Sintra wouldn’t be famous if it wasn’t for the spectacular Pena Palace, or Palacio da Pena as it is known in Portugal. Its stunning turrets and towers can even be seen from Lisbon, some 30 KM away on a clear day. Pena’s iconic architecture put it on the UNESCO World Heritage sites’ list – indeed its considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. Its certainly one of the most visited. And with good reason – its simply beautiful, and the gardens surrounding Pena Palace are just as fascinating.
Dating originally back to the middle ages, and as a protected national monument, Pena Palace is a great example of nineteenth-century architecture – with a romantic twist. Hence why many locals call it the capital of romanticism! However, before the Palace was constructed, the hilltop was home to a chapel named ‘Our Lady of Pena’. This inspired King Manuel who had a monastery built to house monks, though it was pretty much ruined in the infamous earthquake of 1755.
This nineteenth century masterpiece was the brainchild of King Ferdinand, who transformed the ruins into the inspiring and quite unique palace that stands on the site today. The palace was a favourite Portuguese royal family retreat over several generations, who would head for the hills of Sintra each year to escape the baking heat during the hottest summer months.
Eventually acquired by the state, and following the Republic revolt in 1910, Pena Palace initially opened its doors to the public as a national museum. Today, it stands the testament of time and is one of Portugal’s most enduring and popular tourists sites.
Pena Palace isn’t just ‘another’ palace to visit- it really is very unique and many people come back time and time again. Its beautiful and intriguing pastel coloured walls towing over the landscape, surrounded by the most beautiful of gardens make this place very special indeed.
The gardens delight with landscaped beauty, a maze of bridges, grottoes, pergolas and fountains dotted by the wonder of thousands of flowering plants. Enclosed in a 200 hectare estate planted with some of the most varied and unique tree specimens in the world.
So whether you’re on holiday locally, having a weekend trip to Lisbon or touring the length and breadth of Portugal, Sintra and Pena Palace should make it to the top of your list!
Opening Times and Prices
Pena Park – 9.30am to 8pm – last ticket at 7pm
Pena Palace – Interior. 9.45am to 7pm – last ticket at 6.15pm – Exterior. 9.45am to 7.30pm – last ticket at 6.45 pm
The Countess of Edla Chalet – 9.30am to 7pm – last ticket at 6pm
Closed 1 January and 25 December
Ticket Prices vary depending on which parts of the Pena Palace you want to visit, but many of our wonderful tours have these included.
Check out a couple of our most popular Sintra tours.