Sintra
Architecture Tours

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Our most recommended Sintra Architecture Tours

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

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.

From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Day Trip with Pickup

3. From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Day Trip with Pickup

Escape the hustle and bustle of Lisbon on a full-day tour of Sintra and Cascais. Discover the whimsical architecture of the town centers and Sintra Natural Park. Following a pick-up from your hotel in Lisbon, transfer by air-conditioned, 8-seat vehicle to the extravagant Pena Palace, perched on a rock that overlooks the coastline of Lisbon. Marvel at is a mix of Moorish and Manueline motifs, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding woods. Head to Cabo da Roca, continental Europe’s westernmost point, and get a souvenir certificate inscribed with the words "Where the Land Ends and the Sea Begins" by Camões. Pass the stunning beaches of Cascais, including Praia do Guincho, the most scenic beach on the Lisbon coastline. En route to Cascais, 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, a once quiet fishing village that was discovered by the European nobility for its idyllic setting, and became a favorite destination for the international jet set. Stroll along the harbor, before transferring back to Lisbon.

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

4. From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Full-Day Tour

On this full-day tour you’ll discover Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the villa that’s surrounded by an amazing natural park, a castle, beautiful palaces and chalets. Take a walk along the medieval streets of Sintra an drive through the national park and see the rare fauna, the unique trees, the Moorish castle, Monserrate Palace and the chalets. Visit Pena Palace, one of the most impressive expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in architecture in the world and one of Portugal’s seven wonders. Say goodbye to Sintra with an optional visit to mystical Quinta da Regaleira, a palace surrounded by luxuriant gardens, lakes, caves and enigmatic constructions that hide obscure alchemist meanings, evoked by Freesmasons, Knights Templar and Rosicrucians. Continue on to the westernmost point of continental Europe at Roca Cape. Travel along the coast and embrace the Atlantic, and stop in Cascais and Estoril, once retreats for the royal family and the European aristocracy.

From Lisbon: Sintra and Pena Palace 5-hour Tour

5. From Lisbon: Sintra and Pena Palace 5-hour Tour

Benefit from pickup at your hotel, cruise terminal, or other location, and then travel to the UNESCO World Heritage monument of Pena Palace, one of the finest expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. Marvel at the extravagant decorations and royal collections of the opulent interiors, and get amazing views from the rooftop cafe and terraces. You then head down to Sintra to enjoy some free time to shop or explore the historical center. Try the local queijada and travesseiro pastries, and take souvenir photos of the best-preserved medieval royal residence in Portugal at Sintra National Palace. Continue towards the historic estates of Seteais and Monserrate on the way to Cabo da Roca. Get panoramic views from the westernmost point of mainland Europe, and take souvenir photos of the surfers paradise of Guincho Beach. Visit the village of Cascais and take some free time to walk along the bay before the return journey to Lisbon (or other pickup point).

From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour

6. From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour

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.

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

7. 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.

From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights Full-Day Tour

8. From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights Full-Day Tour

Fall in love with magical Sintra, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period. Its stunning landscape is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity site that is begging for exploration. Start the tour by exploring the exotic Pena Park and the magnificent Pena Palace, a remarkable building complete with different decorative styles, symbols and intriguing features, which was formerly used as the royal family's official summer residence. Walk through the city center of Sintra and go to the decorative Quinta da Regaleira estate to explore the famous initiation well and the many lakes, fountains and the aquarium dotted across its grounds. Lunchtime will be spent wandering around the historical village, followed by a quick stop at local patisseries where you can try some of Sintra's well-known delicacies. The journey continues to the eclectic Monserrate Palace, a glorious estate that once served as a summer residence for the Portuguese court.

Lisbon: Full-Day Sintra and Cascais Tour

9. Lisbon: Full-Day Sintra and Cascais Tour

You will start your day at the front door of your hotel, where you will be greeted by your guide before traveling to Sintra in a comfortable 9-seater van. You will then have the opportunity to visit the mysterious and romantic town of Sintra, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Once there, you can choose to visit one of the following monuments: - the Pena Palace (the best example of the Romanticism style in Portugal) - the Sintra National Palace (a Medieval royal residence) - the Monserrate's Park and Palace (an eclectic place where you can explore romantic gardens with exotic species) - the Capuchos Convent (known for its extreme bareness of its architectural and decorative elements) - the Moors Castle (a fortress located on the top of a hill) - the Regaleira Estate (one of the most magical views one can find in Sintra) In any case, you will be accompanied by your guide, who will provide you with full explanations about the sites. You will then have time to explore the center of the town and have lunch. You can ask your guide for recommendations of restaurants, before taking some time to stroll around the narrow streets of Sintra. Following lunch, it will be time to go to Roca Cape, the westernmost point of Continental Europe. Later, you will head to Cascais, a lovely town by the sea with an old fishing tradition. Here you will have time to see the town center, as well as the entire bay area. Before returning to Lisbon, you can take the chance to drive by Estoril, which used to be a place of refuge during World War II. To conclude your tour, you will go back to Lisbon by the "marginal", a road which connects Cascais to Lisbon and runs along the coast.

Sintra & Cascais Full-Day Private Tour

10. Sintra & Cascais Full-Day Private Tour

Discover Sintra, known for its many 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments, which has resulted in its classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by the mountain which gave name to the town, a granite massif ten kilometres long - considered the Monte da Lua (Mountain of the Moon), or Promontorium Lunae by the strong local tradition of astral cults - emerge abruptly between a vast plain to the north and the northern margin of the Tagus River estuary, winding in a serpentine cordillera towards the Atlantic Ocean and Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. Walk through the historical village centre, enjoy its natural beauty and visit its most proeminent landmarks: the Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle, the Regaleira and Monserrate Palaces. Crossover the mountain to visit the westernmost point of the European mainland and look beyond the Atlantic. In the so called "Portuguese Riviera" discover the city of Cascais and its old town center as well as Estoril, popularly recognized for the Casino Estoril, widely regarded as the Europe's largest casino. Then go by seashore road to Lisbon center and see where the Atlantic meets the Tagus River. The tour is private and available in several car class: Standard, Standard Van, Premium, Luxury Van and Luxury. 

Frequently asked questions about Sintra Architecture Tours

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What people are saying about Sintra

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 3,947 reviews

This is a great tour as it concentrates on Sintra rather than trying to fit more into the day and making it rushed. Pickup and drop off was straight forward. Our guide Mathew was excellent and extremely knowledgeable on the area and history. He knew all the short cuts to improve our experience at the palaces. We had lunch at one of his recommended tapas bars Tascantiga which was excellent. Would highly recommend this tour.

This was a BRILLIANT tour and an absolute MUST for any visitor to Lisbon. The palace and its interior is just beautiful and gardens of Regaleira really unique. Sandra was an excellent and well informed guide with perfect English. We cannot recommend her highly enough. David and Christina, London

André was a great guide who made this tour very exciting and fun. I had some issues with my phone at the Peña Palace but he tried his best to ensure that it was resolved. Thank you for a memorable experience!

I came alone, I had a great time with my guide who was very friendly and interesting. I learn a lot about the flora of the area, the history and the architecture. Definitely recommend!

Great tour with our tour guide Luis. Liked that we were a small group and our tour guide changed the sequence of our trip to get the most of our time and skipping the long queues.