When in Lisbon, you will want to visit beautiful, charming Sintra, which sits in the shadow of the grand Pena Palace. It is an easy train ride or drive away from Lisbon. After visiting ourselves, however, I would venture to say it would be worth adding one to two nights in this area as well. While Sintra itself is quite small, and does not offer the same kind of night life that Lisbon does, there is still so much to see and do. If you have the time, go for it! There are several historical sites, castles, and palaces including Pena Palace, the Palace of Monserrate, Sintra National Palace, and the rugged Castelo dos Mouros. There is also an extensive network of gorgeous hiking trails through the hilly forests in the area for our nature lovers, as well as beautiful enchanting gardens. While you can definitely explore a lot of Sintra on foot, it might involve a lot of steep climbs, and unless you’re in excellent shape, you might consider taking a taxi or bus to get to your desired destinations.
After exploring Pena Palace first thing in the morning, we spent a little time meandering through the quaint cobblestone streets of Sintra. It is easily walkable but in places can also get somewhat steep. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
As with any quaint town, there are always a lot of small, privately owned shops lining the main roads of Sintra. And look at the patterns in the cobblestoned roads! So much detail in even the simplest of things.
As always, we also had to sample some of the local coffee and treats. All in the name of research, of course.
As mentioned before, we had a lovely guide and driver who accompanied us throughout the day. She joined us for coffee and dessert, before heading out with us to visit Cascais.
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