For all my kings and queens out there, you must take a short trip to Sintra, Portugal. Sintra is a half hour drive from Lisbon describing itself as an architectural wonder famous for its castles, palaces, and romantic architecture. Even Madonna has a house there because she fell in love with this municipal of Lisbon.
Because I was on a day tour, I only had enough time to go to the Palacio da Pena. The Pena Palace gives you the opportunity to wander around this enchanted castle and admire the whimsical design created by a king and queen.
The Pena Palace was built in the 18th century by an Austrian king and a Portuguese queen. They wanted to create a summer home at the top of the hill so they hired European architects to bring their castle to life. Before they built the castle there was no vegetation so they shipped plants and greenery from the four corners of Europe. The Pena Palace is surrounded by a park, which you can pay to visit as well.
The castle was built in Moorish and Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, and Neo-Renaissance styles with outstanding ceramic tile work and gargoyle themes throughout the castle. You can even catch a glimpse of Neptune as he glares at you when you make your entrance.
I picked the perfect time to visit the Palace because I was told the summer is flooded with tourists flocking to Sintra. You can wait hours in traffic just to reach the castle. Once you arrive, you have to find parking and wait in line. Therefore, go to the park when it opens and order your ticket online to avoid long lines.
November is a perfect month to visit Sintra and Lisbon. It is not too hot, nor too cold. This is perfect weather because you have to hike up hills to get to the palace after you get your ticket, or you can take a trolley up to the top for 6€.
If you are going to Sintra and on a time crunch then visit the Palace versus the park.
If going to the palace in the spring/summer, be at the palace when it opens. This will avoid waiting in a long line to pay, and will hopefully allow you to get pictures without tons of other people in your photos. Because who wants a tourist holding their selfie stick up in their photo?
When making your way to the palace, or leaving the palace, be sure to stop at the Fonte De Mourisca Fountain. This is a running fountain composed of Moorish tiles and arches. It’s a stunner if I do say so myself.
Pena Palace hours until March 24th, 2018:
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and the last ticket is sold at 5:00 PM
Prices until March 24th, 2018:
PALACE AND PARK
Ticket for adults (18 – 64 yrs) – 11,50 euros
Ticket for youths (6 – 17 yrs) – 9 euros
Ticket for seniors (over 65 yrs) – 9 euros
Family ticket (2 adults + 2 youths) – 39€
Ticket for adults (18 – 64 yrs) – 7,50 euros
Ticket for youths (6 – 17 yrs) – 6 euros
Ticket for seniors (over 65 yrs) – 6 euros
Family ticket (2 adults + 2 youths) – 26€
You can find more information on the parks below:
Take the time to visit Sintra. Because of the day tour, and chasing the winter sun, I did not get the opportunity to see all of Sintra’s beauty, but I think my photos and experience will suffice. There is so much to explore and see. I promise you will not be disappointed by the Pena Palaces magical beauty.