Sintra: The Complete Guide

Sintra is a charming Portuguese town situated within the cooling hills of the Serra de Sintra. With its undulating mountains, lush forests teeming with ferns and lichen, exotic gardens, and dazzling palaces, feels like a fairytale come to life. The town’s centre, Sintra-Vila, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is adorned with pastel-colored mansions nestled into verdant hills that slope towards the deep blue Atlantic.

The Celts venerated their moon god in Sintra, the Moors constructed a precipitous castle, and 18th-century Portuguese royalty strolled around its idyllic gardens. Even Lord Byron was entranced by Sintra’s beauty and described it in his epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage as, “Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes, in variegated maze of mount and glen.”

While it’s a must-visit destination for those in Lisbon, many attempt to cram it into a single day trip, which can feel rushed. If time permits, Sintra is captivating enough to warrant a few days’ stay.

Visiting Sintra for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Sintra on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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9 Best places to See in Sintra

This complete guide to Sintra not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Sintra and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Sintra National Palace

Palacio Sintra February
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Alvesgaspar
The National Palace of Sintra is a remarkable building and one of the most notable mediaeval palaces in Portugal. From the earliest days of the nation, Sintra has been a favourite location of Portuguese monarchs, but the palace as we see it today was rebuilt by Dom João I and enriched by Dom Manuel I. […]
Location: Sintra National Palace, Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, Sintra, Portugal | Hours: 9.30am-7pm | Price: adult/child €10/8.50 | Website | Distance: 1.00km
Visiting Sintra National Palace

Castelo dos Mouros

Castelo Dos Mouros, Sintra
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Luiyo
The ruins of the Castelo dos Mouros tower over Sintra and were once a formidable defense for the region during the Moorish era from the 8th to the 12th century. Built on a rocky outcrop, it afforded the Moors a strategic view of the coastline and surrounding lands. However, after the Christian Crusaders stormed the […]
Location: Castelo dos Mouros, Sintra, Portugal | Hours: 9.30am-8pm | Price: adult/child €8/6.50 | Website | Distance: 1.30km
Visiting Castelo dos Mouros

Palácio e Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta Da Regaleira
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Susanne Nilsson
Quinta Regaleira, one of Sintra’s most mysterious attractions, is located very near to the town’s historic center. The Palácio da Regaleira, surrounded by lush greenery, was constructed in the early 20th century by António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro (1848-1920), a millionaire who fulfilled one of his dreams with the help of architect Luigi Manini (1848-1936). The […]
Location: Quinta da Regaleira, Rua Barbosa du Bocage, Sintra, Portugal | Hours: 9.30am-7pm Apr-Sep, to 5pm Oct-Mar | Price: adult/child €6/4, tours €12/8 | Distance: 1.40km
Visiting Palácio e Quinta da Regaleira

Pena Palace

Pena Palace
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ingo Mehling
The magnificent Palácio da Pena exemplifies 19th-century Romantic revivalism in Portugal, and is a must-see for visitors to Sintra. Perched atop the Monte da Pena, the palace occupies the site of an old monastery belonging to the Order of St. Jerome. Its creation was inspired by Dom Fernando of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, who married Queen Dona […]
Location: Pena Palace, Estrada da Pena, Sintra, Portugal | Hours: 9.45am-7pm | Price: combined ticket with Parque da Pena adult/child €14/12.50 | Website | | Distance: 1.90km
Visiting Pena Palace

Cruz Alta Viewpoint

Cruz Alta, Sintra, Portugal
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Rick McCharles
Rising 529 meters above sea level, this viewpoint stands as the tallest peak in the Sintra Mountains. Situated in the heart of Pena Park, 4 km away from the historic centre, it offers a breathtaking view of the Sintra Mountains in all their glory. With a panoramic landscape and the ocean on the horizon, visitors […]
Location: Cruz Alta, Sintra, Portugal | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 2.70km
Visiting Cruz Alta Viewpoint

Park and Palace of Monserrate

Park And Palace Of Monserrate, Sintra, Portugal
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Jorge Lobo
William Beckford, who fell in love with the Serra de Sintra, created this magnificent Romantic park. Monserrate was originally a farm with fruit orchards and crop fields that was first imagined by Gerard DeVisme in the 18th century. Subsequently, William Beckford and Francis Cook also lived on the property. However, it was Francis Cook, the […]
Location: Park and Palace of Monserrate, Sintra, Portugal | Hours: 9.30am-7pm | Price: adult/child €8/6.50 | Website | Distance: 3.50km
Visiting Park and Palace of Monserrate

Convento dos Capuchos (Sintra)

Convento Dos Capuchos, Colares, Portugal
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Mangelbenito
Capuchos Convent, also called Santa Cruz or the Cork Convent, was constructed in 1560 by Dom Álvaro de Castro to fulfill a vow made by his father, Dom João de Castro, who was Viceroy of India. The convent’s small cells, chapel, refectory, and other facilities are built into the rock and lined with cork, showcasing […]
Location: Convento dos Capuchos, Colares, Portugal | Hours: 9.30am-8pm | Price: adult/child €7/5.50 | Website | Distance: 5.30km
Visiting Convento dos Capuchos (Sintra)

Cabo da Roca

Cabo Da Roca On Sunset
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Olga1969
Don’t miss out on visiting Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe, when you’re in Sintra. This important landmark, located at latitude 38º 47´ north and longitude 9º 30´ west, has historical significance for those navigating along the coast, as it serves as the most westerly point of mainland Europe. Visitors can even […]
Location: Cabo da Roca, Estrada do Cabo da Roca, Colares, Portugal | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 10.50km
Visiting Cabo da Roca

Palácio de Queluz

Palácio Queluz
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Alvesgaspar
The Palace of Queluz, built during the late 18th-century at the command of Pedro III, the husband of D. Maria I (1734-1816), is an exceptional example of Portuguese architecture. As a former royal residence, the palace is a fine specimen of 18th-century Portuguese architecture, enriched with an extensive collection of decorative art, mostly belonging to […]
Location: Palacio de Queluz, Queluz, Portugal | Hours: 9am-7pm Apr-Oct, to 6pm Nov-Mar | Price: adult/child €10/8.50 | Website | Distance: 12.10km
Visiting Palácio de Queluz

Tours and Activities from Sintra