The first I’d heard of Sintra was just before the summer holidays at Cambridge University when a group of us were heading out to Lisbon for a 4 day weekend to celebrate multiple friend’s birthdays and a classmate of mine at Cambridge suggested visiting Sintra. Initially, I was a bit unsure – after all, this was my first time visiting Lisbon and as expected, there’s so much to see and do in Lisbon that I assumed I just wouldn’t get round to spending enough time in Lisbon let alone head off somewhere else. Then I got to know more about Sintra and I understood almost instantly why Sintra is a place you needs to visit in Portugal as soon as you get the chance to. Here are the 8 reasons why a trip to Sintra is a definite must-do!

8 Reasons Why You Have To Visit Sintra In Portugal!


1.) The castle is a glorious technicolour beauty!
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2.) That forest looks like something out of a fairytale! Like seriously, how stunning is this?
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3.) The old Moorish castle walls are pretty darn impressive!
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4.) Praia da Ursa: That beach! Just look at that beach!
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5.) It has Quinta da Regaleira, a UNESCO World Heritage site which spans for ages and is perhaps one of the most beautiful grounds across the land to spend an afternoon…
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6.) The (ominously named) initiation well is absolutely spectacular.
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7.) The villages are so picturesque and everything you would dream a Portuguese village would be.
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8.) The lake (like the forest) looks like something out of a fairytale. It seems like one of those paintings that you never expect to exist in real life (but here it is….)
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  • Cat

    OMG YES! I went to Sintra only for a day earlier this year and kicked myself for not planning to stay longer. It’s almost comically beautiful – where else has so many castles/palaces in one area? And such different styles! Utterly amazing.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Absolutely! It’s a Portuguese jewel!!! 🙂

  • MissLilly

    I love Sintra! It’s one of my favourite places in the world because the forest looks magical, the village is so picturesque, the castles are really romantic and there’s beach! Going down the coast from Sintra to Cascais is such an amazing journey! Can hardly wait for another visit

    • HandLuggageOnly

      There’s a reason why everyone raves about it and I think you’ve covered it perfectly there! 🙂

  • Wow! So beautiful! Getting even more excited about my trip to Sintra this fall!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Nice!!! So jealous! Please take lots of photos to share with us (so my jealously can grow even more).

  • I’ve had a look at the very first picture and I didn’t need convincing….then it just got better! wow!
    http://www.allnnothing.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Lol! I know the feeling! It’s a photographer’s dream!

  • I live near Sintra, its indeed very magical!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Absolutely!!!

  • This looks amazing. #8 is an absolute must to see! Looks amazing!

    Heba xx ││The HebaBloglovinInstagram

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Definitely! It’s so magical!

  • We’re headed there is a couple of months and I can’t wait. Thanks for making me even more excited 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You are going to love it, Kate! Have an awesome time! We can’t wait to see all your photos! 🙂
      Lloyd & Yaya

    • Julião Saeba

      Don’t forget to visit Queluz Palace even it it’s not showed here.

      • HandLuggageOnly

        What a great idea, Julião 🙂

        Lloyd & Yaya

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  • Moi Toi

    I used to live near Sintra when i was young and yes it is amazing. Can you please let me know where exactly the last 2 pictures were taken?
    For those who are going there, I would avoid the “touristic” restaurants in the city center. Always go to restaurants filled with locals. It will be cheap AND very good!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Absolutely amazing! The last two were taken in the forest from what I know. You’re so right about avoiding the tourist trap restaurants and go for the local haunts – problem is that its sometimes hard to know which is which. How would you usually tell the difference?

  • Beautiful! I am going there in two weeks and only planned 1 day. I think I have to go back and explore more! haha.

    Marlies aka Magnificent Escape

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! Yes you do Marlies! What did you think of it when you visited (I’m guessing you’ll have been there and back by this point).

      • Sorry for the late reply, couldn’t log in…
        But I loved it! I will definitely go back again!

  • Mary McPartland

    We will be here actually on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! What parts of the grounds, palace, village attractions can we expect to find open for wandering around?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah Wow… just saw your message… there should have been lots open on Christmas Eve.. did you have a great time? What did you see?

      Lloyd 🙂

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  • Karin

    I totally agree with you! This place so soo amazing! I was
    there for the first time last summer and loved it!
    Here you can find my blog posts for Sintra http://www.travelwithkarin.com/category/europa/portugal/sintra/

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It really is incredible isn’t it! We fell in love with the place!

      So glad you liked it to, Karin – looks like you had a great time in your awesome post too.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • Steve Stevens

    Hi, I plan a Sintra visit in the moment at the beginning of may. My question:
    Which of the places shown above are nessesary to visit by CAR
    and which places better not by car? Thanks for info

    • HandLuggageOnly

      We used a car to get around but it’s not essential – you will need some form of transport between the palaces but you can go on a regular tour or even small tuk tuk style cabs that operate between the palaces.

      😊 Lloyd & Yaya

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