Interrail Story: A Day Trip to Sintra in Lisbon
Sintra is a small, very picturesque city located right outside Lisbon. Until I arrived in Lisbon, I had never heard or seen pictures of the city and its surroundings. Thankfully, three Canadian girls who I had the pleasure to meet, told me about the city.
After having spoken to me for some minutes, they invited me to tag along. Since my friends whom I had just traveled with for a week had left to go back home, I found myself once again alone in a beautiful country where I wanted to explore as much as I could. So I decided to take the girls offer and enjoy a day in a beautiful city with my new found friends.
From Lisbon, we took the train to Sintra, which takes about 40 minutes. There are buses which take you up the mountain to the different sightseeing spots. Our primary goal was to take the bus up the hills and visit the Moor Castle. The bus arrived shortly after and we rode it up through the hills to the castle. The route going up there was something magical. While the bus makes turn after turn, it almost seems on purpose that you never get to see the castle completely. This kind of hidden magic allows you to feel how impressive the castle must have been and somehow still is.
The Moor castle
When we finally arrived, we paid the entry fee and started walking up the paths towards the castle.
We immediately started taking pictures because we just couldn’t believe how beautiful everything was and how lucky we were to experience this wonderful place. The landscape so picturesque and the forest so green.
As we entered the Castle, the sun which had been hidden behind the clouds the entire morning suddenly came out and shined over to the gorgeous castle. Inside the castle, there’s not much left, but all the walls are still standing. This allows you to imagine how strong and powerful the castle and the empire itself must have once been. On all the walls of the castle, there are stairs, and you can move around and appreciate the Castle itself, the other landmarks and the landscape from different angles and positions.
The landscape and the castle itself were fantastic and made for a perfect scenery to take some pictures and to enjoy the beautiful moment we were experiencing. We arrived at the top of the castle after already having taken a thousand pictures and thinking that it couldn’t possibly get any better when we saw this:
The entire view of the castle just completely blew our mind. Seeing how it extended over such an incredible distance and being able to appreciate its beauty in all its extent was just incredible. There at the top we decided to sit down and just take it all in.
We then made our way out and took the bus down to the town again. Since we still had more than enough time left, we decided not immediately to head back to the train station to return to Lisbon but do a quick stop in the town Sintra itself.
We disembarked from the bus in Sintra town centre and walked down through the alleys while passing small restaurants and stores where you could buy all kinds of foods and souvenirs. The town might be small but has so much charm with its romantic architecture and the narrow alleys. We purchased some postcards at the Souvenir Store and walked the rest of the way down to the main square.
As we arrived at the main square, we decided to sit down and wrote on the postcards we bought. Exactly that day a youth orchestra was playing on the main square. It was such a nice way to finish off this day.
We then walked back to the train station from where we took the train back to Lisbon and our hostel. All in all, we spent a wonderful day surrounded by nature and culture at the same time and seeing some of the most beautiful and impressive things we’d ever seen. The best part of this trip and one of my favorite things about traveling solo are sharing experiences and days with wonderful people from all over the world. In this particular situation with three wonderful Canadian girls, who were so open and welcomed me into their group as though I’d been traveling with them all along and not like we’d just met the night before at the pub crawl.
Looking back this day trip was one of the highlights of my Interrail Trip. I’d recommend visiting this small town and its surroundings if you’re already in Lisbon, and you have a spare day since at least for me it was a very magical experience.
Some practical information
- Round trip ticket from Lisbon to Sintra: €4.30
- Bus Ticket to get to the Castle of the Moors and back: €5.00 (It picks you up at the train station brings you to the Castle of the Moors, then on to the Pena Palace and then down to the city Sintra itself)
- Entry fee to the Moors Castle: €8.00
- Additionally, I’d recommend bringing some sandwiches from Lisbon. With the town being a very touristic destination the food can be rather a pricey.