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Sintra day trip from Lisbon - Independent versus Tour?

Sintra day trip from Lisbon - Independent versus Tour?

Old Apr 27th, 2016, 09:02 AM
  #1  
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Sintra day trip from Lisbon - Independent versus Tour?

Hi

We are 2 or 3 couples who will be in Lisbon in October for 4 nights 3 full days and are planning a day trip to Sintra and stopping in Cascais. Just wondering from everyone's experience is this better to do on our own or look into a private tour?

Had no idea how popular Sintra was in October, found one nice tour that covered it all with ToursbyLocals, and it is already fully booked all 3 days we would want (5 months in advance). So should I keep looking for a tour, or will we be able to see it just fine on our own?
Thanks for any suggestions or guidance.

Mary Ann
ReillyQ is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2016, 09:20 AM
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Well getting to Sintra is easy enough from Lisbon - trains run frequently. Also Lisbon to Cascais is also easy from Lisbon - what may be a bit more difficult, logistically wise, is Sintra to Cascais - you would either need a car or take a bus and I don't know how frequently they operate. We stayed in Cascais and took the bus to Sintra - it was interesting me to see the topography - sort of end of the world and moor-like.

Sintra is definately the more interesting destination as far as sights. Not alot to see in Cascais - pleasant seaside resort. If it is too difficult to get from Sintra to Cascais, you could probably easily spend the day in Sintra. If you do not use a guide, I think Rick Steves book has detailed info on the Sintra sights. Enjoy!
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 10:56 AM
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From what I remember, you get to Cascais from Cais de Sodre Station
in Lisboa.

You get to Sintra from Rossio Station.

You can definitely do Sintra on your own. You can take a taxi or bus up to Pena Palace.

There isn't much to do in Cascais except shop and eat. It is a pretty town, though.

We went to the beach at Estoril, but it wasn't very clean.


Thin
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 11:26 AM
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Our family of four adults took a day trio to Sintra and supposedly Cascais and traveled independently, it was a very easy trip. We took the train from Lisbon to Sintra, toured the various sites by bus (buy the package so you can bus from point to point), bus from Sintra to Cabo, bus to Cascais, then train to Lisbon. Agree with all the postings above, Sintra is more interesting. We did not end up going around in Cascais and just decided to take the train and go back to Lisbon as we thought Cascais looks ordinary.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 11:50 AM
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mms
 
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We did a day trip to Sintra when we were staying in Cascais. We had young children with us and did it all on our own, very easy. We used the bus to get up to Pena Palace and the old castle ruins just before it.

We loved Cascais, especially walking along the river on the path. I goes past a lot of residential and it is really quiet and pretty.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 11:54 AM
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We actually liked Cascais as an alternative place to stay, esp. in the hotter weather. Easy to get into Lisbon, even easier to Belem, bit of a bus trip to Sintra. Not nearly as "gritty" as Lisbon. Pleasant strolling in the evening, plenty of restaurant choices but as mentioned above, not much of a sightseeing destination.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 01:08 PM
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There's a lot more in Sintra than the Pena Palace and the old castle ruins. How about Quinta da Regaleira, Monserrate, Palácio Nacional de Queluz, Palácio Nacional de Sintra. All very worthwhile and much more interesting than Cascais, IMO. Unfortunately far too much for a one day trip.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 01:20 PM
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I rented a car in Lisbon and took the kids for a day to Sintra, we liked it a lot and did a lot of sightseeing.

I also drove to Cascais and stayed there for 4 days, lovely beach town.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 02:58 PM
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I took the train from Lisbon to Sintra - trekked up to the mountain top palace - the more awesome of the two - the other is in the town itself and then I took a bus from there to Cascais and it went via the Cabo de Rabo - a wild coast that is said to be the westernmost part of Europe - I got off there and saw the waves lashing into the light house but I had to walk about a mile each way from the bus stop so with a group I'd just stay on the bus - a nice ride thru eucalyptus plantations - the smell permeated the bus.

But as others said you can spend the whole day in Sintra easily and on another day take the short commuter train from Lisbon to Cascais - maybe visit the Lisbon seafront en route with those monumental palaces.

I was not very impressed with Cascais even though I had been there several times before - a fading old once wealthy seaside resort - would be low on my list but everyone sees things differently.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 04:51 PM
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Spent three days in Sintra last November. Loved it. Besides the Pena Palace we spent half a day at the Quinta da Regaleira. Lovely gardens with secret passage ways, ponds, buildings. LIke something out of a Harry Potter movie. We had a car so can't comment on the transportation but there is tons to fill up one day. I wouldn't try to do Cascais in the same day.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 04:59 PM
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Don't fret about not being able to book a tour from Lisbon. Sintra is an easy train ride and very walkable once you arrive. There are plenty of local tours you can book if you feel the need. Quinta da Regaleira is a must. We did have a bit of fog so we were not able to enjoy the view from the castle top. Charming town and very easy to navigate. Spent 3 nights - more than enough.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 06:55 AM
  #12  
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Hi Everyone
Thanks for all the information. I think we will just plan on doing it ourselves and have a leisurely day.
Regards, Mary Ann
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Old May 27th, 2016, 12:34 PM
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Have you ever used Viator.com? They offer a variety of tours, all small group. We booked tours through them for Scotland, Normandy WWII sites , and Costa Rica. Our guides in Normandy & Costa Rica were outstanding! You get so much information that you likely wouldn't get on your own.
We will be in Porto & Lisbon in October & I am looking at the the Viator.com tours.
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