A trip to Sintra is often a highlight of any trip to Lisbon Portugal. Sintra lies just outside of the urban area of the Portuguese capital. Sintra is in the centre of the Sintra Mountains with the Sintra mountains running for 16km from the town of Sintra to Cabo da Roca on the Atlantic Ocean. Sintra today is known for its Castles, Palaces and gardens.
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 popular with the Royals and rich families over the years. This left the landscape with many Royal retreats, estates, castles and other buildings. These include the medieval Castelo dos Mouros, the Pena National Palace and the Sintra National Palace.
Sintra is today protected by UNESCO 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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So let’s find out the options on how to get to Sintra from Lisbon.
Lisbon to Sintra 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 machines.
- 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.
- Lisbon to Sintra train tickets cost €2.25 one way
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* – €27
- 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* – €35
For customers who buy a green card, there is a discount available for you to hire a push bike and explore. 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 this would not be a great 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 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.
Where did we stay in Lisbon?
We stayed at Lisbon Centre Historic Apartments. The locations provide easy access to Rossio station 150 meters away and downtown Lisbon 300 meters away. The apartments are fully self-contained with washing and cooking facilities. 2 or 3 bedroom apartments with lounge and balcony. Close to restaurants, shops and many attractions. We loved it so much we have stayed here twice.
For the latest prices and booking information click here
How to get to Sintra from Lisbon – Drive a car
It will take you around 30 minutes to drive to Sintra from Lisbon, 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. 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. There are no real designated Sintra parking yards. You will need to rely on finding a parking space on the street.
How to get to Sintra from Lisbon – Organized 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 to that will keep you informed on the journey out to Sintra and the return
- Entry tickets to the sights are usually included
- 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. 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 pickup service
- Guide in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian
- Explore Sintra with an expert guide
- Visit the best preserved medieval Royal Palace in Portugal
- Drive along the stunning Estoril Coast
- Go to Europe’s westernmost point
- Overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 based on 217 reviews
Well worth the money February 10, 2018
An excellent day in Sintra despite the weather being rather misty. Bearing in mind the benefit of being delivered to exactly the right places and the excellent guided commentary it is so much better that trying to do the same trip by train and bus.
Half-Day Sintra Tour from Lisbon with Transfers
- No need to worry about how to get to Sintra from Lisbon there is a hotel pickup service
- Live English Guide
- Take a tour of Sintra, one of the most stunning spots in Portugal
- Visit Pena and Queluz palaces, Sintra village, and Cabo da Roca
- Customize the itinerary to your interests
- Rating 4.9 from 5 based on 82 reviews
We wanted to go to Pena Palace & that is what we did. It was great! December 1st 2017
We really enjoyed this tour. The driver, Joseph asked us what we wanted to see, which was the Pena Palace and he made it happen. He was very knowledgable about the history of the area as well. We highly recommend this tour.
Sintra – Cascais: 6-Hour Electric Bike Tour from Lisbon
- Duration 6 hours
- Live Guide English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese
- Embark on a 6-hour electric bike tour with 4 different modes of assistance
- Explore the romantic village of Sintra on an electric bike
- Admire the National Palace of Sintra and the magical Quinta da Regaleira
- Discover Monserrate Park and Palace
- Return to Lisbon through the astonishing town of Cascais
- Rating 4.8 out of 5 based on 33 reviews
In spite of the rain, this was the best bike tour we have ever done! We had the most wonderful day riding with Ricardo even though it was raining most of the trip! My 13 year old daughter said Ricardo is the type of person you are instantly friends with and when you part company you wish to run into more people like him. The sights were amazing, the lunch break was charming, and the company made the day. We would recommend this tour and would love to repeat it in sunny weather.
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 organized 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.
Travel to Lisbon:
- Lisbon is the capital and biggest city in Portugal.
- Humberto Delgado Airport is located 7km from Lisbon City Centre
- It is the 24th largest airport in Europe in terms of passenger volume, having served 22.4 million passengers in 2016
- 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 city are connected by the metro. Aeroporto Saldanha line takes approximately 20 minutes to reach downtown Lisbon
- The Aerobuses 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 Suntransfers 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
- 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 of bus is a great option for tourists wanting to see the main sights of Berlin. 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.
Where to stay in Lisbon:
- Lisbon has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms.
- 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 Berlin accommodation offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE.
- Hotels in Lisbon generally start from 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 Agoda, Hotels.com, Hotels Combined and Priceline
(All coloured text in the Getting to Lisbon, Getting around Lisbon and Where to stay in Lisbon links to the pages mentioned for your information and booking convenience. We at Wyld Family Travel will make a small commission from any bookings you make. This money goes into maintaining our website)
We hope you enjoyed this article from Wyld family Travel. We have loved the time we have spent in Portugal and plan to return in the future. Please find 2 other articles on Portugal for your reading enjoyment. Just click the image.