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Lisbon Castle & palace tours

Our most recommended Lisbon Castle & palace tours

Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

1. Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

Escape Lisbon and go on a full-day, guided journey to some of Portugal’s most popular locations stopping at the iconic Pena Palace in Sintra, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Cabo da Roca, and the ritzy seaside town of Cascais. Choose between the shared tour or private tour options. Your journey from Lisbon starts at the famous city of Sintra, whose Romanticist architecture, historic estates and villas, and numerous royal palaces and castles have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the freedom of choice on whether you want an included entry ticket and tour of the colorful Pena Palace, or whether you prefer to gain some extra free time instead. Arriving early at Sintra means greater chances of avoiding long lines if you choose to go with your guide on a comprehensive tour through its lavish interiors and lush gardens. Marvel at the palace’s fairy-tale-like appearance, beautiful facade and extravagant interior. Next, head over to the center of Sintra and get 1.5-hour of free time to wander on your own. Get recommendations of the city’s must-see locations as well as the best restaurant options for delicious traditional Portuguese dining from your guide. Continue to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and take in the impressive views of the ocean crashing against the high rocky cliffs. If weather permitting, stop at Guincho beach, whose strong winds and high swells have made it a popular surfing destination. Lastly, arrive in Cascais, an elegant seaside resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Stroll through the lovely city center and make sure to check out Cascais’ luxury marina, its charming fishing port, and a restored fort that houses many local craftsmen. After your free exploration time in Cascais, relax back on board your air-conditioned vehicle, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

2. From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

Discover Sintra’s beautiful architecture, admire the beauty of one of the highest hills of the region Walk the narrow streets of Sintra in your free time and visit with our fantastic tour guide Quinta da Regaleira. Arrive at the romantic Pena Palace in Sintra, which has a profusion of styles much in accordance with the exotic taste of Romanticism. Explore the ancient castle, which was one of the favorite residences of the royal family throughout the 19th century. Walk through the fairytale-style building and learn about its fascinating history. Take some free time to stroll through Sintra and purchase lunch if you're feeling hungry. Get recommendations on what to see and eat in the area. Afterward, begin a guided tour of the main landmarks of Sintra, and hear about local secrets and stories. Visit the picturesque village of Cascais, linked to the Portuguese royals who summered here. Stroll along beautiful beaches, mansions, museums and photogenic streets. Return to Lisbon at the end of the day.

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

3. Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle-like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantastical version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the former Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the top of the hill above Sintra and had been left unoccupied since 1834 when the religious orders were suppressed in Portugal. The monastery consisted of the cloister and its outbuildings, the chapel, the sacristy and the bell tower, which today form the northern section of the Palace of Pena, or the Old Palace as it is known. King Ferdinand began by making repairs to the former monastery, which, according to the historical sources of that time, was in very bad condition. He refurbished the whole of the upper floor, replacing the fourteen cells used by the monks with larger-sized rooms and covering them with the vaulted ceilings that can still be seen today. In roughly 1843, the king decided to enlarge the palace by building a new wing (the New Palace) with even larger rooms (the Great Hall is a good example of this), ending in a circular tower next to the new kitchens. The building work was directed by the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 repair works restored the original colors of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. In transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showed that he was heavily influenced by German romanticism, and that he probably found his inspiration in the Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the banks of the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. These building works at the Palace of Pena ended in the mid-1860s, although further work was also undertaken at later dates for the decoration of the interiors. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.

From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights and Pena Palace Full-Day Tour

4. From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights and Pena Palace Full-Day Tour

Fall in love with Sintra, a lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period, on a day trip from Lisbon via an air-conditioned bus. See the stunning landscape classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided tour of monuments like Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Monserrate Palace. Start the tour by exploring the exotic Pena Park and the magnificent Pena Palace. This remarkable building is complete with different decorative styles, symbols, and intriguing features, and was once the royal family's official summer residence. Walk through Sintra's charming city center. Stop by the decorative Quinta da Regaleira estate. Explore the initiation well as well as its many lakes and fountains, and the aquarium on its grounds. Spend your lunchtime strolling through the historical village. Enjoy a quick stop at local patisseries to try some of Sintra's well-known delicacies. Conclude your journey at the eclectic Monserrate Palace, a glorious estate that once served as a summer residence for the Portuguese court.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

5. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

Benefit from a guided tour inside the Quinta Regaleira and Pena Palace. Fall in love with Sintra, a village full of magic and mystery, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period and also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Opt to treat yourself and your loved ones to a private experience with your own guide and pickup from your own hotel. Alternatively, you can get picked up from a convenient location in the center of Lisbon. Accompanied by a tour guide, visit Quinta da Regaleira and enjoy its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Well. Uncover the mysteries of each place and learn about the orders of the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. During the lunch break in Sintra's old town, you will have free time to explore the historical and charming streets. You will also have time to taste the traditional pastry, travesseiro. After buying your entry ticket with your guide, step into a fairy tale when you enter the romantic Pena Palace and Park. Understand its unique architectural expression of Romanticism. Spot how it blends many styles, including Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, and neo-Renaissance. Stroll around the park with its astonishing variety of plants and trees. Marvel at the palace's amazing views of the castle and the Atlantic Ocean, a perfect way to end the day before returning to Lisbon.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira, Cape Roca, and Cascais Tour

6. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira, Cape Roca, and Cascais Tour

Discover Sintra, so-called the “Garden of Eden” by Lord Byron. Tour its paradisiacal streets and gardens and admire the ornate palaces, villas, and estates throughout this colorful city. See Pena National Palace, famed for its romantic architecture and recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. Located approximately 500 meters above sea level, soak up the stunning city views over Sintra. Continue to Sintra's Quinta da Regaleira and take a guided tour of the palace, lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions. Learn about its connection with the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. Head to Cabo da Roca, the most western point of mainland Europe, passing Guincho Beach. Experience the Portuguese Rivera as you drive along the Estoril Coast and visit the village of Cascais. See why many exiled European royalty choose to live there.

Knights Templar Day Tour from Lisbon

7. Knights Templar Day Tour from Lisbon

Spend a day in the Portuguese villages of Constância and Tomar to discover the history of the Knights Templar. Your journey will begin in Lisbon. Tomar was the Templar capital of Portugal and Spain and one of the most important in the medieval world. The main monument of the city is the Tomar Convent which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A short distance from Tomar is the Almourol Castle. This emblematic monument was at one time controlled by the Knights Templar.  The Almourol Castle and the city of Tomar are perfect examples to understand the mystique of the Templars, men that were simultaneously Warrior Knights and monks that lived under a rigid military discipline, but at the same time with a great rigor in the spiritual life. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at one of two locations in central Lisbon, either Restauradores or Marquês de Pombal.

Lisbon: Tomar and Almourol Knights Templar Tour

8. Lisbon: Tomar and Almourol Knights Templar Tour

Follow the footsteps of the mysterious Knights Templar, a religious-military order, on this full-day tour. The Templars played an important role Portugal's history from the country's foundation, until the era of Portuguese discoveries. Visit the picturesque village of Constância, as well as Almourol Castle, built by the Templars on a small island. See the Tomar Convent of Christ, a church inspired by the temple of Solomon. Explore its many cloisters and see the iconic Manueline window. Both offer insight to the Knights Templar. Tomar was the former headquarters of the Templars, making this place one of the most important sites in the medieval world, and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Venture next to the Gothic-style Church of Santa Maria do Olival, a gorgeous 12th century church erected for the Knights Templar. Your guide will accompany you along the way, sharing stories and curiosities about the place you visit.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais, & Estoril Tour

9. From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais, & Estoril Tour

Enjoy a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais, and Estoril. Stop at Pena Palace in the Sintra Mountains and at the palace of Quinta da Regaleira. See the first casino in Portugal in Estoril. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Lisbon. Relax on the drive to Pena Palace in the Sintra Mountains. Spend some time admiring the vivid colors and 19th-century Romantic architecture of this national treasure. Head to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center of Sintra. Walk through the narrow cobble stone streets and see the charming shops and restaurants. Take a stroll through the Quinta da Regaleira palace park which features lakes, grottoes, wells, fountains, secret passages, mystical symbolism, and a freemason initiation well. Next, travel to Cabo da Roca to see the dramatic coastline a the westernmost point in continental Europe. Continue to the seaside resort town of Cascais. Explore the romantic old buildings in this area which was once a popular summer destination for royals. Finish the tour by passing through the Portuguese Riviera town of Estoril. View the local casino which was thought to be a gathering place for spies in WWII. This inspired the James Bond novel 'Casino Royale.'

From Lisbon: Sintra and Pena Palace Tour

10. From Lisbon: Sintra and Pena Palace Tour

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Lisbon, and then travel to the UNESCO World Heritage monument of Pena Palace, one of the finest expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. Marvel at the extravagant decorations and royal collections of the opulent interiors, and get amazing views from the rooftop cafe and terraces. You then head down to Sintra to enjoy some free time to shop or explore the historical center. Try the local pastries and take souvenir photos of the best-preserved medieval royal residence in Portugal, the Sintra National Palace. Continue towards the historic estates of Seteais and Monserrate on the way to Cabo da Roca. Get panoramic views from the westernmost point of mainland Europe, and take souvenir photos of the surfers paradise of Guincho Beach. Stop at the village of Cascais and take some walk along the bay before the return journey to Lisbon.

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Frequently asked questions about Lisbon

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Lisbon?

The best day trips and excursions from Lisbon are:

Sintra

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What people are saying about Lisbon

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 7,304 reviews

We absolutely loved Paulo and wished we had found him earlier. If you want an on-the-beaten path experience with a guide who likes to avoid crowds, knows the right balance of talking, and is incredibly knowledgeable this is the tour and the guide for you. He does longer trips as well. I would recommend just asking for him to be part of your entire trip.

Ana is hands down the best guide we've had during our time in Lisbon and Portugal. She has an incredible amount of knowledge of the history of the area. We learned a lot and enjoyed amazing views of Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira. We enjoyed a sunny and not very crowded visit to the Palace. Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much, Ana!

Our Guide was wonderful. Doing both English and French throughout the day must be a lot, but she was super friendly and enthusiastic with making sure everyone was enjoying themselves and giving a personal touch to each part of the day. Overall an incredible and unforgettable day that was worth the spend!

Definitely worth getting a ticket in advance. DO NOT drive up to the castle! Park in the centre of town somewhere and take public transportation up

Very knowledgeable guide, perfectly organized tour. I advise!