Quinta da Regaleira

Top choice notable building

in Sintra
Image by Rui Almeida Fotografia / Getty Images

This magical villa and gardens is a neo-Manueline extravaganza, dreamed up by Italian opera-set designer, Luigi Manini, under the orders of Brazilian coffee tycoon, António Carvalho Monteiro, aka 'Monteiro dos Milhões' ('Moneybags Monteiro'). The villa is surprisingly homely inside, despite its ferociously carved fireplaces, frescos and Venetian-glass mosaics. Keep an eye out for mythological and Knights Templar symbols.

Guided tours are by reservation only and run four times daily (10am, 11am, 2pm and 5pm) with the language dependent on whoever makes the first reservation for any given time slot.

It also hosts theatre, dance, concerts and other entertainment events through the year.