Top things to do

Top Choice Palace in Sintra

Palácio Nacional de Sintra

The star of Sintra-Vila is this palace, with its iconic twin conical chimneys and lavish interior. The whimsical interior is a mix of Moorish and Manueline styles, with arabesque courtyards, barley-twist columns and…
Top Choice Castle in Sintra

Castelo dos Mouros

Soaring 412m above sea level, this mist-enshrouded ruined castle looms high above the surrounding forest. When the clouds peel away, the vistas over Sintra’s palace-dotted hill and dale, across to the glittering Atl…
Top Choice Notable Building in Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira

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 Milhõ…
Top Choice Palace in Sintra

Palácio Nacional da Pena

Rising from a thickly wooded peak and often enshrouded in swirling mist, Palácio Nacional da Pena is a wacky confection of onion domes, Moorish keyhole gates, writhing stone snakes and crenellated towers in pinks an…
Monastery in Sintra

Convento dos Capuchos

Hidden in the woods is this bewitchingly hobbit-hole-like convent, which was originally built in 1560 to house friars who lived in incredibly cramped conditions, their tiny cells having low, narrow doors. Byron mock…
Gardens in Sintra

Parque da Pena

Nearly topped by King Ferdinand II's whimsical Palácio Nacional da Pena (only Cruz Alta, at 529m, is higher), these romantic gardens are filled with tropical plants, huge redwoods and fern trees, camellias, rhododen…
Palace in Sintra

Palácio & Parque de Monserrate

At the centre of a lush, 30-hectare park, a manicured lawn sweeps up to this whimsical, Moorish-Gothic-Indian palácio, the 19th-century romantic folly of English millionaire Sir Francis Cook. The wild and rambling g…
Portuguese in Sintra

INcomum

Chef Luis Santos is shaking up the scene in Sintra with his modern upgrades to Portuguese cuisine, served amid the muted greys and greens of his synchronic dining room. INcomum quickly established itself as the anti…
Portuguese in Sintra

Nau Palatina

Sintra's friendliest and most-welcoming restaurant is a travel-highlight-reel star-in-the-making. Congenial owner Zé's creative tapas are as slightly off-centre as his location, a well-worth-it 1km walk from the cen…
Bar in Sintra

Saloon Cintra

Sintra's best bar isn't in the Vila, but that shouldn't stop seasoned drinkers from checking it out. A potpourri of antiques and Portuguese bric-a-bric hovering over numerous mismatched vintage sofas makes for an at…