How to get from Lisbon to Sintra by public transportation
Lisbon - Sintra: how to get there on your own

How to get from Lisbon to Sintra by public transportation

Sintra is a small town 25 kilometers from Lisbon. There are so many attractions here that the city is protected by UNESCO. It is ideal for a day trip. You can get to Sintra on your own by public transportation.
Location of Sintra and Lisbon train stations

Train from Lisbon to Sintra

The electric train is the best way to get to Sintra from Lisbon. You can go there and back in one day and have time for all the main attractions of Sintra.

Trains run from Rossio Station every half an hour. From the historic center you can walk to the station. From the rest of the neighborhoods, the Rossio station can be reached by metro, the nearest station is Restauradores.

The first train towards Sintra is at 06:08 am, with an interval between trains of 30 minutes. The last trip is at 01:47. Detailed timetable and traffic scheme can be found on the official website of the carrier company.

You can board the train at any stop on the route. Don’t forget to activate your ticket! In Lisbon and Sintra stations, this is done automatically when you pass through the turnstiles. But small suburban stations are often not equipped with turnstiles.

Special readers are located on the platform to activate the ticket. If you do not activate the ticket, the passenger is considered a stowaway, and in Portugal the penalty for this is 120 €.

Sintra is the final station, so don’t be afraid to miss your stop. Travel time is about 40 minutes. The electric train arrives at the central station of Sintra, which is located in the city center. From here it is convenient to get to the sights. The stop of tourist buses is 50 meters from the station.

How much it costs: You need to buy a travel card (0.50 €). A one-way trip costs 2.25 €. A round trip with the card costs 5 €.

Lifehack: to avoid spending money on Sintra guidebooks, there is a counter in the station building with free tourist booklets and guidebooks. I looked for Russian-language editions, but didn’t find any. You can get maps in English, everything is clear there.

You can pick up a guidebook and city map for free at the Sintra station building.
You can pick up a guidebook and city map for free at the Sintra station building.

Bus Lisbon — Sintra

Buses leave from the Marquês de Pombal bus station. This is the blue or yellow station of the Lisbon metro. At the bus station, look for buses on route 035. The buses are visible from afar, they are white with red and blue stripes and the name Vimeca.

This is what buses of route 035 Lisbon-Sintra look like.
This is what buses of route 035 Lisbon-Sintra look like.

Travel time is 27 minutes without traffic jams. Although during the high tourist season there may be delays due to traffic on the roads. Route 035 runs from April to the end of September.

It is not the most successful and cheap way to travel: 4 times more expensive than the train, and there is a risk of traffic jams. In Sintra, the bus arrives at Sintra Train Station (the same place where the trains arrive).

Interval and route of buses to Sintra.
Interval and route of buses to Sintra.

How much: one trip costs 10 €, see the official website for details. You can buy tickets at the bus station or from the bus driver.

Cab Sintra Lisbon

You can also get there by cab, but I didn’t try it. I was scared off by the prices: for a 25km journey an official cab will ask for 45—60 €, while an Uber ride will cost 25—30 €.

You will have the disadvantages of traffic jams and language barriers. Cabs often employ migrants from Africa and Brazil, and not all of them know English.

My advice: take the electric train. It’s fast, cheap, convenient and predictable in terms of time.