Most times, when you look at guides to Sintra or top sights to see in Sintra, Monserrate Palace (and it’s surrounding parks) are overlooked and yet, from speaking to locals in nearby Cascais (a lovely seaside town), this is one sight that needs to be seen in Sintra and so, with that in mind, we decided to pop into Monserrate palace before leaving Sintra and making our way back to London.

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The parking situation here alone, shows you how not many people (especially if you’re short on time), think to visit this amazing place as the car parks were pretty much empty when we arrive – save for a tour bus (or perhaps a wedding bus? See below) and a couple of cars.

To set some context, back at Pena Palace, you had to wait till someone moved out of a parking space on the road and jump right into said space on a rather narrow winding road. (After a few attempts, we were lucky enough to get a space but it was not as ‘sans-hassle’ as one’d like to think.)

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Wandering through the grounds, through a pathway we hoped would lead to the palace, I was very quickly reassured that we’d made the right decision in sacrificing other sights in Sintra to see this one (we’d loved to have seen every single one but there just wasn’t enough time to ‘see it all’ on this trip – the perfect excuse to return to Sintra soon).

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Soon enough, the stunning Arabesque wonder that is Monserrate Palace was in front of us and boy was it worth the hype! See, I love the intricate details that you find in Arabesque architecture and Monserrate Palace is the perfect example of this architectural style.

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We arrived to a man playing away on the guitar (turns out, there was a wedding being held here) but asides the wedding guests (all of whom were festively dressed and a bit ‘merry from wine’ and hence easy to spot), there were probably just a tiny handful of people here – like seriously, I think we saw no more than 5 other people here.

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Anyway, enough rambling from me, let me take you on a walk through this Portuguese gem…

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See what I mean about that intricate Arabesque detailing? It’s so beautiful, unbelieveably precise and a perfect confluence of design and mathematics (even if subliminally).

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Monserrate Palace is considerably smaller than some of the other Palaces in Sintra and as such, means you have very little excuse to not visit, as it compact enough to be visited relatively quickly – compared to the others of course.

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Before long though, we’d gone way past the time we were meant to have left Sintra (I think we were meant to have left 30 minutes before) and so it was pretty much a case of hot-footing it straight to the car and heading for the airport, swinging past the gates of Quinta da Regaleira as we went past!

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Sintra is an absolute gem and a place I’m pretty sure everyone who visits ends up falling deep in lust (or perhaps even possibly, in love) with and if there’s one recommendation I would make, it’s to set yourself at least 2/3 days to see it properly. That won’t still feel like enough but you’ll at least be able to cover most of the sights and leave with even more reasons to return to this beautiful Portuguese town.



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  • It’s such a shame, I’m Portuguese and I’ve never heard of this beautiful place. i must go there!

    http://www.moibyines.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, it’s such an incredible place, Inês – you’ll have to visit. Honestly, it’s so beautiful ✨

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • The Next Pursuit

    I love the architecture; it looks like a gorgeous place to visit and photograph. Your pictures look amazing and help add this to my must-see list. Thank you!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It really is so beautiful – we fell in love with Sintra! 😀

      Lloyd & Yaya 😊

  • Gosia Zieba

    stunning! I loved every single photo in this post x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Gosia – it’s an incredible place! 😚

      Lloyd & Yaya 😀

  • Marina Fgo

    Beautiful place!!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s so stunning isn’t it. We loved Sintra 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya 😊

  • What an amazing place, I havent been to Portugal as yet but Sintra looks great.
    top10travel.online

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s so beautiful. You should definitely visit on your next trip. ✨

      Lloyd & Yaya 😀

  • Yes! Sintra is a must for anyone visiting Lisbon or Cascais. I visited Sintra for a day on our way to a music festival in Portugal and it was absolutely beautiful – my favourite place in Portugal by far. Thanks for the wonderful photos!
    http://www.lifebeginswithtravel.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Tamsin – you’re so right, it really is amazing isn’t it! So glad you loved it, too. ✨

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • This looks soooo gorgeous! Love your photography as well, the colours are outstanding.

    x Annabelle
    travelsandtea.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Annabelle. It really is a gorgeous place ✨

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I’m going to Lisbon and Porto in May. Thanks for this. I hadn’t come across Monserrate Palace in my research yet, but I’m definitely going there now. I hope I get lucky like you did and that there aren’t many people there. I love the picture of the guy playing the guitar at the wedding though. Your pictures are fantastic.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! You’re going to love it! It’s such a special place! We’re convinced that Monserrate Palace is one of the prettiest to explore. Honestly, it’s so incredible.

      Can’t wait to hear what you think 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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