Less than 10 miles west of Lisbon is Palácio Nacional de Queluz, or Palácio Nacional e Jardins de Queluz.
The palace is named after the place where it’s located, Queluz, a small suburb to the west of Lisbon.
Impressive, lots of restoration work
During a previous visit in 2015, we saw a lot of scaffolding and the palace didn’t look all that good. At the time, I was not impressed by this palace, despite it being one of the best examples of Portuguese architecture in the late 18th century. It wasn’t the style of the palace; the halls are impressive and there is still a decent collection that belonged to the royal family. What was it then? I guess it came down to the fact that It was poorly maintained, and subsequently it had a feel of decaying glory to it. Everything just felt old and dusty.
Our tip: buy tickets online and skip the line. Buy your ticket(s) via getyourguide.co.uk
Restoration pays off!
In March 2017 we gave Palácio Nacional de Queluz another try and we have to admit, it looks a lot better now than the last time we were there! The restoration is going well and it seems that they are finally making good progress. The gardens are also a lot neater than a few years back, just like the palace itself.
The gardens of the palace are especially large and are wonderful to walk around. The gardens have been well maintained in the recent years and look beautiful again. However, they are less spectacular out of season. But I think that is also because in the spring and summer most plants and flowers are in bloom. In the garden you can find many fountains that depict mythological figurines. The garden is huge! At the back of the gardens are the horse stables where you can enter and walk.
Not so busy
If you’re particularly curious about 18th century Portuguese architecture then this palace is definitely worth a visit. There is also a larger art collection than a Palácio Monserrate of Palácio de Pena. What’s very nice about the palace is that it is not crowded with tourists. In Sintra you sometimes have to maneuver through the hordes of tourists, a visit to Palácio Queluz is very quiet. The palace is often used for official receptions.
An afternoon outside the city
If you want to take it easy for a day and want to spend some time outside of Lisbon, then Palácio Nacional e Jardins de Queluz is a good place to go. Especially when the weather is fair, the gardens are very nice to sit down and enjoy the sun.
How to get to Palácio Nacional e jardins de Queluz
Address: Largo Palácio de Queluz, Queluz
Opening hours: elke dag except (25 December and 1th January) from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (last tickets are sold at 5:00 p.m.).