Europe, Portugal

The Pena Palace, Sintra: A Day in a Fairy Tale

Europe Portugal

The Pena Palace, as we see it today, was projected in 1863 by King Ferdinand II. The man was a genius, I say!! It was used as a summer residence…how cool is that? It is built in a very romantic style. You can also see some Manueline and Ararb influences. If you are a fan of architecture and/or history, you will connect with this place.


You feel like you are in a fairy tale. You will see details and colours everywhere. It is really a majestic place. It is perfectly located in Serra de Sintra (Sintra Mountains). It is surrounded by beautiful gardens. One can easily lose track of time in the complex. That’s the reason why I was able to dedicate this post just to the Pena Palace. It’s where you should start if you don’t have much time in Sintra. It is one of my favorite places in Sintra. It is one of the most visited monuments in Portugal. With that being said, definitely expect to see many people and some lines, especially in the high season. If you have time, go to the Castle of the Moors just next to Pena, where you have a nice view of the Pena Palace. After, go down in the city, walk around and have some queijadas (typical local cake).


How to get there:

The best way to experience Sintra would be to stay some days in Sintra. The town is lovely and has many things to see. But if you aren’t staying, it takes around 30 minutes by car to get to Sintra from Lisbon. If you have a car, travel will better. It will save you time and will give you the freedom to explore the area a bit more. You can park the car as close as you can get to the Palace and walk the rest of the way.

If not, you can take the train. You have 3 stops in Lisbon (Entre Campos, Oriente e Rossio), that have a direct train to Sintra and they are all connected with the subway.

You can look at the timetables and prices here:

Once you arrive in Sintra, you can take a bus that will take you to the palace. You can check all information here (timetables, tickets…):

Please note that you will always have to walk a bit. You can take the transfers they have, but you have to pay for it. I walked because  think it was around 2€ each way and for that total amount, you can have a nice meal in Portugal. Just take it easy and enjoy the place!

Contributed by Monica Moreira