Sintra is a 30-minute drive from Lisbon, so get up early and start your journey. You can also get a train at Rossio Railway Station.
Arriving in Sintra, 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 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.
Don't miss Castelo dos Mouros either, a great fortress built by the Arabs in the 8th century on a strategic 360-view hilltop.
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. When visiting Palacio da Pena, you should definitely take your time and go at your own pace.
You could also add a visit 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.
Sintra can be accessed in many ways. In front of Sintra train station, there are bus lines that take you to the surroundings, such as Cascais, Colares or Cabo da Roca (near the beaches of Sintra). There is also a line to Mafra, a great village known for its magnificent Monastery with a world unique carillons or sets of bells.
From the train station take bus line 434, It leaves every 40 minutes and makes a circular route from the train station to the town of Sintra passing through Castelo dos Mouros, and Palacio da Pena. You can get a simple ticket or ticket for a day that is valid for any bus from the company Scotturb, for example, the number 403 that goes from Sintra to Cascais passing through Cabo da Roca. There is also a taxi rank outside the station.
The Sintra tram connects Sintra with the resort town of Praia das Maçãs 13km to the west. It's a 40 minute trip to the small beach town, or you can take bus 441.
Also in Sintra, there is an antique and food market every second and last Saturday of the month in the Praça de Sao Pedro. The local festival dedicated to Sao Pedro itself is celebrated on June 28 and 29. In summer, the Sintra Music Festival presents multiple classic works in several venues of the village, including the palaces and their gardens. At the end of July, the Feira Grande or Great Market is also celebrated in the Praça de Sao Pedro, where you can buy cheese and other delicacies from the region.