Pena Palace, Sintra
I was definitely the most excited to visit Pena Palace while we were in Sintra. I first saw it on Yaya and Lloyds blog last year and was determind to visit and it definitely didn’t dissapoint.
After exploring the Moorish Castle, we hopped back on the 434 tourist bus to Pena Palace. It’s SO hilly, so proper footware is definitely advised. You can pay extra for a bus inside the grounds that takes you up to the castle instead of walking up, but we decided to just walk it. It wasn’t too bad in the end.
I just couldn’t get over the colours! The greys, yellows, reds, in different shades. It reminds me of a disney castle made out of royal icing or something.
Pena Palace originally started out as a Monastery built at the top of the hill. In 1838 King Ferdinand II (the same guy who restored the walls of the Moorish Castle), decided to restore the Monastery and made the rooms larger with vaulted ceilings. In 1843, he decided to add on an extention to the palace with larger rooms.
I thought it was really interesting that they re-painted the exterior of Pena Palace in two different colours in 1994 to match the original exterior colours of the buildings – pink for the Monastery and yellow for the new extention.
Apparently the gardens are really nice to explore as they’re filled with hundreds of tropical looking plants and winding paths and a chalet which was built as a residence for the King and his second wife, but sadly we had so much to fit in in one day, that we just didn’t have enough time to explore them.
Honestly, the inside of the Palace wasn’t that nice. The courtyard looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years, the rooms weren’t that welcoming and it wasn’t as big as it looks. I guess I’m just used to visiting all the huge stately homes in the UK that have such amazing decor, so in comparison to that we didn’t really enjoy the inside of the Palace as it was very dull and dreary.
Tickets to Pena Palace cost €13.30 each for adults which includes entry to the Palace and the gardens, or you can buy a garden only ticket for €7.13 each, but if you purchase tickets to another monument in Sintra you get 5% discount. You also get 5% discount by buying them online before you visit.
If you’re using public transport to get to Pena Palace, take a train from Lisbon using your Viva Viagem / 7 Colinas Zapping card, then hop on the tourist bus 434 to take you to the Palace.
It’s not recommended to walk to any of the castles and palaces in Sintra because of how far apart they all are, so there’s tourist bus 434 that you can get on to take you to the Pena Palace which costs €6 each.
It does a loop of Historical Centre, Moorish Castle, Pena Palace and then back to the Historical Centre and then the train station. You can find the bus stop just outside Pizza Hut by the train station and you can buy the tickets on board.