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Pena Palace

Standing boldly atop a hill above Sintra, this beautiful palace can be seen all the way from Lisbon on a clear day.

TravelCurious Tip

Sintra, and especially Pena Palace, are extremely popular during the summer season. If you can’t visit off-season, try to go early in the day!

Pena Palace is the crown jewel of Sintra, a town twenty five kilometres west of Lisbon’s centre. It is frankly extraordinary, and gives Mad King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein in Bavaria a run for its money as the most outlandish castle in Europe, and possibly the world. It looks like something from Alice in Wonderland, or like it must be made of marzipan and gingerbread and candy cane, such is its stylistic exuberance.


Rising from a thickly wooded peak, its pink and lemon crenellated towers are often wreathed in mists, like whipped cream. The palace was a wild dream of Ferdinand of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, the artist-husband of Queen Maria, who commissioned the Bavarian-Manueline epic, complete with an armoured statute of himself on a nearby peak.


The statue looks over both the palace and its extensive gardens. The mystical Pena Park is full of trees and exotic plants from the former colonies of the Portuguese empire, along with ponds, fountains and sinister-looking black swans. Twenty minutes from the palace by foot there is the Cruz Alta viewpoint, the highest peak in Serra de Sinta, from which you can catch marvellous views of the palace, the Tagus estuary and the ocean beyond.


The interior of the palace is just as wacky and extravagant as you would expect, and has been restored to how it would have been before the fall of the Portuguese monarchy in 1910. It is packed with precious porcelain, trompe l’oeil murals and nude sculptures of buxom nymphs, all set among late Victorian and Edwardian furnishings. The effect is gloriously kitsch.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Lisbon
Pena Palace Gardens
Explore the terraces and gardens of Pena Park to find the best views of Pena Palace.
Pena Chapel
The original chapel remains relatively unscathed and looks much the same as it had in the 16th Century. The small nave is topped with a Gothic vaulted ceiling and the walls retain their original tiles.
Terraces at Pena Palace
One of the highlights of the Palace are the colourful terraces and decorative battlements, don't miss the stunning views from here.
Triton Gate
This impressive sculpture was a tribute to the world-changing scientific advancement by 1838. The Triton is bridging that gap, with the sea below and the earth above.
Fountain of the little birds
An Islamic pavilion with a hexagonal footprint topped by a dome, and inside between some benches a fountain with clear water.
Valley of the Lakes
Two unique castle-like duck houses add to the magical ambience of the place along with the soundtrack of trickling water and the odd plop of feeding fish.

Related Tours

Private Day Trip: Sintra, Pena Palace, Cascais and Cabo da Roca
Step into a world of hilltop castles, fairytale palaces, and jaw dropping views of the Atlantic  on this cultural, historical, and visual feast. Just 20 miles from the centre of Lisbon, Sintra is a town in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains home to Pena Palace. Cape Roca or Cabo da Roca is the cape which forms the western most point of continental Europe and Cascais is a charming coastal town known for its pretty sandy beaches and busy port. On your private full day tour, you will:

  • Travel in the comfort of the private vehicle and guide from Lisbon
  • Enjoy a fully guided private tour of the Pena Palace, including the Palace interior (Palace and Park tickets included)
  • After free time for lunch in Sintra town, you will enjoy a relaxing afternoon with a drive through Sintra Natural Park.
  • Admire the cliffside views at Cabo da Roca, as you stand on the western-most point of continental Europe. 
  • Enjoy a guided walk through the charming seaside town of Cascais.
  • Hop back in your private transport for an easy transfer back to Lisbon.

Your all-inclusive private excursion led by an experienced local guide starts early with pick up from your hotel in Lisbon to ensure that you avoid the queues and crowds at Pena Palace, which will guarantee you get to visit the interior rooms of the Palace. Today Portugal's most famous attraction, the Pena Palace was built in the 19th century as a summer home for Portuguese royalty. It was built by King Ferdinand II who had a very flamboyant and larger than life taste. It is an adaptation of 16th-century monastery ruins and an imitation of a medieval fortress. The Palace boasts spectacular views over the natural park and Lisbon (on a clear day). 

After your morning tour, enjoy free time for lunch in Sintra town after which you will enjoy a scenic drive through Sintra Natural Park to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Continental Europe, before heading to Cascais a charming coast town home to the medieval Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort and the Citadel Palace, a former royal retreat. On the day of your visit, your guide will give you the option to customise the afternoon part of your tour, either spending a short amount of time in both locations or favouring more time in one of these, if there is an activity you particularly want to do!

The tour ends in Cascais, after which you'll be dropped back off at your hotel in Lisbon.
All Inclusive Private Tour of Sintra, Pena Palace & Quinta da Regaleira
If you've not yet visited Sintra you're in for a cultural, historical and visual treat. Just 20 miles from the centre of Lisbon, Sintra is known for its spectacular setting and grand Mansions of the Portuguese Elite. On your private full day tour of Sintra, you will:

  • Enjoy an all-inclusive and fully guided tour with an Expert Licensed guide, with all tickets included
  • Travel leisurely by train from Lisbon to Sintra in just 40 minutes, with return tickets included
  • Be immersed in a fully guided tour of the Pena Palace, including the Palace interior and the Gardens 
  • Take some free time for lunch in the Sintra town.
  • Learn about the history of the town on a guided walking tour, where you’ll see spectacular Sintra National Palace from the outside. 
  • Step into the majesty of the Quinta da Regaleira Palace and Gardens, including the Well of Initiation, underground caves, the labyrinth and waterfall
  • Relax on a panoramic drive through Sintra Natural Park with an electric TukTuk, the fastest and most fun way to travel in Sintra! 

Your private tour of Sintra will start at Rossio Train station in central Lisbon, where an early departure means you’ll be one of the first to enter the Pena Palace and will guarantee you get to visit the interior rooms of the Palace.  Today Portugal's most famous attraction, the Pena Palace was built in the 19th century as a summer home for Portuguese royalty. It was built by King Ferdinand II who had a very flamboyant and larger than life taste. It is an adaptation of 16th-century monastery ruins and an imitation of a medieval fortress. The Palace boasts spectacular views over the natural park and Lisbon (on a clear day) as well as beautifully landscaped gardens. Enjoy a 30 minute walk through the gardens to see our favourite section: the valley of the lakes. 

After, travelling back to Sintra town with an electric TukTuk, enjoy free time for lunch after which your guide will take you on a walking tour through Sintra town and the Quinta da Regaleira, another incredible palace with even more spectacular gardens. The resplendent gardens are even classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO within the "Cultural Landscape of Sintra! Commissioned and owned by a well-known Freemason, Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, the four-hectare property is famous for its enigmatic buildings and underground tunnels. Monteiro filled the property with symbols linked to masonry, alchemy, Tarot mysticism and more. Your guide will expertly guide you through the extensive and puzzling system of tunnels, grottoes, caves, as well as a waterfall and a labyrinth carved into the bedrock! You will of course not miss the Well of Initiation, a spiral staircase composed of 9 levels of 15 steps, often thought to symbolise the nine levels of Hell from Dante's Inferno.

Your day will end with a tuktuk ride back to Sintra train station, where you will catch the train back to Lisbon. 
Private Pena Palace tour from Lisbon (tickets included)
If you've not yet visited Sintra you're in for a cultural, historical and visual treat. Just 20 miles from the centre of Lisbon, Sintra is known for its spectacular setting and grand Mansions of the Portuguese Elite. On your private half day tour of the Pena Palace, you will:

  • Enjoy an all-inclusive and fully guided tour with an Expert Licensed guide, with all tickets included
  • Travel leisurely by train from Lisbon to Sintra in just 40 minutes, with return tickets included
  • Be immersed in a fully guided tour of the Pena Palace, including the Palace interior and the Gardens 
  • Relax on a panoramic drive through Sintra Natural Park with an electric TukTuk, the fastest and most fun way to travel in Sintra! 

Your private tour of Sintra will start at Rossio Train station in central Lisbon, where an early departure means you’ll be one of the first to enter the Pena Palace and will guarantee you get to visit the interior rooms of the Palace.  Today Portugal's most famous attraction, the Pena Palace was built in the 19th century as a summer home for Portuguese royalty. It was built by King Ferdinand II who had a very flamboyant and larger than life taste. It is an adaptation of 16th-century monastery ruins and an imitation of a medieval fortress. The Palace boasts spectacular views over the natural park and Lisbon (on a clear day) as well as beautifully landscaped gardens. Enjoy a 30 minute walk through the gardens to see our favourite section: the valley of the lakes. 

After, travelling back to Sintra town with an electric TukTuk, you will be able to chose to return to Lisbon with your guide, or stay in Sintra for lunch and a leisurly afternoon of further exploration after which you can catch the train back to Lisbon (your guide will g

Your tour will end with a tuktuk ride either back to Sintra train station, where you will catch the train back to Lisbon with your guide, or in Sintra town where you can have lunch and continue exploring at your own pace. If you chose to stay in Sintra, your guide will give you your return train tickets that will be valid all day.  
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