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Getting to Sintra from Lisbon is easy. There are trains at least every 30 minutes on weekdays, every 30 minutes at weekends, from Lisbon's city centre Rossio station. The journey takes 39 minutes and a return (round-trip) ticket is €4.30 (tariff 2016). These are local suburban trains. During weekday rush hours there are more frequent trains from Rossio station to and from Sintra.
There also trains, in both directions, to / from Lisbon Oriente via Roma-Areeiro, Entrecampos and Sete Rios at least twice every hour, more frequently during rush hours.
The Lisbon 'zapping' stored value ticket is valid for Sintra line trains, but the 24 hour city pass is not.
From 13th April 2016 there will be a very useful new connection at the Reboleira station on the Sintra line when the new interchange station with the Lisbon Metro's extended Blue line is opened. This will allow a faster and more convenient connection with areas of the city centre such as Jardim Zoológico (for the major bus station at Sete Rios), Marquês Pombal, Baixa Chiado and the Santa Apolónia railway station.
Lisbon Rossio station is in the city centre and is worth a few minutes of the visitors time in its own right. It is served by the Restauradores metro station, many bus routes and is easily accessible therefore from all parts.
Trains to / from Rossio also stop at Campolide station, which is close to one of the major hotel districts. Trains to and from Oriente call at Sete Rios, which is also close to the major business district and hotels there.
Complete timetable in downloadable form
Weekdays - except very early morning and evenings when trains are less frequent.
To / from Lisbon Rossio station (city centre) twice each hour direct, a third train each hour requiring an change en route. Overall a train about every 20 minutes for most of the day.
To /from Lisbon Oriente also stopping at Roma-Areeiro, Entrecampos and Sete Rios, direct four times each hour.
Sintra therefore has a total of six trains each hour for most of the day to and from various Lisbon stations. Last trains are at around 01.00am every night.
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays
From Lisbon Rossio at 0601 and once every hour until 0101hrs. There is also a train at 31 minutes past to Cacém, where you change for Sintra.
Trains return from Sintra to Rossio at 0550 and once each hour until 2350 then 0020. There are trains at 6 minutes past the hour with a connection to Rossio, changing at Cacém as per the outward journey.
To /from Lisbon Oriente also stopping at Roma-Areeiro, Entrecampos and Sete Rios, direct, twice each hour.
There are no direct buses between Lisbon and Sintra.
Driving from Lisbon to Sintra is pretty straightforward other than in rush hours. It's about 19 miles/30km. Grab a map or switch on your GPS and aim for the IC19 motorway/freeway. The journey is about 40 minutes during quieter times, an hour or more perhaps in rush hour.
Parking in Sintra can be a problem especially on summer weekends.
Once in Sintra - refer to items in the TA Sintra forum for options on getting around the various sights, some of which are some distance from the centre. A good website with comprehensive information about Sintra: http://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/