Destination Europe

A visit to Pena Palace with the kids

Posted on
March 6, 2018

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

  1. Reply

    michelle twin mum

    March 6, 2018

    I think a bus up there sounds super sensible. What amazing views you were lucky enough to have when you got there, it looks wonderful. Mich x

  2. Reply


    March 7, 2018

    It looks amazing, different and unique. I’m so glad you’ve shared a lot of pictures, I love seeing many details.

  3. Reply

    Merlinda Little

    March 7, 2018

    I am an Architecture graduate and the details that you shared in this post gives me happiness! What a lovely building to visit with kids! #countrykids

  4. Reply


    March 7, 2018

    This looks like an amazing place. Love that state room! The kids look like they are having the best time.

  5. Reply


    March 7, 2018

    Wow it looks absolutely stunning….almost magical! What an incredible place to explore altogether.

  6. Reply

    bryanna skye

    March 7, 2018

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

  7. Reply

    Sonia Cave

    March 7, 2018

    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!

  8. Reply

    Karen (Stopping At Two)

    March 7, 2018

    This looks like such a magical place – your photos are absolutely gorgeous.
    I would be fascinated by the mythological statues too.

  9. Reply

    Sara | mumturnedmom

    March 7, 2018

    Wow, those views make the walk up to it worth it! And, the building is spectacular, inside and out. It’s lovely to hear that they are working on restoring it too. #countrykids

  10. Reply

    laura dove

    March 7, 2018

    Wow this looks incredible! Look at that view! It looks like you had an amazing day!

  11. Reply

    Rebecca | AAUBlog

    March 7, 2018

    the layout and architecture is really stunning – completely agree with the WOW moment

  12. Reply

    Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    March 7, 2018

    What incredible views! it looks an amazing place and what a kind bus driver!

  13. Reply

    Jess Howliston

    March 7, 2018

    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.

  14. Reply


    March 7, 2018

    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

  15. Reply

    Alison Rost

    March 7, 2018

    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.

  16. Reply

    Newcastle Family Life

    March 8, 2018

    What a beautiful looking building, I bet it was really interesting visiting here x

  17. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    March 8, 2018

    Wow the colours and architecture are absolutely stunning across this area x

  18. Reply


    March 8, 2018

    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

  19. Reply

    Lynne Harper

    March 8, 2018

    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

  20. Reply

    Yeah Lifestyle

    March 8, 2018

    Loving the design, colours and minarets on Pena Palace, seems like such an adventure for the kids to visit a palace so rich with architecture and history.

  21. Reply

    Angela Ricardo Bethea

    March 8, 2018

    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.

  22. Reply

    Emma MacDonald

    March 8, 2018

    This looks like a great place for a day out. Fascinating and full of history. #Countrykids

  23. Reply

    Rebecca Smith

    March 8, 2018

    Looks like such a fab place to explore, so full of fascinating architecture and history. I had never heard of the place before

  24. Reply


    March 8, 2018

    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

  25. Reply


    March 8, 2018

    What a fantastic place to visit! Can you imagine sitting down for a feast in that stunning dining hall?

  26. Reply

    katy (what katy said)

    March 8, 2018

    This looks amazing! It makes me so sad that they don’t make buildings like this anymore – they are so beautiful!

  27. Reply


    March 8, 2018

    Pena Palace sounds like an amazing place to visit. So beautiful.

  28. Reply

    Lauretta at Home and Horizon

    March 9, 2018

    That Pena Palace is quite a view. Must really be careful if bringing children as there are no safety railings. Nice palace!

  29. Reply

    The London Mum

    March 9, 2018

    Oh wow the views are incredible! If we head to sinter we’ll definitely make the extra effort to see the palace.

  30. Reply


    March 9, 2018

    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.

  31. Reply

    Melanie williams

    March 9, 2018

    this just looks stunning. The views are breathtaking and the interiors are just gorgeous x

  32. Reply

    Fiona Cambouropoulos

    March 9, 2018

    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

  33. Reply


    March 10, 2018

    I’ve never come across this place before , but Scott has heard of it . It looks beautiful , definately a place we would explore 🙂

  34. Reply


    March 10, 2018

    This is so beautiful the buildings and colours are lovely. Great place to explore too

  35. Reply

    Zena's Suitcase

    March 10, 2018

    It looks like an amazing palace. It looks like the kids enjoyed finding the battlements and we would definitely visit here too

  36. Reply

    Candice Nikeia

    March 10, 2018

    Wow! So much history and areas to explore! I love how much fun this was for the kids! So cute!

  37. Reply

    Nicolette Lafonseca

    March 13, 2018

    Sintra was the last place we went to before kids in fact I was pregnant with Sebastian and it was hot so only managed 2 of the castles

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog