A Magical Day Trip from Lisbon to Sintra

A Magical Day Trip to Sintra, Portugall

A Magical Day Trip from Lisbon to Sintra

If your wish is to feel transported to a magical world, you must take a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra. A quick thirty minute ride by train or car from Lisbon, this Portuguese town is where the rich would build their palaces. These extravagant homes are set in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains and it’s hard to deny the beauty this place possesses.

A Magical Day Trip to Sintra, Portugal

The streets are cobblestone and restaurants and shops line the streets. We made it our mission to visit a few of the palaces, but we were excited to just wander around and take it all in.

A Magical Day Trip to Sintra, Portugal

Palace of Sintra

While we spent some time at the Palace of Sintra, we had our hearts set on exploring Quinta da Regaleira. This palace felt like a true fairy tale setting. The palace itself was impressive, but it was the gardens that got most of our attention. There were towers to climb into, underground tunnels, and waterfalls. It was like an adult playground and we spent a few hours meandering through the property.

A Magical Day Trip to Sintra, Portugal

A Magical Day in Sintra

After enjoying our time exploring the gardens and all their interesting features, we found ourselves hungry, so we headed to a cafe set up in the hills. Before we got there, however, we stopped in one of the shops for a Ginjinha tasting. This is a cherry liquor, which is often had in chocolate cups.

A Magical Day Trip to Sintra, Portugal

Then, we found our way to a cafe with a view and indulged in a long, leisurely lunch fit for kings and queens. Of course, there was rosé involved. After the rosé, we thought it would be a great idea to hike to another castle, Castelo dos Mouros. Of course, we didn’t take our outfits in account for the hike.

A Magical Day Trip to Sintra, Portugal

We hiked a bit until we realized that we’d never make it before it closed, so we headed back into town and enjoyed the castle’s beauty from afar.

A Magical Day Trip to Sintra, Portugall

We also missed the Pena Palace, so I will need to make a trip back to Sintra in the future.

A Magical Day Trip to Sintra, Portugal

Pena Palace

Since it was getting late, we figured we’d take the next train back to Lisbon. While waiting we got hungry and some of us (read: me) were getting cranky, though we didn’t have time to sit and eat. Luckily, we found a restaurant that sold us cheese, bread, and wine to go, which changed my mood quite quickly. We enjoyed our perfect little meal on the train ride home after a magical day exploring Sintra.

If you want to see it all, I’d suggest leaving much earlier than we did, or even spending a night in town. No matter what your plans, if you’re in Lisbon, take a thirty minute train or car ride to this magical town, you’ll be happy you did.

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A Magical Day Trip to Sintra, Portugal

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Comments (19)

  1. Leah

    Sign me up for your return visit. I’ve still yet to even visit Portugal. Though, I’m not quite sure why. It’s so pretty and green, and the architecture will fill my camera’s memory card.

    1. The World Wanderer

      You would love it! I don’t know why it took me so long to get their either. But, there is beauty every where. I really fell in love with Lisbon too.

  2. Lara Dunning

    I need to go here! The day you had sounds amazing and included all the things I like, castles, wine, walking, and food! Love the photo with the Moorish arches fountain in the center.

  3. Mindi Hirsch

    Magical is the perfect word to describe Sintra. We took the day trip during our honeymoon nine years ago, and we loved everything about fairy tale town.

  4. Debbra Dunning Brouillette

    Your photos certainly are appealing and have made me want to visit Portugal! I love castles and history so this would be a lovely excursion. I also like the sound of that rosé wine! 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      Yes! You would love it, I just know it

  5. Traveling Ted

    For not seeing everything, it sure looks like you saw a lot. Amazing scenery with castles and mountains. I definitely would love to check this part of Portugal out. Never been to this country and have heard so many great things.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I think you’d love it, Ted! Portugal is beautiful!

  6. Kelsy Rushing

    I had no idea of all these palaces and castles so close to Lisbon. Really neat, I will have to add this to my list!

  7. Vicky and Buddy

    Omg, so many beautiful castles! I’d love to visit, but I would probably spend a whole weekend there. It’s good to know that snacks (and wine) are so readily available too. 😉

    1. The World Wanderer

      Yes! You’d love it! Well, not THAT easy, but if you find the right place, they’ll hook you up 😉

  8. Julianne

    We were in Lisbon for a day back in 2012, which was not enough time to savor all of Portugal’s magic! I had no idea how close Sintra was. Love your photos, as usual. 🙂

  9. Where to Stay in Portugal - Portugal Travel Guide

    […] during this three week trip we stayed in Lisbon a few times, but also explored more of Alentejo, visited Sintra to the west, and even explored Porto, Duoro, and the […]

  10. Vanda

    Sintra is really a magical town! Ok I might be biased since I’m portuguese, but I love both Lisbon and Sintra. You absolutely have to visit the Pena Palace next time though! Oh and have you tried Sintra’s Travesseiros? Perfect to kill a cranky mood! 😉

  11. Tara

    Wow, this looks magical!!!! Gorgeous!

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