The final day of our Valentine’s day weekend was spent day-tripping to the town of Sintra, home to 3 very unique castles. Where we’d have loved to visit all 3 castles, time constraints meant that we had to pick one and of course we picked the castle of romance – Pena Palace. We were really sad to return from Lisbon the same evening but such is life.
Squeezing out the Lisboa Card
We’d bought and activated our 48 hour Lisboa card on Friday morning. We knew our cards would expire some time early on this day but we wanted to squeeze out some more value out of it. So we caught the 9:50 AM CP train to Sintra (covered by the pass) before it expired. We took a few photos of the beautiful train station & nearby Rossio square before boarding.
We’d thought that our passes wouldn’t expire before we got off but it was not to be and we were stuck at the ticket barriers. Luckily for us the train’s conductor used his pass to let us out (while noting that our card expired just 10 minutes ago, just missed the window).
Downtown (literally) Sintra
The town of Sintra has an interesting layout. The town centre is at sea-level almost but hills climb up around it. The castles are perched on the top of these hills in strategic positions. And you can see the gorgeous Portugal coast from the top of these hills. No wonder all the rich and powerful chose to build their abode here. We walked on the fringes of the Museum for a bit before catching the onward bus towards the Pena Palace.
Pena Palace – the Peak of Romance
The uber-colourful Pena Palace is at the very top of the hill and an incredible place to visit. We bought the Park + Museum ticket for 11.50 EUR but even the 6.50 EUR park ticket is a good deal because you can walk up to the colourful palace to take pictures (just can’t go inside to see the museum). The museum was so cool to check out, truly palatial (furniture, bedrooms, etc). We loved the opulent dining room with a spectacular view but the piece de resistance for us was the kitchen at the very end. We were in awe because we’d love to have a kitchen like that 😀
After taking a lot of the pics above, we walked to the park bit for a short stroll. It is not a big park but overall, the grounds of the palace are huge. It is the perfect place for people who like hilly walks.
Briefly back to Lisbon
We took the train back to Lisbon in the afternoon and went straight to the iconic “A Ginjinha” across from the Rossio station. The best we can describe it is a hole-in-the-wall cherry liqueur bar. Actually we’d seen signs across Lisbon advertising a shot of Ginja for 1 EUR but this place is the original (a couple hundred years old atleast). Owing to the history, a shot here costs 1.40 EUR! We found the drink itself to be a bit too sweet but the experience was pretty cool.
From there we went straight to the airport to fly back home. We had one of the best Valentine’s day weekends imaginable and encourage you to think about Lisbon for a romantic getaway. ❤
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