There are lots of fun and interesting things to do in Sintra Portugal that your whole family will love! From castles to explore, parks to play at and enjoy a picnic lunch, and even a really fun toy museum. We absolutely loved visiting Sintra with our kids, and we think you will, too! Here are some of the best things to do in Sintra that will make your time there unforgettable.
Our Favorite Things to Do in Sintra Portugal with Kids
If you’re in Sintra, you can’t miss seeing Pena Palace! This palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s like stepping into a real-life fairy tale. Sitting on top of a hill, this colorful castle is incredible – all pastel and gorgeous against the backdrop of the Sintra Mountains.
Inside, it’s a mix of different styles that are jaw-dropping. The rooms are decked out with beautiful tiles, fancy furniture, and loads of history. The views from the palace out onto the grounds are amazing, as you get a panorama of the surroundings. Pena Palace is not just a sightseeing spot; it’s a whole experience for the entire family.
Get all your Pena Palace Tickets and Information HERE
Park de Pena
Visiting Pena Park in Sintra, Portugal is a must for anyone who loves a good mix of nature and history. This park surrounds the iconic Pena Palace so you can check it out after you see the Palace. It’s like a green wonderland with winding paths, lush gardens, and hidden nooks great for kids to explore. It’s the perfect escape into nature, with breathtaking views of the palace and the surrounding landscapes.
You’ll find yourself strolling through enchanting woods, stumbling upon charming gazebos, and maybe even spotting some cool wildlife. The park’s design is straight out of a dream, blending beautifully landscaped gardens with wild, untamed areas. Whether you’re into history, architecture, or just soaking up nature’s beauty, Park de Pena is it. Don’t forget your camera, as this place is a photographer’s paradise!
Historic Center of the Town of Sintra
Sintra Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and cultural significance. Its natural beauty and charming streets and shops are a great place to stroll around and have lunch. It’s the best way to spend an afternoon exploring. Check out our Sintra Travel Guide for great places to eat in Old Town Sintra.
Wander through the narrow alleys, discovering quaint shops selling local crafts and delicious pastries. Encourage your children to engage with the local culture by sampling traditional treats like travesseiros and queijadas. The town’s historic charm extends to its numerous parks and gardens, providing serene spaces for families to relax and play.
The Castle of the Moors is a captivating historical site that has so much medieval castle charm and some breathtaking views. Dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries, the castle carries a rich history shaped by Moorish and Christian influences. Its strategic hilltop location provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Atlantic Ocean.
This is one of our favorite things to do in Sintra Portugal! The experience of exploring this castle is both educational and awe-inspiring, offering insights into Portugal’s medieval past. This castle is over 1,000 years old and full of towers with a winding spiral staircase around every turn. Because of that, make sure that if you bring 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 spectacular, with panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside and beyond.
Quinta da Regaleira
You’ll need at least a couple of hours to take in this gorgeous estate. You’ll find gardens, magical underground passageways, and tunnels that add an element of excitement and adventure. Start your exploration by meandering through the ornate gardens, discovering hidden grottoes, charming bridges, and the iconic Initiation Well – an inverted tower that sparks imaginations and invites playful exploration.
Consider packing a picnic to enjoy in the shaded areas of the estate, creating a perfect setting for family time. Quinta da Regaleira guarantees a day filled with enchantment, exploration, and the kind of magic that will leave your children with lasting memories of this extraordinary Portuguese treasure.
Constructed in the 19th century, this romantic palace is surrounded by extensive gardens and woodlands. You’ll see vibrant colors, botanical diversity, and artistic craftsmanship. The palace itself, with its striking blend of Gothic, Indian, and Moorish architectural influences, will spark their curiosity and transport them to a different era. Inside, the elaborately decorated rooms offer a glimpse into the past, providing a unique educational experience for young minds. Plan a family picnic in the palace grounds, enjoying the serene surroundings, and perhaps even participating in some outdoor games. Monserrate Palace ensures a day filled with wonder, history, and natural beauty for your family.
Cabo Da Roca
Cabo Da Roca holds the distinction of being a place where land meets the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean in a dramatic and rugged fashion. Known as the “Cape of the Rock,” Cabo da Roca offers a breathtaking panorama of sheer cliffs that plunge into the turbulent waters below. Engage your little ones in a scavenger hunt for seashells and explore the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit this coastal wonderland. Don’t miss the iconic Cabo da Roca lighthouse, where kids can learn about maritime history and enjoy the thrill of standing at the edge of the continent.
Get your Guided Tours and other info HERE
Sintra National Palace
Visiting the National Palace of Sintra is a journey into Portugal’s royal history, as this iconic palace has played a central role in the country’s heritage. Situated in the heart of Sintra, the palace’s distinctive twin conical chimneys make it easily recognizable.
Dating back to the Moorish period and later expanded during the medieval and Renaissance eras, the National Palace showcases a captivating blend of architectural styles. Its rooms are adorned with intricate tile work, ornate ceilings, and historical artifacts, offering a glimpse into the lifestyle of Portuguese royalty. Engage your children in a playful quest to discover the unique features of each room, fostering their curiosity and imagination. Panoramic views of Sintra from the National Palace are a captivating experience that your whole family will enjoy!
Sintra-Cascais Natural Park
The Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, is a captivating stretch of coastal and mountainous landscapes along the Portuguese Riviera. This place is a haven for outdoor lovers! It’s located between the historic town of Sintra and the coastal town of Cascais. It’s a beautiful area of lush forests, rocky cliffs, and sandy beaches.
As you venture towards the coastline, be sure to visit the breathtaking Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. The rugged cliffs and panoramic ocean views provide a sense of awe and wonder for the whole family. Sintra-Cascais Natural Park promises a day of outdoor exploration, wildlife discovery, and cultural appreciation, making it an ideal destination for families
Get all your Guided Tours including the Park HERE
The Best Ways to Get Around Sintra
Sintra is a relatively small town, but its hilly terrain and dispersed attractions make transportation choices important. Here are some recommendations:
Sintra’s town center is compact, and many of its attractions, such as the National Palace and Quinta da Regaleira, are within walking distance. Strolling through the narrow, picturesque streets also allows you to appreciate the charm of the town.
Sintra has a well-connected public transportation system. The Scotturb bus company operates buses that can take you to major attractions like Pena Palace, Moorish Castle, and Monserrate Palace. The train station in the town center connects Sintra to Lisbon, providing a convenient option for those arriving from the capital.
Tuk-Tuks and Taxis
A Tuk-tuk is a great option that you and your kids will love!! Tuk-tuks and taxis are available in Sintra and can be a convenient option, especially for reaching sites that are a bit farther from the town center. Negotiate the fare with your taxi or tuk-tuk drivers before starting your journey. Remember it may be harder to get one of these during high season.
There are also guided tour options available that cover multiple attractions in Sintra. These tours often provide transportation and informative guides, offering a hassle-free way to explore the key sites. There are both group and private tour options available.
Find all your Sintra Area Tours HERE
Jeep Tours Around Sintra
Our family took the most unique tour around all of Sintra and had the best time ever! We went with Jumpy Adventures, owned by 2 of the best guys Rafael and Henrique that grew up exploring Sintra. We discovered secret lookouts near Cabo da Roca, explored backroads to the castles, and learned so much about the history and culture of this beautiful city! Be sure to book your tour with them right when you get in town, so you have your earrings and can take notes on where you want to visit.
Book your Juumpy Adventures Tour HERE
While the town center is best explored on foot, renting a car can be advantageous if you plan to visit more remote areas, such as Cabo da Roca or the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Keep in mind that parking in the town center can be challenging.
For a seamless experience, consider a combination of walking for the central attractions, public transportation for more distant sites, and additional options based on your preferences and schedule. Each mode of transportation has its advantages, allowing you to make the most of your visit to Sintra and its diverse array of historic and natural wonders.
More About Visiting Sintra
Sintra stands out as an extraordinary destination for families and kids due to its enchanting blend of rich history, captivating architecture, and natural beauty. Here’s a roundup of why Sintra is a great place for families:
- Magical Atmosphere: Sintra’s historic center, with its cobbled streets, pastel-colored buildings, and lively squares, creates a fairy-tale-like atmosphere that captures the imagination of both adults and children. The town’s charm is inherently family-friendly, offering a welcoming environment.
- Historical Exploration: Families can delve into Portugal’s royal history by visiting the National Palace of Sintra and the Pena Palace. The historic center itself is like an open-air museum, allowing children to connect with the past through its architecture and stories.
- Natural Wonders: Sintra is surrounded by lush landscapes, and attractions like the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park provide opportunities for outdoor adventures. Hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and diverse ecosystems offer a perfect backdrop for family explorations and picnics.
- Palatial Adventures: The Pena Palace and Monserrate Palace are architectural wonders that fuel the imaginations of young ones. The vibrant colors and unique designs of these palaces make them particularly appealing to children, creating a memorable and educational experience.
- Interactive Gardens: Quinta da Regaleira boasts enchanting gardens with hidden tunnels, grottoes, and the mysterious Initiation Well. These interactive spaces provide a perfect setting for family-friendly activities, from scavenger hunts to imaginative play.
- Culinary Delights: Sintra’s local cuisine, including delectable pastries like travesseiros and queijadas, offers a delightful culinary experience for families. The town’s cafés and restaurants welcome children, making it easy for families to enjoy a meal together.
- Accessibility: Sintra is conveniently located near Lisbon, making it a feasible day trip for families staying in the capital. The town’s compact size allows for easy exploration on foot or by the iconic yellow tram, reducing the hassle of transportation for families with young children.
- Diverse Activities: Sintra offers a diverse range of activities, from exploring historical sites to enjoying outdoor adventures. Whether climbing castle walls, hiking nature trails, or indulging in local treats, there’s something for every family member to enjoy.
For more details about visiting Sintra with kids, like where to stay, where to eat, and an itinerary, check out our Sintra Travel Guide.
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