Pena Palace or Palacio da Pena is an absolutely stunning Portuguese castle that you can visit in the charming town of Sintra.
The vividly painted red and yellow National Palace of Pena sits atop the Sintra hills and it’s absolutely incredible to see it’s colorful terraces and architecture, which it’s known for, first-hand.
The castle was completed in 1854 and classified as a National Monument in 1910. Today, it’s listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal!
If you’re traveling to Lisbon, I highly suggest adding a day trip to Sintra to your itinerary.
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Pena Palace: History and Facts
- Pena Palace was completed in 1854
- Classified as a National Monument in 1910
- It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995
- Pena Palace was repainted and the original colors restored at the end of the 20th century
- Listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal
- The Romanticist legacy of Ferdinand II (the King-Artist)
- Blends Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline and Neo-Moorish architectural styles
How to get to Pena Palace in Sintra
Pena Palace is located in Sintra, Portugal and is easily accessible by bus, train, and car.
By Train and Bus – From Lisbon to Pena Palace, take the Sintra Line to the Sintra train station. You can depart from Oriente, Rossio, Entrecampos stations in Lisbon. From the Sintra train station, take the bus 434 to Pena.
By Car – If you are driving from Lisbon to Pena Palace, you can reach the marvelous city of Sintra via the IC19. From Marfa, use the IC30. From Cascais use the EN9 via the A5.
Hiking to Pena Palace
If you’re feeling adventurous, I highly recommend skipping the bus and hiking through the park instead. There are three marked hiking trails to choose from.
1) Santa Maria Trail: Starting point: “Info Parques de Sintra” in S. Pedro de Sintra; Distance: 1,770 m; Duration: 1 hour
2) Seteais Trail: Starting point: Palace of Seteais; Distance: 2,410 m; Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
3) Villa Sassetti Trail: Starting point: Largo Ferreira de Castro; Distance: 1,850 m; Duration: 45 minutes
How to Visit Pena Palace
Pena Palace Hours
You can choose to explore the palace or the park, which have slightly different operating hours. Both are open daily throughout the year.
Tip: Avoid peak times from 11-12 PM and 3-4 PM.
Open: 9:30 AM
Close: 6:30 PM
Last ticket is 5:30 PM, entry is 6:00 PM.
Open: 9:00 AM
Close: 7:00 PM
Last ticket and entry is 6:00 PM.
Pena Palace Tickets
It’s advised to book your tickets online before arriving to Pena Palace.
Palace + Park Tickets
Adults: 14 €
Youths: 12,5 €
Seniors: 12,5 €
Family: 49 €
Park Tickets Only
Adults: 7,5 €
Youths: 6,5 €
Seniors: 6,5 €
Family: 26 €
Exploring Palácio da Pena
After hiking up to Pena Palace from the Villa Sassetti Trail, we entered the palace grounds. The palace offers coffee shops, restaurants, stores, and bathrooms. It’s also wheelchair accessible.
While walking around the palace, there are many points of interest. The interiors of Pena Palace are richly decorated with tiles presenting amazing stuccos and trompe-loeil painted walls.
- Manueline Cloister
- Dining Room and Pantry
- Chambers of King Carlos
- Bedroom of Ferdinand II
- Dressing Room of Queen Amelia and the Tea Room
- The Queen’s Office
- Sitting Room
- Green Room
- Queen’s Terrace
- Smoking Room
- Great Hall
- Stag Room
- Smoking Room
- Great Hall
- Chambers of King Manuel II
- Room of the Final Residents
- Coach House’s Terrace
- Monumental Gate
- Triton’s Terrace
- Courtyard of Arches
- Sentry Walk
Triton’s Terrace was one of the most interesting designs found on the palace walls. It’s located above the entrance to the New Palace wing of the castle. Triton symbolizes a mythological monster that is half-man and half-fish.. basically a merman.
The design highlights the divide between the aquatic and terrestrial worlds, as the lower arch is decorated with corals and shells, and the window above is decorated with a tree and grape vines, which the Triton is holding up.
One of my favorite areas of the palace is the Courtyard of Arches. From the windows of the arches, you get an amazing landscape view of Sintra and Pena Park.
This is also a great place to take those Instagram photos. Choose to sit on the steps up to the tower or in one of the arches.
Exploring Parque da Pena
Pena Palace is surrounded by the nearly 85 hectare Pena Park. The park is home to more than 2000 species of plants, most of them exotic, and it’s the most important arboretum in Portugal.
You can spend a lot of time exploring the twisting paths within the park that lead to several gardens, decorative buildings, waterfalls, ponds, fountains, lakes, and stunning views of the area.
Here are some points of interest:
- Valley of Lake and Little Birds Fountain
- Queen’s Fern Valley
- Camelia Garden
- Temple of Columns, The Warrior Statue, and The Queen’s Table
- Grotto of the Monk and St. Catherine’s Heights
- Pena Farm
- Chalet and Garden of the Countess of Edla
- High Cross
While exploring the grounds of Pena Park, we made our way to the Cruz Alta (High Cross) viewpoint. This is the highest peak in the park and offers one of the best views of Pena Palace as well as the surrounding area.
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Do you have any questions on visiting Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal? Let me know in the comments.