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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 13, 2018
Headline for Attractions in Sintra – A Town Straight Out of a Fairytale
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Attractions in Sintra – A Town Straight Out of a Fairytale

Well famed for its romantic allure and rural architecture, Sintra is an enchanting region that seems akin to something out of a Disney movie. Here we take a look at the best sights in the region.

1

Palácio Nacional de Sintra

Known for the unusual funnel-shaped chimneys, the National Palace of Sintra rises above the rest of the town. The palace was built in the fourteenth century making it the oldest palace in the entire country. The illustrious building is absolutely captivating and it will take you at least an hour to completely wander through the massive compound. The palace consists of multiple floors and halls which are beautifully decorated with many figures. The main feature, however, is the Sala dos Brasões. A massive hall, it features intricate tile work while the curved ceilings are covered with the coat of arms of seventy-two houses in the royal family. The National Palace is located in the old town which is close to most hotels in the area such as the Tivoli Palacio De Seteais.

2

Museu do Brinquedo (Toy Museum)

This large toy museum is guaranteed to enrapture both kids and adults. An assortment of toys are spread over three floors and one can even view replicas of ancient Egyptian stone toys. Toys from well known makers such as Hornby can be found but most often it is the unknown makers who impress. Furthermore, you can find a range of dolls, both cloth and porcelain dolls as well as a doll room that has a history dating back to the seventeenth century. Portuguese toys from decades ago can be seen too. The Toy Museum is a popular attraction and any Sintra boutique hotel will know the directions to get there.

3

Monserrate

Located deep within the Serra de Sintra hills, Monserrate is a blissful garden hidden away from the bustle of the town. The garden houses a multitude of tropical trees and many rare species like the Australian Christmas tree. You can explore the grounds too where you can discover the ruins of an ancient chapel hidden underneath the foliage. The garden exhibits influences of the British style while the palace towering over the garden features a Moorish design. The palace is hardly furnished on the inside but it is still worth a look.

4

Convento dos Capuchos

One of the most redolent sights in the region, the Convento dos Capuchos is a lonely Franciscan monastery hidden in the hills. A unique feature of the monastery is that the majority of the doors have been covered in cork. This cork provides easy insulation against the country's weather. Constructed in the fifteenth century, the Convento dos Capuchos gives a glimpse into how ancient monks lived during their lives. The isolated convent was used for over three hundred years after which it was abandoned somewhere in the eighteenth century. While most of the convent has been encroached by nature now, there is still enough that will make you wonder at the simplicity of the life lead by these fifteenth century hermits.