Discover the Charm of Sintra: Things to Do

Gothic Aries
January 17
Written by Elena Kostas

Explore the must-see places in Sintra and immerse yourself in its magical atmosphere. Don't miss it!

Sintra is a charming city located in the hills of the Sintra Mountains, near Lisbon. Known for its stunning palaces, lush gardens, and fairy-tale landscapes, Sintra is a destination you can't miss.

One of the must-visit places in Sintra is the Sintra National Palace, an architectural gem with a mix of styles. You can also explore the impressive Pena Palace, perched on top of a hill and surrounded by a natural park.

In addition to the palaces, Sintra offers other points of interest such as the Quinta da Regaleira, a mysterious palace surrounded by labyrinthine gardens and secret caves. A visit to the top of Monte da Lua, where the Moorish Castle is located, is also a must. From there, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views.

1. Pena National Palace

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a castle in the middle of a lake surrounded by trees
Pena National Palace / Mark Lawson, Unsplash

Pena National Palace is one of the main tourist attractions in Sintra, Portugal. Located on top of a hill, this palace stands out for its unique architecture that combines various styles, such as Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, and Neo-Islamic. It was built in the 19th century and is considered one of the finest examples of architectural romanticism in Europe.

Pena Palace has a wealth of history and culture. During your visit, you can explore its different rooms and chambers, admiring the exquisite decoration and magnificent frescoes. From its terraces and viewpoints, you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city of Sintra and its surroundings.

In addition to its impressive architecture and views, Pena Palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens and forests. Take a stroll along its paths and discover charming corners, waterfalls, and statues. You can also visit the Sintra Mountain Forest Park, where the palace is located, and explore its flora and fauna.

2. Quinta da Regaleira

Historical Monuments and Architecture
people walking on pathway between trees during daytime
Quinta da Regaleira / Wendell Adriel, Unsplash

Quinta da Regaleira is an impressive estate located in the city of Sintra, Portugal. This historical property is full of mystery and symbolism and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region.

Known for its romantic architecture and beautiful landscape, Quinta da Regaleira is a must-visit if you're in Sintra. The estate's garden features numerous mystical and enigmatic elements, such as towers, caves, statues, wells, and a labyrinth.

Explore the gardens and immerse yourself in the history and symbolism of this fascinating place. Uncover hidden secrets and enjoy the natural beauty of Quinta da Regaleira.

3. Castle of the Moors

Historical Monuments and Architecture
Disney Castle, Singapore
Castle of the Moors / Karl Hedin, instagram @jormtz9, Unsplash

The Castle of the Moors is one of the most impressive things to do in Sintra. Built by the Moors in the 8th century, this ancient castle provides stunning views of the city and its surroundings. Perched on top of a hill, the Castle of the Moors is a true example of Islamic architecture.

Explore the massive walls and towers of the castle while learning about its history and how it was used as a defensive fortress. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and enjoy the peacefulness of the place, all while taking in the panoramic views of Sintra.

Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of the city from the top of the Castle of the Moors. It is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic spots in Sintra. Get ready to be breathless when you see the breathtaking views that this castle has to offer.

4. Sintra-Cascais Natural Park

Natural Spaces and Parks
brown dirt road between green grass field under blue sky during daytime
Sintra-Cascais Natural Park / Bruna Afonso, Unsplash

Sintra-Cascais Natural Park is an impressive location in the Sintra region that attracts tourists from all over the world. This park offers a wide range of outdoor activities and historical sites to explore. It also features dreamy landscapes and rich flora and fauna, making it a true natural paradise.

In Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, bird watching, and picnicking amidst beautiful natural scenery. You can also visit fascinating historical sites like the Pena National Palace and the Castle of the Moors.

In addition to its outdoor activities and historical sites, Sintra-Cascais Natural Park offers dreamy landscapes that will leave you in awe. From stunning cliffs and pristine beaches to lush forests and gardens, every corner of the park is a visual spectacle.

The flora and fauna of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park are also impressive. You can find endemic and rare species of plants and animals, making the park a true natural treasure.

5. Monserrate Palace

Historical Monuments and Architecture
brown concrete arch near green trees during daytime
Monserrate Palace / Alberto Frías, Unsplash

Monserrate Palace is one of the most impressive things to do in Sintra. Located amidst lush gardens, this Gothic and Moorish style palace combines architectural influences from different cultures and eras. It was built in the 19th century by order of the English industrialist Francis Cook and is a unique example of Romantic architecture in Portugal.

The interior of the palace is decorated with an exquisite collection of furniture and artworks from around the world. Its impressive banquet halls, the library filled with ancient manuscripts, and the chapel with colorful stained glass windows are highlights. Moreover, from its balconies, you can enjoy panoramic views of the gardens and the surrounding landscape.

The gardens of Monserrate Palace are equally impressive. Designed in the English style, they are filled with winding paths, waterfalls, lakes, and exotic plant species. A stroll through these gardens is like stepping into a fairy tale.

6. Capuchos Convent

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a building with a clock on the side of it
Capuchos Convent / Tiago Alexandre Lopes, Unsplash

Capuchos Convent is a notable tourist attraction in Sintra. Also known as Santa Cruz Convent, this Franciscan monastery was built in the 16th century. Located on the slopes of the Sintra Mountains, the convent is known for its modest architecture and its connection with nature.

The convent is famous for its austerity and simplicity. The monks who lived here sought to lead an austere and ascetic life, away from worldly luxuries. The monks' cells are small and built in the form of caves, with earthen floors and cork walls. The common areas are also simple, with minimal decorative elements.

One of the most remarkable features of Capuchos Convent is its integration with the surrounding nature. Rocks and trees mingle with the convent buildings, creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere. The convent gardens are also beautiful, with natural paths and panoramic views of the Sintra Mountains.

7. Sintra Historical Center

Historical Monuments and Architecture
brown and white hallway with brown wooden doors
Sintra Historical Center / Alice, Unsplash

The Sintra Historical Center is a highly important tourist attraction in Sintra, Portugal. Known for its rich historical and architectural heritage, this charming place offers a unique experience to visitors.

The historical center is filled with beautiful buildings and monuments, such as the Sintra National Palace, the Castle of the Moors, and the Quinta da Regaleira. These impressive sites reveal the history and culture of the region, and are a must-visit for any history and architecture lover.

In addition to the historical monuments, the historical center also features cobblestone streets, charming shops, and cozy cafes. Strolling through its streets is like stepping back in time and immersing yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of Sintra.