Things to do in Lisbon

Monserrate Palace, a guide to this fairytale castle

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Portugal is a place rich in historical architecture and culture. A place as beautiful as Portugal attracts writers and visionaries from all around the world. If you ever find yourself in this part of the world, you must visit the legendary Monserrate Palace & Park. The Park of Monserrate features beautiful architecture and grandiose gardens. The palace is located on top of a hill in the city of Sintra, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Monserrate Palace was built in the 13th century, and has been remodeled several times over the centuries. Today, the palace is open to the public as a museum, and is a popular tourist destination. The botanical gardens there are considered some of the most beautiful in Portugal. Read on to learn how to make the most of your trip to Monserrate Palace & Park.

Essential Information for Visiting Monserrate Palace

monserrate palace
monserrate palace
monserrate palace

Handy information

⏰ Suggested Duration:1-2 hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:Mornings
💜 Must See:Rose Garden
🎟️ Monserrate Palace Entry Ticket: €8
🎫 Monserrate + Sintra Palace:€17.10


Sacred Art Room
Rose Garden
Mexican Garden

Things to know

UNESCO World Heritage Site designation: 1995
Established: 1858
Architect: James Knowles
Architectural style: Eclecticism

Opening Hours And Address

Open every day of the year, except December 25th and January 1st
10 am to 6 pm

Address : 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
Get Directions

Why You Must Visit Monserrate Palace Sintra

The Monserrate Palace and parks sit atop a beautiful hill, giving you sweeping views of the lush gardens and the surroundings. The palace was built with Gothic and Indian influences with Moorish touches.
Monserrate park, on the other hand, is a picture of serenity. The botanical gardens have rare specimens of plants and native strawberry species. Different plants have been sourced from different parts of the world under the loving care of landscaper William Stockdale, botanist William Neville, and gardener James Burt. The gardens look like they could be in a fairytale, and the park provides a welcoming rest from all the walking you will be doing in the Monserrate park and palace. The palace and the parks, together, are Portugal’s crowning jewel and are a must-visit.

Best Recommended Monserrate Palace Tickets

Monserrate Palace and Parks is one of the most popular attractions in Lisbon. A Monserrate Palace ticket will allow you to enjoy the delights of Monserrate Palace and Parks without having to stand in line or go through the hassle of booking entrance tickets on-site. The ticket also entitles an audio guide that will allow you to explore the delights of Monserrate at your own pace.

Monserrate Palace's History

monserrate palace

The history of Monserrate Palace is rich and varied. It begins in 1540 when a friar wanted to build a hermitage in the name of Our Lady of Monserrate. Almost three whole centuries later, in 1793, the prolific British author William Beckford became the new tenant of Monserrate. He then ordered restorations that gave the palace its modern style and shape. The site became very popular with great writers of that time. Take for example Lord Byron. He even featured the Monserrate Palace in his poem, “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”.

Eventually, in 1846, Francis Cook, a renowned art collector and British trader became the owner of the estate. By this time, the palace buildings of Monserrate had gone through countless renovations and improvements. The Cook family used this as their summer residence. And the Cooks also hosted many beautiful evening soirees within the palace walls.

The park of Monserrate also has plant species from all over the world. The restoration of the gardens was overseen by landscape designer William Stockdale. The vision and patronage of Francis Cook allowed for the garden to become something that captured the imagination of artists and common people alike. Finally, the Portuguese government bought the land and palace in 1949. Restorations and management were outsourced to Parques de Sintra. The restoration efforts made it possible for the Monserrate Parks and Palaces to open up to the public in 2010.

Monserrate Palace's Unique Architecture

monserrate palace

The history and significance of Monserrate Palaces’ are as interesting as it gets. Monserrate Palace was once originally a humble monastery. That is reflected in the wide open spaces and some unembellished historical prayer walls. The Monserrate Palace then became very popular within the creative circles. Lord Byron himself was enamored by the palace structure and complex.

The English trader and businessman Francis Cook then bought the Monserrate Palace complex, this is when the major restorations and uphaul of the Monserrate complex began. He sought out the wise counsel of architect James Knowles and together went on to transform Monserrate Palace and Park. The Monserrate Palace is built with Indian and Gothic influences with Moorish touches. The gardens were restored under the care of William Stockdale and his cohort of fellow gardeners and landscapers. The gardens have plant species from all around the world and are an amazing place to rest your feet after walking around the Monserrate Palace complex for so long.

Monserrate Palace Highlights

monserrate palace

Sacred Art Room

Often referred to as the small museum, the sacred art room houses a notable collection of art and religious artifacts. These artifacts were curated by Francis Cook. The Sacred art room also features a stained glass window that lends to the religious artifacts museum ambiance.

monserrate palace

Main Hall

The main hall is the central atrium of the Monserrate palace. The towering arches and domes are indicative of the gothic architectural influence of the time. The grand interior welcomes people to the rest of Monserrate Park and the Palace complex.

monserrate palace


Francis Cook and his associates made an office out of the Monserrate Palace library. The entrance of the room can be blocked off with an ornate and heavy wooden door. The door itself is considered a piece of art.

monserrate palace

Billiards Room

During Francis Cook’s time, the men would usually smoke following a meal. In the absence of an actual smoking room, they made good use of the billiards room. The room features beautiful Porphyry engravings that elevated the charm of the room.

monserrate palace

Music Room

Francis Cook regarded the Music room as his main hall. This is where he would greet guests. This space also doubled as a party room where the Cooks would host soirees. The room also had good acoustics, this was done so that the musicians could entertain the guests properly.

monserrate palace

Fern Valley

Under the able guidance of William Stockdale and James Knowles, the Monserrate garden could feature some of the rarest and most beautiful gardens in the world. The garden also has a vast collection of arboreal ferns that were sourced from New Zealand and Australia.

monserrate palace


The current chapel that stands here used to have the original chapel for Our Lady of Monserrate. The current chapel has artificial ruins built by Gerard de Visme. The chapel was also used to house three sarcophagi that served as garden ornaments. They are now housed in the São Miguel de Odrinhas Archaeological Museum in Sintra.

monserrate palace

Rose Garden

Through his expansive rose gardens you could tell Francis Cook’s love of roses. He considered roses to be the Queen of flowers. They sourced roses from all around the world. The rose garden is a must-visit when going to Monserrate Palace and the park.

monserrate palace

Staircase on the Scented Path

This clever piece of architecture takes influence from the palace of Monserrate. The staircase on the scented path connects the outside of the palace to the inside. The Staircase on the Scented Path structure rises above the fish tank which gives it a scenic view.

monserrate palace

Mexican Garden

The Mexican garden strategically makes use of the driest and warmest part of the Monserrate complex. The garden is watered through a series of water-carrying systems. The water system features a canal, water pathways, and water tanks. It is a must-visit in the Monserrate palace complex for the beautiful collection of warm climate plants.

Best Time to Visit Monserrate Palace

monserrate palace

Monserrate should be visited in the summers. Portuguese summers are mild and provide beautiful blue skies. This is the perfect backdrop for your picnics or walking tours. Monserrate palace and park are also not very known by tourists and locals alike, therefore you can usually get empty booking slots at the entrance. However, if you want to beat the crowds then make sure to visit the Monserrate Palace and Park complex between 11 am and 2 pm

Make sure to go during the day to capture the scenic beauty of Monserrate park and the beautiful structures within the palace complex.

Best time to visit Paris

Must See In Sintra

Looking to explore the best of Sintra? Read this post that takes you through a list of must see attractions in Sintra

Monserrate Palace Sintra - Opening Hours

  • Open every day of the year, except December 25th and January 1st
  • Monserrate Park: 10 am to 6 pm, last ticket and last admission 5 pm
  • Monserrate Palace: 10 am to 6 pm, last ticket 5 pm, last admission 5:30 pm

Monserrate Palace - Getting There

  • By Train and Bus
    Lisbon to Sintra: Train (CP) – Sintra Line
    (Departure stations: Oriente; Rossio; Entrecampos)
    Sintra (train station) to Monserrate: Bus n.º 435 (Scotturb)
  • By Car
    You can reach the town of Sintra using:
    • IC19 (from Lisbon)
    • IC30 (from Mafra)
    • EN9 (from Cascais, via the A5)

  • The Park and Palace of Monserrate are located on the road that connects the center of the town center of Sintra to Colares (EN375).

Monserrate Palace Map

Restaurants near Monserrate Palace

Here are the top places to curb your hunger after visiting the Monserrate Palace and Park

monserrate palace
Monserrate's Tea House

This charming tea house is located in the picturesque Monserrate Park and offers a variety of dining options.

monserrate palace

The Palace restaurant is located on the upper floor of the neo-Indian building. The Palace Restaurant is located in the Room of Arches. From its windows, you will be treated to a wonderful view of the park and palace.

monserrate palace

This cafeteria is located on the top of the neo-Indian building. This cafeteria also comes with access to one of the most beautiful terraces of the Palace.

monserrate palace

It is located on one of the most beautiful terraces of the National Palace of Pena, overlooking the High Cross and the Atlantic Ocean.

Monserrate Palace Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know

  • The original palace facade was made in 1540!
  • The Monserrate palace used to be popular with European artists of the 1800s
  • The Monserrate palace sits atop a hill. This is why it looks like the castle is floating above its surroundings
  • The chapel that is located near the Australian rubber tree wasn't actually in ruins. It was built to resemble ruins
  • Francis Cook loved roses. His love of roses was responsible for the creation of the rose garden

Monserrate Palace Reviews

It was very useful your help with the tickets bought at the last time. We received a cashback Monet for our previous bought that we occupied to Monserrate.

- Cecilia, Headout, July 2022

Réservation facile et réduction à la clé dès que l'on réserve 1x avec headout. Le palais de Monserrat est magnifique et les jardins d'une grande beauté. Le tout dans un calme impressionnant (cela change des autres visites à Sintra!).

- Marchand, Headout, June 2022

Insider Tips for Visiting Monserrate Palace Sintra

  • The Monserrate garden alone covers two hectares of area. This means that you will be on your feet a lot. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  • The Monserrate complex is a solemn place, though it doesnt house any religious artifacts, it is expected of you to dress modestly.
  • The Monserrate palace and park have stables. The horses are well-kept, and you might stumble into an equestrian show or two.
  • Book trekking trips through the Moorish castles or the lush garden vegetation.
  • If you want to have a once-in-a-lifetime picnic opportunity, make sure to book it in advance! The summer season is the best time to book these picnics.
  • If you are someone with a huge green thumb, make sure to visit the Monserrate Nature Interpretation Centre.

Places to visit around Monserrate Palace


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Park Guell Guide