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Lisbon Culture & history

Our most recommended Lisbon Culture & history

Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

1. Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

Escape Lisbon and go on a full-day, guided journey to some of Portugal’s most popular locations stopping at the iconic Pena Palace in Sintra, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Cabo da Roca, and the ritzy seaside town of Cascais. Choose between the shared tour or private tour options. Your journey from Lisbon starts at the famous city of Sintra, whose Romanticist architecture, historic estates and villas, and numerous royal palaces and castles have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the freedom of choice on whether you want an included entry ticket and tour of the colorful Pena Palace, or whether you prefer to gain some extra free time instead. Arriving early at Sintra means greater chances of avoiding long lines if you choose to go with your guide on a comprehensive tour through its lavish interiors and lush gardens. Marvel at the palace’s fairy-tale-like appearance, beautiful facade and extravagant interior. Next, head over to the center of Sintra and get 1.5-hour of free time to wander on your own. Get recommendations of the city’s must-see locations as well as the best restaurant options for delicious traditional Portuguese dining from your guide. Continue to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and take in the impressive views of the ocean crashing against the high rocky cliffs. If weather permitting, stop at Guincho beach, whose strong winds and high swells have made it a popular surfing destination. Lastly, arrive in Cascais, an elegant seaside resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Stroll through the lovely city center and make sure to check out Cascais’ luxury marina, its charming fishing port, and a restored fort that houses many local craftsmen. After your free exploration time in Cascais, relax back on board your air-conditioned vehicle, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

2. From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

Discover Sintra’s beautiful architecture, admire the beauty of one of the highest hills of the region Walk the narrow streets of Sintra in your free time and visit with our fantastic tour guide Quinta da Regaleira. Arrive at the romantic Pena Palace in Sintra, which has a profusion of styles much in accordance with the exotic taste of Romanticism. Explore the ancient castle, which was one of the favorite residences of the royal family throughout the 19th century. Walk through the fairytale-style building and learn about its fascinating history. Take some free time to stroll through Sintra and purchase lunch if you're feeling hungry. Get recommendations on what to see and eat in the area. Afterward, begin a guided tour of the main landmarks of Sintra, and hear about local secrets and stories. Visit the picturesque village of Cascais, linked to the Portuguese royals who summered here. Stroll along beautiful beaches, mansions, museums and photogenic streets. Return to Lisbon at the end of the day.

Lisbon: Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon Exhibition

3. Lisbon: Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon Exhibition

Learn about one of the most influential artists of all time with this clever multimedia production. Historical photographs and original movies will guide you through different sounds and environments, reproducing moments in the life of Frida Kahlo, and showing the story behind the icon. This experience is divided into two distinct stages. In the first, walk by several artistic installations, experience virtual reality, and create your own customized Frida model. In the second, immerse yourself in a 360º audiovisual show displaying some of the most unique moments from the artist’s personal life. You'll walk away fascinated by the life of Frida Kahlo, whose rebellious spirit and talent still inspire women of all ages due to her strength and unique personality.

Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery Entrance Ticket

4. Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery Entrance Ticket

Get entrance tickets to Jerónimos monastery, a national monument classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and located near the city of Lisbon. Learn about how King Manuel I commissioned the monastery in 1496 to honor the Infante for his devotion to Our Lady and faith in St. Jerome. Once inside, marvel at the Manueline or Portuguese Late Gothic architecture. Discover how the monastery of St. Mary of Belém was donated to the monks of the Order of St. Jerome. For this reason, it is commonly known as the Jerónimos Monastery. In 1833, when the order was dissolved, the monastery was used as a school and orphanage until 1940. In the 19th century, the church became the monument for local heroes and poets such as Luís de Camões and Vasco da Gama. Come and discover what is not simply a notable work of architecture, but also an important part of Portuguese identity and culture.

From Lisbon: Fátima, Batalha, Nazaré & Óbidos Full-Day Tour

5. From Lisbon: Fátima, Batalha, Nazaré & Óbidos Full-Day Tour

Travel by air-conditioned minivan to Fátima and learn why millions of pilgrims make their way to the sanctuary each year. Continue to Batalha to see some of the best 14th-century architecture in Portugal, including the monastery built in commemoration of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota. Next, go to the charming seaside town of Nazaré and savor some fresh fish at lunch (own expense). Take a scenic coastal drive through São Martinho do Porto and the Óbidos Lagoon en route to the medieval walled village of Óbidos. Stroll around the cobbled streets and taste some authentic ginjinha (cherry liqueur).

From Lisbon: Fatima, Obidos, Batalha and Nazaré Group Tour

6. From Lisbon: Fatima, Obidos, Batalha and Nazaré Group Tour

Embark on a full-day tour of Fatima, Obidos, Batalha, and Nazaré from Lisbon. See the shrine of Fatima, explore the seaside resort of Nazaré, and enjoy liqueur tasting in Obidos. Benefit from pickup in Lisbon city center, and then take a scenic drive to the shrine of Fatima. Learn more about the important Catholic pilgrimage site before going to the Gothic convent at Batalha. Admire the Manueline style of architecture typical of Portugal in the 16th century, and then enjoy a delicious lunch of regional food. Next, visit the beautiful seaside resort of Nazaré, popular with surfers and water sports fans. See the statue of the black Virgin Mary by Saint Joseph and look at the colorful fishing boats on the sandy beach from the top of the rock. Try some of the sweet cherry liqueur known as ginja in the medieval village of Obidos (not included), and soak up the fairytale atmosphere of the cobbled paths and small medieval houses. Browse the handicraft stores along narrow streets, and then journey back to Lisbon through the lovely landscapes of central Portugal.

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

7. Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle-like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantastical version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the former Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the top of the hill above Sintra and had been left unoccupied since 1834 when the religious orders were suppressed in Portugal. The monastery consisted of the cloister and its outbuildings, the chapel, the sacristy and the bell tower, which today form the northern section of the Palace of Pena, or the Old Palace as it is known. King Ferdinand began by making repairs to the former monastery, which, according to the historical sources of that time, was in very bad condition. He refurbished the whole of the upper floor, replacing the fourteen cells used by the monks with larger-sized rooms and covering them with the vaulted ceilings that can still be seen today. In roughly 1843, the king decided to enlarge the palace by building a new wing (the New Palace) with even larger rooms (the Great Hall is a good example of this), ending in a circular tower next to the new kitchens. The building work was directed by the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 repair works restored the original colors of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. In transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showed that he was heavily influenced by German romanticism, and that he probably found his inspiration in the Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the banks of the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. These building works at the Palace of Pena ended in the mid-1860s, although further work was also undertaken at later dates for the decoration of the interiors. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.

From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights and Pena Palace Full-Day Tour

8. From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights and Pena Palace Full-Day Tour

Fall in love with Sintra, a lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period, on a day trip from Lisbon via an air-conditioned bus. See the stunning landscape classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided tour of monuments like Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Monserrate Palace. Start the tour by exploring the exotic Pena Park and the magnificent Pena Palace. This remarkable building is complete with different decorative styles, symbols, and intriguing features, and was once the royal family's official summer residence. Walk through Sintra's charming city center. Stop by the decorative Quinta da Regaleira estate. Explore the initiation well as well as its many lakes and fountains, and the aquarium on its grounds. Spend your lunchtime strolling through the historical village. Enjoy a quick stop at local patisseries to try some of Sintra's well-known delicacies. Conclude your journey at the eclectic Monserrate Palace, a glorious estate that once served as a summer residence for the Portuguese court.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

9. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

Benefit from a guided tour inside the Quinta Regaleira and Pena Palace. Fall in love with Sintra, a village full of magic and mystery, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period and also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Opt to treat yourself and your loved ones to a private experience with your own guide and pickup from your own hotel. Alternatively, you can get picked up from a convenient location in the center of Lisbon. Accompanied by a tour guide, visit Quinta da Regaleira and enjoy its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Well. Uncover the mysteries of each place and learn about the orders of the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. During the lunch break in Sintra's old town, you will have free time to explore the historical and charming streets. You will also have time to taste the traditional pastry, travesseiro. After buying your entry ticket with your guide, step into a fairy tale when you enter the romantic Pena Palace and Park. Understand its unique architectural expression of Romanticism. Spot how it blends many styles, including Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, and neo-Renaissance. Stroll around the park with its astonishing variety of plants and trees. Marvel at the palace's amazing views of the castle and the Atlantic Ocean, a perfect way to end the day before returning to Lisbon.

Lisbon: History, Stories and Lifestyle Walking Tour

10. Lisbon: History, Stories and Lifestyle Walking Tour

Discover one of Europe's most captivating and picturesque capitals on a guided walking tour. Built on a series of hills and offering panoramic views from countless spots, explore the city with a local guide who will make sure that you have an interesting and fun experience. Begin the tour in the 5-centuries-old Bairro Alto, where you’ll learn about the evolution of the city. After the earthquake of 1755 this space attracted families from the Baixa and Bairro districts, who began the process of renewal. Pass by the garden of São Pedro de Alcântara and enjoy views of Baixa and the south bank of the Tagus River. Visit the San Roque Church built by the Jesuits. Admire its austere façade, and the gilding, tiles, and paintings inside that make it a wonderful museum of Mannerist and Baroque styles. Head down the hill to the Carmo convent and church, fine examples of the city’s Gothic architecture. This is a site of historical importance as it was here that the Carnation Revolution began in 1974, putting an end to nearly 5 decades of dictatorship. A little further on, arrive at the Santa Justa elevator, an imposing monument built in the Gothic Revival style, that provides one of the best viewpoints in the city. See a number of attractions in Baixa, in the heart of the city. After a short break, take a ride on the tram, going up from the castle to the Portas do Sol. At the Portas do Sol, see the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, the National Pantheon, and the Alfama district that spans several narrow streets to the River Tagus. Explore Alfama, one of the oldest and most traditional neighborhoods of Lisbon, known for its fado houses, and the popular festivals of saints, particularly St. Anthony. End the tour at Lisbon Cathedral, built in 1150, 3 years after the city was taken back from the Moors. Over time it has been subject to various architectural changes, becoming a mixture of different styles.

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Frequently asked questions about Lisbon

What top attractions are a must-see in Lisbon?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Lisbon?

The best day trips and excursions from Lisbon are:

Sintra

Other Sightseeing Options in Lisbon

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What people are saying about Lisbon

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 18,406 reviews

We absolutely loved Paulo and wished we had found him earlier. If you want an on-the-beaten path experience with a guide who likes to avoid crowds, knows the right balance of talking, and is incredibly knowledgeable this is the tour and the guide for you. He does longer trips as well. I would recommend just asking for him to be part of your entire trip.

Ana is hands down the best guide we've had during our time in Lisbon and Portugal. She has an incredible amount of knowledge of the history of the area. We learned a lot and enjoyed amazing views of Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira. We enjoyed a sunny and not very crowded visit to the Palace. Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much, Ana!

Our Guide was wonderful. Doing both English and French throughout the day must be a lot, but she was super friendly and enthusiastic with making sure everyone was enjoying themselves and giving a personal touch to each part of the day. Overall an incredible and unforgettable day that was worth the spend!

Definitely worth getting a ticket in advance. DO NOT drive up to the castle! Park in the centre of town somewhere and take public transportation up

Very knowledgeable guide, perfectly organized tour. I advise!