Pena Palace Tickets

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Opening hours

Palace 9.45am- 7.00pm (last admission at 6.30pm)

Park 9.30am- 8.00pm (last admission at 7.00pm)

Winter opening- late October until the following Easter begins at 10.00am with an earlier closing time of 5.00pm.

Entrance fee- €14 for adults, €12.50 for seniors and children aged 6-17 (those aged younger than six are free) or you can buy a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for €49.

How to get there

Estrada da Pena, 2710-609 Sintra, Portugal

If you are driving from Lisbon, take the IC19 to Sintra or the IC30 or EN9 from Mafra. When you arrive in the centre of the historic town you will see a sign indicating the way to Pena. There really is very limited parking available at the palace (20 spaces) and less than 100 spaces available in Sintra.

There are three train lines from Lisbon. The best option is the Sintra Line from Estacao do Rossio. A single ticket costs €2.25 for an adult or €1.15 for a child’s ticket. A return ticket costs €4.50/€2.30. From Sintra there is a bus service (number 434) from the railway station that travels up the steep road to the palace entrance.

If you prefer to arrive on foot there are several hiking trails that you can follow ranging in distance and difficulty. You can get details from the information centre in the centre of Sintra.

FAQ's

How much time is needed for a visit?
You should allow yourself at least two hours to visit the Pena Palace. It is quite small and depending on how much detail you put into your visit you could easily find yourself here for half a day. Once you have finished in the palace you can then explore the labyrinth of paths and tracks that thread through the park. There are several attractions here to see and you could easily spend another two hours or more exploring this area.
When is the best time to visit?
It is best to arrive a few minutes before the scheduled opening time. Another way to save a few minutes is to buy your tickets online before you arrive. There are lots of coach tours that arrive late in the morning or in the early afternoon. It is advisable to have visited the major attractions before these crowds arrive.
Is it a palace or a castle?
It is officially a palace, built as a summer residence for the Portuguese royal family. It has similarities to castles overlooking Germany’s River Rhine. It also has minarets that are normally seen on Moorish palaces found in neighbouring Spain. There is a wing coloured purple and a red clock tower. When built is was said to be an opera of building styles and today is one of the finest examples of Romantic architecture to be found in Europe.
Why was it abandoned for so many years?
In 1910, the Portuguese royal family fled the country during a revolution. The palace and the surrounding park was left in a state of disrepair after being abandoned. Late in the 20th century restoration work on the buildings and grounds began to bring the area back to its former glory. In 1995, the palace and its grounds were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What purpose was it used for before becoming a palace?
During the Middle Ages a chapel was built on top of the hill and dedicated to Our Lady of Pena. In 1493, King JohnII visited the site and a monastery was then constructed by his successor King Manuel. For almost three centuries Pena became a small monastery for meditation housing just 18 monks. During the 18th century severe damage was sustained by the monastery during a storm of lightning. Then in 1755, during the Great Lisbon Earthquake the monastery was left in ruins. Only the chapel remained having escaped serious damage.

Information about the palace and surrounding park

The three structures of the palace
The palace is comprised of two wings. The oldest one is the former monastery while the second newer structure is the wing built by King Ferdinand II in the 19th century. These two wings are surrounded by a structure that gives the palace a castle-like appearance. This surrounding wall is complete with battlements, a drawbridge, watchtowers as well as an entrance tunnel.
The Monastery today
The monastery on show today consists of the cloister, its outbuildings, a chapel, bell tower and the sacristy. This together forms the northern section of the palace and is sometimes referred to as the “Old Palace.”
New Palace and Great Hall
In 1843, work began on extending the building and a new wing was built which today is known as the New Palace with the Great Hall being a fine example of the style used by the German designer Baron of Eschwege. The building shows the heavy influence of German romanticism and copies the styles of castles such as found at Rheinstein and Babelsburg Palace in Potsdam.
Design of the park
The park was designed using more than 500 varieties of trees and shrubs collected from various locations around the world. It also comprises of winding pathways, stone benches and pavilions. One of the chalets in the park is the Chalet of the Countess of Edla located at the western edge of the park. It is a two-storied building that resembles an alpine structure and was originally used as a summer residence. The park has an extensive collection of water features including lakes, fountains and waterfalls. Each feature has been carefully selected to give some remarkable viewing opportunities that only add to the romantic nature of this area. Some of the key attractions include the Water-wheel. A building housing a pump device to supply water to the storage tanks in the palace. The Temple of the Columns is an observation point that offers visitors an impressive view of the palace. It was built in 1840 on the site of a former chapel. The Table of the Queen is a covered area of seating in one of Queen Amelia’s favoured spots in the park. The Cruz Alta is 529m above sea level and the highest point in the hills above Sintra. This stone cross stands at the point where a cross was originally designed to be erected in the 16th century.

Attractions Nearby

The Castle of the Moors
The Castle of the Moors is a medieval castle built in the 8th and 9th centuries when the Iberian Peninsula was under Muslim rule. It is located 25km to the northwest of Lisbon, on a hilltop overlooking the ancient town of Sintra. The castle was taken when Christian forces defeated the Berbers (Moors) during the fall of Lisbon in 1147. It is classified as a National Monument. It is also part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra and was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995.
National Palace of Sintra
The palace in the town of Sintra has a history going back at least 1000 years that began during the period that the Iberian Peninsula was occupied by Muslim rulers. The Moorish palace then became the property of the Portuguese royal family after Afonso Henriques became Portugal’s first king after he led the conquest that saw the defeat of the city of Lisbon in 1147. Despite alterations since that time many of the Moorish features remain including surmounted arches and walls adorned with glazed tiles as a strong reminder of the original builders of the palace.
Capuchos Convent
The Capuchos Convent was founded in 1560 and is also known as the “Cork Convent.” It is well known for its extreme poverty during construction and the use of cork to protect and decorate even the tiniest of spaces. It is an extremely small convent, respecting harmony between pre-existing natural elements and human construction. It is difficult to see from its surroundings given the rustic appearance to blend in with the local vegetation. It is so well integrated into its surroundings including the use of giant boulders in the convents construction. During the lifetime of the convents existence the woodland was carefully tended by the monks and visitors today can enjoy a botanical route of original forest. The convent was abandoned in 1834, although it is today an important part of Sintra’s Cultural Landscape.