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Visit Pena National Palace in Sintra

Visit Pena National Palace in Sintra

Discovering Pena National Palace and Gardens: A Journey Through Portugal’s Romantic Era

High atop the lush hills of the Serra de Sintra, the Pena National Palace stands as a beacon of Portugal’s Romantic era. With its vibrant colors, eclectic architectural styles, and sweeping vistas, this palace and its surrounding gardens are a must-visit for anyone exploring Sintra. Join us as we delve into the history, marvel at the architecture, and explore the enchanting grounds of Pena Palace.

A Glimpse into History

The story of Pena Palace begins in the 12th century when a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the site. In the early 16th century, King Manuel I ordered the construction of a monastery, which housed eighteen monks. However, the monastery was severely damaged by the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, and it fell into ruins.

In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the ruins and surrounding lands. Inspired by the Romantic movement, he transformed the site into a magnificent palace, blending Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance, and Manueline architectural styles. Completed in 1854, Pena Palace became a summer residence for the Portuguese royal family and a symbol of the country’s artistic revival.

Architectural Marvels

Pena Palace is a feast for the eyes with its striking colors and intricate details. The exterior boasts a mix of vivid yellows, reds, and blues, adorned with ornate battlements, domes, and towers. The interior is equally impressive, featuring grand halls, opulent rooms, and stunning tilework.

Key highlights include:

  • The Arab Room: With its intricate stucco work and Moorish-inspired design, this room is a testament to the palace’s eclectic style.
  • The Chapel: The original 16th-century chapel still stands, showcasing beautiful azulejos (ceramic tiles) and a Renaissance altarpiece.
  • The Great Hall: This grand space is adorned with exquisite chandeliers, elaborate furniture, and lavish decorations, offering a glimpse into royal life.

The Enchanting Gardens and Park

Surrounding Pena Palace is a sprawling park that spans over 200 hectares. King Ferdinand II designed the gardens to complement the palace’s Romantic aesthetic, creating a paradise of exotic plants, hidden pathways, and serene ponds. The park’s diverse flora includes species from around the world, such as sequoias from North America, ferns from Australia, and camellias from Japan.

Must-visit spots in the gardens include:

  • The Queen’s Fern Valley: A lush, tranquil area filled with towering ferns and winding paths, perfect for a peaceful stroll.
  • The Valley of the Lakes: A picturesque spot with a series of connected lakes, each with its own unique character and charm.
  • The High Cross: For panoramic views of Sintra and beyond, hike up to the High Cross, the park’s highest point, where a large cross stands as a lookout.

Visiting Pena National Palace

Pena Palace is open to visitors year-round, offering guided tours and individual exploration options. The palace and park can get quite busy, especially during peak tourist seasons, so it’s advisable to arrive early to fully enjoy the experience without the crowds.

Website: Pena Palace

Experience More with Portugal Magik Tours

To make the most of your visit to Sintra, consider booking the Golden Triangle Private Tour with Portugal Magik Tours. This comprehensive tour covers not only Pena Palace but also the stunning Cabo da Roca and the charming town of Cascais. With a knowledgeable guide, you’ll gain deeper insights into the history and beauty of these iconic sites, enjoying a personalized and stress-free experience.

Book your tour now: Golden Triangle Private Tour: Sintra, Cabo Roca, Cascais

Embark on a journey through the enchanting Pena Palace and its gardens, and let the magic of Sintra captivate your heart.


Founder/Owner of The Lisbon Guide, one of the major blog references in Portugal, established in 2014 and receiving every year 250.000 visitors from all over the world, looking to provide the best experiences in Portugal. In partnership with Portugal Magik for all private tours and transfers across Portugal, Gonzalo loves a good seafood meal at Monte Mar Cascais, and all from Michelin Chef Avillez. Favorite Hotel in Lisbon/Portugal, Penha Longa Resort by Ritz Carlton.

For over 15 years, Gonzalo have been helping thousands of travelers yearly to plan a perfect trip to Portugal. Based in Lisbon/Cascais and working in this field for over 20 years, with multiple ongoing projects. Also an avid TripAdvisor user level 6 with more than 300.000 readers worldwide.

Many years working also as a Private Guide of Lisbon, Sintra, Fatima, Porto, Douro Valley, Evora, and other locations in Portugal.

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