National Palace of Sintra
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The National Palace in the centre of the old town predates Portugal itself. Its Moorish origins are reflected within its architecture. The Palace is a popular attraction for visitors of Sintra and rightly so. Let MADABOUTSINTRA.COM be your indispensable guide to help your trip go smoothly. Check out our guides about what to see, where to go, where to sleep, where to eat and how to travel there. On this page too, you'll find several suggested tours that are designed to take the effort out of visiting attractions.

The Palace is the town's hub of activity and stands out from miles around by its distinctive chimneys. The National Palace of Sintra is mentioned in texts from a thousand years ago in the 11th century. After the conquest of the area by Portugal's first Christian King, Dom Afonso Henriques, in 1147, it became the property of the Portuguese Crown. The first alterations to the Palace began in 1281 during the reign of King Dinis, during which time the first extensions we added. Subsequent additions took place during the reign of João I and Manuel I, who left their own stamp of this incredible structure. Yet since the 16th century, the Palace has seen very little change. The building maintains an arabesque demeanour. Moorish influences can be seen within its decretive wall tiles, interior courtyards, the use of fountains and the use of light through the many ornate windows. The National Palace of Sintra is the benchmark of subsequent Portuguese architectural styles and epitomises the cultural influence which has shaped Portugal itself.


With this entrance ticket, you can gain entry to The National Palace of Sintra at your leisure. Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone.

The Arab geographer Al-Bakrî mention's two extremely solid-looking castles in Sintra in the 11th century. These refer to the Castle that overlooks the own atop the Monte da Lua and the National Palace as part of the medina district. The palace was home to the Almoravid governors of the Taifa of Lisbon. Following the conquests of Santarém and Lisbon in 1147 by Alfonso Henrique's armies, the palace and town fell into Christian hands.

In a Royal Charter dated 1281, King Dinis employed Moorish artisans from Christianised Colares to maintain the upkeep of the palace. Following the Christian conquest, Lisbon became the headquarters of power. Sintra, with its close proximity to the capital, mild climate and good hunting grounds, came to be the summer retreat for the early Portuguese royals. King Dinis reigned from 1279 to 1325 and showed particular interest in the Sintra Palace after the new Portuguese state had been established. Dinis ordered his private quarters moved the highest point of the building, to the north, next to the Palatine Chapel. This chapel still survives today and is one of the oldest parts of the palace.

A period of substantial transformations and enlargements date from the period of King João I started in 1415. The palace was extended and made more regal. The royal apartments were placed around the Central Patio – known as the Ala Joanina (João's Wing). Other additions included the The Swan Room (Sala dos Cisnes) built in the Manueline style with numerous swans painted on the ceiling. The Magpie Room (Sala das Pegas); the magpies (pegas), found on the ceiling and the frieze, hold the emblem por bem (for honour) in their beaks, and the Arab Room (Sala dos Árabes). The most notable external features of the building constructed in the time of King João is its main façade, which faces the town, with its entrance arches and the mullioned windows in Manueline and Moorish styles (called ajimezes) along with the distinctive the conical chimneys of the kitchen.


The next significant construction occurred during the reign of King Manuel I. He ruled Portugal from 1497 until 1530, during the earliest years of the great Age of Discovery. King Manuel used the wealth gained from Portugal's first expeditions for his building campaigns and spawned a new architectural style that carries his name – Manueline. This new confidant style encompassed Gothic, Renaissance and Mudéjar influences and exhibited the country's new worldly status and importance.

King Manuel ordered the construction of the so-called Ala Manuelina (Manuel's Wing), to the right of the main façade, decorated with typical Manueline windows. He also built the Coats-of-Arms Room (Sala dos Brasões) (1515–1518), with a magnificent wooden coffered domed ceiling decorated with 72 coats-of-arms of Portuguese noble families. The Távora family crest was removed following their conspiracy against king Joseph I. King Manuel also redecorated most rooms with polychromed tiles specially made for him in Seville. These azulejo tile panels bear Islamic motifs and lend an Arab feeling to many of the rooms inside.

Skip the line ticket
Sala dos Brasões

Sala dos Brasões


National Palace Sintra

Over the subsequent centuries, very little of the Palace has changed. The most significant event was the imprisonment of the mentally unstable King Afonso VI, who was deposed by his brother Pedro II and forced to live without leaving the residence from 1676 until his death in 1683. During the 1755 earthquake, the Palace suffered limited damage. most notably the tower over the Arab Room, which collapsed. At the end of the 18th century, Queen Maria I redecorated and redivided the rooms of the Ala Manuelina.

During the 19th century, Sintra became again a fashionable spot for Royalty and the Palace of Sintra was frequently inhabited. Queen Amélia, in particular, was very fond of the palace and made several drawings of it. After the foundation of the Republic, in 1910, it became a national monument. In the 1940s, it was restored by architect Raul Lino, who tried to return it to its former splendour by adding old furniture from other palaces and restoring the tile panels. It has been an important historical tourist attraction ever since.

Opening Times
Daily: 09h30 - 19h00, (last admission at 18h00)

Adult: €10.00, Concessionary: €8.50
Lisbon Card Lisbon Card: 10% discount


Take the IC19 from Lisbon, IC30 from Mafra or EN9 turning off the A5 motorway to Cascais.

The Scotturb buses #434 & #435 leaves from Sintra Train station and takes you to the Old Town Sintra.

Contact Details
2710-405 Sintra, Portugal.
38° 47' 50.5"N | 09° 23' 25.9"W | +351 219 237 300 |  Website


There are a number of eateries in close proximity to the National Palace.

The are on-site public toilets.

Limited parking spaces in front of the Palace, likely to be full. Recommend using the carparks next to the Museu Anjos Teixeira lower down the hill.

Scheduled guided tours at 10h30 & 14h30. To book a private tour:
+351 219 237 300

Due to a flight of steps at the main façade the accessible entranceway is by the kitchen at the side. Sign language trained staff, manual wheelchairs available on reservation, traction equipment for wheelchairs, ramps are implemented in certain rooms, adapted WC in the Manueline Room, 3D tactile models.


Private Sintra Tour from Lisbon with Wine Tasting and National palace of Sintra

Private Sintra Tour from Lisbon with Wine Tasting and National palace of Sintra

Spend the day immersed in the fairytale town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, during this private tour. Stop at Queluz Palace, stroll through the beautiful Sintra National Palace, climb the ancient steps of the Moorish Castle and more. After you’ve had your fill of Sintra, enjoy a wine tasting in Colares after a drive down the Atlantic coast, stopping in Cascais on the way back to Lisbon.

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Sintra - Through Palaces and Royal Gardens Private Day Tour

Sintra - Through Palaces and Royal Gardens Private Day Tour

Walk the same steps as royalty through palaces and gardens on this full-day private guided tour of Sintra from Lisbon. Discover how aristocrats lived lavishly during the 19th century as you explore the UNESCO-listed town of Sintra and the lush surrounding landscapes. You will marvel at the combination of spectacular Romanticist style architecture and pristine gardens designed for Portuguese kings on this fantastic voyage.

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Sintra, Palace Ticket & Wine Tasting

Sintra, Palace Ticket & Wine Tasting

Departing directly from your accommodation, we will make a pleasant and completely private tour to the Romantic town of Sintra. Via the Cascais and Estoril Coast taking in along the way its culture, history, monuments and places of interest. Included in this tour are the tickets to the Jardim and Palácio da Pena, and regional wine tasting at the Colares Winery. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide and driver who will provide you with the necessary information. The tour takes at least 8 hours.

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