Sintra picture
Sintra
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Key Info

Calçada do Pelourinho

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Located about 20 miles northwest of central Lisbon, Sintra's praises have been sung in literature by the likes of British poet Lord Byron and Portuguese poet Luis Vaz de Camões; Byron described it as a "glorious Eden." A veritable heaven on earth, the small city's rolling hills are clad with vibrant vegetation and fairy tale-like villas separated by cobblestone streets. The star of the show is the colorful Palácio Nacional de Pena, which was built to be a romantic getaway for Queen Maria II and her husband. There's also the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, whose azulejo-adorned interiors make up for its bland exteriors, the Monserrate Palace, the Castle of the Moors, and the Quinta da Regaleira. What's more, the entire city is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Travelers thoroughly enjoyed hopping back and forth between what many visitors described as beautiful palaces, villas and castles that Sintra had to offer, but recommended stamina and sturdy pair of shoes, as the area is very hilly.

To get from Lisbon to Sintra, you can take the train from the Rossio train station. The journey take about 30 minutes – the Sintra station is the last stop on the line. You could drive as well (though parking will be tricky), or take one of the local buses; the No. 434 services the main attractions.

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More Best Things To Do in Lisbon

Tram 28
Alfama
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Tram 28

San Francisco has its cable cars, London has its red double-decker buses and Lisbon has its trams. Tram 28, which extends from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique, in particular takes riders on a tourist-friendly route. Not only does it pass through some of the city's most notable neighborhoods including Graça, Baixa and Bairro Alto, but it also travels by popular attractions, such as St. George's Castle and Alfama. Along with a scenic route, the cars themselves are also considered to be part of the experience. Many of Lisbon's trams, including some used on the Tram 28 route, are the same that were used in World War II, so don't expect air conditioning, or a smooth trip up and around the area's hills. But don't worry, recent travelers said it's all part of the tram's charm.

Some visitors recommend taking the tram up the steep Alfama hill and then walking back down to explore the neighborhood. Due to the tram's popularity, the tram cars tend to get crowded quickly, so make sure to arrive early or later in the day to avoid long lines. Also, because of the tram's popularity with tourists, it's a target for pickpockets. Remember to keep an eye on your belongings, especially cameras.

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