For those who do decide to walk to the old town your efforts are rewarded by some delightful sights. The first marvel you will encounter is a stunning Neo-Gothic building, a foretaste of the obsession Sintra has with Romanticism. Built of the foundations of the chapel of São Sebastião between 1906 and 1909, the town hall is a fine example of revivalist architecture with exaggerated styling of medieval influences. It's striking clock tower is a dominate feature of Sintra's skyline, it's central spire is glazed with green and white tiles adorned with the Portuguese coat of arms whilst being topped by an armillary sphere and flanked by four smaller spires. The edifice is decorated by false crenellations and ornate arched Neo-Manueline windows. Sadly the public are unable to appreciate the ornate interior as it's a working building.
Largo Dr. Virgilio Horta,2714-501 Sintra, Portugal. | 38° 47' 56.6" N | 09° 23' 17.0" W
+351 219 238 500 | Website
Leaving the town hall behind you and continuing your walk to the old town centre take the Volta Duche road and you'll soon encounter the famous Queijadas da Sapa bakery who have been baking Sintra's famous little cheese cakes since 1756 and today they are still hand made in the traditional yet time consuming way. They can be bought directly from here or at various other outlets across town. A six-pack makes a great souvenir.
12 Volta Duche, 2710-631 Sintra, Portugal. | 38° 47' 53.7" N | 09° 23' 17.2" W | +351 219 230 493
Weekdays: 09h30 – 18h00, Weekends: 09h30 – 18h30, Mondays: CLOSED
As you advance along Volta Duche you'll encounter numerous sculptures, either permanent or temporary fixtures, by local artists. Here too you'll find artisans selling their crafts such as jewellery, figurines and paintings. The name "Volta Duche" refers to former the public baths which was founded in 1848. Today the natural spring which fed the baths serves the local water supply.
Often passed unnoticed is the the entrance to Sintra's public park, the Parque da Liberdade, which has seen continual refinements since it's inauguration in 1937. The park makes a great place to relax, with it's ample seating and picnic areas. Take advantage of the shading provided by over 60 different species of trees, many exotic with information plaques. The elegantly landscaped and biodiverse gardens extend up the hill intersected by narrow tracks which sprout off the main paths. Inside the park too you'll find the Virtual Theatre which describes the first encounter between Portuguese explorers and the peoples of Japan in the 16th century. Sports facilities have also been added over the years with the addition of tennis courts and skating rink.
Back on the Volta Duche, once you have turned the corner you'll see the magnificent Fonte Mourisca fountain on your left and the entrance to the Anjos Teixeira Museum on the right.
The Largo Rainha Dona Amélia in the centre of the old town would be the first place you'll encounter if you've arrived by coach from Lisbon or taken the bus from the train station. Flanked on three sides by restaurants, gift shops and over priced wine shops. Dominating the other side stands the imposing Palácio Nacional de Sintra with it's distinctive champagne bottled shaped chimneys.
The pillory or pelourinho standing on it's three steps next to the Largo Rainha Dona Amélia is an 20th century copy made in 1940 by José da Fonseca. The original was destroyed in 1854. From the centre narrow and steep cobbled lanes wind their way up hill where you can discover hideaway cafés and souvenir shops.
Often overlooked the Igreja de São Martinho church has occupied it's position just off the Largo Rainha Dona Amélia since the 12th century. During it's long history it has been heavily restored and rebuilt notably in the 13th century and after the devastating 1755 earthquake. Today the original structure remaining is the Gothic chancel, visible from outside, including the 14th Century stone plaque of Margarida Fernandes, and inside three Portuguese painted wood panels dating from the middle of the 16th Century depicting Saint Martin and the Beggar, Saint Peter and Saint Anthony.
This circular hop on/hop off service run by Scott URB is ideal for those who are visiting Sintra as a day trip from Lisbon and arriving by train. The route starts outside of the Sintra train station (NOT Portela de Sintra station), up the hill to Sintra Old Town centre where you'll find the National Palace and most of the towns restaurants, cafés and shops. From here it continues to meander up the steep windy road to the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros). The bus continues it's hike to the Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena) and it's surrounding park before descending back down to the train station. At a push then it's possible to do all three attractions in one day however two is sufficient, especially if you're considering to have lunch in the town centre. Tickets are bought onboard from the driver. Scott URB Website
Hop-On/Hop-Off € 6.90 | One Way € 3.90 | Timetable
If you're travelling by bus from Cascais or Estoril consider buying a All Day Ticket valid on Scott URB network. Buy from ticket office or driver. Turístico diário € 15.00
If you're travelling by train from Lisbon consider buying a Train & Bus Ticket valid on Scott URB network and the CP Urban train network. Buy from ticket office. Turístico diário € 15.80
Lawrence's Hotel has country-style accommodation featuring a library and an elegant restaurant with French windows. Set in a renovated countryside manor, it boasts rooms fitted with antique furniture. All rooms feature an old-world décor which include decorative headboards and eiderdowns. Each one is air-conditioned and has satellite TV and plush armchairs in the lounge area. Each private bathroom has a bathtub.
Guests can enjoy international and regional dishes including seafood, homemade bread and cake in the on-site restaurant. The bar is open until late and serves speciality wines and aperitifs. Lawrence's Hotel is a short walk from Sintra Old Town and close to Quinta da Regaleira.
Rua Consigliéri Pedroso, 38-40, 2710-550 Sintra, Portugal. | 39º 39" 24.7' N | 08º 49" 25.6' W
Ideally located in a narrow lane just behind the main square in the old town and yet a quiet hide away from the tourist crowds. Housed within a traditional building these apartments have been tastefully and modernly renovated. Each room includes a fully equipped kitchen or a kitchenette, private bathroom and a flat-screen cable TV. Guests are warmly welcomed first by an introduction to the region and then with a welcome basket including half a bottle of family made Port.
2 Largo da Caracota, 2710-547, Sintra, Portugal. | 38º 47" 46.6' N | 09º 23" 22.3' W
Located in the historic centre of Sintra, this boutique hotel offers rooms and suites with views of the old town and Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. It has a landscaped garden where guests can relax at the courtyard bar. It's modern, spacious rooms contain flat-screen TVs and are all individually decorated. Each has a private bathroom which comes with free toiletries. Free Wi-Fi is also provided.
The Sintra Boutique Hotel offers a fine restaurant serving contemporary Portuguese cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients. Breakfast can be prepared upon request.
Rua Visconde De Monserrate nº48, 2710-591 Sintra, Portugal. | 38º 47" 46.6' N | 09º 23" 22.3' W
The perfect place if you want a quick break in-between visiting monuments and to avoid the hubbub of the lunchtime rush at Sintra's restaurants. Here you'll encounter great food at moderate prices and served by friendly and attentive staff in a vintage surrounding. Within the labyrinth of carefully restored rooms you'll encounter pieces of art from locals artists and antique furniture. The delights of the menu include homemade cakes and pastries, a selection of sandwiches, paninis and snacks. There is an interesting choice of teas and infusions, freshly squeezed juices and an array of coffees. Set menu options for breakfasts and brunches are also available.
Daily: 08h30 - 20h00
6 Avenida Dr. Miguel Bombarda, Sintra, Portugal. | 38º 47' 55.1" N | 09º 23' 13.5" W
+351 212 428 804 | email@example.com | Facebook
Known historically as a restaurant with rooms, in Lawrence's you can enjoy fine dining within a refined, yet friendly, environment. Although it's only a short stroll from the centre it's location feels far from the madding crowd and hordes of tourists. As expected from restaurant of such repute the staff are very courteous and professional. The high standard of the food on the menu is equally matched by its wine list.
Daily: 12h30 - 15h00/19h30 - 22h00
Rua Consiglieri Pedroso 38-40, Sintra 2710-550, Portugal. | 38º 47" 45.5' N | 09º 23" 33.0' W
+351 244 764 174 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Website
This wonderfully rustic and moderately priced restaurants serves Portuguese and continental dishes and is well worth visiting if you find yourself in the São Pedro district. Refreshingly less touristy than restaurants found in the centre and popular with local people. Portions are typically large and cooked to a high standard. For those who don't have huge appetites feel free to ask for a half portion or "meia dose".
Daily: 12h00 - 15h00/19h30 - 22h00
Praca D. Fernando II 18, São Pedro de Sintra, Sintra 2710-483, Portugal. | 38º 47" 56.1' N | 09º 23" 09.4' W
+351 219 230 267 | email@example.com | Website
Sintra's historical centre is 18 miles (29km) west of Lisbon Portela Airport Website
The speedy A5 and A16 motorways will whisk you west from central Lisbon. A more picturesque routes from Cascais via the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais on the A16 and N247.
Latitude - 38º 47' 56.6" | Longitude - 09º 23' 15.9"
ScottURB run services around Sintra and Cascais: