On Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 we went by metro to Rossio Station where we took the train to Sintra. I am not sure about the price because we used our “7 Colinas” card but I guess it cost 2.25€.
We arrived in Sintra after approximately 40 minutes on a very pleasant train ride. Don’t worry to “miss” the station because Rossio is the first station and Sintra is the last one, so you really don’t need to pay attention of “where to disembark”. Just relax and enjoy the ride! 😀
A couple of days before traveling we researched Tripadvisor in order to find a good place to stay while in Sintra. Our plan was to overnight there in order to visit a larger number of attractions.
We read that “Monte da Lua Rooms” was a good place to stay, so we called the night before to ask about availability. We booked our room! Price was 60 Euros, no breakfast included.
Monte da Lua is located across the train station and you should not worry: There’s absolutely NO noise from the trains. Firstly, because the rooms face the oposite direction (they are located at the “back” part of the house, facing the valley). Secondly, because Sintra’s Train Station is super calm, and you will not hear the train even when you are standing at the station.
Our room was ready when we arrived there, and we had a warm and friendly welcome on our arrival. After checking-in, we went by foot to Sintra’s Historic City Centre_ 10 min walk along a beautiful promenade filled with colorful flowers, lavanda smells and interesting sculptures along the way.
We went directly to the Tourist Office where a very friendly girl gave us maps and tips about the town.
For instance: Sintra National Palace would be closed on the next day (Wednesday) and it closes earlier than the other palaces. So… she advised us to start by this one and go to Moorish Castle and Pena Palace (these two are on the same bus line and you also can buy a “combo ticket” for visiting them. The “combo ticket” makes the visit less expensive than when you buy the tickets separately.
Palacio Nacional de Sintra (Sintra National Palace) is beautiful and we enjoyed the decor, the ceilings and specially the kitchen with its two huge chimneys.
After visiting Sintra National Palace we took the bus # 434 and went to the Moorish Castle. There are a lot of walking at the Moorish Castle but the views are absolutely great!! It is amazing to imagine this Castle being constructed and used by the Arabs more than ten centuries ago!!!
From the Moorish Castle we took again bus # 434 to Pena Palace. One good thing of Sintra’s buses is that the ticket is valid for the whole day, making it possible to visit all attractions along the # 434 route with one single bus ticket.
Pena Palace is a masterpiece and you should read the story about the romantic German who had the idea of constructing it!
We were delighted to see all the Architectural details, furniture and awesome views! While there, we had a light snack at the Cafeteria.
After visiting Pena Palace we returned to our pension where we had a shower and rest for a while.
We were extremely happy with our choice of accommodation in Sintra. Monte da Lua is extremely clean, the staff is super friendly and the location couldn’t be better! The room had a good size and the valley views from our balcony were absolutely great!
We asked the owner of Monte da Lua for directions about “where to have a good dinner” and she pointed “D. Pipas” . We went there (very close, not in the “touristic area”) . We just crossed the rail line (using a pedestrian bridge over it).
The food was absolutely delicious! Service was super friendly and the price was very affordable! Less than 35€ for the two of us (including soup, dessert, wine and expressos!!!!). Portugal is one of the less expensive places in Europe!
We were super tired (yes…. there is a lot of walking along the castles!! ) and we had an excellent night of sleep! The bed at Monte da Lua was super comfortable! If you want to read my review on Tripadvisor about Monte da Lua, please click here!