Exploring the Magic of Sintra’s Most Iconic Landmark


Having marveled at the grandeur of the Quinta de Regaelera in the morning, we continue on our walk and immerse ourselves with the enchanting beauty of the Pena Palace in Sintra.

My daughter Pat first introduced me to this palace in 2017 through a photo from her solo European trip, urging me to visit. Six years later, I finally experienced its beauty firsthand. This UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sintra had long been on my bucket list.

We grabbed an Uber from Quinta da Regaelera to the ticketing gate, then boarded a crowded bus bound for the Pena Palace, situated at the summit of the hill.

We followed the lengthy queue, steadily ascending and passing through the arched portals, all in anticipation of our 3 pm time slot.

This vibrant palace in Sintra is undoubtedly a favorite among visitors, and it’s easy to see why. As we ventured to the section overlooking the walls, the combination of vivid yellows, intricate tile designs, and lush greenery created a truly stunning view.

Ferdinand II revamped this entrance by installing a double staircase featuring parallel flights, which guide visitors to a charming Manueline cloister.

The courtyard, adorned with beautiful Portuguese tiles, bears the influence of Moorish design.

Despite hearing YouTubers say it wasn’t worth it to go inside, we decided to explore anyway, and we were thrilled that we did. Originally a monastery atop the hill, the Pena Palace was transformed into a summer residence for Portuguese royalty by King Ferdinand II in 1838.

We went in to appreciate the exquisite furniture, the varied ceiling designs, and finely crafted artworks.

Going up from one floor to the other.

There are several state rooms filled with artifacts and some artwork, many of them left by the royal family when they fled the country in 1910.

And look at that detailed woodwork of the headboard!

Intricate carvings on furniture.

It features ornate stuccos, multi-patterned Moorish-arched ceilings

Yet, the real highlight is admiring the palace from the outside. Its vibrant colours and extravagant decorations resemble a scene straight out of a Disney movie.

This side is the Queen’s Terrace which has a vast view of the ocean in the distance.

This is the Court of Arches and you can see why it’s named that.

In 1994, the original colors of the former monastery (red) and the new palace (yellow), which had faded over time, were restored.

On one side is a small chapel. The Chapel of Our Lady of Pena is one of the few remaining original structures from the former monastery.

Archway within the walls of Pena Palace.

This opens up to the Terrace of the Triton, named after the elaborate gateway protected by two domed towers, this features a half-man, half-fish creature known as the Triton. 

Some lovely details which I found very interesting.

Last view of the palace and its surrounding hills before we head off to the shop.

This is the souvenir shop.

Photos from 20 October 2023

Pena Palace, A Spectacle of Beauty in the Heart of Sintra, is really a dream come true.


  1. restlessjo says:

    It’s fantasy land, isn’t it, but oh so beautiful! I’m glad you went inside. We were daft enough to walk all the way up there from Sintra! But I was younger then 🤣💙 Thanks for a lovely share!

    1. Teresa says:

      Many people were walking all the way up but yes they were all young. It is such a beautiful place. Happy I was able to go when I can still can. Thanks Jo. 🩷

      1. restlessjo says:


  2. Toonsarah says:

    That’s an amazing building! I only saw it from below, no time to go up let alone inside, so I’m really glad you shared it so I can see what I missed. I love all the details, like the twisted columns in one of your last shots, and you did well to get so many images without the crowds. I guess not so many people bother to go inside?

    1. Teresa says:

      There were still a lot of people inside but I guess not as much as on the outdoors. I was just patient enough to let them be and wait for them to leave. I was also amazed with all the details. Thanks for walking with me and see those that you have missed.

  3. shazza says:

    What a gorgeous place and such vivid colours. Would love to visit.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks for the visit.

  4. Hammad Rais says:

    Magnificent indeed, from every aspect!

    1. Teresa says:

      Great minds to come and think of these ideas and colours!

Comments are closed.