Best time to visit Lisbon

Sintra & Sintra-Cascais Nature Park in Lisbon

This fairy-tale town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The serene and picturesque area combines impressive architecture and unique nature

Best time: October–May

Sintra & Sintra-Cascais Nature Park
Sintra & Sintra-Cascais Nature Park
Sintra & Sintra-Cascais Nature Park
Sintra & Sintra-Cascais Nature Park
Sintra & Sintra-Cascais Nature Park
Sintra & Sintra-Cascais Nature Park

The tiny town of Sintra and its vicinity are packed with historical buildings and attractions recognized by UNESCO as valuable examples of architecture and culture. The key place to visit is a castle built on the hills of the Serra da Sintra—the mountain that gave the name to the town. After some climbing, you can wander in the Castle of the Moors and to enjoy a view from Sintra as the mountain is high enough to play the role of an excellent viewing platform.

The colorful Pena Palace, National and Monserrate Palaces, and plenty of other historical buildings meet you at each corner of Sintra. Together with green and serene parks and forests, they turn the town into a perfect spot for spending a day or two away from Lisbon.

As Sintra belongs to the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, you may take a short ride to rest on the vast beaches of Cascais, to explore Cabo da Roca—the westernmost point of the mainland Europe, or to take a walk in coastal villages. Even though it is a rather touristy area, it's indeed an unforgettable experience to stand on the edge of the continent.

The best time to visit Sintra, explore its castles and hike around is outside of the summer months namely from October through May. During this time the town is not as crowded, and the weather is not too hot. Winter months might bring rain showers, but the temperature is about 10-15°C so it's still quite pleasant to walk around. And the queues promise to be shorter.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Sintra and why?

The optimal time to visit Sintra is from October to May, when the weather is pleasant, and there are fewer crowds. During summer, the town is swarming with visitors, and temperature levels can rise significantly. Due to the occasional downpour, it is recommended to pack warm clothes as the temperature may drop to around 10 degrees Celsius during winter. It is advised to avoid public holidays and weekends when it is even more crowded. Show more

Where can I find the best views of Sintra town?

To witness the best views of Sintra's town, head to the Castle of the Moors, situated on top of a hill, providing an exceptional panoramic view of the town and surroundings. You can also enjoy fantastic scenery by clicking snaps at the high-altitude Pena Palace with vibrant architecture constructed in the Serra da Sintra. If nature and great views entice you, explore the surrounding parks or hike the trails and witness numerous viewpoints along the way. Show more

What are the key historical attractions to visit in Sintra?

Sintra is well-known for its UNESCO-listed historical landmarks and buildings, including the Pena Palace, National Palace, Monserrate Palace, and the Castle of the Moors. Quinta da Regaleira, a 20th-century gothic-rustic-inspired palace, featuring beautiful gardens and waterfalls, with secret underground tunnels, is a must-visit. Check out the museums of Sintra, such as the Sintra Natural History Museum and the Sintra Toy Museum. Show more

How far is Cascais from Sintra and what are the main attractions there?

Cascais is approximately 12 km (7.5 miles) away from Sintra and is reachable by car, bus, or train. It is a tourist hot spot renowned for its sandy beaches and shoreline cliffs, such as Boca do Inferno. Check out the Cascais Citadel, a prominent 19th-century fortress, and the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego Museum, showcasing works of the famous Portuguese painter. Visit Cascais Marina, which offers a variety of restaurants and yacht clubs. Show more

What is the unique feature of Cabo da Roca, and how can it be reached from Sintra?

Cabo da Roca, situated about 18 km (11 miles) from Sintra, is the westernmost point of mainland Europe. The awe-inspiring feature of Cabo da Roca is its spectacular sea cliffs, which drop vertically into the sea, and it is a vital landmark for sailors. It may be reached by car or bus; however, it is essential to plan the return journey in advance since there is no public transportation to take you back to Sintra from Cabo da Roca. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin