Lisbon to Sintra - Day Trip to Pena Palace
getting to sintra
Going to Sintra from Lisbon is a cinch.
Trains run all the time from the stunning Rossio station in downtown Lisbon to Sintra.
You can buy tickets from the ticket booths or automatic machines there.
The best way is to use your Viva Viagem card (a contactless card), which you can get at Rossio.
The trains run from 6 am until 1 am and at peak times run every 10 minutes.
Travel time is around 40-45 minutes.
Cost is about €2.25 each way
You can also buy one of two Sintra Green Cards that are offered by the PT National Rail.
Sintra Green Card (1) - includes travel on the Sintra line (to/from Rossio, Santa Apolónia or Oriente), Bus 434 Sintra, and admission to the Pena Palace and Park, Sintra Palace, Queluz Palace and a museum of your choice
Low season (until 24 March 2018) - €27
High season (25 March to October) - €31
Sintra Green Card (2) – includes travel on the Sintra line (to/from Rossio, Santa Apolónia or Oriente), Bus 434 Sintra, and admission to the Pena Palace and Park, Sintra Palace, Queluz Palace and a museum of your choice
Low season (until 24 March 2018) - €35
High season (25 March to October) - €39.50
Bus 434 Sintra is a tourist bus that does a loop around Sintra with stops at all the attractions. It picks up just outside of the Sintra Train station and costs €6.90 for the entire loop or €3.90 for one stop. It’s included in the Sintra Green card referenced above. If you’re not in a rush, this is a good option since the bus sometimes doesn’t appear on time but will get you to all the Sintra spots eventually.
Otherwise, if you’re in a group - Uber or the local tuk tuk cars are a great option and much faster than the Bus 434 Sintra.
When we were in Lisbon, there was a heat wave hitting the whole area - so we were only able to visit Pena Palace due to the 105F/40C temperature! We recommend buying the Pena Palace tickets online in advance (or the Green Card referenced above) so you can skip the ticket office line.
We also recommend getting there at 9 am (30 minutes before open) so you can explore the Palace before it gets crazy crowded. By 11:30 am the place was a bit of a zoo with mega long lines to get into the palace.
If you are interested in getting a shot alone on the famous steps (photo at top of this article), we recommend you start with the beautiful backyard area. The easiest way to find the spot is to ask the lady that checks the tickets at the door and she will point you to a side corridor that leads to the back yard. Once you are done with your shots you can go and explore the inside of the palace.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the energy to explore the other areas of Sintra like Monserrate, Quinta de Regaleira, Tivoli Palacio se Seteais, or the National Park of Pena. Just means we have another excuse to go back to Portugal! :)