Sintra Day Trip from Lisbon: How to Explore the Magic of Portugal’s Fairytale Town

A view of Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal

If you’re visiting Lisbon and looking for a day trip destination, look no further than Sintra, a picturesque town that’s just a short train ride away. Known for its fairytale-like castles and stunning natural beauty, Sintra is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Portugal. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to plan the perfect day trip to Sintra from Lisbon.

Getting to Sintra from Lisbon

The easiest way to get to Sintra from Lisbon is by train. Trains leave frequently from Rossio Station and the journey takes around 40 minutes. You can buy your train ticket at the station, or online in advance to avoid any lines or sold-out trains. If you’re traveling during peak season or on weekends, it’s recommended to book your tickets ahead of time to secure a seat.

Exploring Sintra

Once you arrive in Sintra, there are plenty of ways to explore the town and its many attractions. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider hiking up to the hilltop Moorish Castle or the stunning Pena Palace. The hike takes about 45 minutes and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

If you prefer a more relaxed approach, consider hiring a tuk-tuk or a taxi to take you up the hill. This option is particularly recommended if you have limited time in Sintra or if you’re traveling with kids or older adults who might find the hike challenging.

Once you reach the top, the Pena Palace is an absolute must-see. The palace is a colorful blend of architectural styles, with elements of Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance design. The surrounding park is also a delight to explore, with winding paths, hidden gardens, and stunning viewpoints.

Other top attractions in Sintra include the Quinta da Regaleira, a mysterious estate with hidden tunnels and enchanting gardens, and the Castle of the Moors, a medieval castle with commanding views of the valley below.

Where to Eat in Sintra

After a day of exploring, you’ll probably be hungry, and Sintra has no shortage of great dining options. If you’re looking for a quick bite, head to Piriquita, a local bakery that’s famous for its pastries. Try the travesseiros or the queijadas for a taste of Sintra’s culinary traditions.

For a more substantial meal, check out Tascantiga, a cozy restaurant that serves up delicious Portuguese dishes like octopus rice and grilled sardines. The restaurant has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and is a great place to relax and soak up the local culture.


A day trip to Sintra from Lisbon is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Portugal. With its fairytale castles, stunning natural beauty, and charming town center, Sintra is a destination that you won’t want to miss. Whether you choose to hike to the top or take a tuk-tuk, there’s something for everyone in this magical town. So book your tickets, pack your bags, and get ready to explore the magic of Sintra!

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