Looking for a short European break where you can immerse yourself in the local history and culture? This week we're bringing you Lonely Planet Magazine's choice of five great destinations where you can do just that.

Photo Credit: Stara Blazkova

The holiday destination of choice for six centuries’ worth of Portuguese royalty, Sintra is blessed with palaces, villas and churches, and has an artistic heritage that belies its tiny size.

Aside from the displays in the town’s museums and galleries – look out for the opulent interiors of its national palaces, exhibitions at the modern art museum and Quinta da Regaleira’s playful gardens – there are plentiful artisans at work around town, from marble-cutters to lace-makers.

You can even join in the toy repair workshops at the Toy Museum.

How to:

Sintra is 40 minutes by train from Lisbon and the journey will cost around £25 by taxi. Stay at Lawrence’s, the oldest hotel on the Iberian peninsula, dating back to 1764. The hotel has 16 elegant rooms with prices starting from £115.

This article is reproduced from Lonely Planet Magazine, on sale now across the UK priced £3.60. Make sure you never miss an issue with a monthly subscription (available only to UK residents).

Previous history and culture weekends:

- Monday’s weekend break was D-Day beaches in Normandy
- Tuesday's weekend break was music in Manchester

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