Lisbon is one of Europe’s fabulous capital cities: great food, wonderful weather, and a nightlife scene near unrivalled across the continent. However, getting away from the bustling atmosphere and soaking up some rural scenes of Portugal can be good for the soul. I’d recommend Sintra, an old village not much more than a hour outside of town via public transport or car.
The Palace of Sintra by Welland
The castle grounds are beautiful and while exploring you’ll get some great views across the surrounding plains. The town itself has many winding streets and alleys which means you can easily spend an entire day wandering about looking at the mix of architecture.
The Palace of Sintra (shown above) is the highlight of the tour, with its colourful pastel walls and intricate design features. However, Pena Palace is a must see, with the lush Pena Park nearby. There is also a Moorish castle to be seen and the Regaleira Palace.
The historic town centre has the standard set of tourist souvenir shops as well as a few cosy cafes and restaurants. Many shops offer carry out so you can basically buy a picnic and find a bench nearby to enjoy. If the weather is nice, I’d recommend it as the people watching here is second to none.
Lisbon Travel Tips
Get more ideas on things to do in Lisbon in our Best of Lisbon post.