Lisbon Architecture

Our most recommended Lisbon Architecture

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

1. Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

Escape Lisbon and go on a full-day, guided journey to some of Portugal’s most popular locations stopping at the iconic Pena Palace in Sintra, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Cabo da Roca, and the ritzy seaside town of Cascais. Choose between the shared tour or private tour options. Your journey from Lisbon starts at the famous city of Sintra, whose Romanticist architecture, historic estates and villas, and numerous royal palaces and castles have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the freedom of choice on whether you want an included entry ticket and tour of the colorful Pena Palace, or whether you prefer to gain some extra free time instead. Arriving early at Sintra means greater chances of avoiding long lines if you choose to go with your guide on a comprehensive tour through its lavish interiors and lush gardens. Marvel at the palace’s fairy-tale-like appearance, beautiful facade and extravagant interior. Next, head over to the center of Sintra and get 1.5-hour of free time to wander on your own. Get recommendations of the city’s must-see locations as well as the best restaurant options for delicious traditional Portuguese dining from your guide. Continue to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and take in the impressive views of the ocean crashing against the high rocky cliffs. If weather permitting, stop at Guincho beach, whose strong winds and high swells have made it a popular surfing destination. Lastly, arrive in Cascais, an elegant seaside resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Stroll through the lovely city center and make sure to check out Cascais’ luxury marina, its charming fishing port, and a restored fort that houses many local craftsmen. After your free exploration time in Cascais, relax back on board your air-conditioned vehicle, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

2. Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle-like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantastical version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the former Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the top of the hill above Sintra and had been left unoccupied since 1834 when the religious orders were suppressed in Portugal. The monastery consisted of the cloister and its outbuildings, the chapel, the sacristy and the bell tower, which today form the northern section of the Palace of Pena, or the Old Palace as it is known. King Ferdinand began by making repairs to the former monastery, which, according to the historical sources of that time, was in very bad condition. He refurbished the whole of the upper floor, replacing the fourteen cells used by the monks with larger-sized rooms and covering them with the vaulted ceilings that can still be seen today. In roughly 1843, the king decided to enlarge the palace by building a new wing (the New Palace) with even larger rooms (the Great Hall is a good example of this), ending in a circular tower next to the new kitchens. The building work was directed by the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 repair works restored the original colors of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. In transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showed that he was heavily influenced by German romanticism, and that he probably found his inspiration in the Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the banks of the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. These building works at the Palace of Pena ended in the mid-1860s, although further work was also undertaken at later dates for the decoration of the interiors. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

3. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

Benefit from a guided tour inside the Quinta Regaleira and Pena Palace. Fall in love with Sintra, a village full of magic and mystery, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period and also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Opt to treat yourself and your loved ones to a private experience with your own guide and pickup from your own hotel. Alternatively, you can get picked up from a convenient location in the center of Lisbon. Accompanied by a tour guide, visit Quinta da Regaleira and enjoy its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Well. Uncover the mysteries of each place and learn about the orders of the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. During the lunch break in Sintra's old town, you will have free time to explore the historical and charming streets. You will also have time to taste the traditional pastry, travesseiro. After buying your entry ticket with your guide, step into a fairy tale when you enter the romantic Pena Palace and Park. Understand its unique architectural expression of Romanticism. Spot how it blends many styles, including Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, and neo-Renaissance. Stroll around the park with its astonishing variety of plants and trees. Marvel at the palace's amazing views of the castle and the Atlantic Ocean, a perfect way to end the day before returning to Lisbon.

Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery Entrance Ticket

4. Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery Entrance Ticket

Get entrance tickets to Jerónimos monastery, a national monument classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and located near the city of Lisbon. Learn about how King Manuel I commissioned the monastery in 1496 to honor the Infante for his devotion to Our Lady and faith in St. Jerome. Once inside, marvel at the Manueline or Portuguese Late Gothic architecture. Discover how the monastery of St. Mary of Belém was donated to the monks of the Order of St. Jerome. For this reason, it is commonly known as the Jerónimos Monastery. In 1833, when the order was dissolved, the monastery was used as a school and orphanage until 1940. In the 19th century, the church became the monument for local heroes and poets such as Luís de Camões and Vasco da Gama. Come and discover what is not simply a notable work of architecture, but also an important part of Portuguese identity and culture.

Lisbon: Saint George's Castle Entry & Self-Guided Audio Tour

5. Lisbon: Saint George's Castle Entry & Self-Guided Audio Tour

Experience St.George Castle at your own pace with a skip-the-line e-ticket and a fascinating self-guided audio tour on your smartphone. Receive your instructions by email, download the app, the entrance tickets, and the audio tour on your phone, prior to your visit, and travel back in time to experience the glory of one of Lisbon’s main attractions, the magnificent St. George Castle. Put on your headphones and discover the breathtaking Arco do Castelo, the Castle’s entrance, and the Castle’s breathtaking monuments and treasures through the power of storytelling and learn historical information and uncommon stories and anecdotes for this spectacular attraction of Lisbon. Tour’s content is the result of in-depth research, squeezed into brief original stories that will make your visit both engaging and informative. The audio tour can be used repeatedly and anytime, before or after your visit. This is an unmissable opportunity to gain valuable insights into one of Lisbon’s main and most well-known attractions, the Castle of St. George and relate to your surroundings in an entirely original way.

From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

6. From Lisbon: Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip

Discover Sintra’s beautiful architecture, admire the beauty of one of the highest hills of the region Walk the narrow streets of Sintra in your free time and visit with our fantastic tour guide Quinta da Regaleira. Arrive at the romantic Pena Palace in Sintra, which has a profusion of styles much in accordance with the exotic taste of Romanticism. Explore the ancient castle, which was one of the favorite residences of the royal family throughout the 19th century. Walk through the fairytale-style building and learn about its fascinating history. Take some free time to stroll through Sintra and purchase lunch if you're feeling hungry. Get recommendations on what to see and eat in the area. Afterward, begin a guided tour of the main landmarks of Sintra, and hear about local secrets and stories. Visit the quaint village of Cascais which is linked to the Portuguese royalty that once summered here. Walk along beautiful beaches, mansions, museums, and photogenic streets. Return to Lisbon at the end of your day trip.

Lisbon: Belém Tower Entry Ticket

7. Lisbon: Belém Tower Entry Ticket

Reserve your entrance ticket to the iconic Belém Tower located on the shores of Lisbon. Discover more about the fascinating history of this defensive construction, and enjoy fantastic views of the Belém district. Upon arrival, access the tower which was built in 1515 at the mouth of the River Tagus. Climb the narrow stairs to the top floor to get a panoramic view of the historic Belém district and its monuments to the "Age of Discoveries." Learn more about the golden age of Portugal's travels in search of new worlds. Discover how the strategic monument served as a gateway to the city in the past.

From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights and Pena Palace Full-Day Tour

8. From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights and Pena Palace Full-Day Tour

Fall in love with Sintra, a lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period, on a day trip from Lisbon via an air-conditioned bus. See the stunning landscape classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided tour of monuments like Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Monserrate Palace. Start the tour by exploring the exotic Pena Park and the magnificent Pena Palace. This remarkable building is complete with different decorative styles, symbols, and intriguing features, and was once the royal family's official summer residence. Walk through Sintra's charming city center. Stop by the decorative Quinta da Regaleira estate. Explore the initiation well as well as its many lakes and fountains, and the aquarium on its grounds. Spend your lunchtime strolling through the historical village. Enjoy a quick stop at local patisseries to try some of Sintra's well-known delicacies. Conclude your journey at the eclectic Monserrate Palace, a glorious estate that once served as a summer residence for the Portuguese court.

Knights Templar Day Tour from Lisbon

9. Knights Templar Day Tour from Lisbon

Spend a day in the Portuguese villages of Constância and Tomar to discover the history of the Knights Templar. Your journey will begin in Lisbon. Tomar was the Templar capital of Portugal and Spain and one of the most important in the medieval world. The main monument of the city is the Tomar Convent which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A short distance from Tomar is the Almourol Castle. This emblematic monument was at one time controlled by the Knights Templar.  The Almourol Castle and the city of Tomar are perfect examples to understand the mystique of the Templars, men that were simultaneously Warrior Knights and monks that lived under a rigid military discipline, but at the same time with a great rigor in the spiritual life. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at one of two locations in central Lisbon, either Restauradores or Marquês de Pombal.

From Lisbon: Day Trip to Porto, Óbidos, and Nazaré

10. From Lisbon: Day Trip to Porto, Óbidos, and Nazaré

Discover three amazing Portuguese cities: Porto, Nazaré, and Óbidos with a bus sightseeing tour from Lisbon. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Portugal and feel inspired by the architecture, history, and culture of these beautiful cities. Get comfortable in an air-conditioned vehicle as you start your journey toward the town of Óbidos, where we will start with a guided tour accompanied by a local guide. Completely surrounded by ancient walls and preserving all its medieval charm, Óbidos is one of the most famous and visited places in Portugal, and a must-see in the surroundings of Lisbon. The narrow cobbled streets that can be seen in Óbidos will immediately transport you to a medieval atmosphere. These streets are home to perfectly preserved old houses, historic buildings, and important monuments. Dominating the historic center in the highest part of the village, visit the Castle of Óbidos, which is declared one of the 7 wonders of Portugal. Start at the village main gate, and discover the amazing narrow streets outside of the beaten track. Visit the secret Jewish neighborhood and its white-painted houses with some great spots to take pictures. Walk along Rua Dereita, the most famous street, full of stores and traditional restaurants, and get to the castle of Óbidos. It was built in the 12th-century, although it has Roman constructions in its beginnings. It can be said that it is one of the best preserved and largest fortresses of the country, being listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. From there, you will clearly see the great wall of Óbidos, another of the town’s great symbols. Continue the trip heading to possibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal, Nazaré, where you will visit the Forte de Sao Miguel. This site has become world-famous for the giant wave that hits its coast every winter and attracts lots of surfers from all over the world. Then, walk through O Sitio, where the famous streets present a collection of religious buildings and are a hugely popular site for pilgrims from all around the globe. Hike your way up to the summit, where you'll find medieval fortifications, 17th-century churches, and modern shrines. Wander the courtyards and plazas surrounded by ornate structures, basilicas, and statues. Next, head to Oporto, the last stop of the day. First you will have 1h to have a typical Portuguese lunch on your own to regain energy, and then, the visit will start. A vibrant 1.5-hour walking tour, where you will admire the stunning Old Town on the picturesque Douro River, complete with six bridges, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Igreja Carmen, Estação São Bento, Igreja São Francisco and Ponte Don Luis. At the end of your tour, you will return to the center of Lisbon and your guide will recommend things to do during the rest of your stay.

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Frequently asked questions about Lisbon

What top attractions are a must-see in Lisbon?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Lisbon?

The best day trips and excursions from Lisbon are:

Sintra

Other Sightseeing Options in Lisbon

Want to discover all there is to do in Lisbon? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lisbon

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 6,742 reviews

For starters our experience was great and our guide José was spectacular. Unfortunately our wine tasting was canceled due to the fact they weren’t open. But on the flip side José went above and beyond and even gave us a bottle of wine at the end as a genuine gift. Which was just a cherry on top.

The trip is worth the day. The path towards the castle is bit long but once your there it is just amazing. Word of advice pre-book your ticket always .. otherwise the que is very long

Ricardo was such a gift!! He was knowledgable, personable and best of all really funny, which made travel to and from places super enjoyable!

Maria is an amazing guide, engaging and informative. loved every moment we spent on the walking tour. thank you, Maria. ...

Alex, our guide, was amazing and very informative, I enjoyed it a lot