Mim’s Top 2 Things To Do In Sintra
1. Park and Pena Palace of Sintra.
If you want to be wowed, then you cannot look past the picturesque Pena Palace accompanied with a large lush royal park. This rare beauty is a must see in your travels to Portugal. In 1995 UNESCO listed the Pena Palace and Park as a cultural Landscape, World Heritage Site. It is an impressive representation of 19th Century Portuguese Romanticism. The monastery (red building) was built in 1503, but suffered in an earthquake. This lead to an addition of the yellow building deemed the ‘New Palace’ in 1842.
The Pena Palace located in Sintra, Portugal, is hard to miss as the colourful Castle is situated upon the highest hill. Upon arriving at the Pena Palace, we suggest parking near the Lakes entrance to avoid the biggest crowds and tour buses, and you can enjoy a moderate uphill walk through the park up to the Palace. (parking is free) There are also plenty of bus options from the town of Sintra to take you to the entrance if you do not have your own car.
Entrance cost was E13 each for adults, which we consider to be a bargain considering the remarkable experience this attraction, has to offer. Do allow for three or more hours to view the Palace and Gardens at your own leisure.
Expect crowds and school groups all year round. It would be best to avoid the weekends and public holidays. It would also be beneficial to pick a day with clear weather, so you can soak up the magnificent views from the top.
The inside is just as spectacular as the outside. Most of the rooms have been left just as they were, filled with antique furniture, ornaments and paintings.
We found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience to follow the multilingual signs from room to room, though hard to capture photos with so many other tourists.
You won’t be disappointed with what this remarkable Park and Pena Palace has to offer.
2. Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira is a romantic cultural landscaped garden mainly constructed to its present day form in 1898 to 1912. The elegant mansion and surrounding gardens is not to be missed. This garden is magical and mysterious in all its glory.
Famous for the Initiatic Well in particular many visitors come to walk through the earthy tunnels and the spiraling staircase of this unique well.
The mansion built before 1817, once used by royalty has been refurnished into a museum about the construction and design of the mansion.
Located in the town of Sintra, Spain, the Quinta da Regaleira is situated amongst other World Heritage listed sites. You must navigate down narrow one-way streets and the parking lot is very small. It is just a short walk from the town centre of Sintra. However driving in this town is not recommended, instead there are plenty of public transport options.
The entrance fee is just E5 for adults for a self guided tour with a map. Opening hours increase and guided tours are more frequent at an extra cost, during the months of April to September.
This garden is large and should be enjoyed over a few hours. There are many intricate walkways to get lost in and hidden historic treasures to be discovered. Be sure to bring a torch so you can look into the dark caves and walk through the tunnels.
We hope you will enjoy these experiences as much as we did. Sintra is a quaint town, filled with tourists at the best of times. There are many more museums and Palaces to explore, such as the Royal Palace.
The tranquil historic atmosphere of these two places is very hard to capture in pictures but hopefully they still inspired you.