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7 monuments you must visit in Sintra

a castle on top of a building

When you travel to Portugal, one place you must visit is Sintra. Sintra is not just the village but an entire region that includes the village, the mountains, forests and the ocean. Sintra was considered a world heritage site by UNESCO and it was no accident. In Sintra you will find a century-old town full of stories, a castle, 7 fantastic palaces with the most varied styles and times and a luxurious forest with more than 400 types of vegetation, and of course, the fantastic regional pastry.

Below, we list the monuments of Sintra that you cannot miss on a visit to Sintra.


Moorish Castle

a castle on top of a rock wall

The Castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros), Sintra, Portugal

The Moorish castle of Sintra is located on one of the summits of the Sintra Mountains, near the Pena Palace. It was built by Muslims from North Africa in the 10th century, after the era of Muslim conquest.

Later, in the century. XII, this building was conquered to the Muslims by the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques. This fortification received several changes to adapt to different needs throughout the various reigns. In 1755, the castle suffered several damages caused by the great earthquake. Fortunately a few years later, D Fernando II decided to carry out major restoration works in this building.

The view from its walls is formidable. We can contemplate the village, the National Palace, the Pena Palace, a large part of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. To not lose!

Pena Palace

a castle with a clock tower next to a body of water

Panorama of Pena National Palace above Sintra town, Portugal. UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal

Pena Palace is the most famous palace in Sintra and is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1995 and considered one of the 7 wonders of Portugal. This palace was built by D. Fernando II on the site where the ruins of an old convent inhabited by monks Jerónimos were buil. Built by D. Manuel I, the Pena Palace was designed and built by the most competent German architect in the style of romantic building at the time, the Baron of Eschwege.

This palace was inspired by the German-style castles that are located on the banks of the River Rhine. The styles implemented in its construction were neo-Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, neo-Renaissance, in addition to other artistic suggestions such as the Indian style. This palace is one of the most expressive of 19th century architectural Romanticism worldwide.

Sintra National Palace

a group of people standing in front of a castle with Sintra in the background

This will probably be the palace with the most interesting interiors, both in terms of furniture, decoration and composition of artistic tiles. Its rooms are themed such as the Archeiros room(Archers room), Moura room, Pegas room, Cisnes room(swam room) and Brasões room(Coat of Arms room). The construction of this palace was carried out in several phases. The first took place in 1383, with more sections, additional buildings and repairs being added until 1755.

This palace has romantic, Renaissance, medieval, Manueline and Gothic architectural inspirations. The palace is easily recognized for its tall conical chimneys.

If you want to know what a real palace was like inside, this is the Palace to visit.

Convento dos Capuchos


Isolated from the remaining monuments of Sintra, in the interior of the mountains, there is the Capuchin Convent (Santa Cruz Convent)

This convent was built in 1560 by order of D. Álvaro de Castro, to house a small community of 8 Franciscan friars.

There is a legend that D. João de castro, son of D. Álvaro de Castro, in pursuit of a deer, would have lost himself and fallen asleep under a boulder. He would then have dreamed that a higher entity was telling him to build a time of Christian worship in that place.


Monserrate Palace

a large building with a mountain in the background

Considered the palace with the most beautiful gardens in Sintra, this palace was abandoned and was remodeled and rebuilt by its new owner, millionaire Francis Cook, a successful businessman in the textile industry. Francis was later named Viscount de Monserrate by King D. Luís I. This palace was designed by James Knowles where he emphasized the Oriental style. This property is especially famous for its famous gardens that were created by landscaper William Stockdale. In this garden with thematic areas, we can find the Mexico Garden, The Garden of Japan, the Vale dos Fetos, a beautiful rose garden and fabulous ornamental ponds.


Regaleira palace

a castle on top of a building

Located near the village of Sintra and the Palácio de Seteais, Quinta da Regaleira is probably the most enigmatic and mysterious historical site in Portugal. It was built by an illustrious millionaire named Monteiro Carvalho. The architect chosen to design the palace and the exterior area was the famous Italian architect Luigi Manini, using traces of Gothic, Renaissance, Romanesque and Manueline inspiration. Once that Monteiro Carvalho was very connected to esoteric and Masonic themes, he spread symbols related to alchemy, Masonry, Templars and Rosicrucians throughout the property, as well as tunnels and secret passages that take us to surprising places. Perhaps the most isoteric location on the property is the initiatory well: a spiral staircase that represents Dante’s 9 levels of hell. This site was until recently used in initiations in the Masonic cult.

Queluz palace

a castle surrounded by a body of water with Palace of Queluz in the background

View of the the beautiful National Palace of Queluz, located in Sintra, Portugal.

Between Sintra and Lisbon there is one of the most important palace in Portugal, the Queluz palace.

This palace was initially built in the 18th century to be a summer vacation residence for D. Pedro de Bragança. It was the birthplace and death of King Pedro IV King of Portugal and the first emperor of Brazil. Later, this palace became a permanent place of residence for royal families until 1794. This was the year when the royal family fled to Brazil due to the French invasions. This place was also used as the imprisonment of D. Maria I due to her mental health problem.

This palace of singular architecture in Portugal is influenced by Rococo, Baroque, and Neoclassical styles. Its impressive garden is inspired by the French royal gardens. A visit not to be missed.