We loved exploring Sintra, Portugal with our kids and we can’t wait to share that experience with you. From the best attractions to the most kid-friendly activities, we’ll help make sure your family has a truly unforgettable experience with our tips and recommendations!
We made our visit to Sintra a day trip, so we traveled from Lisbon to Sintra and back in just one day. This was a very easy day trip, even with kids. Let’s get into the details!
Getting to Sintra, Portugal With Kids
We traveled to Sintra from Lisbon by train, which is what we suggest others do too. The train leaves from a few different stations across Lisbon so it’s easily accessible. You are more than likely going to want to leave from the Rossio station since that is the most central. Taking the train is not only convenient, its cost effective too. There is no return ticket so you will need two single ride tickets which will cost you 4.60 Euros (half for children).
The train ride from Lisbon to Sintra is about 40 minutes. So bringing some form of entertainment for your kids is a good idea. Maybe something small you can easily carry on you like a card game or even snacks they can munch on during the trip will help.
Since there are trains almost every hour to Sintra you will have no trouble grabbing your ticket before you board, that’s what we did. Also keep in mind that the train might be crowded during peak travel times. Keep your tickets and passports handy at all times too. You’re going to love the views of the gorgeous country-side and coastline on this train ride!
Try to get an early train if possible, that way you can make the most of your day in Sintra.
Transportation in Sintra, Portugal With Kids
Once you get off the train in Sintra there are a few options you can use for transportation around the city. You can take the bus, rent a car, or even rent motorbikes. Depending on how old your kids are and how adventurous you are, of course.
Out top tips for traveling around Sintra
- When you arrive in Sintra you have some options to get to all the popular sites. You can walk, take the bus, or private tour.
- My top recommendation would be to take the bus. As soon as you get off the train, turn right and you will see the bus right there. You can buy your ticket from the driver. The hop on hop off will run you about 12 Euros. Make sure you have cash.
- The 434 route (Circuito da Pena) is the most useful bus, it connects to the town centre, the Moorish castle and Pena Palace. Buses are scheduled to run every 15 minutes during the busy months.
- Walking is possible but it is a good 45 minute walk to Pena palace and mostly uphill, the bus is the way to go!
- Sintra is a very walkable town. There are plenty of safe sidewalks and pedestrian areas for your family. Even though the bus is a great option from the train station, you will definitely want to walk around old town and other areas.
Is Sintra a family friendly destination?
Sintra is very family friendly! There are a wide range of fun family activities, as well as parks and playgrounds, and your kids will love exploring these beautiful castles and gardens like a real life fairytale!
What to Pack for Your Trip to Sintra, Portugal with Kids
Sintra has its own micro climate. That means it can be completely different from the climate in Lisbon. Normally that means it will be much cooler temps but that is not always the case. Make sure to check the weather before your visit. You might need a jacket when you least expect it.
If you are visiting in summer be sure to come prepared to spend a lot of time outside. Hats, sunscreen, and plenty of water are a must!
If you’re taking a day trip to Sintra like we did, I wouldn’t suggest taking anything but the essentials, depending on your needs and your kids’ needs at whatever age they are. Since things can sometimes get crowded, you won’t want to be trying to fit more than yourselves into some spaces. Plus, if you opt for walking the town, you won’t want to carry a bunch of stuff around with you. If you want to pack a picnic lunch to eat in one of the parks, like Parque da Liberdade, that would be a good experience. But stick to packing as light as possible!
Where to Stay in Sintra, Portugal with Kids
Since we didn’t stay overnight in Sintra, we can’t give you a first hand recommendation, but we can suggest some places that look amazing!
This three-bedroom apartment is located in the historic center of Sintra. It has a kitchen, living area, three bedrooms, and a balcony. It’s a great location because it’s close to some of Sintra’s most popular attractions, including the Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle.
Sintra Boutique Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Sintra, Portugal. The hotel is located in a quiet and peaceful setting, surrounded by beautiful gardens and breathtaking views of the mountains. They have kid friendly amenities, like an outdoor pool, plus a restaurant, and more.
The Hotel Nova Sintra is a 4-star hotel in the center of Sintra, Portugal. The hotel is located in the historic center of the city, close to the town’s main attractions, including the Palácio da Pena and the Palácio Nacional de Sintra.
Things to Do in Sintra
Sintra has lots of things to do that will interest the whole family. From parks to play in, to castles to explore, and even a toy museum! Not to mention all the delicious food there is to be tasted and seriously enjoyed!
1 day Sinta Itinerary with Kids
You arrived in Sintra, got your bus ticket, and ready to explore this UNESCO world heritage site. Here is how you make the most of your day with kids. Hopefully this itinerary will help you see as much as you can, avoid the major crowds, and utilize your bus ticket as much as possible.
- Pena Palace – Head straight there when you arrive in the morning. This is the most popular site in Sintra and it will be the busiest so I would head there first. Plus since this is probably where you will spend the most time its a great idea to visit it first when your kids have the most energy. The bus from Sintra station will take about 20 minutes, followed by another 10-15 minute walk, so keep that in mind when picking the times for your tickets.
- Park de Pena – spend some time here exploring. There is so much to see so dont worry too much about following directions, my kids loved getting lost in the maze of it all.
- Lunch in Sintra Old Town – check our list below to see some of the best lunch options with kids. Be sure to grab a sweet treat at a cafe as well. You have to try a pastel de Nata if you hadn’t already!
- Quinta de Regaleira
- Moorish Castle – If you have time you need to end your day at the Moorish Castle
Places to See When Visiting Sintra Portugal
Sintra offers a wealth of sights and experiences for families with kids. From stunning palaces to dramatic cliffs, there’s something for everyone in this charming town. If you’re taking a day trip, there are a few places that we wouldn’t have wanted to skip.
Castle of Moors
The Castle of the Moors is a medieval fortress located on a hilltop in Sintra and its fairly close to Pena Palace so you might want to plan these two together. The castle was built during the 8th and 9th centuries and is a great place to explore with kids. The castle walls are over 1,000 years old, and there are plenty of towers and winding staircases to climb. So because of that make sure that if you brought a stroller you leave it by the entrance. This is definitely a time you want to bring out the baby carrier if you brought one. The views from the castle are also spectacular, with panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside.
Hours: 9:30 – 18:30 Last Admission 18:00
Ticket for Adults (18 – 64 years) 8 €
Ticket for Youths (6 – 17 years) 6,5 €
Ticket for Seniors (over 65 years) 6,5 €
Family ticket (2 adults + 2 youths) 26 €
Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira is a 20th-century palace and estate and was actually my favorite place we visited in Sintra with our kids. The palace was built in a Gothic style and features a variety of architectural styles, including Roman, Renaissance, and Manueline. The palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens, grottoes, and fountains, and kids will love exploring the hidden tunnels and caves. There’s also a well on the property that’s said to have mystical properties. Be sure to plan to spend at least two hours here because this beautiful estate offers gardens and underground passageways that feel magical. Our girls loved exploring here and the history is really interesting for the grownups! There is also a playground here that kids can enjoy while you take in the surrounding views.
Hours: 10:00 – 17:30 Last Admission 17:00 April – May
Ticket for Adults (18 – 64 years) 11 €
Ticket for Youths (6 – 17 years) 6,00 €
Ticket for Seniors (over 65 years) 6,00 €
Children 0 -5 and Seniors over 80 are FREE
Pena Palace is known for its vibrant colors and exotic architectural style. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. Its bright colors are particularly enticing to the kids and the gardens and courtyards were fun to explore.
This is a must visit in my opinion. The colorful palace sits atop a hill and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Kids will love exploring the castle’s many rooms, turrets, and courtyards. There’s also a park surrounding the palace with a playground and plenty of space for little ones to run around.
I recommend buying your tickets for Pena Palace in advance. Your ticket for Pena Palace will include access to the Park/grounds as well as entry into the staterooms inside the Palace itself. The kids enjoyed going inside the castle, but it was very crowded even with the timed entry so keep that in mind. Honestly the best part is exploring the outside anyway so don’t feel bad if you opt to skip the interiors. There is a cafe there if you wanted a snack.
Park Hours: 9:00 – 19:00 Last Admission 18:00
Palace Hours: 9:30 – 18:30 Last Admission 18:00
Price (Palace and Park)
Ticket for Adults (18 – 64 years) 14€
Ticket for Youths (6 – 17 years) 12,5€
Ticket for Seniors (over 65 years) 12,5€
Family ticket (2 adults + 2 youths) 49€
Monserrate Palace is a stunning 19th-century palace located in Sintra. The palace is surrounded by lush gardens and is known for its intricate architecture and stunning decorative features. Kids will love exploring the palace’s many rooms, which are filled with ornate details and historic artifacts. The gardens are also a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Sintra.
Park Hours: 9:00 – 19:00 Last Admission 18:00
Ticket for Adults (18 – 64 years) 8€
Ticket for Youths (6 – 17 years) 6,5€
Ticket for Seniors (over 65 years) 6,5€
Family ticket (2 adults + 2 youths) 26€
Where to Eat in Sintra Portugal
If you’re only in Sintra for a day trip, you may want to limit the number of restaurants you visit for the sake of time. Packing a picnic lunch is a great option! But if you want to taste test the local food in at least one restaurant, choose one of these!
A Pipa Restaurant
This restaurant offers a wide variety of Portuguese cuisine and is a great spot for families with kids. The restaurant has a large outdoor area with views of the Sintra Mountains, which is great for warm summer days.
This family-run spot offers a great selection of Portuguese traditional sweets. The restaurant is known for its desserts, so be sure to save some room or just stop there for dessert only! Kids will love the wide selection of cakes and pastries.
Restaurante do Castelo
Located in the historic old town of Sintra, this restaurant is perfect for families. It’s a great spot to soak in the atmosphere of the old town while enjoying some hearty Portuguese dishes.
O Moinho Restaurant
This restaurant is housed in a traditional windmill and offers a cozy atmosphere. It serves a great selection of Portuguese dishes and the kids will love the novelty of eating in a windmill.
Things to Know About Visiting Sintra, Portugal with Kids
Sintra, Portugal is a beautiful and historic town that has a certain charm about it that the whole family will thoroughly enjoy! While you could absolutely enjoy an extended stay in Sintra, a day trip really is an easy trip and you will have time to see the highlights of this amazing region! If you plan on exploring by foot, wear comfortable shoes and don’t forget to stop in to some of the local cafes for local treats!
FAQ’s about Sintra Portugal
Can I bring a stroller?
It really isn’t stroller friendly so I would opt for a baby carrier for your little ones on this day. You can bring a stroller but it is going to limit where you can go and what you can do.
How is the weather?
Sintra has its own micro climate. That means it can be different than Lisbon. Be sure to check the weather online before your visit. It is not unusual to need a jacket in summer.
Is there a lot of walking and stairs?
YES! Lots of walking so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and take lots of breaks!
Is one day in Sintra enough?
You can definitely see most of the major sites in one day but there is so much more to Sintra than just Pena Palace. Consider staying the night if you really want to soak it in and take things slow with your kids. We only did the day trip and still felt like we got to see quite a bit
Should I buy tickets in advance?
Is a day tour worth it?
This really depends on your travel style. We often like to go at our own pace but a tour is a great option if you want to take the guess work out of planning.
What is the best time of year to visit Sintra with kids?
The best time to visit Sintra with kids is during the spring and fall months when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer can be very hot and crowded, which can make it difficult to enjoy the attractions.
We hope this family travel guide will help you plan and enjoy an amazing trip to Sintra with your kids just like we did!