I love using Instagram for travel inspiration. When I was in Lisbon earlier this year I checked Lisbon’s hashtag to plan my trip. While scrolling through the many beautiful photos of Lisbon I came across some photos of Sintra.
Sintra looked very colorful and interesting so I immediately decided to go there. I took a taxi from the hotel and headed to Sintra.
How to get there
It wasn’t too far Lisbon (30 minutes or less from Lisbon) but as soon as we reached Sintra we were stuck in Labor Day traffic jam. I left the taxi and walked to town. The taxi to Sintra costed €30 and going back I took the train to Lisbon for only €2.60. The train was really convenient and clean.
Moors castle (Castelo dos Mouros)
As as soon as I left the taxi I walked and walked till I saw signs pointing to the Moors castle (Castelo dos Mouros). Without knowing I was already in the trekking trail to the castle (I was just looking for a nice place to have coffee and breakfast!). It was a long uphill steep walk I struggled to reach the castle but I did it. It was a different way to start the day.
The first thing that caught my eyes when I entered the castle was the green flag with Arabic calligraphy. As I got closer to the flag I could finally read it. It was written “Sintra” in Arabic language as a nice symbolic gesture of the history of the castle. The castle was constructed during the 8th and 9th centuries, during the period of Muslim Iberia, as the central place in a territory that was primarily agricultural, and which was necessary to protect its population.
Pena National Palace
After leaving the castle I headed to the next attraction Pena National Palace. (Buying the entry tickets in a bundle is much cheaper).
The palace has a very unique style and exotic colors. The Pena National Palace was the summer residence of the monarchs of Portugal during the 18th-19th century.
In 1995, the palace and the rest of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra were classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Sintra’s historical center is a very active area.
I had lunch at one of the cafes in city center. It is obvious that Portugal is well known for seafood. Everything is fresh and cooked till perfection.
I walked to the train station and catched the train back to Lisbon. I really enjoyed my day trip to Sintra and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Lisbon.
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