Sintra Pena Palace – Gateway and Drawbridge

Sintra Portugal

The Pena National Palace is a Romanticist palace in São Pedro de Penaferrim, municipality of Sintra, Portugal. (Wikipedia)

It stands on a hill above the town of Sintra and can be seen (on a clear day) from Lisbon. The easiest way to get to the palace is by train from Lisbon’s Rossio Station (40 minutes) or bus from Cascais, and then catch a local bus up to the palace unless you enjoy walking uphill. The palace features everything a fairytale castle needs: drawbridge, turrets, ramparts, battlements, domes, gargoyles; all washed in an array of pastel colours

  • After arriving to Sintra go to the Scotturb Terminal (opposite the train station) and pick up the timetables
  • Take the bus 434 to Palacio de Pena bus stop (if you have to wait for the bus, use the time to walk around in the old town) costs €2

Buy a complete ticket so that you can go inside the building and explore the rooms. It is well worth a half day there without even visiting the rest of the attractions in Sintra. The castle displays a number of styles: Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Islamic and Neo-Renaissance. The interior is richly decorated in late Victorian and Edwardian styles.

Famous British poet and traveler Lord  Byron stopped by in the 18th century, writing that the town is “perhaps  in every respect the most delightful in Europe,” and calling it a  “glorious Eden” in his epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.   His fellow countryman Robert Southey followed him and saw it as “the most  blessed spot on the whole inhabitable globe.” 

One word of warning though, it can get very busy!


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