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Visiting Sintra without a guide

Anyone successfully completed a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon independent of a guide.
If yes, we’d appreciate your tips.

Posted by
4933 posts

Yes, very easy if you are not intimidated by public transportation. Two things: take the train to Sintra either from Rossio station (in the center) or possibly from Oriente station (not as central). You do have to load your fare onto a smart card you buy from a machine, but it's fairly easy.

And once you get to Sintra, take a local bus 434 up the hill. You can hike between palaces up there and take the bus back down the hill.

Trains back and forth are fairly regular - check the schedules.

Posted by
7748 posts

Yes we went to Sintra for a day on our own. It wasn’t difficult at all. Train from Lisbon, then bus up to Peña, etc. . Liked the National Palace the best. Much older than PeñaPalace with beautiful interior tile work.

Posted by
42 posts

Our friends did Sintra on their own yesterday. Train from Lisbon. They had a miserable experience with the Sintra buses. Plenty to get up to the Peña Palace, but they walked partway down thru the gardens and then buses were few and far between to get back, they said. Not running as frequently as had been promised. We, on the other hand, had a wonderful day trip with Lisbon Riders that included Cascais and Sintra, and had a fantastic day. Highly recommended.

Posted by
39 posts

Def don't need a guide! We took a tuk tuk to the palace... and walked the rest, following RS book. We arrived by car and found parking. It's beautiful there!

Posted by
14919 posts

Consider taking uber instead of the train. It's much faster and not expensive. I stayed in Sintra for several nights. I took a tuk tuk from the center to Pena which was an adventure and by far the fastest way up since cars and buses were lined up quite a distance waiting to get into parking lots or drop off passengers. The tuk tuk just blew past them.

Posted by
82 posts

Some tuk tuks can take 4 people. Other smaller ones can take 2 people. We took one in Sintra and it was slightly terrifying and fun!

Posted by
3382 posts

I can echo Susan’s recommendation for Lisbon Riders. We took this fabulous tour prior to our Portugal tour. We felt it was a great introduction to Portugal. Our guide Manuel was knowledgeable and engaging. They have a limit of 8 passengers. Enjoy wonderful Portugal! Edited