Portugal Castles

The Portugal castles and palaces are among the country's top attractions, thanks largely in part to their historical significance and their architectural appeal. Fascinating Portugal palaces and castles can be found throughout the country. Most of them loom over the country's main cities and towns, which means that you're likely to stumble across more than one on your Portugal vacation. While the exterior of the Portuguese castles and palaces are impressive enough, you'll want to check out the interiors as well when possible. The fees to enter a castle or palace in Portugal are usually more than fair, and some are free, especially on Sundays.

Many visitors to Portugal include a stop in Lisbon on their itineraries. In addition to visiting the Castelo de Sao Jorge during your time in the capital, you can also head over to nearby Sintra to admire the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, the Palacio Nacional da Pena, and the Castelo dos Moros. These castles and palaces in Portugal are among the most highly visited, and you won't want to miss them when in the area. The Castelo de Sao Jorge looms gracefully above Lisbon, resting on the same hilltop perch that it has occupied for centuries. A stroll around the castle's ramparts or the shaded courtyards is a good highlight to your visit. You'll also want to enjoy the panoramic views of the city from the Ulysses Tower.

Sintra is one of the most interesting and beautiful towns in Portugal, and its proximity to Lisbon has a lot to do with its wealth of attractions. You'll find some of the most impressive Portugal castles and palaces in Sintra, and all of them deserve some of your time. The Palacio Nacional de Sintra dates back to the era when the Moors dominated both Portugal and Spain, and as such, it is of Moorish origin. Inside the Palacio de Sintra, you'll notice a mix of the Moorish and Manueline styles of architecture. The Manueline style is a late-Gothic style that the Portuguese developed and used to great extent. Coincidentally, two of the best examples of the Manueline style are the Belem Tower and the Monastery of the Hieronymites, both of which can be found in Lisbon. Back in Sintra, you'll notice what is easily one of the most impressive monuments in the land. The Palacio da Pena looks over Sintra, and on clear days, you can see it from various vantage points in the nearby capital. As for the Castelo dos Moros, it might be mostly in ruins, but it nonetheless manages to impress as well.

Heading north of Lisbon, you'll eventually come to the city of Porto, which definitely deserves inclusion on your itinerary. This area is home to some Portugal palaces and castles that also deserves to be added to your agenda. One of them is the Porto de Mos, which, like the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, is Moorish in origin. Although largely rebuilt over time, this castle is still fun to visit, and the views that it affords over the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros valley are quite stunning. While in Porto, you might visit the Palacio da Bolsa as well. Like most of the castles and palaces in Portugal, the Palacio da Bolsa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can find this Neoclassical gem in the heart of the city's historical center.

When visiting Porto, a trip to nearby Guimaraes is recommended, especially if you are interested in the Portugal palaces and castles. In Guimaraes, the Paco dos Duques Palace and the Castelo de Guimaraes top the list of attractions. The Castelo de Guimaraes dominates the town's skyline, and you might be surprised to know that work on it began in the tenth century. As for the Paco dos Duques Palace, it has been extensively restored over time, though it still maintains plenty of interest, thanks largely in part to the beautiful church attached to it.

The list of Portugal castles and palaces is a long one, and while the ones mentioned thus far are some of the country's best, there are many more to enjoy. You can even find castles and palaces in Portugal when visiting Madeira Island and the Azores Islands, though the best ones are arguably on the mainland. Neighboring Spain is also home to a more than satisfying array of castles and palaces, so you might want to explore the entire Iberian Peninsula if such attractions figure high on your list of things to see. There are more than enough castles in palaces in Portugal alone, however, so you don't have to jump over to Spain to get your fill.

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