Sintra may be a small town but there is no shortage of enchanting old castles, contemporary museums and beautiful natural scenery to take your breath away. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the best things to do in Sintra:
1. Visit Quinta da Regaleira. Quinta da Regaleira is a massive, magical estate with much to explore: a palace, a chapel, a park, lakes and hidden grottoes. The early 20th-century palace touts impressive architecture with grand references to Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline styles.
2. See the sunset at Cabo da Roca. At the western tip of Europe, this cape offers unbelievable views of the Atlantic Ocean, with opportunities to see impressive waves from the cliffs. Cabo da Roca is about 45 minutes west of Sintra — hop on one of the many buses that travel there daily.
3. Tour the Sintra National Palace. This may be the best kept palace in all of Sintra. It was occupied by Portuguese royalty for centuries. Some portions of the existing palace date back to 1415.
4. Take a walk in Pena Park. Like many popular locations in Sintra, Pena Park is attached to a palace, but the park is worth a visit on its own merit. It’s more of a forest than a traditional open-space park, with exotic plants, streams, fountains and a vast maze of paths.
5. Tour the Museum of Modern Art. Hailed as one of the best modern art museums in Europe, the Museum of Modern Art in Sintra displays an impressive array of artwork from collector José Berardo. The museum itself is housed in a decadent 1920s style building, formerly the Sintra Casino.