For the thousands upon thousands of visitors to Lisbon each year, nearly all come wanting to visit Sintra. What a lot of these visitors don’t know is that to get to Sintra from Lisbon is easy and straight forward. Lisbon to Sintra can be done in a number of ways. The most popular way is to catch the train from Lisbon to Sintra. Nonetheless, one can also do a day tour, drive a car or catch a bus to Sintra.
A site as amazing as Sintra is a major tourist centre. Tourist, travellers and day-trippers come in droves each day from the capital Lisbon. Sintra was a popular place of relaxation with the Portuguese Royal family and those in high society over the years.
This left the landscape with many Royal residences, retreats, estates, castles and other buildings. These include the medieval Castelo dos Mouros, the Pena National Palace and the Palacio Nacional de Sintra in the historic centre of Sintra. These sights and more make the perfect Sintra Itinerary
Sintra is today protected by UNESCO World Heritage Site as a cultural landscape. Sintra is described by UNESCO as such:
In the 19th century, Sintra Portugal became the first centre of European Romantic architecture. Ferdinand II turned a ruined monastery into a castle where this new sensitivity was displayed in the use of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance elements and in the creation of a park blending local and exotic species of trees.
Other fine dwellings, built along the same lines in the surrounding Serra, created a unique combination of parks and gardens which influenced the development of landscape architecture throughout Europe.
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Visit Sintra Portugal Attractions
One day in Sintra may not be enough to see all the amazing attractions on offer. Below are some of the highlights that we recommend you see for the best Sintra experience possible. Pena Palace should always be first on your Sintra Day Trip, after all, it is the colourful castle everyone knows.
*Pena Palace: The most popular of Sintra attractions. A big bright multi-coloured castle designed in the 19th century Romanticism style of architecture. A true wonder to visit. The Palace is surrounded by Pena Park, the 200 hectares of parkland was designed by King Ferdinand II. The Cruz Alta is the highest point of Sintra and is located in Pena Park.
*Quinta de Regaleira: The grand manor built with an intricate gothic facade. Quinta de Regaleira has 5 floors with rooms to explore. The real reason to visit is the gardens out the back of the estate. Featuring wells, grottos and symbols of ancient secret orders like the Knights Templar.
*Castle of the Moors: The Castelo dos Mouros was established during the 9th century by the North African Moors to guard the town of Sintra. After the Christians conquered Portugal the castle fell into disrepair. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake nearly toppled it. Today the ancient ruin is highly popular providing amazing views in its forest setting.
*National Palace of Sintra: The best-preserved medieval royal palace in all of Portugal. Located in the historic centre of all the Sintra sights. You can’t miss Palácio Nacional de Sintra with its 2 cones that protrude from the roof. This former Royal Residence dates from the early 14th century.
*Sintra Old Town: The town centre of Sintra is like a step back in time. Stroll the picturesque cobbled streets, admire the traditional house shops and have a bite to eat at one of the many cafes. The town centre of Sintra surrounds the Sintra National Palace (Palácio Nacional da Pena)
So let’s find out the options on how to get to Sintra from Lisbon.
Lisbon to Sintra by Train:
The Lisbon Sintra train runs hourly from Rossio station in downtown Lisbon. The Rossio Lisbon station is a sight in itself. An amazing looking station opened in the 18th century and located just off Rossio Square. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket booths or the automatic ticket machines. Rossio is the main hub for you to get from Lisbon to Sintra by train.
- The Lisbon to Sintra train runs from 6 am till 1 am – 19 hours of every day
- During peak times the Lisbon to Sintra train runs every 10 minutes
- Departure times vary from every 10 minutes, every 20 minutes and every 30 minutes.
- The travel time varies between 40 and 44 minutes when travelling from Lisbon to Sintra by train
- Lisbon to Sintra train tickets cost €2.25 one way
You will arrive at the Sintra Train Station, the train station at Sintra is the end of the line so you will not have to worry about missing the station. The Sintra Train Station is only serviced by Lisbon urban trains.
Lisbon Train Station has a ticket office and ticket vending machine of you need to get a ticket back to the Lisbon main train station. The train timetable Sintra to Lisbon is on display on screens in the station and the Sintra train station platforms. This makes your Sintra Day trip easy.
You can also pick up a paper copy of the timetable from a conductor at the station. The Sintra Train Station has a small cafe selling food and drinks.
Another excellent option is to buy one of the 2 Sintra Green cards that are offered by PT Portugal the national rail company. This will help you on how to get to Sintra from Lisbon and get you into some of the amazing sights. Below are the details of the two options below.
- Sintra Green Card (1) – includes travel on the Sintra line (to/from Rossio, Santa Apolónia or Oriente), Pena circuit (Scotturb route 434) and admission to the Pena Palace and Park, Sintra Palace and a museum of your choice* – €31
- Sintra Green Card (2) – includes travel on the Sintra line (to/from Rossio, Santa Apolónia or Oriente), Pena circuit (Scotturb route 434) and admission to the Pena Palace and Park, Sintra Palace, Queluz Palace and a museum of your choice* – €39.50
For customers who buy a green card, there is a discount available for you to hire a push bike and explore Sintra. From someone who has been to Sintra twice, I will tell you it’s very hilly. Unless you are a regular bike rider with good fitness the green card would be the best option.
Bus 434 Sintra is a tourist bus that does a loop around Sintra with stops at all the attractions. Bus 434 Sintra picks up just outside of the Sintra Train station.
It’s a convenient connection for the Lisbon Sintra train passengers. The bus allows you to see the 3 major Sintra attractions in one day. You will have time to see The Pena Palace, The National Palace in the historic centre of Sintra and the Moorish Castle.
You will then be returned to the Sintra Train station for your journey back to Lisbon. Bus 434 Sintra runs 4 times an hour from Sintra Train station. My suggestion is to line up as soon as you get off the train.
When you walk out of Sintra Train station turn right and the bus stop is 100 meters down the road. From our point of view, the Lisbon to Sintra train is the most efficient and cost-effective way to get to Sintra. You can check train times with CP Portugal, the national rail operator
How to get to Sintra from Lisbon – Drive a car
It will take you around 30 minutes to drive to Sintra from Lisbon as Google suggests. If you read travel forums real people will tell you that 45 minutes is the best-case scenario and up to 2 hours at times. You will need to take either the A16 or A37 motorway from Lisbon to Cascais. Everything I have read suggests that driving to Sintra is not a great idea.
The roads are narrow and winding and Sintra parking is a nightmare especially right near the top attractions. There are no real designated Sintra parking yards within the town either so you will need to rely on finding a parking space on the street. For parking near the town of Sintra, there’s a free car park below Sintra-Vila. The park and ride from Portela de Sintra Interface ( park your car here) and take the bus into the tourist area makes sense. A taxi to Sintra is another option for you with an estimated cost of between 25€ and 35€.
Admission prices to the Blue Lagoon
There are 3 types of entry tickets to the Blue Lagoon. You can get comfort, premium and retreat spa tickets. As of April 2021, admission prices to the Blue Lagoon were as follows.
How to get to Sintra from Lisbon – Organised tour
If public transport or the driving option don’t suit you an organized Sintra tour from Lisbon is your best bet. There are many tours running daily from Lisbon to the Sintra attractions. Some of the positives of going on an organized tour can be:
- You don’t have to get to Rossio Lisbon Train station
- You don’t have to take public transport
- You can usually organize a pickup and drop off at your accommodation
- You will have a guide that will keep you informed on the journey out to Sintra and the return
- Entry tickets to the sights are usually included which helps avoid the long queues
- One price for everything
- An organized tour of the sights.
The tours usually have many options such as half day, full day and can include extras like a trip to nearby towns and sometimes food and beverages. Below we preview some of the tours that are available from Lisbon
Sintra Full Day Sightseeing tour
- Duration is 8 hours
- No need to worry about how to get to Sintra from Lisbon there is a hotel pick up service
- Guide in Spanish, English, Spanish, Portuguese
- Explore Sintra with an expert guide
- Explore the mysterious Quinta da Regaleira and see the Initiation Well
- Admire the gorgeous Monserrate Palace and its exotic gardens
- Drive-by Seteais Palace and through the stunning Sintra Mountains
- Marvel at breathtaking views of the City Hall and the Park of Liberty
- Be amazed by the magnificent Pena Palace, a former residence of the Royal Family
- Avoid the long queues at Sintra with a tour
- Overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 based on reviews
Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip
Experience a full-day, guided journey to the iconic Pena Palace in Sintra, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Cabo da Roca, and the ritzy seaside town of Cascais
- Pena Palace entry ticket (if option selected)
- Pena Palace guided tour (if option selected)
- Transportation by air-conditioned minivan
- Hotel pickup and drop-off service (if private tour option selected)
Belém & Sintra Full-Day Tour
- Hotel pick up drop off
- Pena Palace entry included
- Visit Jerónimos Monastery
- Take a trip to the Pena Palace in Sintra
- Try the delicious traditional pastries from Belém
- See the outstanding Village of Sintra
- Rating 5.0 out of 5
The best time to visit Sintra
Here are some weather facts on the temperature in Sintra Portugal. The weather in Sintra can differ from the nearby Lisboa. During the months of May, June, September and October you are most likely to experience good Sintra weather with warm to sunny average temperatures. The hot season and yes Portugal weather gets really hot in the summer is in the months of June, July, August and September it can reach 40 degrees. Luckily the weather in Sintra will be a few degrees cooler than in Lisbon.
- On average, the warmest month is July.
- On average, the coolest month is January.
- December is the wettest month. This month should be avoided if you don’t like too much rain.
- July is the driest month.
Travel to Lisbon
Lisbon is serviced by Humberto Delgado Airport is located 7km from Lisbon City Centre. Lisbon Airport is served by 121 destinations with 47 airlines
Lisboa is serviced by many international airlines and budget carriers. The airport is a hub for TAP Portugal. Lisbon is a focus city for EasyJet, Ryanair, Vueling and Azores Airlines. You can check the prices of international flights to Portugal with CheapOair. Domestic flights can be booked with Expedia
The airport and the city are connected by the metro. Aeroporto Saldanha line takes approximately 20 minutes to reach downtown LisbonThe Aerobus is accommodating for travelling with large luggage. The departures are available at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 between 7:30 and 23:00 daily and connect the airport with a number of major destinations in the downtown area. Information and bookings available here.
Santa Apolonia and Lisbon Oriente are the two major trains station for domestic and international arrivals by train. Check your trains prices here. Most international buses arrive at Lisbon’s Estação do Oriente bus station. Check your bus prices here.
You can book an airport transfer with Kiwitaxi who we have personally used on many occasions.
You can book a rental car with AutoEurope and have it waiting for you at Lisbon Airport.
Getting around Lisbon:
Lisbon features an extensive public transport network, comprising both underground and surface means of getting around. The metros, buses and trams of Lisbon is one of the most cost-efficient and flexible manners of discovering the city
The flat fare on the trams (streetcars) is now 2,85 Euros with the object being to make more users buy pre-pay passes. A single ticket on the metro is €1.90 without a rechargeable card, €1,40 with. There are a variety of passes available which reduce those costs considerably. Children under the age of 4 travel free of charge on the Metro, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
The popular Lisbon Hop on hop off bus is a great option for tourists wanting to see the main sights of Lisbon quickly and easily. This tourist bus has 2 different routes that travel the sights of the city on a loop basis. For more information Look here! The Lisbon Card offers tree public transport and entries to major Lisbon sights.
Looking for somewhere to stay in Lisbon?
Sintra and Lisbon have accommodation that suits singles, couples and families. You will get everything from 5 star hotels to apartments and hostels. Search our airbnb map below for great accommodation options.
Hostels in Lisbon can start from as little as 15 euro’s a night for a shared dorm room. You can search Airbnb for their Lisbon accommodation offerings. on the may above.
Hotels in Lisbon generally start at around $70 a night for a double room and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards 5 stars. Google states that 3-star averaging $92, 5-star averaging $226 for a night stay. You can compare and book your stay on Expedia and Agoda
We hope this article has provided you with the information, inspiration and knowledge of how to get to Sintra from Lisbon. Whether it be by Lisbon Public Transport via Rossio Station to Sintra train station, by car or organised Sintra tour. We hope you can see that the options on how to get to Sintra from Lisbon are not a big challenge. It can be accomplished by anyone. Sintra Portugal is truly a magical place and no trip to Lisbon and Portugal is complete without a visit to see the Sintra attractions.
We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Portugal and Sintra. There are so many things to do in Sintra and we are sure you will love them all. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Portugal click through to our Portugal Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.