About The City Sightseeing Sintra Tour:
The City Sightseeing Sintra hop-on hop-off bus tour offers quick and easy transport between 15 key locations throughout the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. There's two routes to explore, the red westward route and the circular blue route.
The open-top buses can be boarded at any point along the two routes, including Sintra Railway Station (ideal for those visiting from Lisbon). Simply present your ticket voucher to the driver and begin your sightseeing journey. A full description of the tour route is available below:
Bus Tour Map:
Click map for larger view.
Ticket Usage Instructions:
- Print off the ticket voucher you receive from this site and present to the driver at any City Sightseeing Sintra bus stop (see above).
City Sightseeing Sintra | Red Route:
The red route starts on Largo Rainha D. Leonor, next to Sintra National Palace in the picturesque Old Town. The National Palace is a medieval structure erected during the early 15th century that has been so stunningly preserved that one could be forgiven for thinking it were no more than 100 years old.
From the palace departure point the bus tour heads westwards towards the Qunita da Regaieira. This historic estate and UNESCO listed World Heritage Site is surrounded by forested, rolling hills. It is where you can find the famously photogenic 'Initiation Well'.
A few minutes further west of the Qunita da Regaieira is Seteais Palace, another UNESCO site constructed in the neo-classical style that now serves mainly as a luxury hotel and restaurant.
As the tour makes its way to the Colares Regional Wine Cellars it offers riders a chance to disembark at Monserrate Palace. This exotic summer villa is one of the finest 19th century structures in the area and was originally built as a getaway for officials of the Portuguese royal court. Hop-off at Colares for a chance to sample some of Portugal's rarest wine reserves and get a guided tour of the cellars.
After leaving Colares the bus tour takes a lengthy scenic road towards the coast. It will first arrive at Praia Grande (Big Beach), then turn towards the Atlantic coast vantage point of Cabo da Roca. In pure sightseeing terms this stop is perhaps the best on the Sintra open-top bus tour. You will find yourself standing atop the wind-swept cliffs of the Portuguese mainland's western-most extent. Not only that, you will also be standing at the farthest western point on the entire European continent- the perfect spot for a photo opportunity!
On the road back to Sintra Old Town be sure to check out the Convent of the Capuchos, once a quiet and secluded centre of religious practice, now an almost mystical abandoned complex of mossy, vine-wrapped chapels, courtyards and quaint living quarters.
The convent is followed by the Chalet da Condessa. Hop off here or continue onto the Portão dos Lagos (stop 10). These beautifully ornamented gates mark the entrance to Pena Park. Visitors who'd like to take a stroll towards nearby Pena National Palace and the Castle of the Moors should disembark here. Alternatively, you can choose to get closer to these paragons of Islamic and Romanticist architecture by hopping off at stops 11 and 12 respectively.
The final stretch back into Sintra Old Town features the Church of São Pedro de Penaferrim.
City Sightseeing Sintra | Blue Route:
The blue bus tour route is ideal for visitors who're perhaps shorter on time but still want to discover the region's highlights. It starts outside the Train Station (Estação de Trem) and heads first to Sintra National Palace. From here the buses drive south towards the Portão dos Lagos, Castelo dos Mouros and Palácio Nacional da Pena. Igreja de São Pedro de Penaferrim is the final stop before the buses return to the train station via Volta do Duche.
Other Things To Do In Sintra:
The Sintra experience doesn't conclude at the end of the open-top bus tour, there's still a wealth of fantastic cultural institutions to investigate.
The Sintra Natural History Museum is located on the Rua do Paco in the historic centre of Sintra's Old Town. Not only is this institution set amidst a breathtaking natural landscape, but it is also renowned at an international level due to the millions of biological specimens it inherited from Miguel and Fernanda Barbosa. Its signature exhibition is a showcase of fossils and other objects from the Precambrian to Quaternary periods of earth's history. There is also an activity rich multimedia area, laboratory, research area, shop, cafeteria and garden. There's something for everyone at the Sintra Natural History Museum, with a trilobite collection, rare dinosaur specimens, gem stones and meteorites.
The Sintra Museum of Modern Art is an intriguing and lesser known modern art galley housed in an ornate neo-classical building. It houses one of the largest private collections in the world, that of businessman Jose Berardo. Amongst the collection are works by famous names such as Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Man Ray and Andy Warhol.
Visiting From Lisbon?
Why not do the City Sightseeing Lisbon tour and the City Sightseeing Sintra tour over two days? It's very easy to get from one location to the other, simply take one of the regular trains from Rossio Station (Stop 22, Lisbon Red Route). For more info on frequency, prices and duration, check out this link.