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Sintra Coat of Arms

Oct 2008

suntria Unknown bright star or sun.

Population - 377,835.

Sintra Coat of Arms

It's presumed you're here on a day trip from Lisbon and why not? There's not much else to do there during the day and this UNESCO World Heritage Site is chock full of palaces.

It's popular too, more fans of the palace here than you'll find down  Selhurst Park on any given every-other Saturday. Sintra is one of the 'Seven Wonders of Portugal' although it's not known if  Cristiano Ronaldo[1] is one of the other six.

[1] Get this, he played at Selhurst Park, probably.

This one's from the 'forecourt' of the Palácio Nacional, bang in the centre of town and ten minutes from the train. Former royals and their relatives still take up residency here but they'll let you inside for a few €euros.

Vista de Sintra

It's said a few €euros but if you combine with a visit to the castle and the other palaces, it'll all add up to a fair few €euros but more on those in a minute. The ticket combinations are designed to make your visit to Sintra as  Smooth as possible. Hang on! Isn't that Santana?

The National Palace has some  Moorish nods although they're largely reproduced. They had a presence here, you see, and laid the foundations for the Castelo dos Mouros in the 9th century.

Sintra - Castelo dos Mouros

There's a shuttle bus up but you can walk to it through the woodland if you'd rather. Sure, you'll arrive panting and dripping but that won't wash with the 'clippie', you'll still need to part with some €euros.

Fine views from the restored ramparts back down to town and beyond. This is looking back to Lisbon here and all of the built up in between.

Sintra - From Castelo dos Mouros

It's not thought that's another palace down there rather one of Portugal's most expensive hotels, apparently.

That hike up the hill here, however, will have you feeling  So Macho. Hang on! Isn't that Sinitta?

Looking just about south, the Palácio da Pena sits higher up the hillside and open to the elements. It's not the only thing that's badly exposed, this, admittedly enhanced, effort doesn't really do it justice.

Sintra - Palácio da Pena

With hindsight and having now done some homework, this remarkable, Fairytale castle is likely to be the main reason for most people's visit to Sintra.

It's an 1840s job replacing the remains of an early 16th-century monastery that had lain in ruins since the great earthquake of 1755. By the end of the 20th and after a lick of paint, UNESCO came calling, stuck their stamp on it and they don't hand them awards out willy-nilly.

You can shuttle it up by bus although a walk through the forest and gardens comes trippingly advised. Saying that, the style is best described as Romantic so you don't really really want to arrive panting and dripping here?

It certainly is an example of  A Fine Romance architecture. Hang on! Isn't that Sinatra? It is and it's as close as you're going to get!

 
Palácio de Monserrate

Palace and park that's a couple of miles west of Sintra centre. Can be combined with visits to the Palácio Nacional, Palácio da Pena, Palácio de Queluz and the castle.

 
Palácio Nacional de Sintra (Largo Rainha Dona Amélia)

Palace in town and where you'll buy your tickets, probably. Can be combined with visits to the Palácio de Monserrate, Palácio da Pena, Palácio de Queluz and the castle.

 
Palácio da Pena (Estrada da Pena)

Up a hill to the south and a bus will shuttle you up. Can be combined with visits to the Palácio de Monserrate, Palácio Nacional, Palácio de Queluz and the castle.

 
Palácio de Queluz (Largo Palácio de Queluz)

This one's a little way south-west but can be combined with visits to the Palácio de Monserrate, Palácio Nacional, Palácio da Pena and the castle.

 
Quinta da Regaleira (R. Barbosa do Bocage)

Parkland with another palace in it although this one's early 20th century. CAN'T be combined with visits to the Palácio de Monserrate, Palácio Nacional, Palácio da Pena, Palácio de Queluz or the castle.