Exploring Castles and Mansions in Sintra, Portugal
A relatively easy day trip from Lisbon is to the city of Sintra. We took an early morning train from Lisbon to Sintra.
The day we went, it was raining and foggy most of the day, so we decided to skip out on visiting The Castle of The Moors (Castelo Dos Mouros), as it’s mainly for the views. The fog and rain did, however, make for some cool and eerie photos throughout our day!
Our first stop was to Palácio Nacional da Pena (The Pena National Palace). Once we arrived at the Palace, I got super excited because the colors and the architecture totally reminded me of Super Mario Brothers! I couldn’t help humming the various theme songs as we walked through. 🙂
Which then prompted lots of Super Mario posed photos (with fun post production graphics! tee hee!)
And my favorite…
We made our way to the inside, where there were seemingly endless types of rooms – bedrooms, sitting rooms, bathrooms, etc.
My favorite of the interior was walking through the kitchen of the palace. It felt very rustic, yet chic (since vintage is all the rage now)
We then made our way outside of the castle to explore the fancy courtyards and remaining grounds of the Palace.
The little castles here are actually for the ducks in the pond. What a nice setup they have!
While walking around, it began pouring rain and so it was time for us to make our way out.
After the National Palace, we made our way to Sintra town and stopped by Cafe A Piriquita, to try the Travesseiro, which is supposedly what the bakery is known for. It’s referred to as a “pillow” pastry, and reminded me a lot of something you would find in dim sum. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary or spectacular to us, and there were lots of other bakeries throughout Lisbon that had tastier (and fresher) items.
Sintra town is quite small, and is a UNESCO town that still contains a lot of charm due to it. It reminded me a lot of the towns around the Amalfi Coast in Italy, with its narrow streets and colorful buildings.
We made our way to the next stop, Quinta da Regaleira, which is also known as “The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire,” who was the last owner. This was another cool castle on a giant complex.
It was really unique as there are secret underground passages and tunnels you can walk through.
After going beneath this waterfall and through a cave, we found ourselves at the bottom of this huge spiral tower with a secret escape doorway!
We visited the main building of the mansion, but were only able to snap a few pics, as they were already closing.
Another bonus of this place was there were lots of cats throughout the complex!
One particular kitty stood by and waited for us to come back down from one of the towers so I could give it more attention.
To end our visit, we had to continue our Mario inspired poses here too, since it looks like another level of Super Mario Bros!
Our day trip to Sintra was so much fun. Walking through secret passages and exploring castles and mansions you only read about in history books, (or in our case, explore in video games!) was really fascinating. Adding a visit to Sintra is a great place to visit if you’re headed to Lisbon!