Portugal Trip – Day 2 AM – Sintra
Saturday was planned to be a rest day. So we decided to walk up hill for four hours…
We had not originally planned to visit Sintra but we heard multiple poeople speak highly of it so at the last minute we decided to check it out. We opted to travel by train and make our own way instead of going by tour bus. The train is a 45 minute ride form Rossio station and costs €4.30 round trip. Unfortunately, on weekends the direct train only runs hourly (I’m told its every 15 minutes during the week). We arrived at 11 but there was a long line to buy tickets and we missed the 11 o’clock train. So we hung out in the area and took the 12 o’clock train.
When you get off the train you are right in downtown Sintra where there are a couple of blocks of boutique shops and cafes. We quickly found the 434 bus which takes you on a loop of the palace, castle and a couple other spots for €5. Unfortunately, we did not know there were two palaces in Sintra and we excitedly jumped off at the first stop only to realize everyone else stayed on the bus!
We looked around briefly and got back in the non-queue hoard to push our way onto the next bus! This time we found the right stop and got off at the castle. On the bus ride up we saw many unhappy people who chose to walk. Trust me there is still plenty of walking to even with the bus!
Both the palace and castle require entry fees. It was €17 to enter both. A lot of the castle grounds can be seen without a ticket. The ticket just gives you access to a small area where you can climb the turrets and see a few artifacts. Overall though I would not recommend buying the castle ticket. Quickly see the grounds and then go up to the palace.
The palace is very magnificent and the views are amazing. There is still a very steep climb to get there although there is a shuttle you can hire for another €3. Overall it felt like a lot of “one more fee” here and another there type of thing.
As it was quickly approaching 5 we made our way back down the mountains on to a bus, to get to our train and head back to Lisbon.