Parques de Sintra is the collective name for all sights in and around Sintra and Monte da Lua. Parques de Sintra consists of a foundation that is responsible for the maintenance of the natural and cultural values of the surroundings of Sintra and Queluz.
The Foundation receives no subsidies from the government but derive their income from ticket sales, museum shops, dining at the sights, events and of course donations.
The foundation is in operation since 2000. Until then, most of the sights were owned by the municipality or the state of Portugal. In these times, there was little to maintenance. Some of the sights looked forgotten and were certainly not in an attractive state to visit as a tourist. With the rise of tourism in Portugal, the area around Sintra has benefited a lot. And who can blame the tourists that come to Sintra!
Buy tickets online – avoid the queue
Via getyourguide.com you can easily buy your online tickets for various sights in Parques de Sintra. Your bookings can be made on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile. The easiest is on your mobile, then you have the tickets right when you see one of the following sights:
Skip the line tickets for:
Castelo dos Mouros: buy the tickets here.
Palácio National e Jardins de Queluz: buy the tickets here.
Palácio Nacional da Pena: buy the tickets here.
Parque e Palácio de Monserrate: buy the tickets here.
Palácio Nacional de Sintra: buy the tickets here.
Quinta da Regaleira: buy the tickets here.
A great advantage to buying your ticket in this way is that you can skip the lines. After 10:30 a.m. almost all sights have long queues. WIth a skip the line ticket you can walk straight to the entrance.
It may be that a priority tickets from an attraction can not be purchased through getyourguide.com, Look at the website of Parques de Sintra You can easily buy (combined) tickets, the combination provides a discount. The tickets can then be downloaded as a PDF on your phone. That way you don’t need any paper at all. Smart!
Day trip to Sintra – up to 3 sights
We recommend that you plan a maximum of 3 sights per day, if you start early. Don’t worry, if you miss some of the sights then you can come back the next day, or even week. The tickets are valid for 3 months after purchase.
Do you enjoy walking? Park your car at a central point (in the center of Sintra or at the Palacio) and walk from palace to palace. It is within walking distance if you’re in decent shape and it is well indicated how long and which way you walk.
Places of interest in Sintra
Below are our favorite sights in Sintra.
Castelo dos Mouros
On top of the hills of Serre de Sintra lies the ruins of Castelo dos Mouros. Put on your hiking shoes and walk along the 450 meter walls that offer extraordinary panoramic view.
Palácio National e Jardins de Queluz
Between Sintra and Lisbon is a place called Queluz. Here is Palácio National and Jardim de Queluz, which was built in the 18th century for the royal family. Not only is the palace very beautiful, but a visit for (just) the gardens is already worthwhile.
Palácio Nacional da Pena
Palácio Nacional da Pena, the fairytale palace of Sintra, is by far the most beautiful palace in Sintra. Because of the different 19th century architectural styles and the bright colors, it is a striking sight on Monte da Pena in Sintra. A visit to the palace is definitely worth it if you go to Sintra.
Convento dos Cupuchos
This old convent, Convento dos Capuchos, is located in the middle of the Pena and is a stark contrast to all the splendour that you find in other places of interest. It is a Franciscan monastery where eight monks used to live.
Parque e Palácio de Monserrate
Since 2010, Parque e Palácio de Monserrate has been reopened to the public. With the Arabic atmosphere it feels like walking around in a thousand-and-one nights setting. Don’t miss the gardens! This palace has not yet been discovered by the tourists.
Palácio Nacional de Sintra
Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira is the place where Indiana Jones and fairy tales meet. In previous posts on Sintra I’ve written that it seems like you’re in a fairy tale: the forests, castles and romantic atmosphere that hangs over Sintra. If you want to combine this experience with adventure, go to Quinta da Regaleira.
Chalet e Jardim da Condessa d’Edla
Chalet e Jardim da Condessa d’Edla lresembles the famous wooden chalets from the Alps. It is quite funny to see a similar building in the middle of the Sintra forest. The chalet is almost entirely made of wood and cork. The place was meant as a love nest for King Ferdinand and opera singer Elise Hensler. He had it built at the end of the 19th century.
Don’t forget to walk around in the gardens. If you fancy a firm walk then head towards the palace. From here you can go many ways.
How to get to Parques de Sintra
Car: take the IC19 (from Lisbon), IC30 (from Mafra).
Train: From Rossio take the train towards Sintra. From the station in Sintra you can take bus 434 to visit various sights in Parques de Sintra.