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Driving from Lisbon to Sintra by car in May

Hello. We are picking up a car in Lisbon and traveling north to Porto. I would like to stop in Sintra on our way up the coast, but I read that driving to Sintra is difficult due to the traffic and parking, ie., it's better to take the train there from Lisbon as a day trip. I was hoping to skip that since we'll have the car and will be on our way up the coast anyway.

Hope I explained myself well enough. Thanks for any advice on this matter.

KW

Posted by
3875 posts

Train is so easy to get to Sintra; I wouldn't bother to drive there.. With your car, head to Evora when you leave Lisbon.

Posted by
724 posts

I would not try to drive to Sintra. There are now many pedestrianized streets and parking is quite difficult. It also deserves an entire day, so not a good place to stop on the way someplace else.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you for your responses! They are very much appreciated! We will follow your advice and take the train. KW

Posted by
189 posts

Facts:
The train goes from Estação Rossio (https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estação_Ferroviária_do_Rossio) to Sintra. Trains run approximately every 20 minutes.
Cost is €2.25 each way and takes about 40 minutes.
Must buy tickets at the station. You can see the schedule on CP.pt
Do not attempt to buy the return tickets from a machine in Sintra. It is way too complicated. Just go inside the station and buy from the ticket agent.
The bus will take you from the train station to both the Castelo dos Mouros and the Palácio da Peña. http://www.sintra-portugal.com/guides/sintra-bus-434.html

Opinions
1. If you plan to really "do" the Castelo (climbing to the top of multiple towers), then skip the Palace.
The climbing at the Castelo is very tiring unless you are a mountain goat (or 25 years old).
You will be in no mood for the crowds and the climbing at the Palace.
2. Lots of good restaurants in Sintra. Yelp and tripAdvisor are your friends.

Posted by
334 posts

Not sure if this would work for you but I skipped the bus at the train station & took a taxi (10e) to the Pena Palace, then walked down to the Moor Castle, then took the walking trail down to Sintra. Drops you right in Sintra to explore than walked another 10 minutes to the train station. If the TI is open in the Sintra train station you can buy your tickets for Pena Palace & Moor Castle there. There is a shuttle for $3 euros in the park to get you to the Pena Palace, if you buy tickets at the entrance make sure it includes the shuttle. The shuttle tickets also can be bought at the gift shop inside the entrance.

Posted by
8 posts

Great advice Pab. Thank you!! The Rick Steve's Forum is just wonderful. I'll probably have more questions as I continue to plan this trip. Going on to Porto! Lol...