Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros)
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Sat upon a mountain peak half-buried under forest and looking like a crown from below is the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros). MADABOUTSINTRA.COM is your essential guide on how to arrive and the best things to see whilst there. Bus number 434 from Sintra train station is a hop-on/hop-off service, on a circular route and makes the journey to The Moorish Castle effortless. Get your Skip-the-Line e-ticket here and maximise your experience, save time and money.

The Castle is named after the Moors who built a mighty fortification on this spot in the 10th Century. The walls you see now are, however, much more recent. During the 19th Century, when Sintra was engulfed in Romanticism, the walls were restored. Ferdinand II, the German prince of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry and husband of Queen Maria II, built the Pena Palace and incorporated the Castle in his plans for the surrounding park. Today the Castle makes for a great excursion, exploring the ruins, taking in the views and exploring the surrounding forest.


Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros)

Moorish Castle walls

Excavations have found evidence of habitation dating as far back as the Bronze Age. Discoveries have shown almost constant use of the site ever since. The first castle on this site was erected by the Moors after taking control of the area during the 8th and 9th centuries. After the conquest of Lisbon in 1147 by Christian forces led by Afonso Henriques, the castle surrendered without a struggle. The current configuration of the walls are a result of the modifications made shortly after the Christian take over.

Two sets of ramparts run irregularly around the granite boulders that dot these hills and along the peaks of the sharp and steep cliff faces. The area in-between the two walls would have accommodated the population who serviced the needs of the castle. Evidence of the original Islamic community can be found here with traces of foundations of their homes, an oven and granaries. Close to the entrance of the inner section, there's a restored building, the 12th century Church of São Pedro de Canaferrim, which houses an information centre containing archaeological finds and an exhibition explaining the castle's history.


For the most, the castle is an empty shell. It has been restored to be admired from below. However, inside the inner walls, you can find the ancient cistern where water tanks could store up to 600 cubic metres. Its granite blocks used in its construction show signs of having been transferred from another pre-existing structure. The lack of stonemasonry marks in addition to the access doorway's broken arch, suggests the cistern was constructed in the early 13th century. Legend says underneath the cistern lies the grave of a Moorish king.

The large open square was once the parade ground for the garrison's troops. It was converted by King Ferdinand II into a relaxing park area. When you walk the ramparts you have the opportunity to admire the spectacular views across the lands below and see many of Sintra's other major attractions from a birds-eye perspective. From the keep, which occupies one of the highest points of the site, you can marvel at the magnificent Pena Palace that looms overhead.

Moorish Castle - Skip The Line Ticket

Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros)

View of Pena Palace from the Moorish Castle


With this entrance ticket, you can gain entry to Moorish Castle at your leisure. Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone. Save extra money and make more memories by booking with a Monserrate Palace & Moorish Castle Combination Ticket. SAVE 8%. Book with confidence with the FREE CANCELLATION option.


There are two cafeterias inside the main castle walls with ramped seating area.

Toilets can ne found at the entrance to the grounds, at the guardhouse and also inside the main walls close to the cafés.

There are two small carparks close to the main entrance to the grounds. Recommend parking in the centre of Sintra and taking the Scotturb bus #434.

You can book a private tour: | +351 219 237 300

Sign language trained staff, manual wheelchairs available on reservation, traction equipment for wheelchairs, ramps are implemented in certain areas and the ramparts, and an adapted WC. Vertical lifting platform at the Church/Exhibition room.

Daily: 09h30 - 20h00, (last admission at 19h00)

Lisbon Card Lisbon Card: 15% discount

Contact Details
Estrada da Pena, Parque de Monserrate, Sintra 2710-609, Portugal. | 38º 47' 33" N 9º 23' 22" W
+351 219 237 300 | |  Website


There are hiking trails signposted between the historic centre and the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros).

Take the IC19 from Lisbon, IC30 from Mafra or EN9 turning off the A5 motorway to Cascais. Once you have arrived in the town's historic centre it's best to leave the car and take the #434 bus to the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros).

The Scotturb bus #434 leaves from Sintra Train station, stops in the Old Town centre next to the Tourist Office and takes you to the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros).


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