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Strategy for day trip to Sintra

Level Contributor
558 posts
6 reviews
Strategy for day trip to Sintra

We are trying to see the following sites.

1. Pena palace (930-7)

2. Moorish castle (930-8)

3. Quinta de Regaleria (10-8PM)

4. National palace (930-7PM)

5. Monserrate palace (930-7)

It's a little ambitious obviously and we might have to drop #4 or #5. However, we don't mind taking taxis as it'll likely help a lot.

I was thinking of being at Pena Palace at 930 and visit Pena and then Moorish castle. Figure we'd be done visiting Moorish castle by noon, take a taxi to national palace and visit. Grab lunch around 130-2 or so. Then take a taxi to Quinta de Regaleria and another taxi to Monserrate. It'll make for a full day. Probably be done closer 6-7PM. Then a taxi back to Lisbon.

Is this do-able with the help of the taxis?

14 replies to this topic
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
1,861 posts
28 reviews
1. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

Not sure why you are planning to take a taxi back to Lisbon - why not the train? A taxi would probably be pretty pricey.

Quinta de Regaleria is an easy walk from the center of Sintra - 10-15 minutes tops. Until you find a taxi and wait for it, etc., how much time are you really saving?

I would buy your tickets online to avoid huge lines for tickets at the entrance to Pena Palace park and take the 434 bus: start at the Moorish castle, then take the bus one stop to the bottom of Pena Palace park, then walk up to the palace and back, catch the next 434 back down to center of Sintra, see the national palace (which I didn't see) then walk to Quinta de Regaleria (amazing!), then take a taxi (or bus) to Monserrate (which I also missed). Taxi or bus back to Sintra (unless the next bus is leaving) and take the train back to Lisbon.

I wouldn't waste time in the Pena Palace park myself. Just walk through it up to the palace, see the palace, and walk back to the entrance and move on. The park is nice if you have extra time but otherwise it's not worth the time on a tight schedule.

Level Contributor
558 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

Thanks for advise.

Guide books seem to recommend to take bus to Pena Palace first and then walk downhill to Moorish castle which is estimated to take 10 mins. Is this accurate? Or is it better to do Moorish castle and then Pena Palace. Just wondering if they can be done in either order or if there's one that's "better"

Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
25,205 posts
57 reviews
3. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

Everybody recomends Pena 1st because of the queues, but if you are using the bus and do it like that after the Moors you'll be back to Pena stop and will probably wait there for a while till the bus departs back to town.

Due to the new traffic directions in Sintra, the reasonable way to try to do what you want after Pena - Moors is Regaleira-Monserrate-National Palace. There are no taxis at Monserrate and now you have to do a 8kms loop to return to town from Monserrate.

Portland, OR
Level Contributor
1,861 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

Right, the bus goes in a loop: downtown Sintra, up the hill to Moorish Castle, then Pena, then stop for a few minutes then head back down to town. So if you start at Pena then walk to the Moorish Castle, if you catch the bus you'll have to go back to Pena and wait. You can't catch a bus going the opposite direction from Pena to Moorish castle. It's a one-way loop. Start at Moorish castle, then you can either take the bus on to Pena or walk to Pena.

There are also tuk tuk taxis that might save you some time. I didn't use them.

Level Contributor
558 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

I assume there'll be taxis at every site I want to visit except Monserrate? How do people come back from monserrate?

Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
25,205 posts
57 reviews
6. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

How do people come back from monserrate? They take the bus (the 8kms loop to reach the old town) or they call a taxi and wait (and do the same loop) or they have rented vehicules.

Level Contributor
558 posts
6 reviews
7. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

I guess I was asking if there was a bus or taxis waiting :) I guess it sounds like there is no taxi waiting but there is a bus.

How often does that bus come by?

Level Contributor
558 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

Should I buy tickets to all the sites ahead online? Is there any drawback to doing so? I see there's no combined tickets or Sintra card kinda of thing. Only a few % discounts as you buy more.

Lisbon, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Azores, Lisbon
Level Contributor
25,205 posts
57 reviews
9. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

No there's no taxi rank at Monserrate, you call them and they will come from Sintra (and you'll pay that).

The bus has a schedule, so you'll wait at the bus stop for it. Bus 435 http://www.scotturb.com/pt/carreiras/horarios

You have the green card for Pena, National palace and Queluz https:/…sintra-green-card.pdf

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
14 posts
10. Re: Strategy for day trip to Sintra

Uber works in Sintra too, not just official taxis.

The lines for Pena get longer and longer until lunchtime so going there first is advised, and buy your ticket online ahead of time.

We were planning on taking an Uber from the Moorish castle back to town but it was complete gridlock chaos on the one way road so we ended up just walking all the down.

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