A visit to Pena Palace with the kids

In my last post I talk about visiting the beautiful town of Sintra and Castelo Dos Mouros with the kids.

Once we had climbed down from the castle, we caught the 434 tourist bus to take us up to Pena Palace, the most popular tourist attraction in Sintra. It is possible to walk it but it is situated at the second highest point of the Serra da Sintra so not ideal for little legs.

Pena Palace

Thankfully we jumped the queue for tickets as had bought a combined ticket for both attractions earlier in the day. Once inside you can walk up to the palace through the stunning gardens, or pay extra to catch another bus to the top of the hill.

Pena Palace Gardens

The palace was built in 19th century in the Romanticism style of architecture and offers a real ‘WOW’ moment when it comes into view.

Gateway Pena Palace

Not only is the palace painted with vibrant colours, which makes it visible from afar, much of it is also covered in tiles, with each one depicting a meaning of its location. The ones on this gate were soldiers.

Tiles Pena Palace

The palace can only be described as magnificent and it is easy to see why it is very popular with tourists. Even on a dull and overcast day like our visit, it was packed.

Pena Palace entrance

Once you get through the tunnel and to the palace itself, the kids could not wait to explore the decorative battlements.

Pena Palace Kids

Like Castelo Dos Mouros, many of these battlements didn’t have safety railings so it is important to keep a close eye on the kids.


Once you get up close to the building, its many mythological statues are fascinating. Our favourite has to be Triton, which symbolises the creation of the world.


Walk underneath Triton, through the palace and you are treated to more spectacular views over the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra.

View from Pena

We took the walled walk around the outside of the building which was surprisingly quiet and offered the kids the chance to let off some steam, using the battlements to hide and jump out on one another.

Hide and Seek

It also offered a wonderful view back over Castelo dos Mouros.

Castelo dos Mouros

There are parts of Pena Palace that are quite run down, but the entrance price all goes towards restoring the building to its former glory and they were busy working a magnificent fountain whilst we were there. Once inside the building you are guided around a series of rooms where you can see how the Portuguese royal family once lived.

Dining room

Many of the rooms were roped off, but you could clearly see huge beds made up, historical artefacts on display and large paintings on the wall. Thankfully the signage was written in Portuguese and English too, so you could understand what you were looking at.


The state room was simply stunning with huge chandeliers hanging from the ornate ceilings.

State Room Pena

None of the rooms were disappointing and even the kitchen was impressive with its vaulted ceilings.


It was exploring the outside that we all preferred though.

Pena Palace Outside

I think the kids managed to find every single battlement and have a picture in each one.

Battlement Pena Palace

It was then time to make the descent back down towards the bus.

Pena Palace Garden

The queue for the bus was huge and I have to admit that our hearts sank a little as by this point everyone’s feet were starting to hurt. The bus was packed full when it arrived, but we were the only people with children in the queue and the bus driver kindly let us on first which I thought was very kind.

Once we were back in the main town, we gave our hotel, Martinahal Resorts in Cacais, a call and they kindly arrange for a taxi to pick us up again.

Realistically you need a minimum of 2 days to explore Sintra and all the palaces and monuments it has to offer, but I am so glad we visited and it gives us an incentive to go back again!!

Country Kids

37 thoughts on “A visit to Pena Palace with the kids

  1. I have never heard of this place, but it looks absolutely stunning and from your pictures has gorgeous views! would love to visit

  2. This looks beautiful and a real adventure. Good job you jumped the queue, queues aren’t little peoples favourite activity and their moaning the frazzles me!

  3. WOW this place looks amazing and a must see if you are visiting! My kids would love this as they love to explore and this place looks perfect! Your kids look like they had a great time too.

  4. Oh wow what a stunning place to spend a day and explore. So much detail on the building and such gorgeous views too!!
    Just popping over from #Countrykids

    Laura x

  5. Looks like you made the most of your time during your visit to the palace. There’s so much to see and do there! I love that the kids had a lovely time as well. It’s good to know that people prioritize families so the kids won’t have to wait long to get home.

  6. On a good day its seems like a perfect walk up to the Palace would be ideal though not for the small feet. So much to see, such a lovely place

  7. The architecture here is incredible. The pictures really capture the beauty of the building, I would love a visit here and so would my hubbie who loves taking shots of stunning buildings

  8. I have never heard of Pena Place before. It looks like a wonderful place to visit with kids. Your photos make me feel so jealous. Awesome architecture.

  9. We loved Pena palace and Sintra and similarly we combined it with our lovely stay at Martinhal Cascais. Great to see all your pics taking me a nice mmory lane trip 😉 #countrykids

  10. The views from Pena Palace are stunning! I am not sure what to think about the colors, but the inside of the castle is spectacular. It does hive you an idea of how people used to live there in the past.

  11. What a lovely bus driver, that is just what you need at the end of a long day out exploring. It looks the most amazing Palace and as interesting inside as out. I love the look of the kitchen and of course the view from the battlements at the top. What a great treat to visit.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids
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  12. I’ve never come across this place before , but Scott has heard of it . It looks beautiful , definately a place we would explore 🙂

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