Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pena Palace of Sintra, Portugal

"To beat the crowds is by getting there early - the rule of thumb for visitors."

On our second day in Lisbon, we woke up pretty early in the hope of catching the earliest train to Sintra. Our main highlight of the day is to visit Pena Palace (Palacio Nacional da Pena), one of the finest tourist attractions in Portugal and exemplifies the 19th century Romanticism style of architecture. Definitely must-go when in Portugal. 

Pena Palace is doable as a day trip, although the journey from Lisbon to Sintra might be slightly long. Hence, it's advisable to start your day trip as early as possible. In Lisbon, we head to Rossio Railway Station. You can reach Rossio Railway Station by taking metro under blue/green line and align at Rossio Metro Station. To pay for the journey from Lisbon to Sintra, you can use Viva Viagem card and a single fare costs €2.25. The train runs every 30 minutes and it takes approximately 40 minutes to reach Sintra. 

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Reaching Sintra Railway Station, turn right after getting out from the station and there is a bus stop 100 meters down the road. Catch the 434 tourist bus heading to Pena National Palace, the National Palace and the Moorish Palace, which operates on a hop-on and hop-off system. The bus ticket can be bought on board. You can opt for a single trip of €6.90 or daily tourist ticket of €15. Align at second stop for Pena Palace (the first stop is for the Moorish Palace). 

From the park entrance where the bus drop the passenger, one need to hike up to the Pena Palace and I found it quite challenging especially for my mom. Hence, we decided to queue up for shuttle bus and it's not free. A return trip costs €3 for each of us and the ticket can only buy from the ticket office. 

2018 Portugal Transportations to Sintra & Pena Palace

Here's the summary of the total cost for return trip from Lisbon to Pena Palace of Sintra:

Intendente ® Rossio Metro Station
Rossio ® Sintra Railway Station
Tourist Bus 434
Park entrance ® Pena Palace via shuttle bus


Now, let's us start to discover and explore Pena Palace, shall we?

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The exterior of the Pena Palace is utterly stunning and colourful - the terraces are vividly painted with mixture of yellow and red colour and decorative blue tiles in the middle. And seeing each and every details throughout the palace, now I know why this palace deserves to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. 

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Being one of the most magnificent palaces in the world, no surprises Pena Palace draws millions of visitors flock to Sintra solely just to witness this with their own eyes. Due to this, expect it to be incredibly busy especially in the peak season. So, either arrive early as possible or 2-3 hours before the closing time cause in between 10am to 12pm, there's the time where couch tours arrive. Don't believe? Browse the two photos as below. The crowd was madly insane when we're there. 

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Despite the cloudy weather (cause photos eventually would look nicer with a clear blue sky), I still found Pena Palace is absolutely impressive and fascinating. Out of so many palaces I ever visited, I can claim that Pena Palace is to be one of my most favourite besides the Peles Castle in Romania. 

Because the food options at the palace is expensive and very limited, therefore we opt to dine-in at Sintra town center. We hopped back to the tourist bus 434 using the ticket we bought earlier and drop of at Sintra town center. 

2018 Portugal Sintra Lunch & Gelato

There are two types of entrance fee for Pena Palace:
1) Palace and Park Ticket - €14.
This allows entry to the Parque de Pena grounds, the terraces surrounding the palace and the staterooms. We bought this initially but because of the freaking long queue, we miss out from visiting the staterooms. What a waste!

2) Park - €7.50
The Park ticket provides entry to the Parque de Pena and the terraces. Majority of the visitors choose to buy this ticket because the main highlight are the colourful terraces and decorative battlements.

You can even buy from their official website (here) to beat the long queue. 


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing trip. Before reading you article I have no knowledge about the Pena Palace. But Now clear all about its beauty its food and each things you share also with beautiful pictures.

  2. Portugal is a beautiful and interesting country steeped in long ancient history!
    I want to visit this Pena Palace someday.


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