Sintra, Portugal


For our second day in Lisbon, we took a day trip to Sintra, a municipality/resort town in the Lisbon region. Visiting Sintra was my favourite day spent in Portugal because of the warm weather and breathtaking views. We arrived at the Sintra train station in the morning and began to scope out places to visit. We purchased an all-day bus pass for 12 euros, allowing us to catch the local bus to various attractions.


Our first stop was Pena Palace, Sintra’s most famous site. With its alternating red, yellow, and blue walls, Pena Palace is the most colourful castle I’ve ever visited. For 14 euros, I was allowed to enter the grounds of the property, as well as the palace itself.


Perhaps equally impressive were the many viewpoints from different parts of the castle. A terrace surrounded the entire palace and since the palace was located on a hilltop, I could see all the beautiful greenery that made up Sintra.


The actual architectural style of the palace was also really unique. I especially liked the combination of square and dome-shaped rooftops, as well as the various window shapes on different floors of the palace.


Because our ticket included entry to Pena Palace, we took a quick self-guided tour inside. Normally, I love touring the insides of palaces. I like admiring the various rooms and imagining the lives of the people that occupied the space. However, because Pena Palace had such an impressive and unique exterior, the interior was underwhelming in comparison.


Our second stop in Sintra was Cabo de Roca, the Western-most point of Europe. Cabo de Roca was about 45 minutes away from the Sintra train station so we were able to take advantage of our local bus pass.  The area consisted of a trail in the midst of grass and wild flowers. There was also a white building in the distance and a Jesus statue.


The views of the cliffs and the Atlantic Ocean were out of this world. I got a kick out of dangling my feet off the edge of Europe. It was a little scary being so close to the end of the cliff, but totally worth it. The ocean was such a beautiful mix of blue/white/turquoise tones.


After taking the bus back from Cabo de Roca, we visited the actual town within Sintra where we got lunch. The town was very cutesy, looking very  much like something out of a fairytale.


We also passed by tons of cute houses like the one above. The houses were painted different colours and looked like they could’ve been made out of gingerbread. Because Sintra was so beautiful and touristy, it was so interesting to see that people actually lived there.


My day trip to Sintra was a huge success. I enjoyed visiting Pena Palace, Cabo de Roca, and the town itself. I only wish I had more time to explore because there are several attractions I missed out on…all the reason to go back I guess! Thank you, Sintra.


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