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The Castelo dos Mouros

After having visited the Palace and Park of Pena, your legs are likely to be done. Even if you arrived at the top of the mountain in a car, visiting these two attractions entails a lot of walking. And then you'll look at the Castelo dos Mouros, at the end of yet another long path, with towers reaching into the sky, and the steps. All of those steps! On one hand: nope, forget it. On the other hand: you're already here. So you might as well.

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The Parque de Pena

More from Our Trip to Sintra Sintra | Palácio Nacional de Sintra | Palácio Nacional da Pena | Parque da Pena Castelo dos Mouros | Chalet de Condessa | Monserrate | Convento of the Capuchos Quinta da Regaleira | Cabo da Roca After having visited the Palácio de Pena, we turned our attention to the park which extends behind and above it. A vast network of paths snake through the forest, leading to special buildings, statues, gardens…

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The Palácio Nacional da Pena

Little known fact: the architect behind Sintra's Pena Palace completed the original draft in 35 minutes. Six-year-old Doris Schneebaum submitted her proposal at the end of Arts & Crafts time, having rushed to complete the assignment: "Draw a Silly Castle". Her teacher, King Ferdinand II of Portugal, took one look and was convinced. "It's perfect! This shall be my new home!"

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A Week in Sintra

With its castles, hills, fog and forests, Sintra looks as though it was ripped straight from the pages of a fairy tale. For centuries, this was the preferred retreat of Portuguese kings, and its beauty has been celebrated by legions of poets, painters and authors. In order to properly soak up the atmosphere, and to visit everything it has to offer, we decided to spend a week there.

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The Parque de Eduardo VII

Sloping upward from the roundabout of Marquis de Pombal, the Parque de Eduardo VII is a weirdly attractive green space in Lisbon. It's simply a long hill in the shape of a rectangle, nothing outwardly special about it. But in this city, it's all about the views, and from the top of the park is one of the best.

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Street Art in Lisbon

It didn't surprise us to learn that Lisbon was home to a thriving street art scene. This is known as a somewhat anarchic city, with a large population of struggling, disaffected youth, and a fairly permissive culture. That's the perfect combination for excellent graffiti: political, angry, sarcastic, weird and often beautiful. During the course of our stay in Lisbon, we'd discover something new every time we stepped outdoors.

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