The first stop was the Castle of the Moors. This charming medieval style castle is situated right on top of a steep cliff. It was constructed sometime during the 8th or 9th century AD by the Arabs. The entire Moorish castle complex is a beauty. It consists of buildings, gates, walls and other ancient ruins. The walk inside is long and may not be suitable for older or disabled people. However, it offers a breath taking panoramic view from the top!
There are 2 ways to explore Sintra - by car or by bus. We chose the bus (Bus 434) because it was way cheaper and it covered all the areas that we planned on visiting.
On the last day of our stay in Lisbon, we decided to visit a neighbouring town called Sintra. Getting to Sintra is simple. Just hop onto any train heading towards Sintra from the main station at Lisbon and you'll be there in about 40 minutes. Sintra is a beautiful little town known for its romantic architecture, fairy-tale landscape and exotic gardens. The moment we stepped out of the station we were blown away by this little gem of a place!
Like the Moorish Castle, Pena Palace is also situated on top of a steep hill but is at a higher altitude than the Moorish Castle. This castle which has enthralled visitors for decades is a perfect and exemplary example of romantic architecture. It is a combination of intricate designs and vivid colours, and looks just like a page from a fairy-tale! The tourist bus doesn't go all the way to the top. We had a choice to use the horse driven carriage or walk along a steep slope. We felt a little adventurous and chose the latter. And boy it was excruciating! Make sure to try out Sintra's famous queijadas (mini cheesecake) at the castle's rooftop cafe while enjoying the view.
The heritage town of Sintra is located not so far away from the railway station. It is dotted with little restaurants and souvenir shops. After a stroll through the winding streets and narrow alleys we stopped at a cave-like restaurant for lunch. Do not leave Sintra without trying out the Ginja (cherry liqueur).
After returning from Sintra, we had one last place to explore in Lisbon which was the Santa Justa Lift. This beautifully crafted iron elevator which was built during the early 19th century connects the lower street of Baixa to Barrio Alto. There's nothing much you can do at the top except enjoy a lovely panoramic view which starts from St George's castle all the way to the sea. Its definitely worth a visit!
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