Sintra is roughly 25km from Lisbon and 10km inland from the coast. It is a beautiful, historic town which hides a plethora of jewels within its crown. Upon arrival by car you’ll notice how verdant the area is and the charming little cobbled centre, overlooked by Castelo dos Mouros, is brimming with restaurants, craft shops and tourist orientated souvenir shops.
Things to do in Sintra:
- The National Palace – free to visit on Sundays, this lovely old palace is a terrific display of Portugal’s turbulent past and decadent wealth.
- Parques de Sintra – Six key attractions await your discovery in the park. These include Castelo dos Mouros with its meandering walls and stunning views, Palacio da Pena and its beautiful gardens, Monserrate (a palace built by a wealthy English man) and Capuchos (an abandoned convent built into the rocks).
- Parque Liberdade – A lovely park littered with sculptures of exotic creatures that sprawls up into the hills.
- Estefánia – The modern end of Sintra which, although less obvious than the historical centre is still worthy of your time.
- Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna – An art gallery in Estefánia which houses collections by Joe Bernado as well as temporary exhibits.
Eating in Sintra:
Sintra caters for virtually all diets and around the historic centre you’ll find plenty of patisseries, coffee shops and traditional restaurants (where ‘Frango’ – Portuguese chicken – is widely available). For those seeking vegetarian or vegan culture there is the excellent Cafe de Saudade with plenty of vegetarian options, as well as the very chilled out Soulfood; a vegan restaurant on the edge of the historic quarter.
Where to Stay:
Sintra is blessed with plenty of hotels and B&B places (you can book those by clicking here) and for those travelling independently in campervans or RVs there is an excellent wild camping opportunity in a well placed car park just below the National Palace.
Getting to and from Sintra:
Sintra is served by a very good train service which takes 30 minutes to reach Lisbon. There are also bus services which run to Estoril and Cascais, both of which take 45 minutes. There is plenty of parking for those in cars, vans, RVs, etc.
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