Official name: Palacio Nacional Sintra
Location/Address: Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, 2710-616 Sintra, Portugal
Date of opening: 1910
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 9:30 AM to 6.30 PM
Architect: Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege
Architectural style: Medieval, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance, and Romantic architecture
UNESCO World Heritage Site: 1995
Number of visitors per year: Nearly two million
Timings: Monday to Sunday - 9:30 AM to 6.30 PM | Last admission - 6 PM
Closed: 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January
Best time to visit: The National Palace of Sintra is an attractive destination throughout the year, but certain months are favorable due to fewer crowds. March to May and September to November are the best months to visit Sintra because of the pleasant weather conditions and fewer crowds.
Address: Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, 2710-616 Sintra, Portugal.
The National Palace of Sintra is located in the historic town center. It is 10 minutes from the train station and down the scenic road known as Volta do Duche.
Nearest train station: Sintra (11 minutes away)
Landmarks nearby: Cisterna and Pelourinho de Sintra
The Mermaid Room was actually the wardrobe room but is called so because of the maritime motifs on the ceiling. This space primarily catered to the attendants of the Portuguese Royal Family and was positioned at the rear of the Gold Chamber. Instead of utilizing wardrobes or closets, the royals stored their garments and personal belongings within sizable wooden chests.
Serving as a royal audience chamber, the Magpie Room later transitioned into a secondary banquet area during the 19th century. Its nomenclature is derived from the ceiling's artistic depiction. During the rule of King Duarte, who followed in the footsteps of King João I and Queen Philippa of Lancaster, the room held the appellation of the Magpie Room.
The epitome of King Manuel I's concept of monarchy is embodied in the Coat of Arms Room. Positioned at the heart of a meticulously structured yet interconnected society, King Manuel I showcased his coat of arms on the ceiling of this chamber. His capacity to govern was intricately linked to the nobility, who in turn, granted the monarch the essential societal status he needed.
In the early 14th century, King Dinis issued the command to construct the Palatine Chapel, also recognized as the Royal Chapel. The intricate hardwood ceiling, adorned with geometric motifs resembling a celestial expanse, stands as a remarkable testament to Mudejar carpentry. Its age and remarkable state of conservation contribute to its distinction as one of the most exceptional examples of its kind.
Adorning the ceiling of the Galley Hall are depictions of numerous galleys, which bestow the room with its distinctive title. These maritime vessels showcase not just the Portuguese ensign, but also the ensigns of the Netherlands and the Ottoman Empire. Yet, when the hall was partitioned into smaller compartments to accommodate Infante Afonso's chambers during the 19th century, these representations were concealed from view.
Functioning as the Noble Hall within the palace, the Swans Hall held a distinct role as the abode of King João I and Queen Philippa of Lancaster. Its designation originates from the wooden ceiling panels dating back to the late 14th century, adorned with depictions of numerous white swans. This naming is linked to the emblem utilized by Henry IV, who was both the reigning King of England and the queen's sibling.
Among Portuguese royal palaces, the Heraldic Hall stands out as the most lavish chamber, holding the distinction of being Europe's preeminent heraldic space. Characterized by its octagonal dome, this hall spans the entirety of the noble floor within the square tower. It serves as a quintessential representation of King Manuel I's affluence, authority, and impact.
Within the Palace of King Manuel I, the Manueline Hall, known as the Noble Hall, ranked as the fourth most spacious chamber, trailing behind the Swans Hall, the Galley Hall, and the Chinese Room at Sintra National Palace. However, to make room for King Luis's quarters, the hall underwent division into three smaller compartments during the latter half of the 19th century.
The initial space you encounter upon passing through the Loggia at the National Palace of Sintra is the Palace Guard Room, also referred to as the Entrance Room, previously an open-air zone. As you ascend to the first floor via a set of impressive spiral staircases, this room greets you. Historically, it was occupied by ceremonial guards termed "halberdiers," who wielded ceremonial "glaives."
The National Palace of Sintra is an architectural masterpiece and a testament to the skills and creativity of early architects. It was commissioned by King João I, with King Manuel I and King João III contributing to its expansion and embellishment. They added many elements to make the palace irresistible for visitors.
Many architects lent their craftsmanship and skills to make the National Palace of Sintra a marvel, blending Manueline, Moorish, and Gothic influences.
The National Palace of Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located atop the highest point in Sintra, Portugal, the palace is an architectural masterpiece celebrated for its harmonious blend of Gothic, Moorish, and Manueline styles.
Few monuments in Portugal and around the world can match the palace’s exterior and interior details, such as the whimsical conical chimneys, reflecting the nation's cultural evolution over the centuries. Sintra National Palace is recognized as a symbol of Portugal's rich heritage, with its addition as a World Heritage Site ensuring its legacy is preserved for generations to come.
The National Palace of Sintra is a 15th-century royal palace renowned for its history and architecture.
The National Palace of Sintra is famous because it is among the few monuments blending various architectural styles.
You can check out the Heraldic Hall, Manueline Hall, and The Coat of Arms Room inside the National Palace of Sintra.
You can get tickets to the National Palace of Sintra online.
The National Palace of Sintra tickets cost €9.35.
Yes. Guided tours are available at the National Palace of Sintra.
King Dinis and King João I helped build the construction of the National Palace of Sintra.
The National Palace of Sintra opened between the 10th and 11th centuries.
The National Palace of Sintra has many attractions like the Mermaid Room, the Magpie Room, and the Palatine Chapel.
The National Palace of Sintra is open Monday to Sunday - from 9:30 AM to 6.30 PM.
March to May and September to November are the best months to visit Sintra because of the pleasant weather conditions and fewer crowds.
The National Palace of Sintra is located at Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, 2710-616 Sintra, Portugal.
Yes. The National Palace of Sintra is wheelchair accessible.
Yes. Dining options are available at the National Palace of Sintra.
Professional photography is prohibited at the National Palace of Sintra.
No. There is no dress code for visiting the National Palace of Sintra.
Quinta da Regaleira, Miradouro da Cruz Alta, and Initiation Well are a few attractions near the National Palace of Sintra.