The Sintra Portugal castles were a personal favorite during our travels in Portugal! The beautiful gardens, great views, medieval history, and incredible detail were definitely something special that we’ll always remember.

Sintra, Portugal castles are some of the most famous palaces and well known for their beauty and rich history. You can’t miss visiting them if you’re staying in or passing through the small town of Sintra! Visiting Sintra, A UNESCO World Heritage Site, with your family offers all kinds of fun and interesting experiences that cater to both adults and children alike. 

Sintra Portugal Castles You Should Visit

Pena Palace

Perched on a green hill, the colorful Pena Palace, or Palacio da Pena, is a stunning example of lively architecture and bright colors that feel like they’re straight out of a fairy tale. The palace is a great place for families, not just because it’s visually appealing but also because it has a huge park with hidden trails. It’s an ideal setting for kids to let their imagination run wild and explore. 

Why kids will love The Palace of Pena:

  • Awesome Gardens: Check out the cool and colorful gardens, perfect for playing make-believe in a magical kingdom.
  • Secret Trails Hunt: Go on a little adventure and find hidden trails for a fun and mysterious treasure hunt.
  • Tower Climb: Challenge yourselves by climbing up the palace towers for an awesome view.

You have to have an appointment to enter the palácio da Pena, so be sure to buy your tickets and make your reservation ahead of time. 

Get your entrance tickets to Pena Palace HERE

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Sintra Family Travel Guide

Want more details on how to make your family trip to Sintra more memorable? In this travel guide you’ll find everything you need to know; transportation, ticket costs, where to eat, what to pack, and much more! Check out our comprehensive travel guide for visiting Sintra here.

Castelo dos Mouros (The Moorish Castle)

Taking visitors back in time with its old walls and stunning views on a clear day, the Moorish Castle, or Castle of the Moors, is a medieval castle that offers a hands-on journey into medieval history. Here, you’ll find the best views of Sintra from the top of the hill overlooking the town center. Families can stroll through its towers and along the fortress walls, letting the kids imagine themselves as knights safeguarding the castle.

Why kids will love the Moors Castle:

  • Medieval Quest: Wander around ancient walls and towers, imagining epic stories of knights and medieval adventures.
  • Scenic Lookouts: Enjoy the amazing views from the fortress walls, counting turrets and spotting cool stuff in the distance.

You’ll need tickets to enter, so be sure to plan in advance so you don’t have to wait. 

Get your tickets to the Moors Castle HERE

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira may not be your typical castle, but it’s a magical estate with a palace, underground tunnels, and charming gardens. It looks like a fairytale castle and has a special vibe, with initiation wells and hidden corners that really capture the interest of kids. It’s a unique and captivating spot for families to explore together.

Why kids will love Quinta de Regaleira:

  • Mystical Exploration: Explore this mystical place with tunnels, a palace, and gardens full of hidden corners and secret wells.
  • Imaginary Play: Let the magical vibes spark the kids’ curiosity, turning the visit into a unique and fun family adventure. Hide in a secret tunnel and use your imagination to make up your own fairytale to play out inside the castle walls.

You can do a guided tour or a self-guided tour, but you have to have tickets either way. 

Get your tickets to Quinta de Regaleira HERE

Sintra National Palace

Right in the center of Sintra, the Sintra National Palace is a blend of Moorish and Manueline architectural styles. Families can explore the different rooms in the palace, each with its own special charm. It’s not just an educational experience; it’s also a fascinating journey through history that both adults and kids can enjoy.

Why kids will love the National Palace of Sintra:

  • Cool Rooms: Dive into the different rooms of the palace, each with its own vibe, making the journey through history super interesting.

You’ll need tickets to enter, so Get your tickets to the National Palace of Sintra HERE

Monserrate Palace

Nestled amidst lush greenery, Monserrate Palace is known for its exotic gardens and architectural beauty. Explore the royal palace’s unique design and enjoy the botanical richness of its surroundings with the family.

Why kids love the Palace of Monserrate:

  • Awesome Gardens: Check out the palace’s cool design and explore the gardens filled with interesting plants – perfect for little nature lovers.

There is an entrance fee, and you’ll need reservations in advance. 

Get your tickets in advance for Monserrate Palace Here

1 Day Sintra Itinerary with Kids

  • Arrive bright and early at the Sintra Train Station. Tips on getting to Sintra HERE
  • Jump on the Bus, Taxi or TukTuk and head to the Pena Palace. Details on Transportation HERE
  • Be sure to have your Time Slot/ Tickets in advance.
  • After a couple of hours of exploration, jump back on the bus or taxi to Quinta da Regaleira.
  • By now, you will be getting hungry so head to the old town to grab lunch.
  • There you can check out the National Palace for an hour or so.
  • If you still have energy, head up to the Castle of the Moors for a short exploration.
  • Head back to the Train Station to end your day.
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Sintra Family Travel Guide

Want more details on how to make your family trip to Sintra more memorable? In this travel guide you’ll find everything you need to know; transportation, ticket costs, where to eat, what to pack, and much more! Check out our comprehensive travel guide for visiting Sintra here.

Tips for Visiting Castles in Sintra with Kids

Visiting castles in Sintra, Portugal with kids can be a memorable and exciting experience. Here are some tips to make the trip enjoyable for the whole family:

1. Plan Ahead

Check the opening hours and days of the castles you plan to visit. Consider purchasing tickets online in advance to avoid long queues, especially during peak season when there may be long lines. Make sure you choose a time slot for each castle that allows enough time to explore.

2. Comfortable Clothing and Footwear

Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes suitable for walking and exploring, as some areas may involve climbing stairs or uneven terrain. 

3. Snacks and Hydration

Bring along snacks and water to keep everyone energized, especially if you plan to spend a significant amount of time exploring. Castle gardens are the perfect place for a picnic.

4. Interactive Learning

Make the visit educational by sharing interesting historical facts about the castles with your kids. Some castles offer guided tours or educational programs designed for children.

5. Imaginative Play

Encourage imaginative play by letting your kids dress up as knights, princesses, or explorers. It adds a fun and playful element to the visit.

6. Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt

Turn the visit into a treasure hunt by creating a list of things for your kids to find or tasks to complete at each castle. It adds an element of excitement and engagement.

7. Picnic in the Gardens

Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing break in the castle gardens. It provides a chance for the family to recharge and enjoy the surroundings.

8. Photography Fun

Bring a camera or smartphone for the kids to capture their favorite moments. It not only creates lasting memories but also allows them to see the visit from their perspective.

9. Know Your Kids’ Limits

Be mindful of your children’s energy levels and attention spans. Plan breaks or shorter visits if needed, and prioritize the most interesting areas for them.

10. Check for Family-Friendly Facilities

Some castles may have family-friendly facilities such as play areas or interactive exhibits. Check in advance to make the visit more enjoyable for kids.

11. Weather Considerations

Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. Bring sunscreen, hats, and rain gear as needed.

12. Transportation

There will be a lot of walking inside and around the castles. Consider a private car or tuk tuk to take you between sites and help you fit more adventure into a single day.

Remember to adapt your plans based on the ages and interests of your children. With a bit of preparation, visiting the different castles in Sintra can be a magical and family-friendly experience.

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