The access to Pena's palace from the park's entrance is not far, but too steep.
A small and pretty bus is available, by a couple of euros to cover the distance.
Not much money nor service and I always preferred to walk a little in the nice the park.
Bus n. 434 takes a circular route from Sintra to various attractions in the area; including the National Palace, the Moorish Castle and the Pena Palace.
Bus 435 stops near the Museo do Brinquedo and the National Palace (Sintra Vila) then goes to Quinta da Regaleira; to the Palace of Seteais and to Montserrate.
These buses depart from a bus stop near the train station. Tickets can be bought from the driver.
Note; if you have to go only to Sintra Vila, where the National Palace is; take n. 435 bus. You will only pay some cents. Tickets for bus n. 434 costs lots more. I suppose around 5 euros per person.
On my first visit to Sintra in March 2011, I walked from the train station to Castelo dos Mouros. It was a long and steep walk, but I enjoyed the exercise and the climate at that time of year was ideal for walking. The walk took around an hour and I would happily recommend it.
When I revisited Sintra in December of the same year I was with my girlfriend and her parents. They had seen how high up the castle is located as we arrived in the town by train and there was no way that I could convince them to walk there, especially as we were planning to continue to the even higher Pena National Palace. So, we were reliant on the bus.
Bus number 434 operates on a loop from the train station, through the centre of Sintra, up to the castle and then on to Pena National Palace before returning to the train station and the town centre. As at December 2011, the cost of an all-day ticket was 5 Euros.
We purchased our tickets from the driver as we boarded the bus.
It makes sense to visit the castle first and then to catch the bus further up the hill to Pena Palace. If you visit Pena Palace first, then you'll have to walk back downhill to the castle since the bus doesn't go back via the castle on its return to the town. Pena Palace is actually closer to the castle than I thought. When I saw Pena Palace from the castle walls on my first visit, it looked a long way away, but in fact the road between the castle and Pena Palace is only 1km or so. I'd probably have walked there if I'd been alone, but on this occasion we caught the bus.
This is a very popular bus route and the buses tend to get very crowded. We managed to get seats on the journey from the train station to the castle, but those who boarded the bus in Sintra town centre weren't so lucky. We didn't manage to get seats on the short journey from the castle to Pena Palace, but it was such a short journey that it didn't really matter. We had to wait in a long (but well ordered) queue for the bus back from Pena Palace to the town centre. The first bus came, filled up, and left and we had to wait 30 minutes or so for the next one.
Bus number 434 provides a useful means of exploring Sintra's major sights...and saves you from some strenuous uphill walking!
A bus service for tourists wishing to visit the Pena Palace and Gardens aswell as the Moorish Castle is in operation. You can pick up the bus (Number 434) at a number of stops around town. A day ticket costs 5 Euros and you can make as many journeys as you like in that time period. I got on the bus at a stop near the Quinta da Regaleira just outside the centre of Sintra. The bus then weaved through some steep roads and after a short time arrived at the Moorish Castle ticket office. I was glad it only took a short time as the bus was very overcrowded and I had to stand. This was not ideal especially as we were taking sharp bends at speed! After visiting the Moorish Castle, I got back on the bus which proceeded to the Pena Palace before returning to Sintra. Be aware that the buses only operate in the one direction so you cannot catch a bus from the Moorish Castle straight back to Sintra without going via Pena Palace.
Standing atop a steep hill, Pena palace may represent one of two things: a very hard walk in a fabulous landscape, with signposted indications and attractions on the way, or the need of motorized transport.
Getting there by car it's easy (good signals) but parking is not so easy. A good solution is the public bus, using line 434, that starts in the railway station, and stops in the historical centre, the moor castle and the palace's entrance (buses with more than 35 places are not allowed in the narrow road).
From there to the palace it's still a few hundred meters of steep path, that you may skip using the local green bus (3€)
Visiting the park can only be done on foot, and even the visit to the palace implies a minimum capacity to walk and climb stairs. But, after all, the effort is well rewarded!
Once you are in town the best way of getting around all the sites which are fairly spread out from one another is to take the circular 434 bus. Tickets are only €4.60 for the whole day and can be purchased from the bus driver. If you choose to walk be warned that the trek to Palácio da Pena and the Castelo dos Mouros can be a daunting, steep up-hill, one-hour climb from the city centre. If you feel fit, though, the beautiful woodlands and the stunning view from the top are generous rewards for your troubles.
I've just come back from Sintra (Nov 2008). The tourist bus that does a circular route leaving from the train station (Sintra Estacao) is the handiest way to see the area.
Some people did walk from the train station up to the village and the route isn't too steep but wear suitable shoes/trainers! It's about 15-20 minute walk. The route from the village towards the mountains gets steeper and steeper so get the bus unless you are a serious hiker!
The bus 434 leaves just outside the train station, come out of the station and turn right and the stop is about 30 meters down the road outside Pizza Hut.
The bus goes every 20-30 minutes or so. The ticket costs 4.50 Euro (see photo) and you can get off and on where you want.
The first stop is the village of Sintra itself: Sintra Vila. The village is full of cafes and shops etc. The National Palace is there as well.
Second stop is the Moorish castle, Castelo do Mouros. Third stop is the Pena palace, Palacio da Pena.
Even if you don't get off and have a look the castle/palace it's worth going on the bus ride just for the thrill of it! It'a very scary but the drivers know what they're doing.
From Pena the bus goes back to the village so you can get off again if you wish or carry on back to the train station.
Toilets in Sintra are in short supply as usual in Portugal, there is one on the train station platform but when I was there it was locked. The staff in a cafe/bar directly opposite the station didn't mind me using their toilet, but remember to ask for a key as the (ladies) is locked. Just to be polite offer 0.50 or so for using it.
This is a tourist bus which runs on a loop from the train station in Sintra through the old quarter, stopping in Republic Square, then up to Castelo dos Mouros and Palacio da Pena. The rotation of buses is around every 20 mins and once on board you can hop on and hop off at your leisure for around 4 Euros. You can purchase tickets from the driver when you board.
In Sintra the sightseeings are far away, and placed usually on high hills. SCOTT URB provides a convenient way to go around Sintra and visit all the monuments.
Bus # 434 runs every 20 minutes and follows a circular path with end at the train station. The whole ride is 30 minutes long and the stops are:
Sintra Museu Brinquedo
Palacio da Pena
Sintra Vila Turismo
The bus connects the train station to the Palacio da Pena, passing by the Moorish castle and the National Palace. Fare is E3.95, but I believe you can buy a pass. Buses pass every 30 min.
Seriously, do not walk up the mountain unless you are very fit and have time to spare. The walk is gruelling and time-consuming (although you will get to see amazing scenery and breathe fresh mountain air).
The ride on the bus is akin riding the rollercoaster, and will surely remain as one of the most vivid impressions of your trip.
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