Sintra and Cascais Day Trips from Lisbon

To complete your trip to Lisbon with an excursion to the surrounding area, Sintra and Cascais are probably the best option.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

7 min read

Sintra and Cascais Day Trips from Lisbon

Sintra | ©Drew Bae

A trip to Sintra is a must. Only half an hour away from Lisbon is this municipality presided over by the Pena Palace, one of the most important centres of European Romantic architecture.

There are different ways to get to Sintra. Choosing one or the other will depend on what you want to see or how much time you have. Here are the best options:

Best value for money

Sintra, Cascais, Pena Palace, Cabo da Roca and Regaleira Day Trip from Lisbon

The most popular and complete tour, at the best price.

If you want to enjoy the charm of Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca while seeing the outside of the Pena Palace, this is the most economical option.

Duration: 8 hours

A visit to Sintra during your trip to Lisbon will allow you to get to know a little more of the neighbouring country and enjoy landscapes of unique charm.

To begin with, in the area surrounding Sintra there are tourist sites that are well worth a visit. This is the case of the town of Cascais or the impressive Cabo da Roca, from where you can enjoy wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean. This day trip to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais and Regaleira is designed to enjoy the contrasts of the Portuguese landscape.

And of course, at the top of the Sintra mountain range is the spectacular Pena Palace built in the 19th century by a German architect for Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. On this tour to Sintra you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will tell you all about its history.

Why I like this option: The best thing about the tour is that it's the most comprehensive for the price. Moreover, it includes pick up and drop off at your hotel, so it's more comfortable than ever!Recommended if... you are looking for a cheap and quality option to spend a different day during your trip to Lisbon, getting to know the highlights of the region.

More comprehensive option

Sintra and Cascais Day Trip from Lisbon

Tour Sintra, Cascais and Cabo de Roca with an expert guide and entrance to the Pena Palace

If you want to make the most of your excursion and not give up the chance to see the inside of the charming Pena Palace, this is the best option with entrance to this monument.

Duration: 8 hours

By now you must be convinced that Sintra is an essential visit during your trip to Lisbon, so now you just have to choose the option that best suits you. The main attraction of this beautiful city is, without a doubt, the Pena Palace, so on this excursion to Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon you won't want to miss its beautiful rooms, taking advantage of the fact that you have an expert guide who will tell you all the historical details.

You'll start the day in Sintra, where in addition to visiting the historic centre, you'll see the Town Hall (also known as Queluz Palace) and stop at Casa Piriquita, a legendary pastry shop where you can taste the typical sweets of the area, the Travesseiros and Queijadas.

You'll also visit Cabo da Roca and its spectacular views of the Atlantic, and then head to the famous Pena Palace, where you'll have an hour and a half to explore it in depth.

Why I like this option: For a slightly higher price than other tours, this one has an expert guide and entrance to the National da Pena Palace included, giving you a much more complete experience.Recommended if... you want a more premium experience than other tours that don't include entrance to the monuments along the way.

The most convenient option

Lisboa Card

Enjoy a free train journey with the Lisboa Card

Save time and money with this tourist card that allows you to explore Lisbon and its attractions, but also allows you to get to Sintra and Cascais by train.

You can purchase this 24, 48 or 72 hour pass to visit up to 38 attractions in the city. In addition, you can use trains, buses, metro, trams and lifts free of charge. Thanks to this, you can take the train to Sintra and Cascais and visit them on your own.

This tourist card is valid for one year and I recommend that you take a look at the activities you are interested in beforehand in case you need to book any of them in advance.

Why I like this option: because for a more than reasonable price of around 22 €, you can choose almost 40 places, monuments and landmarks to visit in Lisbon and that includes Sintra and Cascais.Recommended if... you want to forget about worries and be open to all the options you have for your sightseeing itinerary.

In summary, we compare the options

About Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira| ©Susanne Nilsson
Quinta da Regaleira| ©Susanne Nilsson

Any guided tour will cover the main points of a visit to Sintra; some will focus more on the historic centre, some on the surroundings and some on the scenery. If you're visiting Sintra individually, here's the list of must-see sites (I recommend leaving Lisbon early in the morning to see them all).

Pena Palace

This is Sintra's main attraction and Portugal's greatest architectural exponent of 19th century romanticism. It is located on top of a hill and you will distinguish it by its yellow and pink walls. You can find all the information you need to visit it in this other article on how to visit the Pena Palace.

Sintra National Palace

In addition to the Pena Palace, Sintra has another palace with white walls and orange roofs that is well worth a visit both inside and out. Architecture lovers will be delighted by the medieval, Gothic, Romanesque, Manueline and Renaissance elements on its façade. Although the opening hours change according to the season, you can visit it every day of the year for approximately 10 euros.

Quinta da Regaleira

Palaces are Sintra's main attraction, but this one is different from the rest. The Quinta da Regaleira palace looks like an enchanted castle with turrets and sculptures adorning its brick-coloured walls. The entrance fee ranges from 8 to 16 euros depending on whether you want to visit with or without a guided tour and the opening hours vary according to the season (although you can usually visit every day of the week all year round).

The Moorish Castle

On the top of a mountain is this enclave, also known as the Castle of Sintra. To get there you have to climb a flight of stone steps and from the top you'll have stunning views of the Atlantic if the day is clear.

Ana's Traveller Tip

If you're a foodie, Sintra is home to chef Sergi Arola's Bristol restaurant, but you'll need to book well in advance.

When to go to Sintra

Aerial view of the Castle of the Walls in Sintra
Aerial view of the Castle of the Walls in Sintra

Like Lisbon, Sintra receives tourists all year round. In high season (June to August) you'll find the town more lively, but there will also be longer queues to visit the Pena Palace and the entrance fees to the tourist sites will be higher.

As for the weather, it's good at any time of the year as there are no low temperatures to prevent you from visiting the town and in summer Sintra is always cooler than Lisbon. The ideal month to visit the city is September as the weather will be ideal and you won't find the summer crowds in the tourist spots.

Book your excursion to Sintra and Cascais

How to get to Sintra from Lisbon on your own

Lisbon train at Sintra Station| ©Jason
Lisbon train at Sintra Station| ©Jason

If you are not a fan of guided tours (although this is something I always recommend for sightseeing and sightseeing) you can also get to Sintra easily and quickly on your own.

The train to Sintra departs from Lisbon's Rossio station, located in the city centre between the botanical gardens and the Santa Justa elevator. The journey takes about 40 minutes, trains run every half hour and cost about five euros (with the Lisbon Tourist Card you won't pay for the train).

You can also get to Sintra by rental car from Lisbon, but the train runs so smoothly that I wouldn't recommend it unless you're going to drive around the capital. Once you get to Sintra, you can walk around the town or take the 434 bus which connects the historic centre with the Pena Palace.

Ana's Traveller Tip

Ask for queijadas or travesseiros in Sintra's pastry shops; they are the typical sweets of the region.

If you enjoyed the trip to Sintra, you will also like

Nazaré| ©Sergei Gussev
Nazaré| ©Sergei Gussev

Sintra is not the only attractive place you can visit during your trip to Lisbon without having to travel long distances. The surroundings of the Portuguese capital are exciting and if you haven't booked your plane ticket yet, I advise you to add a couple of extra days to your holiday so you can visit them all.

The Algarve, Fátima, Sesimbra, Nazaré, Óbidos, Arrábida, Evora... if you haven't heard of these places after visiting Lisbon, you will have heard of them several times. In this article about Best Tours and Day Trips from Lisbon you will find all the necessary information about what you can see during your trip.