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Sintra Museums & exhibitions

Our most recommended Sintra Museums & exhibitions

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

1. 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.

Sintra and the Amazing Dream Villages Tour

2. Sintra and the Amazing Dream Villages Tour

In a quiet environment a few minutes from the capital, explore a great selection of the best villages near Sintra. The fact that these villages continue to have unusual life habits, they recreate the way of life of Portugal's ancestors, preserved through smells, colors, and traditions. Visit the charming Azenhas do Mar, a village that has become one of the most famous Portuguese tourist spots. Discover the village of Penedo, perched high on a hillside still home to traditional houses. Walk along its steep and winding streets and alleys. It is a treasure of the traditional architecture of the saloia region. Visit secret villages where you will feel like you are in an open-air museum, where the way of life of Portugal's ancestors is preserved. Travel back in time in the village of José Franco. Get to know a local man's dream that recreated a village of ethnographic character, a testimony to the way of life of the ancient local people.

Sintra Myths and Legends Interpretative Center Entry Ticket

3. Sintra Myths and Legends Interpretative Center Entry Ticket

Get a unique lesson in the history of Sintra with an entrance ticket to the Sintra Myths and Legends Interpretative Center. Journey into the mysticism and romanticism of the town through its history, music, literature and more. Using multimedia techniques and sensory experiences, reality and fiction intersect at all 17 points of a project designed by architects, set designers, scriptwriters, historians, and specialists in audiovisual productions, augmented reality, 3D films and more. See photos of the town and listen to the sounds of the forest as you take the elevator to listen to a narrator who will tell you when the rocky hills were created. Then, interact with historical events through touchscreens and animation. Gaze in wonder as legends are told through full-size holograms that invite you to become a player in the game and run through woods and avoid obstacles. Marvel at the animated portraits of authors who found inspiration in the resort town.  Make your way down to the basement, where new adventures await. Experience the heaving seas aboard a ship, venture into a pagan world of nature, animals, fairies, and more. 

Lisbon: Ericeira, Mafra Rural Beach and Wine Tour

4. Lisbon: Ericeira, Mafra Rural Beach and Wine Tour

Your journey begins with a morning pickup at your hotel in Lisbon, Cascais, Ericeira, or Sintra. From there, enjoy a brief ride to Mafra, about 40 minutes from Lisbon. Mafra’s convent is a masterpiece from the eighteenth century and one of the most important monuments of Portugal, unique for its two carillons with 92 bells, 1200 rooms, over 4,700 doors, and windows and the oldest library in the country with about 36,000 volumes of books and transcripts. After Mafra venture to the quaint Portuguese one-of-a-kind village of José Franco. This man was a sculptor and a poet who decided to build a living museum to show the customs, labor activities, and other aspects of Portuguese rural life back in his time in 1945. The result is a giant museum made into a village! Next, head to Ericeira, the first World Surfing Reserve in Europe and 2nd in the world. It is a touristic village also known for its blue and white colored streets and houses. In Ericeira enjoy some free time, for possibly a leisurely Portuguese lunch (not included) or a stroll through the town and by the seaside. Last but not least, to finish this exclusive day, head to an exquisite winery and cellar for a tasting and historical experience that will provide you with a fascinating insight into the world of Portugal’s wine production. A family-run business welcomes you to an entertaining and enlightening tour around wines and cellars to discover the secrets of the wine-making process. Learn how wine is produced and enjoy a tasting session of six different wines (four local wines and two other magnificent wines) accompanied by local bread and olives.  

Frequently asked questions about Sintra

What top attractions are a must-see in Sintra?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Sintra?

The best day trips and excursions from Sintra are:

Cascais

Other Sightseeing Options in Sintra

Want to discover all there is to do in Sintra? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Sintra

The experience itself was great but buy the vouchers with plenty of time. We bought it for 5pm and the voucher wasn’t sent to me. I had to contact them, I was waiting by the gates, and they’ve said they have to approve the voucher manually and by then it was sold out for 5pm, so they can only let me in at 5.30pm, although I’ve paid and booked for 5pm. Never had a problem with this app but now I’ll be buying the vouchers/experiences with plenty of time ahead. This palace and gardens are always very busy and crowded so make sure you buy and get your vouchers the day before.

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

Magnificent place and super useful voucher because I skipped the huge queue that was there as soon as I arrived

Absolutely stunning place. Friendly helpful staff. Worth a visit.

I realy loved my afternoon at the palace,uniqe building