3 Day Short Break in Sintra
First Day in Sintra
Sintra is a 30-minute drive from Lisbon, so get up early and start your journey. You can also get a train instead at Rossio Railway Station.
Arriving in Sintra, check in at your hotel or leave your luggage there. Check out great hotel recommendations in Sintra LINK to fully enjoy the village and nearby attractions. Head to the centre where you can walk and get to know some of the streets and style of the village. There are lots of nice lunch options there, and save some space for the typical Sintra cheese tarts, Queijadas de Sintra, or the pillow-shaped pastries, the Travesseiros.
Start early in the afternoon with some of the sights in the centre, such as the Sintra National Palace, an 11th-century Moorish palace and a delight for tiles admirers; the Natural History Museum of Sintra and the Ferreira de Castro Museum, which are two of the most important Sintra museums; among other points of interest. Then you can go to Quinta da Regaleira, one of the most beautiful in the Sintra area, and stay there for the rest of the day because it is so worth it. It was built in the 19th century and was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In addition to the magnificent palace and its decoration, be enchanted and intrigued by the whimsical gardens full of enigmatic symbols, grottos and wells, including a remarkable well shaped as an inverted tower, a so-called Initiation Well. This is a truly intriguing and beautiful place, with a mix of alchemy, freemasonic symbols and mysticism.
Second Day in Sintra
On the second day, start at Castelo dos Mouros, a great fortress built by the Arabs in the 8th century on a strategic 360-view hilltop. The climb is not easy, so be sure you have breakfast first. From there you can see another huge palace and symbol of Sintra, the Pena Palace. It is more than 500 meters high, which gives it a rather imposing air. Sometimes, due to the fog, it seems that the palace is floating on a cloud, giving it a very romantic charm. Have lunch inside one of the palace's cafes.
Continue the palace visit after lunch, here you should definitely take your time and go at your own pace. If you still have time in the afternoon, get a taxi to the National Palace of Queluz, a palace that dates back to the 18th century, with the looks and the grandeur that make it comparable to the Palace of Versailles. Be sure to visit the gardens, they are outstanding.
Third Day in Sintra
On the last day in Sintra, head to the Atlantic Ocean, just a few miles away. There is a beautiful small tram that takes you there. The coast is made up of several amazing beaches that make summer perfect in the city. There are many well-known beaches in Sintra, such as Praia Grande, Praia das Maçãs and Praia da Adraga, but the truth is that there are many other beautiful beaches worth exploring. The Cabo da Roca is another unmissable attraction for it is the westernmost point of the European continent and you will stun at the huge, beautiful waves and the incredible views of the ocean and the coast.