The blog post of today is about Sintra (as the title gave it away already); a beautiful town at 28 km away from Lisbon.
HOW TO GET THERE: My suggestion is that you either catch the first train to Sintra from the Rossio train station (they leave every 30 minutes) and catch the last train back to maximize the time spent there either you book one night at a local hotel. It is worth it!
WHAT TO SEE: Start your day at Sintra’s Royal Palace, where the royal family used to live until 1912, when Portugal became a republic.
Next, do not walk until up the hill, until Pena Park. It’s too long and exhausting ( I support sport and healthy living, but not wasted time). Take instead a tuk-tuk.
Pena Palace is honestly one of the most beautiful castles I have ever seen. It’s not the classical image that forms into your head when you think of castles, but its nonconformity is very attractive!
Walk around the Pena Park but prepare to cover big distances on foot!
WHAT AND WHERE TO EAT: Have something to eat on Sintra’s narrow streets, but not in the main square of the Palace. The prices there are jaw-dropping higher and you will even get fooled.
Easy. The waiter will bring you a plate of cheese, Parma ham, butter, olives and bread (don’t imagine an abundance of them; it’s just a small appetizer plate) and will say no words to you. By looking around you, you will see that all tourists have these plates. Therefore you will think it’s on the house. Wrong! That small plate will add up to 12 euros on your check. So if you don’t want to pay that much extra, don’t eat any of it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
You can order anything from the menus you see; the majority of dishes are delicious!
My recommendation is that you go for the menu of the day, which usually includes a soup ( the vegetable one is not artificial; it’s actually very good), some meat/fish and a dessert. I insist you choose Sintra’s traditional pastry which will make your senses explode.
Try some ginja too. It’s a national drink (just a tad alcoholic) made from sweet cherries. It’s even more awesome if you drink it from a chocolate cup (which you can eat after)!
See you soon with a big post from Madeira!
Let me know what you think of my travel posts!