How to Get to Pena Palace from Lisbon in 2024

Nestled atop a hill in the picturesque town of Sintra, Pena Palace is a spectacular sight to behold. With its vibrant hues and eclectic mix of architectural styles, this iconic palace is undoubtedly one of Portugal’s most popular tourist attractions.

If you are wondering how to get to Pena Palace from Lisbon, you’ve got options!
Take the train or bus, or join a group tour.
It’s that simple, well, once I share all of my tips for an easy journey!

I’ve personally done this trip a couple of times. And it’s easy if you have the right information in advance about how to get from Lisbon to Pena Palace, which I am happily ready to share!

In this article, I will not only guide you through the best ways to get there but will also share what it’s like to visit this magical place.

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How to Get to Pena Palace from Lisbon

yellow palace pena with archway and person walking through

It’s always good to have options, isn’t it? Here’s how to go to Pena Palace from Lisbon.

1. Lisbon to Pena Palace: Group Tour

One of the most popular ways in how to go from Lisbon to Pena Palace is by group or private tour. It’s so popular in fact that there are so many group tours to choose from and it might be overwhelming to know which one to choose.

I did my research, and have pulled together a list of the 7 best Sintra tours from Lisbon with my number one pick below!

#1 Top Pick
Gray stone with yellow and red tower on how to get to pena palace from lisbon


Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

✅ 8-hour tour

✅ 4 stops

✅ Top-rated tour

Benefits of the Pena Palace tour from Lisbon include:

  • Avoid the long lines that are inevitable at Pena Palace and get a guided tour of the iconic Pena Palace
  • See the charming Old Town of Sintra, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal
  • Visit the stunning coastal cliffs of Cabo da Roca
  • Enjoy free time in the charming seaside resort town of Cascais, another popular day trip from Lisbon
  • Experience no wasted time in long lines or waiting for the train from Pena Palace to Lisbon
  • Learn from a local expert about the history and culture and get insights you won’t hear anywhere else
  • And, I have some more inspiration for some Lisbon day trips

2. Getting to Pena Palace from Lisbon by Train

4 arches with yellow building at park and national palace of pena

Pena Palace is in the historic town of Sintra which means it’s easily accessible by road or rail from Lisbon.

Lisbon to Pena Palace train instructions:

  • Take the Sintra Line directly from the Rossio Train Station. In just under 45 minutes you will arrive in the city center of Sintra.
  • The trains run from 6 am until 1 am every 25 minutes or so
  • Purchase your ticket at the train station by buying the Viva Viagem card. The initial purchase price for this card is €0.50, but it is reusable for all other train/bus travel in and around Lisbon. All you do is top up the card on the machine and select Sintra as the destination. It costs €2.25 one way from the Rossio station.
  • Take the 434 bus from the Sintra train station to Pena Palace. Bus 434 Sintra is a tourist bus that does a loop around Sintra with stops at all the attractions in Sintra Mountains. It picks up just outside of the Sintra Train station and costs €6.90 for the entire loop or €3.90 for one stop.

Lisbon to Pena Palace Tips:

I see tourists fall into this trap far too often. Keep this in mind:

  • while waiting for the 434 Sintra bus, you’re likely to be approached about taking a tuk tuk from Sintra station to Pena Palace. Consider the much higher cost and the slower speed at which tuk-tuks can operate (only to be passed by the city bus).  
  • tourists thinking they can walk to Pena Palace from the Sintra train station. Although it appears to be a short distance on a map, it’s a lot more strenuous than one might think. It’s up a very steep incline and the road wraps around the mountain.

How to get to Palace of Pena by Car  

If you prefer driving, you can rent a car or take a taxi from Lisbon directly to Pena Palace. The journey takes around 30-40 minutes depending on traffic.

The recommendation by tourist boards is for visitors to take the bus. There is very limited parking and the roadway is far too narrow to allow for parking. As well, as the desire to control the air quality and limit car emissions in this area.

The Palace is on a steep hill, about 5 km (or 3 miles) from the train station. So even though it doesn’t seem too far away, walking from a parking lot further down the Sintra mountain will take a while due to the steep hairpin turns up the mountain.

Of these options: I recommend a group tour if you enjoy an immersive experience or travel independently by train. I don’t recommend you drive.

Admission and Tickets to Pena Palace

Pena Palace Hours

Opening times for Pena National Park and Palace are:

  • Park: 9 am to 7 pm with the last ticket and entry at 6 pm
  • Palace: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm with the last ticket and entry at 6 pm
  • Entrance to the Palace is timed entry by appointment only 

Prices Palace + Park

There are two different types of entrance fees for the Pena Palace. A Place + Park Ticket and a Park Ticket.

The Palace and Park ticket allows entry to the Palace – exterior and interior and the Park.

  • Adult ticket 14 €
  • Youth and Senior 12.50 €
  • Family ticket (2 adults + 2 youth) 49 €
  • Your ticket includes: the Chalet and Garden of the Countess of Edla, Valley of Lakes and Little Birds Fountain, Temple of Columns, The Warrior and The Queen’s Table 

The Park ticket provides entry to the Palace exterior only and the Park. 

  • Adult ticket 7.50 €
  • Youth and Senior 6.50 €
  • Family ticket (2 adults + 2 youth) 26 €

Don’t wait in line! Get your Park and National Palace of Pena entrance tickets

staircase, red tower at Pena Palace Sintra

Tips for Visiting the Park and National Palace of Pena

  • get there at 9 to 9:30 am as by 11 am the Palace is very crowded
  • to get that famous Instagrammable shot, go to the back of the castle as soon as you arrive to have a better chance of getting a photo alone on the famous steps
  • last entrance is one hour before closing – be sure to plan accordingly
  • there is an onsite restaurant in case you get hungry

About Pena Palace Sintra: its history, architecture, and park

archway to yellow and red tower from sintra station to pena palace

Most deservedly, the Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Portugal’s Seven Wonders.

Why visit here? This national monument is incredibly unique.

The Pena Palace Portugal is a fusion of so many architectural styles from Neo-Gothic to New-Manueline to New-Islamic to Neo-Renaissance. It’s majestic and romantic, almost as if it was torn from the pages of a fairy tale. Almost the entire Palace stands on a rock formation in the incredible mountains just outside of Sintra town.

It’s definitely worth a day trip from Lisbon to visit Pena Palace or Palacio de Pena.

History of Pena Palace

yellow palace with red clock tower at Pena Palace Lisbon

Once Upon a Time… in the Middle Ages stood a chapel dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Pena’ that stood on the top of a hill overlooking the town of Sintra in Portugal. In the 13th century, due to its serene and peaceful surroundings, royalty ordered the construction of a monastery as a quiet place for meditation for monks.

In the 18th century, Palace Pena was severely damaged. First by lightning and then in the great Lisbon earthquake in 1755, reducing it to ruins. All that remained was the original chapel.

In 1838, King Ferdinand II decided to acquire the monastery and the surrounding land which included a few other estates peppered along the Sintra hill. This led to the construction of the architectural marvel now known as the National Palace of Pena.

Pena Palace Architecture

purple, yellow and red palace at Palais de Pena in sintra

A picture is worth 1,000 words, right? The bright vivid colours of Pena Palace are not enhanced or edited. It’s the actual vibrancy of colour.

yellow tower, purple tiles at Pena Park Portugal

Since the original painting from the 19th century, it has slowly faded over time to such an extent that it was visually identified as being entirely grey.

In 1996, Pena Palace underwent an extensive restoration project, which included repainting the exterior walls of the original colours. More than two decades later, the colours are still so bright and vibrant.

Some of the sights worth seeing include the coat of Arms for the insignia of King Ferdinand II (above the crossing bridge), the Triton which is an allegorical gateway of the Divine Creation and Belvedere the viewpoint adjacent bulbous dome.

purple tiles and stone window at Pena portugal

Inside The Palace

The interior of the Pena castle is just as interesting. The interior reflects the decor of 1910 and resembles a museum.

If you have the time and interest, many will recommend you tour the inside of the Palace as well as the exterior.

I chose not to and elected to spend more time touring Pena Park and the nearby castles. 

In The Pena Park

garden and stone wall at Pena Palace Sintra

Located in National Pena Park, the Palace was built in such a way that it is visible from any point in the Park.

Pena Park is a vast forested area of 200 hectares that surrounds the Palace. The same Romanticism style of the Palace is carried through to the majestic gardens.

The King ordered vegetation from all around the globe, including sequoias from America, ferns from Australia, succulents from Africa, ginkgoes from China, cryptomeria from Japan; and Western red cedar.

The park consists of a forest and lush exotic gardens with over 500 different species of trees originating from across the globe.

reflecting pond at Palais de Pena in Sintra

The Pena Palace gardens are filled with a maze of walking paths, secret pathways, pavilions, ponds, and benches. The Park is cool and shaded. With only small pockets of light streaming through the tall towering trees casts a warm glow.

It’s so quiet and serene. Don’t rush your visit to the Park, because, in my opinion, it is the real highlight.  

Nearby Palaces in Pena National Park

Quinta da Relareira

stone wall with plants and tower in quinta da regaleira

Visiting Quinta da Regaleira was one of my favourites. The sprawling grounds are filled with grottoes and fountains that make for an unforgettable exploration. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for symbols and engravings throughout the garden – they hold clues about its rich history.

The highlight is the famous Initiation Well that leads to the secret tunnels that run beneath Quinta da Regaleira’s gardens. These underground passages lead visitors through dark chambers and winding pathways before emerging into stunning natural settings outside.

Moorish Castle

view of castle from Pena Palace Sintra

From Pena Palace, you will notice another castle in the distance. The Moorish Castle, or The Castle of The Moors as it may be referred to. 

Moorish Castle is a short walk from Pena Palace, or at least the entrance to it is. Once there it’s a bit of a hike to get all the way to the castle and back. So if you are looking to explore more, this is a great option. Just save your stamina, as it makes for a long day. 

Grab your skip-the-line Castle of the Moors Fast Track entrance ticket

FAQ About Palais de Pena

yellow cylinder tower at Pena Palace Sintra

Is it necessary to book tickets in advance to visit Pena Palace?

While it is not strictly necessary to book tickets in advance, it is highly recommended, especially during peak tourist season. This will help you avoid long lines and ensure that you can enter the palace at your desired time.

When is the best time of day to visit Pena Palace?

The best time of day to visit Pena Palace is either early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds. Additionally, the lighting in the morning can be particularly beautiful, with soft, warm tones that can make for some stunning photos.

How long does it take to visit Pena Palace?

The amount of time it takes to visit Pena Palace varies depending on your pace and interest level. Generally, plan on spending 2 to 3 hours exploring the palace and its grounds.

As a Holidaymaker

If you are planning a trip to Lisbon, and visiting for more than a day in Lisbon a tour of the magical Pena Palace is a must!

Whether you have a full day to explore or only a couple of hours, this top landmark should not be missed! 

Looking for more travel inspiration for Portugal, I’ve got lots to share. But how about I leave you with this one to get you started…