A Complete Guide to Moorish Castle in Sintra

Moorish Castle is a historic fortress situated on a hilltop in Sintra that was built by the Moors in the 9th century.

It is called “Castelo dos Mouros” in Portuguese, also known as Castle of the Moors.”

With a rich history, stunning views, and a hilltop location near the famous Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle has become a must-visit attraction in Sintra.

This complete guide tells you how to get there, the opening hours, the best time to visit, and ticket details.

With this guide in hand, you’ll be ready to make the most of your Moorish Castle adventure.

Top Moorish Castle Tickets

1 . Moorish Castle Entry Tickets
2 . Park and Pena Palace and Moorish Castle Combo Tickets
3 . Park and Pena Palace + National Palace of Sintra + Moorish Castle tickets

What to expect at Moorish Castle 

A trip to Portugal is incomplete without a visit to the Moorish Castle.

You’ll appreciate the rich vegetation, animals, and spectacular views of Sintra and the Palace of Pena there.

The Moorish Castle in Sintra is a National Monument of Portugal, built in the 8th or 9th century by the Moors.

It is the oldest monument in Sintra and part of the UNESCO Sintra Cultural Landscape. 

The castle was built in a strategic location, overlooking the city of Lisbon and the surrounding countryside. 

It was used as an outpost by the Moors and later by the Christians during the Reconquista.

The castle was damaged over time by a fire in 1636 and the devastating 1755 Lisbon earthquake. However, it was restored in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II.

Today, the Moorish Castle is a popular tourist destination. 

Visitors can enjoy the views of Sintra town from the castle walls, which stretch 450 meters. 

They can also explore the castle’s ruins, including the keep, towers, and cisterns.

Castle of the Moors tickets

If you want to skip the long lines at the entrance and save time, a Moorish Castle entry ticket will be your best option.

This ticket costs €8 for visitors aged 6 and above. Children under 5 years old can enter for free.

You will get to see Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Age artifacts and Moorish building ruins and learn about the fortress’s history and the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula.

Ticket price
Adult Ticket (6+ years): €8
Child Ticket (up to 5 years): Free

However, if you want your whole day planned, you can upgrade your admission ticket to a combo ticket that includes a last-minute entrance to Pena Palace.

You can add Pena Palace and the National Palace of Sintra to your ticket by purchasing this.

Park and Pena Palace + Moorish Castle

This Pena Palace and Moorish Castle combo ticket will give you skip-the-line access to the two top attractions of Sintra for the price of one.

For just €22 per person, you can enter the Pena Park and Palace and, after exploring them for 2 hours, travel to Moorish Castle.

Ticket Cost: €22

If you want to spend the whole day in Sintra, you can add a full-day guided tour to your cart by paying an additional €8.

Park and Pena Palace + Sintra National Palace + Castle of the Moors

The Park and Pena Palace, the National Palace of Sintra, and Moorish Castle are all located within a short distance of each other. 

You can easily visit them all in one day by purchasing a combo ticket. 

The combo ticket costs €30 for visitors 6 years of age and older, and kids under 5 can enter for free. 

This rate includes admission to all three attractions, and you can save up to 6% on online purchases.

Castle of the Moors + Monserrate Palace

The Castle of the Moors and the Monserrate Palace are located in Sintra, Portugal, just 10 kilometers (6 miles) apart. 

You can easily visit them both in one day by purchasing a combo ticket online, which costs €15 and gives you a 5% discount.

It includes admission to both the Castle of the Moors and the Monserrate Palace. 

You can purchase the combo ticket online or at the ticket office at either attraction.

Ticket Price: €15

How to reach Moorish Castle Sintra? 

Castelo dos Mouros is located in Gibraltar, Sintra, Portugal.

Address: 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal. Get Directions

There are several options for getting to the castle, including taking a bus, renting a cab, or driving there.

The Castle of the Moors is located in Sintra, about 30 kilometers from Lisbon. You can reach Sintra easily by taking the train from Lisbon.

If you are already in Sintra and want to reach Moorish Castle, you can take the 434 bus from Sintra Station.

The bus takes 15 minutes to reach and costs a total of €11 for a round trip.

There is also the nearest bus stop, Calçada de São Pedro (Junta Freguesia)

It takes roughly 6 minutes to drive to the castle.

Board bus number 1252 or 1253 and get off at R. Bernardim Ribeiro 4 or Lgo Sousa Brandão (Casa Cantoneiros), within 2 km (1 mile) of the castle.

Taxis and tuk-tuks are also available uphill, which are a little more expensive.

Additionally, the castle is just 1.7km from Sintra train station and easily accessible for those up for a short uphill walk.

If traveling in a car, turn on Google Maps and get started. You can find several parking spaces near Moorish Castle.

How long does it take to visit Moorish Castle, Portugal?

A visit to the Moorish Castle in Sintra typically takes around 60 to 90 minutes.

This will give you ample time to soak in the breathtaking views and immerse yourself in the castle’s intriguing history.

The castle is not overly large, and the time spent can also vary depending on the interest in seeing, admiring, and photographing it.

Opening hours of Moorish Castle

The Castle of the Moors opening timings are between 9.30 am and 6.30 pm.

The last admission to the castle is half an hour before closing, i.e., 6 pm.

Moorish Castle remains closed on December 25 and January 1.

The Sintra Castle of the Moors ticket costs €8 for all visitors aged six years and older. Children up to 5 years old can visit the castle for free.

Best time to visit Moorish Castle

The best time to visit the Moorish Castle is early in the morning, when it opens at 9.30 am or late afternoon, after 4-5 pm, to appreciate it at sunset.

This is when the crowds are still low, and you can enjoy the best views of the castle in the morning light.

The busiest hours are in the early afternoon, from 12 pm to 2 pm. This is when most people visit the castle after finishing lunch in Sintra town.

The castle can get crowded and stressful on weekends, so it is best to visit during the week or arrive early on the weekend.

You can buy tickets at the castle ticket booth until 6 pm. The ticket office is closed from 12 pm to 1 pm.

It is better to book your tickets in advance, as they are cheaper and you can avoid the ticket counter queue.

The best time of the month to visit the Moorish Castle is during the spring and early autumn seasons. 

These periods, from April to June and September to October, offer pleasant weather with milder temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months.

It’s advisable to avoid the hot summer months and the colder winter season for a more enjoyable visit.

Tip: Avoid visiting during foggy days. You would not be able to see anything except for the white fog.

Since it’s so close to the famous Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira, it’s super easy to add a visit to the Moorish Castle to your Sintra itinerary.


How long does it take to see Moorish Castle Sintra?

A visit to the Moorish Castle in Sintra typically takes 60 to 90 minutes.

The castle is not overly large, and the time spent can vary depending on what you want to see, admire, and photograph.

Why is Castle of the Moors famous?

The castle is renowned for its stunning panoramic views of Sintra.

Dated back to the 9th century, it has historical significance as a defensive stronghold during different periods of history.

Do I need a ticket for the Moorish Castle in Sintra?

Yes, you need a ticket to visit the Moorish Castle, as it is the most popular castle in Sintra, Portugal. 

Hence, getting the tickets without preparation can be challenging.

The entry ticket costs €8 for all visitors aged six years and older. Children up to 5 years old can enter for free. BUY NOW.

How many steps are there in Moorish Castle Sintra?

This castle includes 450 meters (1478 feet) of fortifications and five turrets, one of which requires 500 steps to reach its pinnacle. 

A Sintra holiday must include a visit to the Moorish Castle to enjoy the region’s stunning scenery.

Are there any cafes or restaurants inside the Castle of the Moors?

The Castle of the Moors has three cafes. There is a nice patio at Cafeteria Castle.

Another is the Moorish Castle Guard House, which has been converted into a cafe. 

There is also a cafeteria at the Visitor Support Center outside the castle.

Is it better to go to Sintra in the morning or evening?

It is best to visit Sintra in the early morning at 9 am or late afternoon at 5 pm when the crowds leave.

Most tourists will come in the morning to explore Sintra and return before dinner time.

Afternoons are very crowded in Sintra, near the Pena Palace and Moorish Castle.

How do I get from Sintra to Moorish Castle?

You can take the 434 bus from Sintra train station, which conveniently connects Sintra town to the castle.

Alternatively, you can enjoy a scenic walk of about 1.7 kilometers from the station to the castle, though it’s uphill.

Can you see Pena Palace from Moorish Castle?

Located on the hilltop, Moorish Castle provides panoramic views of Sintra, including the Pena Palace and its colorful architecture.

You can click beautiful photographs of this scenic beauty with Pena Palace at the backside.

What should I wear on a day trip to Sintra Moorish Castle?

You must wear comfortable walking shoes for a day trip to the Moorish Castle in Portugal.

Wear weather-appropriate clothing (layers for cooler weather), a light jacket, and sun protection (a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen).

Avoid skirts or dresses that hinder movement, as it is an uphill walk. Bring a small backpack for essentials.

Is Moorish Castle worth visiting?

The Moorish Castle is the only castle in Sintra, making it a unique and worthwhile stop.

The place has historical significance and beautiful architecture, and the views alone make Moorish Castle worth a visit.

Which Sintra Castle should I visit?

There is only one castle to visit in Sintra, called Moorish Castle.

Moorish Castle is a hilltop fortress dating back to the 9th century with panoramic views.

Other places to visit nearby are Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira.

Featured Image: Wikimedia.org

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!