I am giving Sintra 4 stars rather than 5 because it is rather hilly which might not suit all Silver Travellers. However, having said that, the public transport is excellent and I would not miss a visit if I were to go to Lisbon again. The train fare from Lisbon is 4 euros 80 return for a 45 minute journey which we thought was excellent value. In fact we found that all the public transport in and around Lisbon was very reasonably priced and efficient.
The palace at Sintra is definitely worth a visit and is not expensive. I can’t remember exactly how much we paid but I think it was about 5 euros. The views from the windows are superb and the rooms are unusual and attractive with some spectacular ceilings. We didn’t visit the castle, although we did take a bus to the top of the hill so we were able to see it from the outside. We decided to walk back down to the town – a walk that was both picturesque and attractive if somewhat steep (but we were going downhill, so that was better than going up!). On our way down we met a French couple who asked us how much further it was to the top. I think they were wishing that they had taken the bus!
The town has some beautiful – if somewhat steep – botanic gardens with some delightful early Spring flowers. Again the views were spectacular.
There are a number of gift shops mostly selling similar souvenirs – craft and cork goods etc. and handmade crafts. We wandered around them and I bought one or two items which were fairly reasonably priced as well as being unusual and unique.
The only negative (in my friend’s opinion) were the number of tourists. I am not unduly worried by tourists but she thought that there were too many for her liking. We visited in mid March which I would not have thought was peak tourist season but I do agree that there were a lot of them around at that time. Perhaps it would be a better option to visit in the winter, but then one would not have the weather … still, you can’t have everything!