Castelo dos Mouros
Castelo dos Mouros
4.5
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
The Moorish Castle is a military fortification that bears witness to the Islamic presence in the region, and was probably constructed between the eighth and ninth centuries and later expanded after the Reconquista. Overlooking the town of Sintra, it served as a watchtower, guaranteeing the protection of Lisbon and its surroundings.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Shigamm
    London, United Kingdom1,287 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Phenomenal views and helps to keep you fit!
    Fantastic views across the local area and beyond but beware there are lots of steps. The whole castle gives you different perspectives of the surrounding area with phenomenal opportunities of taking photos especially of the Peña Palace in the background. We planned to travel on the 434 hop on hop off bus but it was full and drove past us, which is to be expected as the area is very busy with tourists. So we used a tuk tuk instead which cost €10 per person, we are glad we did as it was very quick and the driver stopped at different points to point out local highlights. The driver we got on the way down gave us a guided tour and cost €7.50 per person. Best to buy your tickets for this online in advance so that you don’t have to wait at the ticket machine when you arrive. Once you arrive you walk along a cobbled path before you enter the attraction which is where your tickets will be scanned.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 15, 2023
  • Sintra Explorers
    Lisbon, Portugal195 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lost in History
    One of the must visits of Sintra. This place is full of history from when Moors were ruling Portugal. The view up top is amazing. It is also dog friendly. You will see the ruins of the castle plus the sign and crosses.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled on business
    Written September 12, 2023
  • dkw796
    94 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definite Sintra Must
    Following the slightly underwhelming visit to the Pena Palace (uplifted by exploring the gardens after), I headed off to the Moorish Castle. So much better. Views spectacular, ruins, ramparts, towers brilliant and well preserved. Definite must - although many many steps to get to the top!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written September 19, 2023
  • Sharon R
    96 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Walk into the Past
    If you love to be outdoors and appreciate history - then this is a memorable stop in Sintra! We loved it! It is truly an amazing place. We marveled at the craftsmanship of this fort built so many years ago. Some of it was built 1000 years ago. The views are amazing! It is not easy walking due to the stones …. but well worth a visit. It is a 10 minute easy walk from the Peña Palace along the road.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 26, 2023
  • Jeannine A
    Vancouver, Canada244 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Walk up here if you can. Might be the better castle visit in Sintra
    Sintra is packed, even in the off-season (early Nov) and it’s obvious as soon as you get to the train station. We decided not to Uber to the top and just walked it. It took us about 45 min to get to the ticket booths from the train station. We are fairly fit but anyone who’s able to walk uphill for some time will be able to do it, just add additional time. We apparently saved €40 on a tuk tuk ride to the top, passed by a ton of traffic, and happened to see extra sights on the way up. While there was still a lot of people, walking along the walls freely was quite an amazing experience. It was also very windy so prepare for that if you’re travelling in the fall. The views were breathtaking and it was a more pleasurable walk here than the overcrowded Pena Palace (which I still recommend you visit). You also don’t need to book a specific time to get in. The only thing that we queued for was the cafe run by only 1 person who didn’t seem to rush anything. We were hungry so we waited patiently (we had time to kill before heading up to Pena Palace) and the wraps we had were decent. If you are going to Pena Palace, walk from here, there is a 300 m hiking trail near the entrance. It’s better than walking 800 miles on the road with all the traffic.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 6, 2023
  • Garfieldluvr
    Denver, Colorado971 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cool Attraction in Sintra
    We showed up as Castelo dos Mouros later than we had planned and were worried we would not be able to see it all. We were happily surprised when we found that the map makes the site seem to be much larger than it really is. We were able to walk the entire perimeter of the wall and explore some other parts of the grounds. Beautiful views, including some of Pena Palace! I wish they had a gift shop or a store that sold water though, the only option was the café which had a huge line. So, bring you own water, but it is for sure a worthwhile stop in Sintra. You can walk to Pena Palace from here via a small trail through the forest.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 18, 2023
  • MarcusHurley
    Calne, United Kingdom10,437 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutley fantastic views but not for the faint hearted!
    This was a place that I'd seen in the distance on our last visit to Sintra but never visited. Built in the 8th and 9th centuries by Moorish colonisers, it is more of a fortified village than a castle. The fortifications were surrendered to the Christians after the conquest of Lisbon, expanded in the 14th century, abandoned by the 16th and then romantically remodelled and restored in the 19th. It is quite a hike to get there from Sintra so we opted for the Tuktuk, great value at €10 and a lot less sweaty than walking! From the parking area there is a short walk through the woods with a guardhouse below you and then the chapel and necropolis. You then enter the castle proper and the ticket office if you haven't already bought tickets in the car park. The walls of the castle obviously follow the ridgeline and they are ridiculously steep in places although they are well restored and have proper steps. The views are just awesome over both Sintra village and the Pena Palace and luckily on our visit there was no wind. My vertigo was bad enough without having to contend with a gale as well! I'd say this was my highlight of this visit to Portugal and we spent about 90 minutes inside although we didn't get to see the archeological area or the museum so probably 2 hours is more sensible.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 30, 2023
  • PS00011
    Sedona, Arizona273 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing!
    We walked up directly from the train. It was straightforward...just walk up to Villa Sassetti (easily found on your phone's GPS) then there are signs for the Moorish castle from there. The whole way is marked very well with multiple signs. This is a spectacular walk, actually, since the whole way you are walking all through these beautiful gardens. Disneyland cardio! : ) Took about 30 minutes or so, but a good workout. Once we reached the castle, then it was more steps, but it is an amazing site so well worth it. The ability to walk the walls of the castle is very cool. Great views! Then we walked back down to the town on another cobblestone path that was easy and a nice route too through trees (no cars). It was easier than the way up. Just look for a small sign pointing to the historical city center as you are leaving the castle, on the left side (also marked with yellow and red). If you love historical sites, this castle is a must-do. The only thing they need is a great audio guide to go with this.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 2, 2023
  • Pamela W
    London, United Kingdom106 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Moorish castle is a Stunner
    I have never visited a Moorish castle before and this one is a stunner. There's a lot to see and a lot of uphill walking! Great views at the top - there is also a cafe. It costs around 8 euros and at that it is a bargain. Of course, cheaper for senior citizens 6.5. I don't like posting photos as it is best you to do your own.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 4, 2023
  • Tommo
    Melbourne, Australia55,771 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Founded in the 10th Century
    Castelo dos Mouros known as Moorish Castle is located in an elevated position in the Sintra Hills and has fantastic views around Sintra. One can see the Palace of Pena, Sintra town centre and the ocean. Its probably one of the top attractions to visit in Sintra. This castle is a fortification founded in the 10th century when the Moors occupied the Iberian Peninsula. The walls meander all around the property.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 6, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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jercilla93
64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Couples
My favourite place we went to during our trip. The views were spectacular and breathtaking. It can pretty scary though if you are scared of heights and I wouldn’t recommend bringing little kids who just want to run around. We walked up from the town taking the back way trail which was pretty steep but only took us 20 minutes with multiple stops. We bought tickets at the entrance for €10/adult, no line ups at all and fairly empty when we were there shortly after lunch time. There was also a sitting area and food options available as well as washroom facilities. You can also bring your dog in though they cannot walk on the castle wall so there is a little dog parking area for them.
Written October 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pața Radu
Southeast Romania, Romania186 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
As mentioned in my review of Pena Castle we went down from there here. It was a 20 min very nice walk. We had the tickets already so we entered directly. On the way up to the castle there are the ruins of an old church nicely reconditioned. The castle itself is actually only walls of the old fortress that you climb and go around to admire the beautiful view of Sintra and surroundings . There is a small store where you can buy water a nd some snacks inside the fortress. From the Castle we went down to Historical city Centre walking down the mountain and following the signs it's a 25/ 30 min downhill walk witch is so nice you can admire the houses and old buildings and see part of the city on the way. Hope it was helpful and enjoy your stay in Sintra.
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeannine A
Vancouver, Canada244 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Sintra is packed, even in the off-season (early Nov) and it’s obvious as soon as you get to the train station. We decided not to Uber to the top and just walked it. It took us about 45 min to get to the ticket booths from the train station. We are fairly fit but anyone who’s able to walk uphill for some time will be able to do it, just add additional time. We apparently saved €40 on a tuk tuk ride to the top, passed by a ton of traffic, and happened to see extra sights on the way up.

While there was still a lot of people, walking along the walls freely was quite an amazing experience. It was also very windy so prepare for that if you’re travelling in the fall. The views were breathtaking and it was a more pleasurable walk here than the overcrowded Pena Palace (which I still recommend you visit). You also don’t need to book a specific time to get in. The only thing that we queued for was the cafe run by only 1 person who didn’t seem to rush anything. We were hungry so we waited patiently (we had time to kill before heading up to Pena Palace) and the wraps we had were decent.

If you are going to Pena Palace, walk from here, there is a 300 m hiking trail near the entrance. It’s better than walking 800 miles on the road with all the traffic.
Written November 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John W
Salisbury, UK271 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Well worth a visit and I would recommend walking the path up to it. Theres lots to see on route and plenty of shade. It's been purposely built for people to walk up in slow time with lots of rest places. It will take an hour to walk with the path changing from a solid path, to woodland climb to a dirt track. Ensure you have suitable footwear. You'll also need these anyway for inside the castle.
Once up the top you need to purchase a ticket, either from the machines or from the actual Castle when you go through the main gate. If you want to visit the Palace as well it will cost 15 Euro, if you just want to see the Castle it's only 8 euro. Check what you select!!
Its a nice flat walk to the main gate of the castle with some great views on route (15 min). Once inside you can walk around the whole Castle. Pretty much there is a far right and far left to head towards and up. Once up on either one, check the views out of Sintra below and Lisbon in the distance. On the far left you can see the Palace.
There is a small cafe inside the castle with toilets etc.
I would recommend about 1-2 hours inside.
If you didn't walk up, I suggest you treat yourself and walk down. Once in the old town, have a quick look around.
Written November 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gamain
Inverell, Australia1,654 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Catching the early morning train to Sintra from Oriente, took a little over an hour. Exiting the northern side of Sintra Station which was the end of the railway line, we waited in line with other tourists to catch the regular tourist bus to the Moorish Castle with the building crowd. When the bus stopped outside the gate to Castelo dos Mouros, most tourists stayed onboard to go to the next Palace stop. Tickets from the auto machine at the front gate took forever, due to a machine not working, but the wait was worth it. Fabulous, though not ideal for anyone experiencing walking difficulties. Just enjoy what we still have the opportunity to visit. We felt it was a wise move for us to exit the tourist bus at the 1st stop when there were no crowds, which we experienced later in the day. Upon leaving we caught the next packed tourist bus to Pena Palace.
Written January 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sharon H
Las Vegas, NV2,101 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
Built by the Moors as a military fort in the 8th century, it acted as a control tower for the Atlantic coast and northern outposts from Lisbon. We entered the small, arched gate at the bottom of the hill and began our climb up a well-maintained path, through what looked like primeval forest, filled with tall trees, lots of greenery, and beautiful flowers. It was idyllic. Along the way we passed several archaeological sites—silos used by the Arabs (probably also by 5000 BC Neolithic people) for storing grain and ruins of Islamic houses. Muslim occupants of the castle settled near these ruins in 10th-12th centuries. Continuing on we passed the Church of San Pedro, built in the 12th century, following the reconquest of this area by King Alfonso Henriques in 1147. It was the first parish church of Sintra and was used for worship until the 14th century. It is now a museum containing artifacts and history of the castle. Further up the hill we passed through the arched gate in the towering wall. Once inside, we saw an ancient cistern and water trough in the small garden, then headed up the path to the castle keep. Standing on one of the highest hills, it is visible from the surrounding plains and the Atlantic and is the strategic center of the fortifications. We climbed to the very top of the tower and had magnificent panoramic views of the entire valley below and of the three major palaces which we had visited in Sintra: National Palace, Pena Palace, and Quinta da Regaleira. Spectacular phot ops! From the castle keep, we walked along the wall, from one tower to another, getting some great pictures along the way, and wandered through the lovely gardens before winding our way down the mountain to catch the bus back to Sintra.
Written March 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alexander K
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
I would love to give this a positive review but I feel quite bitter about it now. I had been most looking forward to my visit to Sintra, and to this castle in particular. We arrived by train and had a beautiful (and tiring) walk up; when we arrived we saw that the ticket office was closed and all the ticket machines were broken. Then, you couldn't buy the tickets from anywhere online (i.e. all the official or third party websites would fail at the point of purchase) - I suppose the central server was down. There were massive numbers of people all trying the same as us to get in or buy a ticket (from the machines, on their phones, etc.). The guard wouldn't let anyone without a ticket in - obviously, this isn't his fault, but it's maddening that this major destination does not have an alternative, even when they clearly see and were acknowledging that their systems were not working. Why couldn't they get someone in the ticket office? Why couldn't they take cash at least for the temporary period that the online tickets weren't working? Frankly, if the system is down like this, and it's no ones fault that they can't get a ticket, they should have just opened the gates.

We wasted good time on a day trip that is limited by time anyway queuing and fighting with broken websites and ticket machines, only to be unceremoniously turned away at the gate, having travelled far by plane and train and climbed high on a hot day to see it. I don't know when, or if, I'll ever be back again, and I'm genuinely quite upset about it. So, for anyone reading this: make sure you pre-buy your ticket if you want to get in; but also, don't expect that to work. And if it doesn't, don't bother going because they'll turn you away.
Written July 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TripRabbit
Virginia444 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
Yes, there are plenty of castle ruins around Iberia, and no shortage of palaces and strongholds from the Moorish era, but you will have a difficult time finding anything quite like this. There is history all around as you walk up the path leading to the walls; the supervising governmental authority has done a fine job with signage where archaeological finds are noted and preserved. Once inside, you experience and appreciate the size and scope of what was built here more than a millennium ago and, of course the wonderful views toward Sintra and the Atlantic. We found it fully worthwhile.

A few notes: the walk up to the castle was not strenuous, but if you plan to walk all the way up its walls once there, be prepared for significant effort. Do not expect the “cafeteria” to meet anything other than the most minimal of expectations. And unless you feel you have no other choice, do not come here on a rainy day that is not only wet but also likely to reduce or altogether eliminate the spectacular view. Rain forced us to rearrange some travel plans to see the castle, and are glad we went at a time when the most could be made of it.
Written June 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tsoe187
19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
best day of my life. would recommend 10/10. there's discounts if you visit several monuments in one day. if you are fit you should walk up directly from the trainstation instead of going to the old town first, it will shorten your way. you'll walk through a forest, it's really magical. make sure to visit the park right after, as it's really close to the site!
Written September 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

stacy p
41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
We weren’t supposed to go to the Moorish Castle. We were stood up by a tour guide and had to wing our trip to Sinatra from Lisbon (surprisingly easy). My entire family agrees that the tour guide not showing up was the best thing that could of happened because we can’t image our trip with going here.

Some quick notes and advice on getting the the Castle. In Lisbon, we walked to Rossio station, bought 4 cheap tickets and got a train with little waiting. After getting off in Sinatra, there is were an ungodly number of people offering to drive you to the castle/palace (or do a tour) for 10 euros. We had already decided we wanted to do the hike up (we enjoy nature and hikes and the weather was nice in mid June).

The hike up (that takes about an hour) was beautiful and we’re glad we did it, but it’s one of the most difficult hikes I’ve ever done (I’ve been a scout leader for 12 years). The incline is often steep, there is bouldering, and smooth narrow stone steps in places. Don’t try it in the rain. Because we did it in the morning (around 10) there weren’t a ton of people so we took our time stopping and taking pictures. When we walked back down at 3pm it was too crowded to stop since in places the walkway is only big enough for 1 person.

When we got to the ticket booth the first available entrance to Pena Palace was 1:30 so we went to the Moorish Castle first (I’d recommend buying tickets ahead of time and doing the opposite since Pena is far more crowded). It was another 10 minute walk up with a small museum and some archeological digs along the way. Then you can visit the cistern and a small café before the main attraction (I don’t recommend the café. Terrible selection).

The Moorish castle doesn’t have rooms and furniture, it’s just sprawling high walls that you can walk from end to end. The views and the scenery are absolutely spectacular. It’s being surrounded by some of the most beautiful land you’ve ever seen, seeing as far as the ocean, with castles doted in the distance, while standing on nearly on something man made that’s nearly a thousand years old. It’s awing.
Ten out of ten must do.

Now for the warnings. There are very few safety features to mar this experience. Do not even attempt if you have any mobility issues, any balance issues, have a low fitness level, or are afraid of heights. If you go with young kids talk them ahead of time about not running and staying away from the edges and keep your eye on them. And absolutely don’t attempt if the ground in wet. It would be a death trap.
Written July 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Castelo dos Mouros - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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