Culture and Experience Travel 4 MINS READ

The Best Castles Near Lisbon That You Must Visit

The Best Castles Near Lisbon That You Must Visit

Culture and Experience Travel 4 MINS READ

“Every castle in and around Lisbon narrates tales of conquests, royal intrigues, and architectural marvels. Let’s take a trip back in time, where the stones themselves whisper stories of Portugal’s majestic past,” says Leah, an expert on Portuguese history.

Lisbon is surrounded by majestic fortresses and castles that stand testament to Portugal’s storied history. Each castle carries its own unique charm and historical significance, making them must-visit destinations for history enthusiasts and casual travelers alike. Let’s embark on a journey through time and explore the best castles near Lisbon.

TL;DR: The Best Castles Near Lisbon

  1. São Jorge Castle (Castelo de São Jorge): Perched on a hill, São Jorge Castle offers breathtaking views of Lisbon. Explore medieval walls and immerse in Portugal’s early history.
  2. Pena National Palace (Pena Palace): A fairytale fortress blending Moorish, Gothic, and Manueline styles. Vibrant colors and rich history make it a royal masterpiece.
  3. Obidos Castle: Step into a medieval wonderland within Obidos Castle. Walk the fortified walls and traverse cobblestone streets frozen in time.
  4. Moorish Castle/Castle of the Moors (Castelo Dos Mouros): Nestled in Sintra’s mountains, the Moorish Castle unveils Portugal’s medieval charm. Ruins offer a journey through time with stunning vistas.
  5. Leiria Castle: Leiria Castle, with its majestic towers, stands as a symbol of medieval strength. Discover its fascinating history and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

The Most Beautiful Castles Near Lisbon

Castelo De São Jorge (São Jorge Castle)

Perched atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills, São Jorge Castle offers unrivaled panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River. The castle’s imposing walls house archaeological treasures, and its medieval ambiance transports visitors to a bygone era. Wander through the charming courtyards, take in the breathtaking views from the towers, and feel the echoes of Lisbon’s past in every stone. This castle is also referred to as Saint George’s Castle.

Pena National Palace (Pena Palace)

A fairytale-like vision crowning the Sintra hills, Pena Palace is a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and architectural styles. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a royal palace that combines Moorish, Gothic, and Manueline influences, creating a whimsical masterpiece. The Pena Palace gardens are renowned for their impeccable landscaping.

Explore the opulent interiors of this palace which was once the former royal residence of the Portuguese royal family, stroll through the enchanting gardens, and marvel at the romantic allure of one of Europe’s most captivating palaces.

Obidos Castle

Encircled by medieval walls, Obidos Castle is a living testament to Portugal’s medieval heritage. Walk through the picturesque cobblestone streets within the castle walls of this medieval castle, where charming houses, artisan shops, and cozy cafes await. The castle’s strategic hilltop location and well-preserved architecture make it a quintessential Portuguese castle experience.

Moorish Castle

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Set against the lush backdrop of the Sintra mountains, the Moorish Castle is a fortress with a storybook setting. The castle’s ruins, perched on rocky cliffs, offer unparalleled views of Sintra and the surrounding landscapes. As you wander through the remnants of ancient walls and towers, you’ll feel the whispers of the Moorish era that once defined this remarkable stronghold.

“The Moorish Castle is a captivating ode to Portugal’s medieval past. To me, walking through its ancient ruins felt like tracing the footsteps of bygone civilizations. The panoramic views of Sintra and the Atlantic Ocean from the towers add an extra layer of magic to this historical gem,” says Leah.

Leiria Castle

Leiria Castle, with its imposing silhouette against the Leiria skyline, beckons travelers to explore its rich history. Originally built by the Moors, the castle has undergone various transformations over the centuries. Today, visitors can ascend its towers for panoramic views, stroll through well-manicured gardens, and connect with Portugal’s medieval past.


Can I visit these castles on a single-day trip from Lisbon?

While it’s possible, it’s advisable to plan multiple days for a thorough exploration. Each castle offers a unique experience, and pacing your visit ensures you appreciate its distinct historical and architectural wonders.

Are these castles family-friendly?

Absolutely! Many castles have open spaces for children to roam and often host family-friendly events. Ensure to check individual castle policies and events for an enriching family adventure.

Are guided tours available, and do I need to book in advance?

Yes, guided tours enhance the castle experience, providing insights into their history. While some tours are available on-site, booking in advance, especially during peak seasons, ensures a smoother and more personalized exploration.

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Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 03 Apr 2024

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