What to see in Sintra
Landscapes, palaces, and castles
Hidden away in the woodlands of Sintra, many of the historical structures are remnants of the British and Portuguese who arrived to construct grand homes during the 18th and 19th century. Although the most majestic of all creations in Sintra are more antiquated than this and Pena Palace, the Castle of the Moors and the Monserrate Palace are, without a doubt, the main attractions in the region.
As mentioned, Sintra is a relatively small town made famous by these majestic structures and lush surroundings while another ten national monuments including some incredibly beautiful ruins are also nearby.Take for example Palacio de Pena, the national palace at the heart of Sintra with its towering chimneys and Gothic styled architecture. Another captivating sight is the beautiful Palace of Monserrate as it stands proudly in the middle of some luscious Japanese Gardens. And then there is the pre-mentioned Castle of the Moors, the oldest castle in Portugal where crumbling ruins are the viewpoint for the most spectacular view of Sintra and the neighboring regions.
Sintra Town Centre
Passing through narrow alleyways littered with quaint restaurants and small craft shops, the town center of Sintra has a certain mystique which adds to the fairy tale-like appearance of the surrounding region. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cobblestone streets of Sintra are lined with charming coffee shops which are perfect for watching the world go past. Although the food in Sintra is a genuine highlight as the local cheese and almond pastries are a mouthwatering reminder as to why it is fast becoming the most popular in Portugal.
Markets and local culture
Depending on the time of your visit can even encounter local markets such as Sao Pedro and Correntesa Markets which are both held twice a month on weekends. Sao Pedro Market is excellent for sampling fresh produce from the region while the latter is a haven for anyone interested in antiques and vintage objects.
If Sintra isn’t quite working out for you, there are always the nearby beaches in Colares or Adraga and even without all the landmarks, the hiking trails in between offer stunning scenery in great landscapes. Fresh and temperate, even the climate in Sintra is near perfect and it’s easy to see why so many of the wealthy and royalty were attracted to this region over the centuries.
Strolling through the luscious gardens and rolling hills of Pena Park, the sheer beauty of Pena Palace is a symbol for everything visitors will love about Sintra; it is quite simply the most attractive destination in Portugal with one of the most spectacular backdrops anywhere in the world.