Sintra is about a 45 minute train ride to the west from Lisbon. It is beautiful there. The town of Sintra is dotted by royal retreats, estates, castles and buildings from the 8th-9th century, in addition to many buildings completed between the 15th and 19th century, including the Castelo dos Mouros, the Pena National Palace and the Sintra National Palace.

The Sintra National Palace was under construction and a morning talk show was filming their episode out front. So we chose not to go inside this palace. At 7€ each to enter playing a large part of our decision making.

You then must purchase a 5€ bus ticket that takes you around a circuit from the train station, to the town, to Pena, the Moorish Castle, and back to the train station. In hind sight the cost of 5 tickets would have been better spent on 3 taxi trips. That way we wouldn’t have spent most of our time waiting for the bus. It would have probably been cheaper also.

Pena National Palace is at the top of a heavily forested trail making the views breathtaking. The royalty fled for their lives, leaving most of their belongings behind, during the early 1900’s. Giving this palace the charm of being frozen in time. It is rather pricey to get the combo ticket for Pena and the moorish castle. 17€ for adults and 13.50€ for kids. Making this the most expensive activity on our trip thus far.

The Moorish castle ruins was the favorite for the kids. I think they liked that it was completely different from anything we had seen up until this point. They enjoyed the element of danger in walking the walls to the towers. And the views were simply amazing!

After we returned to Lisbon the girls wanted to go to the shopping mall. They found themselves very disappointed. The malls we have gone to in Europe leave a lot to be desired. They do not model themselves after the US versions at all. It’s odd but on almost every pedestrian walkway in Europe you can find a H&M and a Sephora.

We then took the famous elevator from the bottom square to the neighborhood we are staying in. It is seven stories high and you can climb even higher at the top for views of the entire city.

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