Sintra Sights

Palácio Nacional de Sintra (Sintra Palace)

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 12/10/2015

Fodor's Review

The conical twin white chimneys of Sintra Palace are the town's most recognizable landmarks. There has probably been a palace here since Moorish times, although the current structure—also known as the Paço Real—dates from the late 14th century. It is the only surviving royal palace in Portugal from the Middle Ages, and displays a fetching combination of Moorish, Gothic, and Manueline architecture. Bilingual descriptions in each room let you enjoy them at your own pace. The chapel has Mozarabic (Moorish-influenced) azulejos from the 15th and 16th centuries. The ceiling of the Sala das Armas is painted with the coats of arms of 72 noble families, and the grand Sala dos Cisnes has a remarkable ceiling of painted swans. The Sala das Pegas (magpies) figures in a well-known tale about Dom João I (1385–1433) and his dalliance with a lady-in-waiting. The king had the room painted with as many magpies as there were chattering court ladies, thus satirizing the gossips as loose-tongued birds.

Sight Information


Largo Rainha D. Amélia, Sintra, Lisbon, 2710-616, Portugal



Sight Details:

  • €7, free Sun. until 2
  • Daily 9:30–5:30 (last admission 5), closed Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Easter Sun., and May 1

Published 12/10/2015


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