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* '''Maggie's Tea Spot''' [http://maggiesteaspot.blogspot.com/], does wonderful tea (from the Mariage Frères) with friendly pleasant staff. It's fairly new. Sign their wall too.
 
* '''Maggie's Tea Spot''' [http://maggiesteaspot.blogspot.com/], does wonderful tea (from the Mariage Frères) with friendly pleasant staff. It's fairly new. Sign their wall too.
*<drink name="[2aoQuadrado Bar][http://www.facebook.com/2aoquadradobar]" alt="" address="Rua João de Deus nº 70, 2710-579 Sintra" directions="Behind Sintra's main train station" phone="" url="http://bar2aoquadrado.blogspot.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""></drink>
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*<drink name="2aoQuadrado Bar" alt="" address="Rua João de Deus nº 70, 2710-579 Sintra" directions="Behind Sintra's main train station" phone="" url="http://bar2aoquadrado.blogspot.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""></drink>
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==

Revision as of 22:17, 21 November 2012

Sintra is both a town and a municipality in the Lisbon Coast/aka Estoril Coast region of Portugal. Its spectacular setting, 28km from Lisbon, houses a Royal Palace, used by generations of Portuguese royalty prior to the 1910 revolution. The surrounding hills are surmounted by the remains of the Moorish Castle and by the nineteenth-century Pena Palace. Historic Sintra is an heritage patrimony sight declared by UNESCO. The Estoril coast is often considered to be part of the Lisbon coast, which includes Cascais, Lisbon, Sintra, and other nearby municipalities.

Moorish Castle

Near Estoril, the majestic Sintra Mountains cast a veil of mystery over the town nestling on its northern slopes. The hills and the surrounding area have been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site both for their cultural significance and for their outstanding natural beauty.

Contents

Regions

Get in

By train

Sintra rail station may be reached by CP services from several Lisbon stations, including Santa Apolónia, Oriente, Campolide and Rossio. The town is a 10 minute walk from the station. Alternatively, a bus to the center can be caught from the bus stop opposite the station.

It should cost around €4.10 return. Tell the machine that you want a ticket for two trips; you will need one for the outward and one for the return journey. Remember to validate your ticket by touching it to the checkpoint before boarding the return train. Keep the used ticket, as you can re-charge it for other trips in and around Lisbon. For more information, contact:

  • CP [1], Portuguese Railways.

By tram

The historic 14km tram route from Praia das Maçãs, mainland Europe's most westerly holiday resort, terminates about 1km from Sintra town centre, at Ribeira de Sintra, which is located about 1km down the hill past the Hotel Tivoli, near the Royal Palace. The service is operated by restored trams dating from the early 20th century; operates F-Su 9:30AM-7:30PM; trams run hourly taking 45 minutes for the journey.

When visited 8th June 2008, the section of tram route Ribeira da Sintra to Praia das Maçãs was 'closed until further notice for technical reasons.' Conversely, the previously unused short section from the town centre down the hill to Riberia da Sintra is the only working section, having been newly restored. Trams run on the afternoons of Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

No information was avaialable as to any planned re-opening. The track is intact but rusting away and the signalling system still working.

Visited on 7th January 2012, the tram was completely closed, a sign explaining that due to 'inclement weather' the tram had been inoperational since 27th October 2011.

For more information, contact:

  • Sintra Tram [2], telephone +351 219238500.

By Bicycle

Cycling in Sintra can be an interesting day out for those who are fit and have some experience.

If staying in Sintra and around a local company is a good option for you.

In case you are visiting Sintra then your best bet is to book a tour or rent a bike e.g. in Lisbon, take the commuters train from Rossio station to explore Sintra and/or the Nature Reserve finishing in Cascais, a beautiful day trip on a bicycle, in the end take a train back to Cais do Sodre station in Lisbon where you may drop back your bicycle. Adult return ticket is around 3 or 4 Euros and bicycles travel for free every day of the week.

Companies operating from Lisbon include Bike Iberia (Phone: +351 96 242 3455, [3]) located in Lisbon Downtown right off the train station of Cais Sodre.

Cycling-Rentals (Phone: +351 212 424 604, [4]) is a Sintra based company that offers all types of rental bicycles as well as guided and self guided road or mountain bike Day Trips in the the Sintra area. They will also deliver a hire bike to your hotel anywhere in the Lisbon / Sintra area. Their shop is located just outside the historical center of Sintra.

Get around

The best bet is to take the bus around town and walk from the bus stops to the attractions. Parking is abysmal and on a holiday weekend Sintra can be absolutely packed with cars and people. If you must drive to Sintra, park in one of the several parking lots below the town center and walk up into town.

Sintra town centre

Once you are in town you can take the circular 434 bus route (train station - Sintra town - Castelo dos Mouros - Palácio da Pena - train station). Tickets are €7 and can be purchased from the bus driver, there are buses every 40 minutes and the bus loop is only in the direction stated above [5]. It should be noted that this bus can become very full and there is no guarantee that you will be able to fit on or that it will run on time. If you choose to walk be warned that the trek to Palácio da Pena and the Castelo dos Mouros can be a daunting, steep up-hill, one-hour climb from the city center. If you feel fit, though, the beautiful woodlands and the stunning view from the top are generous rewards for your troubles.

There is also a walking trail through the woods to the Moorish castle that starts above the Sintra city center at the wooden turnstile on the Rampa do Castelo; better bring a map (free from tourist information at the train station) or ask for directions as the entrance to this trail is well hidden. Once you have made the journey to the castle, it's only few more minutes walk up the hill on the main road to the Palácio. The walk to Monserrate from the Sintra town center is still approximately one hour but is less strenuous. Also note that the "Linha Monserrate" that picks up passengers in front of the Palácio Nacional de Sintra is only a "sight-seeing" bus, it does not deliver you to Monserrate.

To get to Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca), the westernmost point of mainland Europe, take the Scotturb 403 bus (Direction = Cascais). The journey takes about 40 minutes.

See

  • Quinta da Regaleira (Regaleira Palace and Gardens), Rua Barbosa du Bocage, 2710-567 Sintra, (+351) 21 910 66 50 (, fax: (+351) 21 924 47 25). Regaleira Palace, situated at the historic centre of Sintra, is also part of the built heritage included in UNESCO's world heritage list as "Sintra cultural landscape".
    Sintra
    The origins of this place date back to 1697, when the property was bought by José Leite, but it was only by the late 19th century that the history of the Palace and Gardens begins. In 1892 Carvalho Monteiro, an eccentric capitalist that had made a huge fortune in Brazil, bought the property and hired the Italian architect Luigi Manini to conceive a place that gathered, on the one hand, a sum of artistic currents (Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance) and, on the other hand, the glorification of national history influenced by mythic and esoteric traditions. A great variety of Masonic symbols is present in Regaleira Palace and Gardens. An important example is the magnificent "Poço Iniciático" (Initiation Well), looking like an upside down tower, where at every 15 steps a plateau is reached, in a total of nine leading to the depths of the earth. The nine plateaus remind the nine circles of Hell, the nine sections of Purgatory and the nine heavens of Paradise, as designated by Dante. Monday to Sunday, from 10h00 to 18h30 (last entrance at 18h00)Prices with guide: 10 € (standard); 8 € (> 65 yr); 5 € (9-14 yr); Free (< 9 yr). Prices without guide: 6 € (standard); 4 € (> 65 yr); 2,5 € (9-14 yr); Free (< 9 yr).">
  • Monserrate

From Sintra train station at the same stop as the bus for Pena is the bus 435, called the Villa Express, which will take you all the way to the main entrance of Monserrate Palace and Garden via the palaces of Regaleira and Seteais for a return fare of about 4 euros. The journey is about 15-20 minutes. Monserrate is a magical garden with beautiful Palace, well worth visiting, it has a small tea house/cafe (drinks, cakes, snacks but no proper lunches). http://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/index.aspx?p=parksIndex&MenuId=9&Menu0Id=9

  • The Royal Palace


  • Pena park with Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena)
Parque da Pena is the forested park lands that surround the Pena Palace. There are over 2,000 plants found in the park and many are non-native to Portugal, the most important species are indicated along the parks paths. One of the paths leads to a statue of King Fernando II standing on a rock out crop which can be seen from the palace. A second walk leads to the southern view point and provides the stunning views of the Pena Palace. [6]


Palace of Pena


  • Convento dos Capuchos


  • Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros) [7]: One of the highlights of Sintra not to be missed. Ruins of a castle built by the Moors from the 9th century onwards. Apparently, when Cascais was under the rule of Sintra, a huge fire would be lit here annually to remind the people of Cascais that the Moorish Castle is there to protect them.
  • Toy Museum, Largo Latino Coelho (in the town centre). 10.00-12.30 14.00–18.00. Marvellous museum with over 20,000 exhibits. Great for kids but also for adults who can relive their childhood. 3 Euros; 1.50 for kids.

Buy

Souvenirs and Porto wine are all on sale in the Sintra historic district. There are a number of shops that sell standard tourist items (post cards, t-shirts, etc.) and a number of shops that sell ceramics, pieces of art and hand crafts. If you are looking for gifts for friends and family, Sintra has a broad selection of items to choose from.

To get something truly unique and local, consider cork products that range from wallets to umbrellas. These original products wear like leather and are environmentally sound, as well as attractive.

Eat

  • Queijadas mainly the ones from "Casa do Preto"
  • Travesseiros da Periquita
  • Cynthia: next to the bus and rail stations on the downside of Sintra, there is this small but fine restaurant where you can taste a marvelous codfish ("Bacalhau à brás" or "Bacalhau à grelha"). They are very kind and friendly, and don't hesitate to help you in anything you need.
  • China palace. Right next to the railway station there is a cheap and tasty Chinese restaurant. But the best part is that they make very fast take away. Just ask for the 2 minute take away, it's not on the menu, but they will make it just for you!
  • Soul Food, Volta do Duche 2 (at town center), Sintra Portugal 2710, 00351-211976517, [8]. Open Tue 9am-4pm, Wed-Sun 9am-10pm, closed Mon. Vegan, halal, parve, satvic and ital food made using all natural and fresh ingredients (they strive for local); no artificial foods or GMO. Sugar free, gluten free, nut free, soy free, and raw options. Has outdoor seating. Cash only but ATM close by. WiFi free. Inexpensive, 13 euros per full day menu.

Drink

  • If you have the chance, you should try the Hockey Club, just in the beginning of the street that goes up to the Piriquita (the most well known coffee shop in Sintra due to its marvelous egg sweets).
  • Maggie's Tea Spot [9], does wonderful tea (from the Mariage Frères) with friendly pleasant staff. It's fairly new. Sign their wall too.
  • 2aoQuadrado Bar, Rua João de Deus nº 70, 2710-579 Sintra (Behind Sintra's main train station), [10].

Sleep

  • Oh Casa Sintra, +351 218 058 356, [11]. This townhouse is set back from the main tourist street amidst the leafy mansions of São Miguel. A pocketful of rooms within walking distance from the historic center. (38.800442,-9.382597)
  • Hotel Tivoli Sintra, Praça da República - 2710-616 Sintra, +351 21 9237200 (fax: +351 21 9237245), [12]. breathtaking panoramic views of old Sintra, one of the most beautiful towns in Portugal and of the Sintra National Palace, the former residence of the Portuguese Royal Family..
  • Tivoli Palacio de Seteais Hotel, Rue Barbosa do Bocage, 10 - 2710-517 Sintra, +351 21 9533200, [13]. magnificent example of 18th century architecture.
  • Casa do Miradouro, +351 21 910 71 00, [14]. The Lambregts Family is very pleased to let you enjoy the pleasure of spending your holiday in the beautiful Casa Miradouro. The lady of the house Charlotte will make your stay very comfortable and unforgettable. Take a look inside and discovered the most pleasant Guest-house in Portugal.
  • Pestana Sintra Golf, Quinta da Beloura Rua Mato da Mina, nº 19 2710-692 Sintra, +351 21 042 4300 (fax:+351 21 042 4398) (), [15]. *Nice Way Sintra Palace, Rua Sotto Mayor, 22 (From the town center, facing Sintra National Palace take the road on your left-hand side (Rua do Sotto Mayor) for about 300 meters. You will find us on your right-hand side at No. 22.), 00351219249800, [16]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Recently opened in January 2011, Nice Way Sintra Palace is located in a totally refurbished old palace house in the center of the mysterious and romantic town of Sintra. The hostel offers private and shared accommodation, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a cozy living room which opens into a beautiful garden. The hostel affords spectacular vistas of Sintra, crowned by two peaks, the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace. 15-50. (38.799367,-9.392465) 15-50. (38.799367,-9.392465)



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