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! 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
9.) You wouldn’t think it, as you’re surrounded by tall thick vegetations but Sintra has some pretty amazing beaches!
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.
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).
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!) 😉
13.) It gets very hot here (especially in summer) so go adequately prepared for the weather! (Sunscreen, hats, water… the works).
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).
15.) You HAVE to visit Sintra when you’re in Lisbon! A trip to Lisbon is absolutely incomplete without popping into Sintra. 🙂