When in Lisbon, a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra and Pena Palace is almost a must. It definitely lived up to our expectation and we loved our visit. There is so much to do in Sintra and we were a little overwhelmed with what to do and how not to feel like we were rushing anything. Ultimately, we decided to do only Pena Palace and Park, as well as Sintra town. See here’s everything you need to know about a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra and Pena Palace.
How To Get To Sintra From Lisbon By Train
The train from Lisbon to Sintra is really easy, it’s the best way to get to Sintra. The train to Sintra leaves from Rossio Train station, which is right in the city centre.
The trains are frequent and run every 10-30 mins. You can check the train times from Lisbon to Sintra here. It takes around 40 mins to get to Sintra from Rossio Station.
Rossio Station (Lisbon) to Sintra Station
Train Frequency: Every 10-30 minutes
Time: Around 40 minutes
Cost: 2.20 € (per person, single trip) or 1.85 € (zapping) + 0.50 € (New Zap Card)
Good To Know: If you plan to use the train, metro or tram in Lisbon a few times, then it’s worth purchasing a Viva Viagem card and loading it with credit for zapping. This can then be used multiple times, and the price of zapping is cheaper than individual ticket prices.
How To Get To Pena Palace From Sintra Train Station
Once you get off the train, head out to the street and look for Bus Number 434. This will take you from the train station to Sintra Town (National Palace of Sintra), then the Castle of the Moors and then Pena Palace.
The journey from the station to Pena Palace took 25-30 minutes. We purchased our ticket for the bus in line, but be sure to have close to the right money.
We considered walking to Pena Palace, but after taking the bus, we’re so glad we didn’t. The hills are steep, the roads are windy with not much room for pedestrians. It really is worthwhile taking the bus.
Sintra Station to Pena Palace
Bus Number: 434
Time: Around 25-30 Minutes
Cost: 5.50€ (Per person, round trip)
Pena Palace + Park
You can get a ticket to just the Park, or both the Park and Palace. You can walk around the base of the Palace with only the Park ticket, but the inside of the Palace is worth it.
Opening Hours: 9.30 AM to 8 PM for Pena Park + 9.45 AM – 7 PM for Pena Palace.
Cost: Tickets for an adult are 14€ for Park + Palace. It is a little cheaper to buy online (5% discount), and as an incentive, you can get cheaper tickets between 9:30 – 10:30 at the entrance (happy hour price 13€ per person).
What Time To Visit Pena Palace?
We arrived at Pena Palace at around 10:20 which was later than the opening time arrival we had planned. There was a few people, but it was not too busy.
By the time we finished the internal circuit of the Palace, it was a lot busier. Too busy for me, there was a very long line and it doesn’t move fast.
So definitely try and go to Pena Palace around opening time if possible, otherwise, we have heard that going a few hours before closing is also good. Personally, those misty mornings added something so special to the Palace, so early morning would be our pick.
Pena Palace Exterior
When we arrived, it was super foggy. The only view we had was white, and it was so mystical and we loved it, so we did a loop around the palace exterior first before heading inside the palace.
It is one of the most unique palaces we have seen. The colours and design are playful and stunning.
Pena Palace Interior
The interior of the palace is something special too. It got crowded at points but overall our time inside was great. Beautiful rooms and furniture everywhere! Here, you follow a path, which at times can get congested, but at least it makes sure you don’t miss anything.
Parts of the palace were closed or obstructed for restoration, which I actually loved seeing a restoration job that will be around for a long time to come and perhaps become history in its own right, ‘so here you can see some of the restoration made in 2017’. The original plasterers and tilers would not have had the luxury of listening to their iPhone while they worked though ;)
Two of our favourite rooms were the Noble Hall and the kitchen.
Cruz Alta (High Cross)
Pena Palace is within a large park full of paths and things to see. We wanted to head to the highest point to get a view back of Pena Palace, so headed to the High Cross.
It was a pretty nice path and enjoyed the walk up. It is not a big area on the top and doesn’t take many people to feel ‘full’, so we soaked in the view quickly and kept walking.
Valley Of The Lakes
The walk from the High Cross through nature and the lakes was nice. Some of the trees were quite impressive. We didn’t know what to expect from the ‘Valley Of The Lakes’ so everything we saw was a surprise.
Sintra Historical Town + Where To Eat In Sintra
By the time we got back to Sintra Historical Town all we really wanted to do was to try the Travesseiro pastry from Piriquita, have a coffee, explore the streets and just enjoy the beautiful town. But there is definitely more to do in Sintra Town.
We also stopped at Cafe Saudade for lunch before the train back to Lisbon. We loved the ‘Peasant’ toasted sandwich in Bolo Do Caco roll. You can also eat at the cafe at Pena Palace if you’re wanting to continue onto another sight from there.
Our Lisbon – Pena Palace – Sintra Itinerary
8:25 – Arrived at Rossio Train Station, Lisbon.
8:40 – Train left on route to Sintra.
9:20 – Arrived in Sintra.
9:40 – Bus 434 Left to take us to Pena Palace.
10:10 – Arrived at Pena Palace entrance.
10:15 – Tickets bought and enter the Park and headed to the Palace.
10:20 – We arrived at the Palace itself and explored a little of the outside of the Palace.
10:40 – Lined up to get inside the Palace.
10:50 – We got inside Pena Palace. Some parts were quite congested and slow, standing still at times, and other rooms were near empty…not sure how that works out, but it did.
12:00 – We finished the internal circuit and had a snack at the terrace bar area. Then looked around a bit more.
12:25 – Left for the High Cross to look back at Pena Palace. By this time it was really really busy. Such a long line to get inside the Palace Interior. If I were to guess I would say an hour wait to get in.
12:45 – Got to the High Cross and stayed up and only stayed there for 5 minutes. Then we headed back down and saw a sign to the lakes, so we headed there.
13:20 – Finished the lower lakes and ended up at a different entrance. We decided to walk back to the other entrance.
13.35 – Got straight on the Bus as soon as we got to the entrance which was lucky, straight to Sintra Historic Town.
13:55 – Arrived in Sintra Historic Town. Here we tried some pastries at Piriquita and explored some of the streets, looked at some pretty buildings and then headed for lunch.
15:00 – We got to Cafe Saudade where we had a great lunch, we loved the Peasant in Bolo Do Caco roll.
15:30 – Very Short walk to the train station.
15:40 – Train Back to Lisbon (Rossio Train Station).
16:25 – Back at in Lisbon :)
How Much Time Do You Need At Pena Palace And Sintra?
Including the train both ways, you should allow around 8 hours for a day trip to Pena Palace and Sintra. There is a lot more to see and do in Sintra than just Pena Palace and the historic town, but we feel you would need a second day trip in Sintra to make the most of it, or stay a night in Sintra if you are interested in seeing more of the town.
Other Things To Do In Sintra
Pena Palace and Sintra Town are two things you should explore, but here are some of the other sights that are definitely worth visiting.
There are so many amazing things to see and do in Lisbon, but if you have the time, a day trip to Sintra and Pena Palace will be unforgettable. In Sintra there is so much more than just Pena Palace, and wish we could have seen it all…next time!
For more information on Portugal see the official tourism website Visit Portugal.
What did you think of Pena Palace? What is your favourite thing about Sintra? Let us know in the comments…
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