When I was preparing for a trip to Portugal, I saw a photo of an unusual castle: yellow-red, with battlements, looks like a toy. It turned out that this is the Pena Palace located in Sintra. I will tell about it in this article.
Pena Palace (Pena Castle) is located 30 km from Lisbon in Sintra. In Sintra, by the way, there are several more castles, including Sintra National Palace, therefore, when planning your trip, do not mix these castles! Pena Palace was built in the style of romanticism and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (1995), and is also among the 7 wonders of Portugal.
Pena Palace on the map
Pena Palace History
A bit of history. In the 15th century there was only a small chapel on the site of the palace, which in the 16th century, on the orders of the king, was rebuilt into a monastery. This monastery suffered from lightning, and later from the devastating earthquake of 1755. Only in the 19th century, King Fernando II acquired the destroyed building and carried out its reconstruction. Until 1910, Portuguese kings lived in the palace, but after the revolution and the formation of the republic, the palace received museum status.
Pena Park and Palace: what to see
The official site of the Pena Palace: https://www.parquesdesintra.pt/parques-jardins-e-monumentos/parque-e-palacio-nacional-da-pena/
Of greatest interest, in my opinion, is the Palace, namely, its striking appearance. It may be somewhat reminiscent of the Hluboká nad Vltavou castle in the Czech Republic (it is also built in a romantic style), but you will definitely not see such bright colors like here!
You can see the palace from the outside with the Park Foam ticket (7.5 euros). With a complex ticket (14 euros) you can get inside the palace. Inside the palace there are about 10 halls, but the inspection is organized in a completely terrible way: huge queues not only at the entrance, but the inspection of the palace itself takes place in an endless queue.
It turns out that you stand longer than you really see the attraction.
In addition, the rooms of the palace look, to put it mildly, shabby: old battered bathtubs, furniture in poor condition, old dishes.
As the saying goes, what has already been preserved, but I personally was completely uninterested in looking at it, it is better to spend this time walking in the park. In general, if I knew in advance that you can approach the castle with a “park” ticket, then I would definitely not overpay for a complex ticket. But you decide for yourself.
Scanned the scheme of the palace:
Pena Park occupies more than 200 hectares, you can probably walk around it all day. Of course, if you have time You can visit several viewing platforms, gardens, grottoes, lakes, a chapel. Below is a scan of the park map, study in advance, and decide what you would like to see.
Pena Palace Tickets: Prices, How to Buy
For 2019, the prices are as follows:
Park – 7.5 euros, buy online
Park + Palace – 14 euros, buy online .
There are also comprehensive tickets for visiting several Sintra attractions, check the details on the official website.
You can buy a ticket at the box office at the entrance. We arrived at about 10 in the morning, it was already the turn. Perhaps it is moving fast, but it is possible that by 12 o’clock the queue will be even larger. Add to this the line to the Palace itself. I recommend not to waste time queuing at the ticket office and buying a ticket online. I bought the day before through the tiqets.com application .You do not need to print a ticket, just enter the QR code from the smartphone screen at the entrance. More details .
By the way, regarding tiqets, the application is also convenient because you register there once and then you can quickly buy tickets to popular museums / attractions in many cities around the world. You do not need to deal with sites of attractions every time, confirm your email, enter the card details. Went to the museum – saw the queue – immediately bought a ticket online and went out of turn.
See also “TOP 30 Lisbon Attractions”
In winter (until March 23): from 10:00 to 18:00 (last entrance at 17:00)
In the summer period (after March 23): from 9:30 to 20:00 (last entrance at 19:00)
How to get to Pena Palace
You can get to the Park and the Pena Palace by car, public transport and with a guided tour from Lisbon.
We arrived by car ( rented in Spain ), the issue of parking was relevant. There are parking lots, they are marked on maps.me. But there are not many places on them. After the gate to the park – the last parking, there is even a sign that “says” that the parking is the last. Keep in mind that the traffic is one-way and if there are no places in the last parking, you will have to give a big circle. There were places around 10 a.m. (September 2018), but when we left (around 12:00), the parking lot was full and blocked by park staff. Parking is free.
By public transport
To get to the park from Lisbon, at the Rossio station you need to take the train to Sintra, and at the exit from the station, transfer to bus number 344, it goes to the entrance to the park. The ticket can be bought from the driver, the round-trip fare is about 5 euros.
By the way, a bus also runs in the park itself (from the entrance to the castle), the fare is 2 euros, but the queues accumulate are large, and it takes a long time to wait. If you have no health problems, it is better to go up on foot, it will take about 10 minutes, no more.
Excursion to Pena Castle from Lisbon
You can book an excursion that includes a visit to the Pena Castle.
Choose the method that you prefer and go to the Pena Park! If you have free time, plan a full day at this attraction, or visit other Sintra palaces! See our itinerary here .
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