Capuchos Convent - Sintra
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It is located in the Sintra area which is popular and gets busy from midday on. The best time for a visit is in the morning when they open at 9.30 in the high season and 10 in the low season. However, it is still not as crowded as Palacio de Pena or Quinta da Regaleira.
Avoiding the Crowds
In July and August Sintra is utterly crowded due to the “Three Palace tour”. If you want to visit during the summer, you should go either early or late in the day. Weekends are even busier, and it might be very difficult to find a parking space. Winter is the best time to avoid masses of tourists coming by bus from Lisbon and swarming around. My favorite months are May and September, less hot and busy mostly with a blue sky. However, this time we came at the end of December and experienced 16°C in Lisbon which was 13°C in Sintra. It was sunny around Lisbon for weeks during winter.
Opening Hours and Entrance Fee
- High season (end of March until the end of Oct.): 9.30 a.m. until 8 p.m. last admission at 7 p.m. Entrance fee: adult 7 €
- Low season (end of Oct. until the end of March): 10.00 a.m. until 6 p.m. last admission at 5 p.m. Entrance fee: adult 5 € and family 17 € (2 adults and 2 under 18 years)
- Tip: You get a 5 % discount when buying tickets online
Although Sintra has a different climate to Cascais and Lisbon due to the high elevation summer can be very hot with up to 30°C. There is mostly a breeze which is pleasant during summer but be careful in autumn and winter. Weather is more unpredictable from October to March, and more rain occurs. However, it seldom rains the entire week here. Sintra is frequently covered in fog which creates a mystic atmosphere. In winter we often experienced pleasant weather and mild temps from mid to end of December.
The austere Franciscan Monastery located in the dense forest of the Serra da Sintra National Park is only half an hour drive from Lisbon. It is not directly located on the common tourist route. Due to the remote location, the monks could separate from the world outside. The eight small monk cells were so small that I don’t have an idea how they slept in there and even the visitor rooms were bigger. The unique Convent of the Capuchos is also called “Convent of the Holy Cross” and “Cork Convent” built in 1560. The cork from the oak trees in the region was used as insulation for the cold and humidity which exist in Sintra. The most famous monk was Friar Honório. It is said he became more than 100 years old.
Schedule 1 up to 1 ½ hours for the self-guided tour through the monastery, courtyard, and forest.
Sintra is a Unesco World Heritage Site 1995 and famous to be the first center of European Romantic architecture in the 19th century.