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Best Way to Spend Limited Time in Sintra

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New York City, New...
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Best Way to Spend Limited Time in Sintra

I have been reading the posts and they have been immensely helpful.

I will be traveling to Lisbon on a cruise ship for just a day (a Sunday, 7am-4pm) and want to visit Sintra.

I believe the ship docks outside the center of Lisbon at a tram station called Alcantara Mar. I am wondering if there is a direct route to Sintra from Alcantara Mar or if I have to transfer in central Lisbon.

Also, since my time there will be limited, can anyone suggest one palace/castle that is best to spend time visiting? I have heard that there is a bus (434) at the Sintra station that will make a circular route uphill and I want to enjoy visiting at one of the stops.

Also would like to have a light lunch so if you have any suggestions, please share them.

I appreciate any and all advice on how best to spend the day.

Many thanks,

and happy travels,


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1. Re: Best Way to Spend Limited Time in Sintra


Well if I were you I would try to contact a tours companu to take you there. Why? Well you have really a small amount of time to get to Sintra by public transports and by taxi you would pay a significant amount of money. And I guess if you request a specific trip they might juggle in the same day a bit o Sintra and Lisbon and probably pick you up in the cruise. If you split with more people it might probably get not that expensive. Check for instance http://www.mrfriend.pt/; www.insidelisbon.com; www.toursforyou.com; http://www.lisboatours.com/; ...

Have a nice trip

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2. Re: Best Way to Spend Limited Time in Sintra

You cannot go to Sintra from Alcantara Mar directly. It involves going to Cascais and taking one of the Scotturb bases over to Sintra. There are a couple of routes involved. One goes inland the other by way of Cabo da Roca. Their entire bus system can be found on the web, including the bus times. From the Sintra Bus Station, there is a bus that makes a circular route up to the palace. It is a one way street system and quite a ride too. You time is listed as 7:00pm to 4:00pm. If you are stating the first time you can get off the boat and the last time you have to be back on the boat, then you have 9 full hours. Rather than mess about trying the above route, I will suggest a quicker way that is much more direct and is not reliant on dodgy bus schedules. Someone on here will correct me I am sure, as the last time I did this trip Rossio was still closed. But I went from the cruise ship into the city on a number 15 tram. Then switched to the metro and went to Entrecampos. There I boarded the Sintra train (takes about 40 minutes). The bus station is right by the train station. I bought the 9E day pass and boarded the bus to the palace. It runs in a continuous loop. The palace took me about 2 hours to visit. It is quite a strenuous climb up to it from the main gate. You may want to take the shuttle tram inside the grounds up the main gate to save energy and time. Once done, I took the bus down and got off in the shopping area for a snack. I had carefully studied the time of the bus departure from Sintra to Cascais by way of Cabo da Rocco. I went back to Cascais this way, then boarded the train back to the Alcantara. I had plenty of time. You may find this not possible to fit in, so either go back to the crusie ship the way you came or take the inland route by bus to Cascais. This can all be planned, as I said, the bus times and routes are all on the web. Starting at 7:00am and using my suggestion, and taking into account walking and waiting times, my good estimate is that you will be in Sintra between 9:30 and 10:00am. By 2:00pm back in the village had a meal and shopped. So likely the Cabo da Roca route is out, and you have to choose to come back to Lisbon either the way you went or by nland bus to Cascais and then the train to Alcantara Mar. However, you may choose to skip the palace. It is fun to visit and quirky too, but in my view not a must see unless you like that sort of thing. Now, I can be bold to suggest that you could rent a car and drive over there yourself. If there are several members in your party it will prove cheaper in cost. Lots of parking in Sintra, just have to squeeze in a spot. However, if you go to the palace you really should use the busas theer is very little parking up at the top of the hill by the palace gate.

3. Re: Best Way to Spend Limited Time in Sintra

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