The hilly resort town of Sintra is a very popular day trip from Lisbon. It is home to many 19th and 20th century villas and palaces, including the Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira, as well as a Moorish fortress known as the Castelo dos Mouros.
The easiest way to access Sintra is by train from Lisbon. Frequent commuter trains run throughout the day from Lisbon’s city center and Lisbon Airport. It is also possible to reach Sintra by bus from Cascais, or by car.
Portugal is packed with beautiful scenery and historic attractions. You can combine Lisbon, Sintra, and Cascais with a trip to the Algarve region on this seven-day itinerary.
From Central Lisbon
Duration: 30-45 minutes
To get to Sintra from downtown Lisbon, you can take the commuter train (Linha de Sintra) directly from Rossio Station. Rossio Station can be accessed using the green line of the Lisbon Metro.
If you are staying further out in Lisbon, there are several other train stations where you could connect to the Linha de Sintra. These include Roma-Areeiro Station, Entrecampos Station, and Sete Rios Station. All of these stations can be reached via the Lisbon Metro, or by taxi.
You can also drive or take a private transfer to Sintra from downtown Lisbon. This will take about 30 minutes. Note that roads in Sintra are steep, and it is difficult to find parking. Make sure that you have purchased a toll pass to pay electronic tolls; alternatively, you can avoid the toll road by taking highway A37.
From Lisbon Airport
Duration: 30 minutes to one hour
Sintra can be accessed from Lisbon Airport using a combination of the metro and the commuter train.
First, take the red line of Lisbon’s metro to Oriente Station. Oriente Station is located three stops away from the airport. Note that the metro may be crowded during rush hours; you also have the option of taking a taxi to the train station. From Oriente Station, you can take the commuter train onward to Sintra.
You can also drive or take a private transfer from Lisbon Airport to Sintra. This will take about 30 minutes. Avoid the tolls by taking highway A37.
Duration: 20 minutes to one hour
You can get to Sintra from Cascais by driving a rental car or hiring a private transfer. This route takes just 20-25 minutes.
If you take the N9 road, rather than highway A16, you will be able to avoid the tolls. As a bonus, you will get to enjoy views of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park along the way.
It is also possible to reach Sintra from Cascais by bus. Take bus 403 or bus 417 from Cascais’ main bus terminal (buses drop you off at Sintra Train Station). Both buses leave regularly throughout the day, either every half hour or every hour.
The 417 bus takes just 30 minutes to travel from Cascais to Sintra, while the 403 bus takes an hour. However, the 403 bus follows the coastline, and is more scenic.
Be sure to take note of any public holidays, as these may affect bus schedules.