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  • Kristin Gongora

Family Adventures in Sintra: A Travel Guide for Little Legs

Palácio Nacionale da Pena
Palácio Nacionale da Pena

Sintra, Portugal, a mystical town nestled amidst the mist-covered hills and steeped in history, is a magical destination for families. While it's merely a stone's throw away from the bustling streets of Lisbon, Sintra transports you to an enchanting world of palaces, castles, and old-world charm. At Little Legs, Big Adventures, we understand the nuances of traveling with kids, so we've curated this guide especially for families looking to explore Sintra with their little adventurers.

The Arches at Palácio Nacionale da Pena
The Arches at Palácio Nacionale da Pena

Why Sintra with Kids?

Sintra is not just about the architecture or the history; it's about creating lasting memories with your family. Whether it's wandering through the vibrant rooms of the Palácio Nacionale da Pena or letting your kids run wild amidst the ruins of Castelos dos Mouros, Sintra promises an experience that both adults and kids will cherish.

Planning Your Day: Less is More

While the temptation might be to cram in as much as possible, remember that little legs tire easily. Our top recommendations for a family visit to Sintra include:

  • Castelos dos Mouros: Ancient stone walkways, towers to climb, and breath-taking vistas to admire. This Moorish Castle is a playground for young adventurers.

  • Palácio Nacionale da Pena: Beyond its bright facades and ornate interiors, this palace offers sprawling grounds perfect for exploration. The outer walkway is a hit among kids, offering fantastic views and fun nooks and crannies to discover.

  • Quinta da Regaliera (if time permits): Enchanting gardens, mysterious wells, and hidden tunnels – it's a place straight out of a fairytale.

Tip: Many attractions require tickets, with the Palacio Nacionale de Pena often selling out due to its timed entry. To avoid disappointment, it's wise to plan ahead and purchase in advance.

Getting There and Around: A Breeze with Kids

Sintra's accessibility is one of its biggest charms for families. A comfortable 45-minute train ride from Rossio station in Lisbon lands you right in the heart of Sintra.

  • By Train: Departing from either Rossio Station or Oriente Station, ensure you're covered for your round trip. As of November 2023, the round trip fare stands at a reasonable €2.30. Remember, the Sintra station only has one ticket machine, so prepare in advance to ensure a smooth return journey.

On arrival, you'll find multiple transit options tailored to your comfort and pace:

Walking paths in Sintra
  • City Buses: There are two city bus loops connecting all major sites. Priced at €25.00 (as of November 2023) for a 24-hour ticket, they're convenient but can get crowded. If you're relying on them to get to timed entry, allow plenty of extra time as they will skip stops if they are full.

  • Tuktuks & Taxis: For a personalized experience, opt for these. You'll gain insights about the city, and they offer flexibility – invaluable when with kids!

  • Private Transport: If you prefer a schedule tailored to your needs, consider hiring private transport.

  • Walking Paths: Between many of the locations are walking paths, giving you the chance to walk through the fairytale-forest between the castles. Be sure to allow plenty of extra time if you choose these - and take a map!

Traveler's Note: Sintra's charm comes with narrow, winding roads and steep hills. Hold onto those little hands and enjoy the adventure!

Hungry Little Tummies: Refuel in Old Sintra

A restaurant in old Sintra

Between all the sightseeing, remember to take a break and enjoy a meal in old Sintra. The town is dotted with family-friendly eateries that offer a mix of local delicacies and familiar favorites.

In-Depth Resources & More:

For those who seek more details, dive into these comprehensive resources:


Sintra, with its blend of history and enchantment, promises a delightful experience for families. With careful planning and the right pacing, you can ensure that your family trip to Sintra is filled with joy, adventure, and memories to cherish.

Eager for more family adventures? Dive into our detailed guide on spending 3 Days in Lisbon with kids.

We hope this guide makes your family visit to Sintra even more magical! Safe travels from all of us at Little Legs, Big Adventures!


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