Pena Palace
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Our most recommended Pena Palace Art & Museums

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. 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 minivan, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

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Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

2. 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.

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National Palace of Sintra and Gardens Fast Track Ticket

3. National Palace of Sintra and Gardens Fast Track Ticket

Explore 1,000 years of Portuguese history with a skip-the-line entry ticket to the National Palace of Sintra. Enter the historic monument, first built as a Moorish castle after the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the 8th century. Follow in the footsteps of the first king of Portugal, who extended the fortress in 1147. Marvel at how later extensions made use of the natural landscape as you admire the Manueline and Mudejar designs of the interior courtyards and discover windows with surmounted arches and walls covered in glazed tiles of geometric patterns.

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Sintra: Monserrate Palace and Park Skip-the-Line Ticket

4. Sintra: Monserrate Palace and Park Skip-the-Line Ticket

Four kilometers from Sintra’s historic center is the unique Monserrate Palace, located in the center of a beautiful 30-hectare park. The Park and Palace of Monserrate were included in the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which was been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1995. The 19th-century castle is known not only for its unique Moorish-Gothic-Indian style architecture but also for its surrounding gardens.  Over the years, the gardens have welcomed plant species from all over the world. In the various gardens, you will find surprisingly contrasting scenery, from tree ferns from Australia and New Zealand, to agaves and yuccas from Mexico. Seek out the Himalayan rhododendron and the bamboo-fringed Japanese garden abloom with camellias. Enjoy a stroll along the paths and discover ruins, lakes and waterfalls. 

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From Lisbon: Sintra Bike Tour With Lunch and 2 Attractions

5. From Lisbon: Sintra Bike Tour With Lunch and 2 Attractions

Near to Lisboa lies the small town of Sintra, one the most fascinating places in Portugal. Dare to step into this enchanted world of palaces, chapels, shrines, convents and castles, in the midst of ridges forests and fountains. You will figure out why Sintra is a cultural and natural amusement park. After a little adventure, you sit down to have lunch. Come on this incredible adventure through the world of sintra, embark from Lisbon. You have to complete your trip to Portugal with a visit to the mysterious town of Sintra. Sintra is a mystery, that's how the locals describe this place. Sintra is a true magnet of energy, an incredible place full of shrines, temples, and castles in the middle of a dense mountain range facing the North Atlantic. Leave everything to your guide who will prepare your mountain electric-bike and everything you will need. Lunch will be ready for you and the tickets for Quinta da Regaleira and Convento dos Capuchos are already included.

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From Lisbon: Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour of Sintra

6. From Lisbon: Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour of Sintra

Escape from Lisbon or Cascais and travel to Sintra on a full-day private sightseeing tour. Tour the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at leisure, and take advantage of the flexibility of your itinerary by choosing the sites that interest you most. Admire the city's 19th-century Romantic architecture and consider visiting your choice of Pena National Palace, the Castle of the Moors, Monserrate Palace, and the Sintra National Palace. Consider exploring the nearby nature as well, including the Sintra Mountains and Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. You may also want to visit a local cafe or bakery to try out traditional Portuguese pastries.

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Sintra Private Day Tour

7. Sintra Private Day Tour

You will be picked up at your accommodation to spend a memorable day with a genuine charming guide that will show you all the most emblematic locations and help you learn about their history on the way. Visit to Palácio da Pena, considered to be one of the seven wonders of Portugal and Sintra Village Historical Center with free time to taste the traditional Travesseiros de Sintra.  You then have the chance for an optional visit to the National Palace or the magic Quinta da Regaleira. Then drive through the National Park of Sintra-Cascais to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. Here the landscape is breathtaking and a perfect spot for photography lovers. Stop at Boca do Inferno (Hell´s Mouth) and enjoy free time to walk the street of the famous village of Cascais.

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Full-Day Private Tour - Sintra's World Heritage Sites

8. Full-Day Private Tour - Sintra's World Heritage Sites

Your private day tour will begin with a pick-up from your Lisbon hotel or cruise port at 8:30. The objective of the day will be to show you the national monuments at Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As this is a private tour, you will have the freedom to rearrange your tour how you see fit.  Your first stop could be at the Queluz National Palace, an 18th-century palace inspired by the Versailles palace in France, recently restored, where one of the most beautiful and well maintained french gardens in Portugal can be seen. Afterwards, you might head to the center of Sintra, where you can enjoy free time for shopping and to enjoy the traditional pastries at a local tea house. You can even pay a short visit to the Village Palace, an 11th century palace, that has been transformed throughout the centuries and is now one of the most emblematic places of Sintra. Before lunch, you could pass on through the 18th-century palace of Seteais and Quinta da Regaleira on your way to the Monserrate Palace and Park. After lunch we could head over to the Moorish Castle and the Pena National Palace for a visit to the palace and park before returning to Lisbon. On the Pena Palace there is still the possibility of making a more extensive tour though the park, on a minibus, which takes about one extra hour and can be booked on the day. On a full-day tour in Sintra, it's impossible to visit all of the palaces mentioned above and all the interesting locations around the village. If you only visit palaces, there is time for visiting 4 of the mentioned attractions or for 3 visits and extended shopping time. You may also opt to visit Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe, some nearby beaches, the wine region of Colares, or even Cascais. Please inform the driver of your preferences so that all can be arranged to suit your requirements.

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Sintra and Cascais Sightseeing Tour by Tuk Tuk

9. Sintra and Cascais Sightseeing Tour by Tuk Tuk

Experience the magic of Sintra and its natural park from a different perspective on a full-day sightseeing tour by tuk tuk. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage monuments of the 19th-century retreat, including its whimsical palaces and gardens. Learn how the town became the center of Romantic architecture in Europe after Ferdinand II turned the ruins of a monastery into a castle. Marvel at the mix of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish, and Renaissance elements used to create a park full of local and exotic trees. Discover hidden gems and fabled landmarks with the help of your local driver/guide. Get taken to the Moorish castle of Pena Palace in the hills surrounding the town center, go to the magnificent estate of Quinta da Regaleira and see other monuments of the town center according to your wishes. Travel to the westernmost point of continental Europe at Cabo da Roca, look into the mouth of a deep gorge at the Boca do Inferno near Cascais and visit the beach resort of Praia das Maças.

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Half Day Private Tour to Sintra from Lisbon

10. Half Day Private Tour to Sintra from Lisbon

Your tour begins at 8:30 or 13:30, depending on your choice, with a pick-up at your accommodation in Lisbon. On this private excursion you’ll visit the national monuments of Sintra, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the program provides time to explore the interior of some of the monuments. First, head to the center of Sintra, a 30-minute drive from Lisbon, where you'll have time to enjoy the typical local pastries in one of the most emblematic local pastry shops. Pay a short visit to the Village Palace, a 10th-century Moorish construction that has been transformed throughout the centuries and is now one of the most iconic sites in Sintra, with its twin chimneys overlooking the village. While heading to the Pena Palace, see some of the surrounding woods and exquisite chalets along the road, as well as part of the Moorish Castle. After the Pena, there is still a chance to see the 18th-century palaces of Seteais and Monserrate, the Quinta da Regaleira, and some iconic buildings in the area before heading to Cabo da Roca, the most western point in Europe, where breathtaking landscapes and abrupt cliffs will delight you. You’ll pass by Guincho Beach on the way to the Royal Village of Cascais and the resort town of Estoril, before heading back to Lisbon by the scenic road, if time allows. Arrive back in your accomodation by 1 PM or 6 PM depending on the departure option. Please note that on a half-day tour, there is normally time to explore only one of the palaces. During some times of the year, especially high season, the order of the route may change to avoid queues in some monuments. If the Pena Palace is the one you want to visit, it helps significantly to pre-purchase the tickets. Nevertheless, please inform the driver of your selection, in order to optimize the visits.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Pena Palace

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What people are saying about Pena Palace

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 6 reviews

We had Joao as our tour guide and absolutely loved our experience. Our group was quite small (only 5 of us total) and we ended up sticking together for lunch in Sintra. We had a blast together! Joao was super friendly and kind, and made sure to check in with each of us throughout the trip. He was very informative and gave a fun overview of Portugese history along with the Pena Palace tour. Thank you for a lovely tour!

Lovely tour with a great person, Nuno. Didn't know when time has passed and I recomand this from my heart. A living fairytale, this part of the country. All the best, Nuno!

Portuguese culture at its finest! Big shout out to Nuno & Maria for being a part of a great day seeing some beautiful scenery - muito obrigado a todos :)

Our tour guide was fantastic and the whole trip was a must see!

Well organized tour. Awesome guides with outstanding attitude.