Pena Palace
UNESCO Sites

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Our most recommended Pena Palace UNESCO Sites

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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From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira, Cape Roca, and Cascais Tour

3. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira, Cape Roca, and Cascais Tour

Discover Sintra, so-called the “Garden of Eden” by Lord Byron. Tour its paradisiacal streets and gardens and admire the ornate palaces, villas, and estates throughout this colorful city. See Pena National Palace, famed for its romantic architecture and recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. Located approximately 500 meters above sea level, soak up the stunning city views over Sintra. Continue to Sintra's Quinta da Regaleira and take a guided tour of the palace, lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions. Learn about its connection with the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. Head to Cabo da Roca, the most western point of mainland Europe, passing Guincho Beach. Experience the Portuguese Rivera as you drive along the Estoril Coast and visit the village of Cascais. See why many exiled European royalty choose to live there.

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Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour from Lisbon

4. Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour from Lisbon

Depart Lisbon and journey by air-conditioned, 8-seat vehicle to Pena Palace atop a rock overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Hear the romantic story of the palace and feel like a member of the Portuguese royal family. Then, head to Cabo da Roca for panoramic views from continental Europe’s westernmost point. Pass the stunning beaches of Cascais, including the scenic Praia do Guincho. Experience the mystery of the Devil's Mouth cave, created by the crashing of the waves on the rocky bluff. Stop in the elegant resort town of Cascais, favored by the nobles of Europe for its idyllic setting. Stroll along the harbor before traveling back to Lisbon.

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Sintra: Castle of the Moors Fast Track Ticket

5. Sintra: Castle of the Moors Fast Track Ticket

The Castle of the Moors was classified as a National Monument in 1910 and it also forms part of the Sintra Cultural Landscape classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1995. It soars 412 m above sea level and looms high above the surrounding forest.  The 10th-century Moorish castle’s dizzying ramparts stretch across the mountain ridges and past moss-clad boulders the size of small buses. The best walking route here from Sintra-Vila is not along the main road but the quicker, partly off-road route via Rua Marechal Saldanha. The steep trail is around 2 km, but quiet and rewarding.  Once you reach the castle, the views over Sintra’s palace-dotted hill, across to the glittering Atlantic are breathtaking. Along the walkways, you can admire the unique landscape that in the foreground features Sintra town and its town hall, the Palace of Pena and the hills. In the background, admire the extensive plain running northwards and the Atlantic Ocean.

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From Lisbon: Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca Coast Day Tour

6. From Lisbon: Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca Coast Day Tour

Escape noisy Lisbon on a visit to nearby sites of natural and architectural beauty. See Sintra's historic center, Pena, Cascais, and more on this day excursion. On this full-day tour, start off with a walk-in Pena Park. Feel like royalty in Pena Palace while your guide explains its history. Marvel at the views of the surrounding landscape and the Atlantic Ocean. If you choose the option without the Pena Palace ticket, enjoy free time in the old town of Sintra. Next visit Sintra's historical center. Enjoy lunch or visit the National Palace. Continue on with a drive through the Sintra Mountains. Stop at the great cliffs at Roca Cape, which are the westernmost point of continental Europe. The last stop of the tour is the stylish town of Cascais, where you can take a relaxing walk along the bay before heading back to Lisbon.

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From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

7. 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 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 an enthusiastic and dedicated tour guide, you will 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, feel like you're stepping 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.

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

8. 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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Sintra: Jeep Tour with Visits to Regaleira and Pena Palace

9. Sintra: Jeep Tour with Visits to Regaleira and Pena Palace

Take an adventure by riding in a Portuguese convertible Jeep through Sintra, a World Heritage town. Explore the very best secret spots and routes while being guided by the most knowledgeable locals that know all about the region. Start your day being picked up at the meeting point and traveling directly to Quinta da Regaleira, a palace filled with mystery, metaphors and underground tunnels for a guided tour.  After the visit, you will have an overview of all 5 palaces and the 8th-Century Moorish Castle as you pass by the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Take a break and enjoy a delicious lunch at a typical Portuguese restaurant before walking through one of the most mystical forests in the world. Visit the 12th-century Peninha Sanctuary, built 500 meters above sea level with a 360 view over the Atlantic Coast and the Natural Park. Finish your day with a guided tour to Pena Palace, the red-and-yellow Disney-like castle that sits atop Sintra’s second-highest peak. You will then be dropped off around 6:00 PM at the same station.

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From Lisbon: Sintra Full-Day Trip

10. From Lisbon: Sintra Full-Day Trip

Get out of the city and explore stunning Sintra with a friend on this full-day tour. See an iconic UNESCO Cultural Landscape, wander through the intriguing Pena Palace, and drive through the ancient towns of Cascais and Estoril. Meet your guide outside your Lisbon hotel, and enjoy the relaxed ride through the suburbs of Lisbon. In Sintra, begin your tour in the picturesque park, which forms the heart of the UNESCO Cultural Landscape. Explore the Moorish Castle and its elaborate gardens, the ancient home of Portugal’s kings. Get a panoramic view of Lisbon and the Atlantic ocean from the Pena Palace, and see the Knights of the Templar Initiation Well in the Quinta da Regaleira. Return to Lisbon through the busy Riviera towns of Cascais and Estoril.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Pena Palace

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What people are saying about Pena Palace

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 3,957 reviews

Our tour guide Alex was outstanding, very knowledgeable and super accommodating. He made sure he paid equal attention to every couple, speaking English to us and speaking French to another couple from France. When I asked to tweak a program a little bit so we can also visit Quinta da Regaleira after the Peña Palace, it didn’t take him long to accommodate the request. Thank you ever so much for your flexibility! The tour was well structured. We did not feel rushed, it was our day to enjoy! He recommended where to try famous Sintra sweets (and they were so delish by the way). The location for lunch was simply breathtaking: having my favourite octopus dish while sipping on a refreshing glass of wine & enjoying magnificent sea views, you feel like you’re on top of the world! Alex, thank you so much! We are bringing home a lot of memories thanks to your tour and flexibility! 100% recommend this company & this particular tour! This tour ticks all the boxes you want to see & enjoy in Sintra.

Alejandro was incredible! He was so much fun to spend the whole day with and was very accommodating. The fact that he can also juggle multiple languages was very impressive! I loved the 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!

Sintra was amazing and the tour guide was very helpful and tailored our experience with input

Well organized tour. Awesome guides with outstanding attitude.