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Queluz National Palace

This fabulous 18th century palace was one of the last Rococo buildings to be built in Europe.

TravelCurious Tip

In the summer months the Queluz National Palace hosts classical music concerts as part of the Sintra music festival

Queluz itself is a rather unremarkable suburb, but its extravagant palace was one of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe. It was built as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Bragança who became king consort to his own niece, Queen Maria I. Despite being far smaller, the Queluz National Palace is often referred to as the Versailles of Portugal.

Set in a cobbled square, the palace’s distinctive candy pink façade make it seem a rather fanciful confection. It does demonstrate the evolution of the Portuguese Court’s taste over the 18th and 19th centuries: although principally rococo, it dabbles with elements of the baroque and neoclassical too. Apart from simply being a treat for the eyes, it also occasionally accommodates foreign dignitaries: the U.S. Presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton have all stayed there

A Royal Retreat

Perhaps the most elegant room in the palace is the Throne Room, which was once the site of balls and banquets. It is lined with mirrors and illuminated by crystal chandeliers and reflective gilded statues. Then step from the public to the private with a visit to the Royal Bedroom, which contains some striking murals relating episodes from Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”.

Where the kitchen once was, there is now a restaurant called Cozinha Velha, which has the original stone chimney, arches and vaulted ceiling. Be sure to try their renowned desserts. Afterwards, drift into the royal gardens, among the classically inspired statues and fountains, and then along the azulejo-lined canal where the royal family once went boating.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Lisbon
Jerónimos Monastery
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a prime example of the exuberant Manueline architectural style.
Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium
This planetarium in the Belém quarter projects stunning astronomical shows inside its 25-metre dome.
Electricity Museum
A magnificent building that hosts exhibitions about the evolution of energy.
National Coach Museum
The most popular museum in Lisbon proudly displays one of the world's finest collections of historical carriages.
Belém Tower
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fortified tower was used defence and ceremony during the Golden Era.
Cultural Centre of Belém
The largest cultural complex in Portugal, hosting opera, ballet, symphony concerts and much more.

Related Tours

Discover the Wonders of Sintra with skip the line tickets from Lisbon
Visit Sintra, one of Portugal’s most magical UNESCO World Heritage Sites, for hilltop castles and fairytale palaces set in the forested hills near Lisbon.
  • Tour the turreted, Romanticist Pena Palace, perched on a dramatic hilltop
  • Visit a Moorish castle which served as a military outpost in the 9th century Reconquista
  • Stroll around the lake-dotted secret gardens at the Quinta da Regaleira Palace
  • Explore Queluz National Palace, the last official residence of the Portuguese Royal Family
  • Take in spectacular sea views from Cabo da Roca (Cape Rock), the westernmost point of mainland Europe
Fairytale Sintra
The ancient city of Sintra may lie just half an hour from Lisbon, but its forest-covered mountains feel a world away from the frenetic capital. A cooler climate and lush landscapes have drawn Portugal’s rich and powerful here for over a thousand years and it even served as a summer retreat for the Royal Family. Hence, the hills are dotted with extravagant Moorish castles, fortresses and Romanticist palaces, which you’ll explore the very best of on this guided tour.
Royal Pleasure and Military Might
Take guided tours of some of Sintra’s most famous monuments. You’ll start at Pena Palace, a yellow and orange Romanticist wonder complete with domes and turrets, watchtowers and drawbridge. The Castle of the Moors, a 9th century military outpost, was a key site during the Reconquista and today, you can wander the remains of its walls for incredible views of the region and Pena Palace.
Tour the Regaleira Ranch, a grand house built by a wealthy resident in 1892, which is most famous for its quirky garden structures, from fountains to sculptures and the inverted tower. This spirals down 27 metres to spectacular underground tunnels. You’ll also get the chance to visit the Queluz National Palace, which presents one of Europe’s finest examples of Rococo architecture and was the last official residence of the Portuguese Royal Family before the French invasion of 1807, when they fled to Brazil.
To marvel at one of Sintra’s most spectacular viewpoints, you’ll visitCape Rock, the westernmost point of both Portugal and continental Europe. From this dramatic cape, you’ll get panoramic sea views from windswept cliffs. Before leaving the magical hills of Sintra, you’ll make final photo stops at both Monserrate Palace.

You could spend weeks exploring Sintra’s hilltop treasures but if you haven’t got time for that, this tour showcases the best of its castles, viewpoints and decorative palaces. 


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