Lisbon is without a doubt one of the most stunning cities in all of Europe. This sleepy warm city boasts some of Europe's most quaint and eye-catching architecture. The architecture is colorful, old, elegant, and that of Mediterranean Europe (even if it is actually on the Atlantic Coast).

Visiting the Pena Palace is an essential part of getting the most out of one's time in Lisbon. Lisbon is a city that one should reckon on spending a few days there - two days just isn't enough. If one only has three days in Lisbon and one needs to prioritize what to see and do, then be sure to put the Pena Palace on the bucket list.


Why Pena Palace Is One Of The Greatest Works Of Romanticism

The Pena Palace is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal and is a must for anyone visiting Lisbon. It is located in the municipality of Sintra a short distance from Lisbon. It is one of the greatest expressions of 19th-century Romanticism anywhere in Europe. It is still used on state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and by other government officials.

  • Greatest: One of The Greatest Expressions of 19th-Century Romanticism

One of the most eye-catching landmarks in Lisbon is the National Palace of Pena. It is a renowned jewel crowning the Sintra Hills. The palace is surrounded by a park that just adds to the magical character and ambiance of the colorful palace.

The palace is regarded as the pinnacle of Romanticism in Portugal and the legacy of the country's King Ferdinand II.

Related: 10 Exciting Things To Do During A Long Layover In Lisbon

The Work Of The King-Artist, King Ferdinand II

King Ferdinand II was a King-Artist. Stepping into his palace is like stepping into a fairy tale - a fairy tale that has inspired generations.

The site traces its history back to the 12th century. Back then, a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena stood there. It was also the location where King Manuel I built the Royal Monastery of Our Lady of Pena, before subsequently handing it over to the Hieronymite Order.

  • Built: By King Ferdinand II
  • Monastery: The Site Was Formally The Royal Monastery of Our Lady of Pena
  • Artist: King Ferdinand II Was Known As the King-Artist
  • Ferdinand: A German Prince Who Married The Portuguese Queen

While Lisbon has been spared many of the devasting wars that have so destroyed other European cities, it has been struck by natural disasters. In 1755 an earthquake struck Lisbon and the monastery was left practically completely ruined. Even so, it remained active. In 1834 the religious orders were abolished in the country and the monastery was left abandoned.

  • 1755: Lisbon Was Damaged In A 1755 Earthquake

Then in 1836 Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha married Queen Maria II. Ferdinand II was one of the most cultured men of the 19th century in Portugal with a talent and passion for the arts including music and drawing. He was known nationally as the King-Artist.

He was also well versed in languages and spoke German, Hungarian, French, English, Spanish, Italian, and, of course, Portuguese.

He set about expanding the original construction and creating a spectacular palace. He employed medieval imaginary such as the parapet paths, the lookout towers, an access tunnel and even its own drawbridge. It even has architectural references that display Manueline and Moorish influences that recollect “a thousand and one nights.”

  • Park of Pena: The Most Important Abortetum in Portugal

He took his artistic talents to the garden as well and among other things, planted tree species from every continent. As a result, the 85-hectares Park of Pena is considered the most important arboretum existing in Portugal.

Related: Alfama Is One Of Lisbon's Oldest Neighborhoods, And This Is Why It's Worth Exploring

Visiting The Palace of Pena Today

Today the Palace of Pena is classified as a National Monument (since 1910) and has been a UNESCO World Heritage since 1995.

The Palace of Pena is open to the public and can be easily reached by public transport from the old city of Lisbon. Check for current information or to learn more about the Palace of Pena as well as other surrounding palaces and attractions in the area on the Parks of Sintra website.

  • Designated: UNESCO World Heritage Site Since 1995
  • Opening Hours Palace: Every day From 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM (Last entry 6:00 PM)
  • Opening Hours Gardens: 9.00 AM to 7.00 PM
  • Location: In Sintra (A Historic Area) 4 km From The Sintra National Palace


  • Adult: 14 € - Aged 18 – 64 years
  • Youth: 12.5 € - Aged 6 – 17 years

Sintra is an area with other palaces, gardens, and other historic attractions. Be sure to take time to see and explore more of these stunning historic monuments in Lisbon. It is amazing how different European cities can differ so much from each other.

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