to Lisbon, getting to know the highlights of the region.


More complete option

Sintra and Cascais Day Trip from Lisbon

Tour Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca with an expert guide and entrance to the Pena Palace

If you want to make the most of your excursion and not renounce to see inside the charming Pena Palace, this is the best option with entrance to this monument.

Duration: 8 hours

By now you must be convinced that Sintra is a must-see during your trip to Lisbon, so you just have to choose the option that best suits you. The main attraction of this beautiful city is undoubtedly the Pena Palace, so you will not want to miss its beautiful rooms, taking advantage of having an expert guide who will tell you all the historical details.

You will start the day in Sintra, where in addition to visiting the historic center, you will visit the Town Hall (also known as Queluz Palace) and stop at Casa Piriquita, a mythical pastry shop where you can taste the typical sweets of the area, the Travesseiros and Queijadas.

You will also pass by Cabo da Roca to enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic and head to the famous Pena Palace, where you will have an hour and a half to explore it in depth. Later, on your way back home, you will pass by the Estoril Coast.

Why I like this option: for a slightly higher price than other tours you will have an expert guide and the entrance to the National Palace of Pena included, which will give you a much more complete experience, as well as including round trip transfers by minivan....

Recommended if... you want to enjoy a more premium experience than other tours that do not include entrance fees to the monuments you will see along the way.


In summary, we compare the two options


About Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira| ©Susanne Nilsson
Quinta da Regaleira| ©Susanne Nilsson

Any guided tour will cover the main points of the visit to Sintra; some will focus more on the historic center, some on the surroundings and some on the scenery. If you visit Sintra individually this is the list of sites you need to see (I recommend leaving Lisbon early to see them all).

The Pena Palace

It is the main attraction of Sintra and the greatest architectural exponent of 19th century romanticism in Portugal. It is located on top of a hill and you will distinguish it by its yellow and pink walls. You can find all the information you need to visit it in this other article on how to visit the Pena Palace.

Sintra National Palace

In addition to the Pena Palace, Sintra has this other palace with white walls and orange roofs that is well worth a visit both inside and outside. Architecture lovers will delight in analyzing the medieval, Gothic, Romanesque, Manueline and Renaissance elements present on its facade. Although the opening hours change according to the season, you can visit it every day of the year for an approximate price of 10 euros.

The Quinta da Regaleira

The palaces are the main attraction of Sintra, but this one is different from the rest. The Quinta da Regaleira palace looks like an enchanted castle full of turrets and sculptures that adorn its brick-colored walls. The entrance fee ranges from 8 to 16 euros depending on whether you want to visit with or without a guided tour and the schedule changes according to the season (although you can usually visit every day of the week throughout the year).

The Moorish Castle

On top of a mountain is located this enclave also known as the Castle of Sintra. To get there you have to climb some stone stairs and from the top you will have stunning views of the Atlantic if the day is clear.

Ana's Traveller Tip

If you like gastronomy, in Sintra you will find the Bristol restaurant of the chef Sergi Arola, but you will have to book well in advance.

When to go to Sintra

Aerial view of the Castle of the Walls in Sintra
Aerial view of the Castle of the Walls in Sintra

Like Lisbon, Sintra receives tourists all year round. In high season (June to August) you will find the town more lively, but there will also be more queues to visit the Pena Palace and the entrance fees to the tourist sites will be higher.

As for the weather, it is good at any time of the year as there are no low temperatures that prevent you from visiting the city and in summer in Sintra will always be less hot than in Lisbon. The ideal month to visit the city is September since the weather will be ideal and you will not find the crowds of summer in the tourist spots.

How to get to Sintra from Lisbon on your own

Lisbon train at Sintra Station| ©Jason
Lisbon train at Sintra Station| ©Jason

If you are not a fan of guided tours (although it is something I always recommend when it comes to sightseeing and visiting the most emblematic points of a city) you can also get to Sintra on your own easily and quickly.

The train to Sintra departs from Lisbon's Rossio station, located in the city center between the botanical garden and the Santa Justa elevator. The trip takes about 40 minutes, trains leave every half hour and cost about five euros (with the Lisbon tourist card you will not pay for the train).

You can also get to Sintra by rental car from Lisbon, but the train works so well that I do not recommend it unless you are going to follow the route around the capital. Once you arrive in Sintra, you can move around the town on foot or by bus 434 that connects the historic center with the Pena Palace.

Ana's Traveller Tip

Ask for queijadas or travesseiros in Sintra's pastry shops; they are the typical sweets of the region.

If you liked the excursion to Sintra, you will also like

Nazaré| ©Sergei Gussev
Nazaré| ©Sergei Gussev

Sintra is not the only attractive place you can visit during your trip to Lisbon without having to travel long distances. The surroundings of the Portuguese capital are exciting and if you have not yet booked your plane ticket what I advise you is to add a couple of extra days to your vacation to be able to visit them all.

The Algarve, Fatima, Sesimbra, Nazaré, Óbidos, Arrábida, Evora... if you haven't heard of these places after visiting Lisbon, you will have heard of them several times. In this article about Best Tours and Day Trips from Lisbon you will find all the necessary information about what you can see during your trip.

Frequently asked questions

  • How far is Sintra from Lisbon?

    Between Sintra and Lisbon there are 28 km, less than half an hour by car.

  • Is it worth visiting Sintra from Lisbon?

    Yes: it is a very nice excursion perfect to do in one day, as it is very close and you can take the opportunity to visit the famous Pena Palace.

  • Which is better, Sintra or Cascais?

    Both places have their charm and best of all, if you feel like visiting both, there are organized tours that cover both in the same day.

  • What will I see on the excursion to Sintra and Cascais?

    You will see the Pena National Park, the historic center of Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Guincho Beach, Boca do Inferno, the historic center of Cascais and the Estoril Casino.