Sintra Travel Guide

Discover the rich cultural and natural attractions of Sintra, from historical landmarks and outdoor adventures to local cuisine and customs, with helpful tips on transportation, accommodation, and more.

Sintra, a picturesque town situated in the foothills of the Serra de Sintra mountains, will enchant you with its fairytale castles, mansions, and lush gardens amid a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This cosmopolitan resort town is not only an architectural masterpiece but also a nature’s wonder. It is easy to fall in love with the town, thanks to its charm, vibrant culture, and serene atmosphere. This comprehensive tour guide will help you explore the best of Sintra, Portugal.

Introduction to Sintra

Sintra, situated in Estremadura, Greater Lisbon, Portugal, is a small municipality nestled between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, which is only a few kilometers west of Lisbon. It is no wonder why this town is a popular tourist attraction with its dreamlike landscapes, stunning views, and various leisure activities. A visit to Sintra takes you back in time and will give you memories you will never forget.

List of Places to Visit in Sintra

Sintra offers a variety of places to visit, including historical landmarks, breathtaking natural attractions, and cultural sites. Here are some of the must-visit places in Sintra:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Palacio Nacional de Sintra - This historic palace dates back to Medieval times and is situated at the heart of Sintra. It reflects a mixture of architectural styles throughout the centuries and has a notable collection of historic art and furniture.

  2. Quinta da Regaleira - This is a Gothic style palace, surrounded by enchanted gardens with tunnels, hidden wells, and exquisite waterfalls. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sintra.

  3. Castelo dos Mouros - This castle was built by the Moors and offers breathtaking views of the city and the Atlantic coast. It is open to the public and perfect for panoramic pictures.

  4. Palacio da Pena - This colorful and whimsical castle is considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal. The castle dates back to the Romantic era and offers a unique experience through its various gardens, lakes, and secret passages.

Natural Attractions of Sintra: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais - A vast natural park that stretches from the Atlantic coastline to the Sintra mountains, offering various flora and fauna.

  2. Praia da Adraga - A beautiful and unspoiled beach, shielded by cliffs, is an ideal place for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.

  3. Cabo da Roca - This scenic cliff looks out onto the Atlantic Ocean and is the westernmost point of continental Europe. It’s perfect for watching sunsets.

  4. Sintra Mountains - These rugged mountains are a perfect hiking spot, offering stunning views of the town, the ocean, and the surrounding landscape.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Sintra

Sintra has a fantastic hiking/biking trail network with different difficulty levels, where you can explore the hills, valleys, and forests surrounding the town.

Best Things to Do in Sintra: Activities and Tours

  1. Take a guided tour of Palacio da Pena, Quinta da Regaleira, or any of the other famous castles in Sintra.

  2. Go on a horseback riding or jeep tour around the Sintra Mountains.

  3. Take part in water sports such as surfing or windsurfing at the Praia da Adraga beach.

  4. Enjoy the music and cultural festivities at the annual Sintra Festival in June.

Week-Long Itinerary for Sintra

Here’s a sample week-long itinerary to help you get the most out of your visit to Sintra:

Day Activity
1 Explore Palacio Nacional de Sintra
2 Take a day trip to the picturesque town of Cascais
3 Go sightseeing in Castelo dos Mouros
4 Discover the mystical gardens of Quinta da Regaleira
5 Relax and enjoy the beautiful Praia da Adraga beach
6 Hike in the Sintra Mountains
7 Visit Palacio da Pena and Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais

Food and Drink Scene of Sintra

Sintra has a varied and flavorful cuisine that you must taste during your stay. Some of the must-try dishes include:

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Queijadas de Sintra: Small, sweet cheese tarts that are a local specialty.

  2. Travesseiros: Light pastry rolls with almond cream filling.

  3. Sopa da Pedra: A hearty garlic soup with chorizo sausage and beans.

Local Beverages

  1. Ginjinha: A cherry-flavored liqueur that is a regional specialty.

  2. Vinho Verde: A Portuguese white wine, refreshing and crisp, perfect as a match to local seafood.

Where to Stay in Sintra: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are several places to stay in Sintra, depending on your budget and preference. From luxury hotels and resorts to charming guesthouses and budget-friendly hostels, you can select the type of accommodation that suits you best.

What to Buy in Sintra: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Sintra is known for its hand-painted tiles, handicrafts, ceramics, and embroidered linens, which are popular souvenirs and gifts. You can find several stores and markets where you can shop for these unique and authentic local products.

Local Culture and Customs of Sintra

The locals of Sintra are warm and welcoming, making a visit here an even more pleasurable experience. They take pride in their traditions, architecture, and history, which is evident in various community events and festivals throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit Sintra

The best time to visit Sintra is from April to October, where the weather is pleasant and sunny, and there are widespread cultural events and festivals.

Do’s and Don’ts of Sintra


  1. Respect the local customs and traditions.
  2. Dress appropriately while visiting churches or religious sites.
  3. Try the local cuisine and wine.


  1. Litter or damage the local environment.
  2. Ignore the local customs and traditions.
  3. Swim in prohibited or unsafe areas.

Safety and Health

Safety in Sintra

Sintra is a safe town, and tourists can travel without too much worry. However, it is essential to take standard safety precautions such as carrying your belongings close to you, having local emergency numbers ready, and following the safety guidelines while participating in outdoor activities.

Health in Sintra

Sintra has modern medical facilities that offer various medical services and treatments. Tourists are recommended to have health insurance and carry appropriate emergency medication, just in case of any illness or accident.

Getting to Sintra: Transportation Options and Logistics

Sintra is easily accessible from Lisbon and other major cities in portugal. Here are some of the options for getting to Sintra:

Airports Near Sintra

The nearest airports to Sintra are Lisbon Portela Airport, about 26 km away.

Bus Stations Near Sintra

Sintra is well connected to other Portuguese towns and cities by the national bus service.

Other Options

You can also rent a car, hire a taxi, or hire a private transfer to get to Sintra.

How to Get Around in Sintra

Although Sintra is tiny, there are several ways to get around town, including:

  1. Walking: Many of the popular tourist attractions are within walking distance of each other.

  2. Public transport: Buses and taxis are available for those who prefer public transportation

  3. Bike Tours: Rent a bike to explore the town and the mountain area around it.

Where to Go Next from Sintra: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Sintra is close to many historically rich and scenic towns such as Lisbon, Cascais, and Estoril, among others. These towns offer a wealth of cultural and natural attractions for tourists to explore at their leisure.


Whatever your interests, Sintra will surely captivate you with its stunning scenery, rich history, and hospitality of the locals. With this comprehensive tour guide, you can now make the most of your trip to this beautiful and magical town in Portugal. Plan your trip today, and discover the beauty of Sintra for yourself!