Lisbon is full of palaces of any kind, from moorish to gothic, baroque to romantic. There’s something for everyone’s cup of tea.
Here I’ll be listing my top favorites:

1. Quinta da Regaleira (Sintra)

Although this palace is located in Sintra and not Lisbon, it’s quite accessible from Lisbon and what’s a trip to Lisbon if you’re not going to visit Sintra!?
This might come as a surprise, since many tour guides would mention Palacio da Pena as their first option. However if I were to choose between them I would still go for Quinta da Regaleira and here’s why: Quinta da Regaleira is a fairytale palace and garden with a romantic architecture. You’ll see a mix of Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline architectural style. The palace itself is quite small, but Quinta da Regaleira is all about its secret passageways, tunnels, towers, hidden waterfalls and lakes. I imagine it would be like a wonderland for kids. 

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Price: 6€ unguided

How to get there: You can take a train from the Restauradores Station in Lisbon’s city center. There’s a specific line that comes directly to Sintra and will take around 30 min. There are buses at Sintra train station for all the palaces but Quinta da Ragaleira is only in a 20 min walking distance so it’s totally recommended to go walking and enjoy the beautiful village of Sintra on your way. 

Duration of Visit: It will take you around 2-3 hours to visit the whole resort. There’s only one restaurant inside so you might want to take something with you incase you get hungry.
Website: http://www.regaleira.pt/

2. Palacio da Pena (Sintra)
Palacio da Pena is just one of a kind. With its extravagant and colorful castle, Islamic dome, Disney towers and swan lake it’s just a dream come true. The palace is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the seven wonders of Portugal!
 
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DSC00070DSC00054From high up the castle you’ll have a beautiful view of the Moorish Castle, the Atlantic ocean and even Lisbon.
DSC00152The Pena Palace has a huge forested park all around it where you’ll find exotic plants, a fern valley, a lake with black Australian swans and even a little yellow cottage all the way to the east.The Porto vs. Lisbon debate has been going on for long.
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Price: 13.50 € for adults, 11€ for under 17 + 1€ discount if you get there before 10.30. There’s also a bus that takes you all the way to the castle from the entrance costing 1€ per person. 
How to get there: Take the train from Restauradores Station in Lisbon to Sintra. you’ll find a bus that goes directly to Pena palace from Sintra train station. It’s a 50 min walk and it’s quite steep, so perhaps it would be good to take the bus and save your energy for the park.  
Duration of Visit: around 3 hours
Website: Here’s a website for all the palaces of Sintra including this one: http://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/index.php#.Ue1VtxYgaCI

3. Palacio de Monserrate (Sintra)
Monserrate is another one of my favorites. It was a summer residence of an English millionaire. It’s again a romantic architecture with a mixture of Gothic, Indian and Islamic style.
It comes with an abandoned small chapel, a Mexican and a Japanese garden and a beautiful lake with waterlilies. In the garden you’ll find exotic plants coming from many other countries.

DSC00445 DSC00483 DSC00458 DSC00472Price: 7€ adults – 6€ under 17
How to get there: Take the train from Restauradores Station in Lisbon to Sintra. you’ll find a bus that goes directly to Monserrate palace from Sintra train station. It will take you 45 min if you fancy the walk.
Duration of Visit: 2 hours
Website: Here’s a website for all the palaces of Sintra including this one: http://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/index.php#.Ue1VtxYgaCI
4. Castelo São Jorge

This castle is one of the main sites of Lisbon that pop ups in every travel guide. There’s not really much left from the castle apart of it walls which were also reconstructed. There’s a museum inside but the main highlight of this castle is the gorgeous view of Lisbon. Here is where you’ll get one of the most beautiful views of the Tejo river and Lisbon. Another of its advantages is that getting there you’ll have to pass through Alfama which is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon. You might also like to get on one of Lisbon’s yellow electric buses to get all the way up the hill, which is quite a treat.

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Price: 7.50€
How to get there: 
       Bus 37
       Tramcar 12,18 
Duration of visit: 2 hours max
5. Palacio Nacional de Queluz (sintra)

My 5th option would be a tie between Palacio Queluz and Palacio Marqueses da Fronteira. However Queluz is historically much more important and it’s much bigger. It was the residence of the Royal family and is also known as the Portuguese version of Versailles. It’s one of the last great examples of Rococo architecture in Europe. This palace is also located in Sintra however it’s not as accessible as the other palaces. The easiest way you could get here is by a car. 
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The garden is quite big, and there are a few statues and fountains here and there but nothing too lavishing. 
Price: 9€ (comparing to other extraordinary palaces you could see in Sintra this is too expensive)
Duration of Visit: 1 hour 

I hope you’ve found this post inspiring and useful.

Happy Travels,
Matin

One thought on “Top 5 Palaces of Lisbon

  1. Pingback: 5 Natural Gems of Sintra | Travestyle

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