Sintra is a Portuguese gem!

It’s easily one of the most beautiful places you can (and should) visit in all of Portugal and certainly packs some punch when it comes to amazing sights to see.

A mere glance at photos of Sintra will leave you convinced to visit this beautiful resort town so, seeing as we’ve already covered the reasons why you need to visit Sintra here, and fuelled by our recent trip to Sintra, I wanted to share with you all the things you need to know before visiting Sintra.

Let’s jump right into this! 🙂

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1.) Sintra is a mere 30 minutes away by train from Lisbon… and, like Cascais, it costs less than £2 to get to! (That’s cheaper than taking the tube in London).

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2.) Sintra is perhaps best explored by car but if you don’t drive, don’t fret! You’ve got lots of hop-on hop-off tour buses and (rather unique) tour cars to take you around so be sure to add the cost of that to your budget.

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3.) Sintra is chock-filled with UNESCO World Heritage sites (in fact, Sintra as a whole is a UNESCO World Heritage site) so you’ll have no shortage of amazing sights to see here.

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4.) Some of Sintra’s most amazing sights are not to ones you’d think to visit straight away (case in point, the stunningly intricate Monserrate Palace).

5.) There’s a lot of uphill walking required here, especially at Pena Palace (though you can pay for a bus to take you up to the Palace) and at the Moorish Castle.


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6.) Pack some walking shoes! Even though you can get a bus/drive close to most of the main sights, there’s still a lot of walking required when you’re here (on cobbled street too).

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7.) One of the best views in Sintra is from the Moorish Castle. Pena Palace is actually higher but the Castle walls offer more uninterrupted views of the town, Pena Palace and the other palaces and parks in Sintra.

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8.) You can’t get proper food at the main sights so do eat (and drink) when you’re in the town centre (or perhaps even before you arrive).

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9.) You wouldn’t think it, as you’re surrounded by tall thick vegetations but Sintra has some pretty amazing beaches!

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10.) When you drive here, there aren’t many signs guiding you to where you need to go so do try to get yourself a SatNav for the car or offline map for your phone.

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11.) Hotels in Sintra book up very fast so try to plan in advance if you want to stay in Sintra for a night or two (or perhaps even more).

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12.) Summer times is the busiest time to visit Sintra so if you’re not so keen on crowds, you might want to avoid the visiting during Summer, especially at the weekends. (If, like us, you don’t mind the crowds, I say visit whenever’s friendliest for your wallets!) 😉

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13.) It gets very hot here (especially in summer) so go adequately prepared for the weather! (Sunscreen, hats, water… the works).

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14.) At a push, it is very possible to see the main sights in Sintra in one day but to fully appreciate it, I highly recommend spending at least two days here so you can take in the sights at a more leisurely (and enjoyable pace).

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15.) You HAVE to visit Sintra when you’re in Lisbon! A trip to Lisbon is absolutely incomplete without popping into Sintra. 🙂

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  • I was wanting to plan a trip here sometime this summer, but the flight prices to Lisbon are ridiculous this time of year, so I’ll probably end up going in the autumn sometime instead. It looks so beautiful there! I probably would have just taken a day trip there from Lisbon, as I didn’t realise there was so much to see there, so thanks for recommending a few days there!
    xo April | April Everyday

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! Autumn is a lovely time to visit… You’ll honestly love it April, it’s such a wonderful and pretty place and only 30 minutes from the airport itself!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Beautiful photos! I love how colourful Sintra is!

    Kate | http://www.petiteadventures.org/

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s a stunner of a place ins’t it, Kate!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Sintra is so cool isn’t it! I would also highly recommend visiting Quinta Da Regaleira there – only 6 Euros entry and they have an amazing stairway built into the rocks that leads down into different tunnels, view points and waterfalls! Steph x
    http://www.stephstyle.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Wow! That’s amazing Steph… definitely our excuse to return now! 🙂

      So glad you love it too!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Ahhh now I’m kicking myself for merely passing through Sintra instead of stopping to fully appreciate it! Another trip to Portugal is much needed methinks…x

    Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • HandLuggageOnly

      O-M-Gosh… you will love it! Honestly, it’s breathtakingly beautiful (inside and out) – we fell in love with the who area! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Bee

    This place doesn’t even look real! Amazing.

    Briana
    http://www.youngsophisticate.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s a beautiful place isn’t it! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • 🙂 I need to do the Moorish castle next time:)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yaaaaas! You get some great views from there too! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Alfredo Ciano

    Trip in WonderLand…

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s a beautiful place isn’t it Alfredo! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya

  • Definitely bookmarking this for later as I’m headed to Portugal for 3 weeks in April!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, you’re going to love it! Let us know if you need any tips or advice, we are always happy to help! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Nefeli Gkoni

    I’ve become a huge fan of your blog the last couple of months, excellent work! We will be visiting Lisbon in June but only for 4 days and we want to visit both Sintra and Cascais. Do you think that it would be possible to do both in one day, maybe ? 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, thanks so much Nefeli! You’ve just made our evening with your kind words.

      It would be a very long day if you did. Do you drive? If so, it’s probably best to split them over two days – Sintra can take a big chunk of time as each of the sites are in different areas of the mountains (which all take time to get around).

      Theoretically, it’s possible for one day, You could spend the early morning in Cascais then head over to Sintra at noon. This might work but you will be rushed.

      Hope that makes sense 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Nefeli Gkoni

        Thank you so much for your reply! I realise it will be difficult to do both in one day, and I don’t think we can leave Lisbon two days, since we are only staying for four.
        If you had to absolutely pick one, between Cascais and Sintra, which one would you pick ?

        Keep travelling and keep making our social media newsfeed full of colourful inspiration! Kisses from Greece xxx

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Sintra is stunning – we might have to say Sintra – you’re going to love it so much.

          Thanks so much, Nefeli! big hugs. 🤗

          Lloyd & Yaya xx

    • Tania Silva

      Hi Nefeli, If you want to see both in one day, its best to go with a tour guide. I went with Genuine Tours and it was awesome. If you interested, you can see the reviews

      https://www.tripadvisor.pt/Attraction_Review-g189158-d7689092-Reviews-GenuineTours-Lisbon_Lisbon_District_Central_Portugal.html

      🙂

      • HandLuggageOnly

        Good call. 🙂

        They’re both amazing aren’t they.

        Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Mishele41

    This post has got me feeling excited for my Portugal trip this summer. Thank you for these great tips!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ahhh! You’re going to have the best time! Have fun! 🇵🇹

      Lloyd & Yaya 😝

  • I NEED to visit Sintra! It’s on the bucket list now!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Sintra is so beautiful isn’t it, Hailey. We fell in love with the whole place.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx