Queluz Palace was inspired by the palace of Versailles
Queluz, located between Lisbon and Sintra, would be just another unremarkable suburb if it wasn't for one major attraction that's one of Portugal's most beautiful monuments and one of the last great rococo palaces in Europe.
Inspired by the palace of Versailles, it’s known as both “Royal Palace of Queluz” and “National Palace of Queluz.” It was built in 1747 with lavish formal gardens, and was the official residence of the royal family in the late 1700s.
The palace displays much of the royal collection
From the end of the Portuguese monarchy in 1910 to the present day, it has been used for grand official functions and concerts, thanks to the superb acoustics of the Music Room (that’s where the queen's orchestra — "the best in Europe," according to English novelist William Beckford — performed concerts and operas). One of the wings is also used as a guest room for heads of state visiting Portugal (former U.S. presidents Eisenhower, Carter, Reagan, and Bill Clinton are among those who stayed or dined here).
The Don Quixote Room, where King Pedro IV was born
The royal family abandoned it in 1807 during the French invasion of Portugal, moving to Brazil and taking much of the furniture. When it returned, it preferred the Ajuda Palace in Lisbon, but Queluz's magnificent rooms continued to be used for parties and receptions.
The palace's Throne Room
Partially destroyed by a fire in 1934, it has been restored, bringing the gilt, the many chandeliers, mirrors, and ceiling paintings back to life. One of the rooms is covered with tile panels representing the four seasons, the continents, and scenes from classical mythology, while the Ambassadors' Room features a ceiling illustrating the royal family attending a concert.
In the Don Quixote Room, where some members of the royal family were born and died (such as King Pedro IV of Portugal, first emperor of Brazil), there are paintings illustrating episodes of the life of Don Quixote of La Mancha.
Another highlight is the grandiose Throne Room, lined with mirrors and adorned with a painted ceiling.
The tiled canal where the royals rode their gondolas
The various works of art and furnishings that decorate the rooms are from the royal collections, and reflect the tastes of styles of the period. They include fine porcelain, Arraiolos carpets, and French-style furniture.
The original kitchen has been turned into a restaurant, preserving the old ceiling and stone chimney. It serves traditional and contemporary Portuguese cuisine, and is especially known for its desserts, based on ancient convent recipes.
The museum's gardens are dotted with the largest collection of sculptures by John Cheere
Outside, the beautiful gardens feature several sculptures of mythological figures by John and Henry Cheere, making up the largest collection of the English sculptor. There are also baroque fountains and a tiled canal where the royal family rode their gondolas while listening to music.
Outside the palace is a statue of Queen Maria I, and the blue façade faces the former Royal Guard building, which is now a hotel, the Pousada de Queluz.
Visiting Queluz Palace
It’s worth making the effort to visit the Royal Palace of Queluz if you enjoy historic monuments and regal architecture. It’s open seven days a week, from 9am to 6pm in the autumn and winter seasons, and from 9am to 7pm in the spring and summer. The last ticket is sold one hour before closing time.
How to Get to Queluz Palace
The Royal Palace of Queluz is about a 12-to-15-minute walk from the Queluz-Belas train station, which is on the Lisbon-Sintra line. There are trains every 20 minutes from Lisbon and Sintra. For complete details, see the guide to the train to Queluz Palace.
Largo do Palácio, Queluz
Admission and Tickets to Queluz Palace
The ticket price to Queluz Palace is €10.00 for adults and €8.50 for children (up to the age of 17) and seniors (over the age of 65). Those who wish to skip the palace and just visit the gardens, have the option of a €5.00 ticket for adults and €3.50 for children and seniors.
There's a 15% discount with the Lisboa Card.
You may skip the line and buy your ticket online: National Palace and Gardens of Queluz Skip-the-Line Ticket
Opens every day
There is nothing else to see in Queluz. It’s mostly a residential suburb, and despite being home to a sizeable immigrant community, it’s not even known for ethnic restaurants or any other cultural attractions. However, the magnificent monuments of Sintra are a 22-minute train ride away, while Lisbon is 18 minutes away in the opposite direction.