A trip to Lisbon isn’t complete without visiting nearby Sintra for at least a day trip. With its colorful castles, rich history, and quaint winding roads, Sintra was a highlight of our trip to Portugal. I can definitely see why Sintra was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site! Keep reading for my step-by-step guide on how to get there, what to see, where to eat, and mistakes to avoid.
How to Get to Sintra, Portugal
If you’re planning to visit Sintra from Lisbon, you’re in luck—it’s incredibly easy to get between Lisbon and Sintra by train. The train takes only 40 minutes each way to get to and from Sintra, and a round trip train ticket costs 4.50 euros. We took the train from Rossio station in central Lisbon, and bought our tickets at the station.
To get around Sintra, we mostly walked and used Uber, which we found to be fairly affordable. We also took a tuk-tuk which, although fun, ended up being a bit of a disaster (more on that later). There is also a bus that stops at many of the major sites, however we didn’t end up taking it as the route didn’t totally make sense for the sites we wanted to see.
There is so much to see and do in Sintra that, if you have the time, I would highly recommend staying in Sintra for a few days. Here are a few suggestions for where to stay in Sintra:
What to Wear in Sintra
Like Lisbon, Sintra is super hilly, so good walking shoes are an absolute must. When I got dressed for our day trip to Sintra, I didn’t fully appreciate how much walking there would be (in between sites, up castle steps, etc.). I decided to wear sandals and definitely regretted it. Don’t be like me—wear sneakers, or at least sturdier sandals.
Due to its altitude and location closer to the coast, Sintra is often chillier than Lisbon, which was definitely the case when we visited. I recommend dressing in layers, and bringing a light jacket or sweater. During our day trip, the weather went from sunny, to foggy, to rainy and back. Consider bringing an umbrella (we wish we had) for surprise downpours.
I wore a red maxi dress to pop in photos and to bring out the red accents of Pena Palace. My boyfriend definitely made fun of me for dressing to “match a castle” (which I acknowledge sounds silly), but I was happy with how the photos turned out!