The 434 bus outside the train station
Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle are located at the top of a mountain, so unless you’re a fit hiker with plenty of time, you’ll need to take a bus to visit these monuments. That bus is number 434, which departs from outside the train station in Sintra (you’ll see buses lined up outside, parallel to the train tracks).
The 434 of the local Scotturb company passes through the center of town, and the last stop is Pena Palace (it stops at the Moorish Castle just before it). Its route is the following:
Sintra Estação (Sintra Station) > São Pedro de Sintra > Sintra Vila (National Palace) > Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle) > Palácio da Pena (Pena Palace)
Due to the narrow roads, when the bus departs from Pena Palace it does not go back to the Moorish Castle. It goes straight down to “Sintra Vila” and terminates at the station.
If you want to visit both the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace, get off at the castle stop, and then walk up to the palace (it’s about a 10-minute walk).
Sintra Bus 434 Tickets
Tickets for the 434 bus to Pena Palace are €7.60, allowing you to go and return (a 1-way ticket, which isn't recommended, unless you don't mind walking back down the mountain for over one hour, is €4.10). You may also acquire the “Hop On Hop Off All Buses 24 Hours” ticket for €15.20 that allows unlimited rides on the 434 and 435 buses on the day of purchase. You may buy this ticket online, often with discounts: Hop On Hop Off All Buses 24-Hour Ticket
At the train station in Lisbon, you may also acquire a “Train & Bus” ticket at the ticket counter for €16.00. That ticket allows you to travel on the Lisbon-Sintra train line and on the yellow Carris Metropolitanana buses in Sintra and Cascais on the day of purchase. This isn’t a very popular option, however, as most tourists buy the Lisboa Card, which already allows free unlimited rides on the Lisbon-Sintra and Lisbon-Cascais trains.
All tickets are purchased from the bus drivers, except for the “Train & Bus” ticket.
The only way to reach Pena Palace and the Moorish Palace besides taking bus 434 or hiking, is taking a taxi (which can be expensive) or joining a tour. You should never drive in Sintra, as there are almost no parking spots in the center or near the attractions. Navigating the narrow uphill roads can also be challenging to those not familiar with the place, and there are constant traffic jams.
Expect long queues for the 434 bus, even outside the high season. It’s recommended that you arrive in Sintra by 9am, so you can take the buses that depart within that hour and avoid the bigger crowds later in the day.
Sintra Bus 434 Schedule
The 434 departs every 15 minutes, from 8:50am to 7:50pm in the summer and from 8:50am to 7:00pm at other times of the year. It takes less than 15 minutes to reach the Moorish Castle, and if you want to go straight from the station to Pena Palace you’re there in less than 20 minutes.
Take a look at the links below for more Sintra transportation guides.