Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros)
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Sat upon a peak of the Serra De Sintra half buried under forest and looking like a crown from below is the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros) which is so named after the Moors who built a mighty fortification on this spot back in the 10th Century. The walls which one sees now are however are much more recent. During the 19th Century when Sintra was engulfed in Romanticism the walls were restored which had previously been badly damaged by the devastating earthquake which struck the region in 1755. Ferdinand II, the German prince of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry and who married Queen Maria II, built the Pena Palace and incorporated the Castle in his plans for the surrounding park. Later during the Salazer regime further restorations were carried out in accordance with facist ideals of a glorifying Portugal's past achievements. Today the Castle makes for a great excursion, exploring the ruins, taking in the views and exploring the surrounding forest.

12 CitySightseeing Bus Red Line Stop Number 13 More About → | 3 CitySightseeing Bus Blue Line Stop Number 4 More About →


Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros)

Excavations have found evidence of habitation dating as far back as the Bronze Age and finds have shown almost constant use of the site ever since. The first castle on this site was erected by the Moors who took control of the area during the 8th and 9th centuries. After the conquest of Lisbon in 1147 by christian forces led by Afonso Henriques, the castle surrendered without a struggle. The current configuration of the walls are a result of the modifications made shortly after the Christian take over.

Two sets of ramparts run irregularly around the granite boulders that dot these hills and along the peaks of the sharp and steep cliff faces. The area in-between the two walls would have accommodated the population who serviced the needs of the castle. Evidence of the original Islamic community can be found here with traces foundations of their homes, an oven and granaries. Close to the entrance of the inner section theres a restored building, the 12th century Church of São Pedro de Canaferrim, which houses an information centre containing archaeological finds and an exhibition explaining the castle's history.


For the most the castle is an empty shell, it's been restored to be admired from below the hill. However inside the inner walls you can find the ancient cistern which water tanks could store up to 600 cubic metres of water. It's granite blocks used in its construction show signs of having been transferred from another pre-existing structure. The lack of stonemasonry marks as well as the access doorway in the broken arch suggest that the cistern was constructed after the beginning of the 13th century. Legend says underneath the cistern lies the grave of a Moorish king.

The large open square was once the parade ground for the garrison's troops which was converted by King Ferdinand II into a relaxing park area. When walking the walls one has the opportunity to admire the spectacular views across the lands below and see many of Sintras other major attractions from a birds eye perspective. From the keep which occupies one of the highest points of the site you can marvel at the the magnificent Pena Palace which looms overhead.

Daily: 09h30 - 20h00, (last admission at 19h00)
Adult: €8.00, Concessionary: €6.50. Family: €26.00, Infant 0-3: FREE.

Lisbon Card Lisbon Card: 15% discount

ONLINE TICKET | With this entrance ticket you can gain entry to the Moorish Castle at your leisure. Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone…


Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros)
1-day tour to Queluz Palace, Mafra Monastery, Ericeira and The Moorish Castle

1-day tour to Queluz Palace, Mafra Monastery, Ericeira and The Moorish Castle

On this tour you will have the opportunity to visit the Queluz National Palace, the Moorish Castle and the Mafra National Palace, a Basilica and a Convent, get to know the splendid Vila de Ericeira, one of the few parts of the world that has been declared a World Surfing Reserve, you will be dazzled by the José Franco Typical Village with its miniature museum that represents various daily activities of the early twentieth century.

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Sintra private tour, a dreamlike experience!

Sintra private tour, a dreamlike experience!

The tour will be a day trip where travellers can enjoy the different faces of Sintra. From the historic centre and its marvellous monuments to the coast line where small villages are nested between the rocks and the sea. The itinerary is designed in a way guests can visit the most popular spots, discover the hidden treasures only the locals know of and taste the fantastic Portuguese cuisine. We will avoid crowds and you tour is 100% customisable.

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Full Day Tour - at your own pace

Full Day Tour - at your own pace

Through the eyes of a former journalist, in love with Portugal and Portuguese culture and history. Come to Sintra to see palaces and monuments that make the history of Portugal in the 18th and 19th centuries. You don't have to wait in line to buy a ticke and go ahead without wasting time. Stop for lunch at a typical Portuguese restaurant on the seafront or in the picturesque village centre. Also get to know the coast of Sintra and the westernmost point of Continental Europe, Cabo da Roca. A day well spent taken at your own pace. Unique and personalised experiences. Guaranteed an unforgettable day!

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There are two cafeterias inside the main castle walls with ramped seating area.

Toilets can ne found at the entrance to the grounds, at the guardhouse and also inside the main walls close to the cafés.

There are two small carparks close to the main entrance to the grounds. Recommend parking in the centre of Sintra and taking the Scotturb bus #434.

You can book a private tour: | +351 219 237 300

Sign language trained staff, manual wheelchairs available on reservation, traction equipment for wheelchairs, ramps are implemented in certain areas and the ramparts, and an adapted WC. Vertical lifting platform at the Church/Exhibition room. To book and for more information:

The Sintra Bus Route Map


There are hiking trails signposted between the historic centre and the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros).

Take the IC19 from Lisbon, IC30 from Mafra or EN9 turning off the A5 motorway to Cascais. Once you have arrived in the town's historic centre it's best to leave the car and take the #434 bus to the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros).

The Scotturb bus #434 leaves from Sintra Train station, stops in the Old Town centre next to the Tourist Office and takes you to the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros).

12 CitySightseeing Bus Red Line Stop Number 13 More About →

3 CitySightseeing Bus Blue Line Stop Number 4 More About →

Contact Details
Estrada da Pena, Parque de Monserrate, Sintra 2710-609, Portugal. | 38º 47' 33" N 9º 23' 22" W
+351 219 237 300 | |  Website