Spend More Than a Day in Sintra, Portugal

Icon Share


Advisor - Whitney Ellis
Curated By

Whitney Ellis

  • Portugal

  • Luxury Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Arts & Culture

  • Beaches

  • Honeymoons

  • Birthdays

  • Architecture

  • Laidback

  • Sightseeing

a castle a top a green hill above a countryside town on a hazy sunny day
Curator’s statement

Because Sintra is only about a 30 minute drive from the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, many people make it a day trip. It's a fun place to explore for anyone. Of course, you can pretend you are royalty for the day as there are castles and palaces, but the nature alone is impressive. Slow down and get to know Sintra.

The Fora Difference

Book with Whitney to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Sintra, Portugal

Unlock perks by contacting Whitney to book your trip.

Things to do in Sintra, Portugal

people walk around a yellow and orange castle atop a city on a clear blue day
  • Tour the famous and very eccentric Pena Palace. It might not all be your style, but you're bound to find something you like. This unusual palace is best visited first thing. I also recommend walking instead of taking the bus up the hill, if you can.

  • Walk along the walls of the Moorish Castle. Note: This wouldn't be the best idea for someone with a fear of heights, but even so, wandering around the massive historic site is still worth it.

  • If you have a car, drive about 30 minutes (or take an e-bike) to the coast and visit Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in Europe. Marvel at the cliffs that seem to jet straight out of the ocean. You are able to make your way down to the sand, but it will take a bit of effort.

  • Explore the perfectly manicured grounds of the Palacio de Seteais. Stay in the Royal Suite, play tennis on the clay courts, relax by the pool, or visit the amazing spa.

  • Visit the gorgeous and iconic Monserrate Palace. The British gardens along with the intricate details within the architecture of the palace make for a unique experience.

  • Quinta da Regaleira is the place to go if you enjoy getting lost in lush vegetation. It also has one of the most Instagramable sites, the initiation well.

  • Golf on the Atlantic Championship course, ranked top 30 in Europe, and designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. If you're pressed on time, he also designed the 9-hole Monestary Course, at Penha Longa Resort, a Ritz-Carlton property.

Places to eat & drink in Sintra, Portugal

town with colorful houses at the base of a tree covered hill on a sunny day
  • Tivoli Palácio de Seteais will create a private picnic upon request. This experience is highly recommended! From the front lawn, you can see both the Pena Palace and Moorish Castle. Situated on a hill, from behind the hotel, you can see lush and sprawling land until it meets the Atlantic. The views make an outdoor lunch a perfect setting.

  • The Tivoli Palácio de Seteais also has a restaurant with local cuisine, done well. For special occasions, you can even have a private multi-course dinner with wine paring. I can't say enough about the quality of the food here, but be warned, your glass will never go empty.

  • The Penha Longa Resort is home to two Michelin star restaurants, LAB and Midori. If you're staying at the resort, these tasty spots are also convenient.

  • Incomum is a perfect classy restaurant to enjoy local favorites. Try the octopus and don't forget tiramisu for desert!

  • Romaria de Baco is located near the Palácio Nacional de Sintra, in the city center, but has a welcoming feel with traditional dishes. This restaurant is just tucked away, so it's not a regular, stumbled-upon tourist spot.

  • For a more casual option, try Tascantiga. It's popular, so it may be busy, but it's a decent option when you're hungry and too tired from exploring to dress up for a fancy meal.

Need to Know

For more Portugal travel tips, check out my guide, Stay in Dubrovnik and See More Than Old Town.

Advisor - Whitney Ellis

Travel Advisor

Whitney Ellis

Get in touch with Whitney

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Whitney within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Portgual.