When talking about the places to visit when Lisbon, one of the most popular day-trip destinations among travelers is Sintra. It's not hard to understand why as it is one of the most picturesque places in the whole of Portugal. 

One of the reasons for this is that Sintra is home to grand, picture-perfect palaces that no visitor should miss. Here are some of them. 

Monserrate Palace

Monserrate Palace, Sintra, Portugal
(Photo : Alberto Frías on Unsplash)

Located near Sintra's historic center, the Monserrate Palace overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It is also known for its grand botanical gardens, which has been cited as one of the best examples of Portuguese landscaping. 

One of the best examples of Portuguese Romantic architecture, the palace was the summer residence of Sir Francis Cook, Viscount of Monserrate. Cook ordered the building of the palace as it is known today in 1858. Prior to that, the area was home to a chapel and, subsequently, a farmhouse. 

Ticket information and opening hours for Monserrate Palace as well as it park can be found here

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National Palace of Queluz 

Palace of Queluz, Sintra, Portugal
(Photo : Screenshot taken from the Visit Sintra website)

Known more commonly as the Palace of Queluz, it is one of the last great Rococo-style buildings to ever be built in Europe. Built as a summer retreat for the eventual King Pedro III, its construction began in 1747. 

Often referred to as the "Portuguese Versailles," a fire in 1934 destroyed the interior of the palace. However, after some serious restoration work, the palace was opened to the public. It has been considered a national monument of the country since 1910. 

Ticket information and opening hours for Palace of Queluz as well as its gardens can be found here

National Palace of Pena

Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal
(Photo : Natálie Viklická on Unsplash)

The National Palace of Pena, otherwise known as simply Pena Palace, is one of the best examples of Romantic architecture in the whole world. Located on a hill among the Sintra Mountains, it is considered a national monument of Portugal. It is likewise a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. 

The palace has two wings. The first used to be a monastery that was donated to the Order of Saint Jerome. The other was built on the orders of King Ferdinand II. 

Ticket information and opening hours for Pena Palace as well as Pena Park can be found here

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