Sintra City 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.