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Take a break from your Lisbon City Break and head to Sintra, a short half hour away from the Portuguese capital but truly a world apart.

Sintra is nestled in woodlands and filled with century-old castles and fanciful palaces, romantic gardens and villas. It is so enchanting and beautiful that you simply can’t help falling in love. No wonder Sintra is also great for a romantic getaway and often chosen as the scenario for many a magical wedding.

Talking of romance and fairy tale excess, head to one of the oldest Sintra monuments, the multicoloured, whimsical Pena Palace, on the hill opposite the town and definitely worth the journey uphill. Its bright colours, misterious turrets and extravagant architectural details will remind you of those fabulous romantic palaces and castles in Bavaria. No wonder. Pena Palace was build during King Fernando II’s reign and he was the cousin of Bavaria’s King Ludwig II, known for a lot of castle extravaganza.

Leave some extra time to explore the surrounding park and woods.

Open daily from 9:30, park €7.50, palace and park €14 (€13 for early birds between 9:30 and 10:30 am).

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