The best independent guide to Lisbon
The best independent guide to Lisbon
The Estação de Rossio is the primary station in Lisbon for the Lisboa-Sintra suburban railway. This railway is important for visitors, as it connects Lisbon to the popular tourist town of Sintra and passes the two stations that serve the Palácio Nacional de Queluz.
The Estação de Rossio station is not only an important station, but also a magnificent building, and a tourist attraction in its own right. The wonderfully ornate exterior of Rossio station was inspired by classical 16th-century Portuguese Manueline architecture, and passengers enter via two horseshoe-shaped archways, while turrets and pinacols line the roof.
For passengers, the station is small and easy to navigate around, but the ticket hall and ticket offices can get very crowded with day-trippers heading to Sintra. This article will provide an overview of the Estação de Rossio and includes details of train services to Sintra and Queluz.
Rossio train station is situated in the centre of the Baixa district (GPS: 38.71439, -9.14067), on the avenue connecting the Praça D. Pedro IV (often referred to Rossio) to the Praça dos Restauradores. The station is connected to the green metro line by the Rossio metro station.
Note: The Estação do Rossio only serves the suburban railway to Sintra. Trains to Cascais and Estoril depart from the Cais do Sodré train station while intercity services depart from the Santa Apolónia or the Estação do Oriente stations.
Rossio station should be considered as a minor train station; apart from the ticket offices and platforms, there is very little else. The station extends up one of the steep hills of Lisbon, and from the entrance hall escalators (or lifts) ascend two levels up to the main concourse.
Note: The ticket office and ticket machines can get very busy in the mid-morning tourist rush to Sintra, and in the peak season queues can be as long as 30 minutes. If you are planning a day trip to Sintra, always start early in the day to avoid the crowds. .
Sintra is a delightful Portuguese town that boasts extravagant palaces, lavish villas and beautiful natural scenery. Sintra is only 27km from central Lisbon and can be easily visited as a day trip. The recommended means of travel to Sintra is by train, as Sintra has very limited car parking, and the narrow hill roads quickly become congested.
Advice: Sintra train station is 1.5km from the historic centre, and the main sights (Pena Palace, Castelo dos Mouros and Monserrate Palace) are spread across the hills of the region. It is always advisable to have a plan before visiting Sintra to avoid unnecessary walking and the crowds of tourists.
Related articles: Sintra Guide – Day trip to Sintra
The train departures from the Estação de Rossio to Sintra are frequent and inexpensive, and are operated by the national train company of Portugal, Comboios de Portugal (CP). The Sintra line is a suburban service, so there are many stops and the journey can feel very slow, taking 45 minutes to travel the 27km to Sintra.
Fares are calculated by the number of zones that are passed through and the train to Sintra from central Lisbon passes through four zones. A single four-zone ticket costs €2.25 /€1.15 (adult/child), and a return ticket costs the price of two singles, €4.50 /€2.30 (adult/child). The train ticket is charged to the Viva Viagem public transport card, which costs €0.50 for the initial purchase. A detailed description of all fares for Lisbon’s suburban railway can be seen of the CP website:
The Lisbon to Sintra train service is an important commuter route, and services start early in the day and continue late into the night, with three departure per hour during daylight hours. For the latest timetable, please see the Comboios de Portugal (CP) website:
The train to Sintra waiting in Rossio station
Warning: The Sintra railway passes through some of the most deprived areas of the city. The train is safe but always be wary of weirdos or dodgy looking people, and it is always best to conceal expensive items. When travelling late at night always sit in carriages with lots of other passengers.
There is an alternative direct train to Sintra from Lisbon, which departs from the Estação do Oriente. This station is to the north-east of Lisbon in the Parque das Nações district, and is closer to the airport. The Oriente-Sintra service should be used by visitors who are travelling to/from the airport or are catching a connecting train service from the Estação do Oriente. For all other journeys, depart from the Estação do Rossio.
Related articles: Lisbon to Sintra – Sintra Guide - Estação do Oriente
Sintra station is the final stop of the railway
Queluz is a magnificent National Palace that boasts French-styled gardens and opulent staterooms, which is frequently regarded as the Versailles of Portugal. The palace is stunning but surprisingly little visited, as most day-trippers head to over-crowded Sintra.
The Palácio Nacional de Queluz is reached via the Lisbon-Sintra train, by exiting at the Monte Abrão (GPS: 38.75576, -9.26507) or Queluz-Belas (GPS: 38.75845, -9.25623) train stations. From both stations, it is a 1km walk to the palace. A single fare costs €1.60 (as it is a two-zone ticket) and a return costs €3.20. The journey takes 20 minutes, and all trains from Rossio to Sintra stop at Monte Abrão or Queluz-Belas.
One of the best ways to discover Lisbon and to meet fellow travellers is to join a guided tour. We have worked with Getyourguide.com for the last six years, and some of the best tours of Lisbon include:
A zapping ticket is a pre-paid card that lets you travel on all of Lisbon public transport and includes the Comboios de Portugal (CP) suburban railways. A zapping ticket uses the same card as a regular train/metro ticket (the Viva Viagem card) and is charged with money (between €3 to €40) using a ticket machine in a metro station.
When the “Zapping” card is loaded with credit, the fare is removed on entering/exiting the barriers at the station. A single train fare costs €1.90 The zapping fare is cheaper than a regular train ticket and avoids the need to stand in the ticket lines, as it is pre-loaded at the metro station.
The trains to Sintra exit Rossio station via a 2,613m long tunnel, which when completed in 1888 was one of 19th century Portugal’s greatest engineering achievements.
Originally a statue of King Sebastian stood on the pedestal between the two arches on the front facade. This statue was knocked down and destroyed in 2016, by a German tourist who attempted to climb up to the pedestal for a photo….
Rossio station was the main passenger terminus of Lisbon until 1957, when most services were transferred to Santa Apolonia, today Lisbon’s primary train station is the Estação do Oriente.
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