It’s not accidental that Lord Byron expressed himself in a very lyrical way about Sintra’s charms.
It is indeed a really charming and delightful little city, only 20-30 minutes away from Lisbon by train; a fairytale Portuguese town that lies high on the hills, in between castles and cobbled streets. It really needs to be on your itinerary when you visit Portugal.
Make sure you have your camera always on and look around you; pastel colored houses and buildings are all over, along with picturesque corners and cozy food spots.
Sintra is home to Castles and Palaces and reveals various enigmatic pathways, in which you have to walk on. It’s the only way to feel the fairytale atmosphere and if you are lucky enough, you may come across a beautiful little princess or a knight; just keep your eyes open 🙂
This alluring city of Portugal can be seen in just a day, if you only wish to wander around its alleys and get a small taste. Nevertheless, if you really want to explore Sintra, then I suggest you stay for a couple of days.
What to do in Sintra
Visit Quinta de Regaleira, the gothic architectural masterpiece, that used to serve as home to various owners. It is distinguished for its tunnel system that links many parts of the property to each other.
Visit the Pena Palace, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and an iconic landmark of the city.
Do not miss the Parque da Pena for its green walkways and the forest views. A true delight for walkers and nature explorers.
Castelo de los Mouros, which was built in a strategic position atop the hills and the National Palace of Sintra, maybe the best well-preserved medieval royal residence in Portugal.
One of my personal favorites places to visit is Cabo da Roca, continental Europe’s westernmost point.
Furthermore, don’t miss doing what I love doing the most while traveling; wander around! Do yourself a favor and walk around the old centre. Cobblestone streets, narrow stairways, hidden paths, pastel houses are going to unveil in front of your eyes.
There are also various Museums where you can visit, if you wish.
After all these wanderings and sightseeing, what is left to be done? A culinary adventure of course! Pay a visit to the popular Casa Piriquita, the landmark pastry shop of Sintra, founded in 1862 and serving local delicacies since then. Try the ‘travesseiros’, the dough-based pastry with egg cream and almond and the ‘queijadas’, the small pies made of fresh cheese, eggs, sugar and cinnamon.
And the most important of all. Keep smiling and enjoy your moments at Sintra!
Sending you all my love!
Till next time