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Is Queluz Palace and Gardens Worth Visiting on a Trip to Lisbon?

Are you wondering if Queluz Palace is worth visiting? Plan a day trip from Lisbon to Queluz National Palace and garden with this helpful travel guide.

Have you heard of Queluz Palace? Lisbon and surrounding towns like Sintra are home to a number of beautiful palaces. Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle, and Quinta da Regaleira are three of the area's most popular attractions.

You may be wondering: Is Queluz Palace worth visiting on a trip to Lisbon? Read on to learn more about doing a day trip to Palácio Nacional e Jardins de Queluz. I would argue that this palace rich in history and sumptuous architecture is a true Lisbon hidden gem.  

Queluz Palace viewed from the Tiled Canal

Queluz Palace History

Queluz is an 18th century Portuguese palace. Construction began in 1747. The palace is done in Rococo style and was intended as a summer home for Dom Pedro of Braganza. 

After Ajuda Palace was destroyed by fire in 1794, Queluz Palace became the official royal residence of Prince Regent John VI. 

The royal family remained here until fleeing for Brazil as Napoleon and his French troops closed in on Portugal in 1807.

Neptune Fountain at Queluz Palace near Lisbon

How to Get From Lisbon to Queluz Palace?

While it takes nearly an hour to get from Lisbon to Sintra, Queluz National Palace is located about 40 minutes from central Lisbon on the suburban train line to Sintra. 

Catch the train at Oriente, Rome-Areeiro, or Entrecampos stations and get off the train at Queluz-Belas. A one way train ticket cost less than 2 EUR at the time of writing. Make sure to purchase and validate your train ticket before boarding.

It takes between 10-15 minutes to walk from the train station at Queluz-Belas to the entrance of Queluz Palace.

Monkey Fountain at Queluz Palace Gardens

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Queluz Palace?

The entry ticket for Queluz Palace and Gardens cost 10 EUR at the time of writing for an adult ticket. 

Download the CloudGuide App to your smartphone (you'll find QR codes at the palace ticket office) and purchase the tour of Queluz Palace for about a Euro bringing the total cost of an adult visit to 11 EUR. 

We found that the virtual self-guided tour was totally worth it for the added context. It really helps bring Queluz Palace to life.

Queluz Palace viewed from the Hanging Gardens

Highlights of the Queluz Palace Tour

Now let's take a look at some highlights from a self-guided Tour of Queluz Palace and Gardens. 

The Throne Room

All I can say is Wow! The Throne Room at Queluz National Palace is very impressive. The Throne Room is done in a French Rococo style. 

Look up at the impressive chandeliers. Spin around and check out the gilded mirrors on the walls. Take a closer look at the golden statues in the corner.

The Throne Room at Queluz PalaceGolden Sculptures in the Throne Room at Queluz Palace

The Throne Room is still used to this day for State banquets hosted by the president of the Republic of Portugal. 

The Music Room

The Queluz Palace Music Room is also pretty cool. The centerpiece of the room is a historic Clementi pianoforte. Apparently, the wife of João VI used this room as her hand-kissing room and reception area. 

Music Room at Queluz Palace

The Queluz Palace Music Room is one of the oldest rooms in the palace and was designed by architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira. 

The Skylight Room

The Skylight Room was a sort of office space with light streaming in through a skylight in the roof. We learned that in this room preparations were made for Napoleon to visit Queluz Palace. However, Napoleon instead invaded Portugal and the monarchy decamped to Brazil.

Portugal was effectively governed from Brazil for a period of about 15 years.

The Hall of Tiles

The Hall of Tiles at Queluz Palace is another spectacular space. Colorful scenes on the walls represent the four seasons with azulejos. Below this, you'll find blue and white tiles that are focused on hunting. 

The Hall of Tiles at Queluz Palace

The Don Quixote Room

The Don Quixote Room at Queluz Palace is noteworthy for a few reasons. This is the room where Dom Pedro IV (King of Portugal and Emperor of Brazil) was born. He died in this very same room of Tuberculosis at the young age of 35. 

The Don Quixote Room is named for the paintings displayed here that cover scenes from the life of Cervantes' Don Quixote de la Mancha. The paintings were saved during the fire that struck Queluz Palace in 1934 because they were undergoing restoration at the time. 

Don Quixote Room at Queluz Palace near Lisbon

The other unique feature of the Don Quixote Room is that while it is a square layout, it is made to look round thanks to eight circular columns supporting the dome roof.

Highlights of the Queluz Gardens

Our self-guided tour of Queluz National Palace continues with the Jardim do Palácio de Queluz: the spectacular gardens and grounds. Queluz Garden is considered to be a Baroque Rococo benchmark garden in Portugal. 

Let's take a closer look at some of the highlights of the Queluz Palace Gardens.

Sculptures by John Cheere

Keep a special eye out for sculptures by John Cheere. Cheere was an 18th century English sculptor working in London. The group of about 15 Cheere sculptures at Queluz Palace comprises the largest collection of the artist's work outside of England.

Mars and Minerva sculptures guarding the door of Queluz Palace near Lisbon

The sculptures are helpfully labeled on the free map of the palace and gardens that comes with your ticket.

The Tiled Canal

The Tiled Canal (aka Tiles Channel) is one of the most spectacular parts of the Queluz Palace Gardens. The Tiled Canal comprises 150 meters of tiled walls, with a sluice of muddy water going through. (I assume the water was muddy because it was raining on the day we visited.)

The Tiled Canal in the Queluz Palace Gardens

You can definitely see some 18th Century motifs running through the tiles. For example, you'll see people wearing pointy, tri-cornered hats. 

The tiles are multicolored on the side closest to the palace and there are blue azulejos on the other side depicting more seafaring themes. 

The Tiled Canal in the Queluz Palace Gardens

If you walk up the staircase by the Tiled Canal, you can get a fantastic view over the beautiful blue Queluz Palace. 

Back of Queluz Palace viewed from the Tiled Canal

Around The Robillion Staircase

The Robillion Staircase was carved from a single stone that led from the private quarters of King Pedro III and Queen Maria I to the Robillion Pavilion which housed the cages where the royal family would keep lions, monkeys, and other exotic animals. 

Robillion Staircase or Lion's Staircase at Queluz PalaceShell Fountain and Menagerie at Queluz Palace

I recommend making your grand entrance into Queluz Gardens using the Robillion Staircase. Make sure to watch your step. If it's rainy, the staircase can be quite slippery.

The Labyrinth Garden

The Labyrinth or Old Maze Garden at Queluz Palace is beautiful with well-coiffed hedges. It's hard to get lost here since the hedges are quite low and you can easily see how to get around any obstacles. 

Labyrinth or "Old Maze" Garden at Queluz Palace Gardens

Around the Botanical Garden

En route to the Botanical Garden, stop and have a look at The Palm Game. This is a sort of 18th century tennis court.

The signature feature of the Queluz Palace Botanical Garden are the four greenhouses growing pineapples. Some of the monarchs who lived here actually personally tended the fruit since pineapple was a limited and much loved delicacy at the time. 

Pineapple and Ananas sign in the greenhouse at the Queluz Palace Botanical Garden

The botanical garden is a bit jarring to visit. A major highway runs right outside the walls so it can be quite loud here. 

Neptune's Garden and Malta Garden

Neptune's Garden and Malta Garden are nestled in next to the palace walls. Both are quite beautiful and the mix of intricate hedges, fountains, and ornate sculptures make this area of Queluz Palace a photographer's dream. 

Malta Garden at Queluz Palace

Are There Places to Eat Near Queluz Palace?

What if you get hungry while visiting Queluz Palace? There is a small cafe onsite, but it wasn't open when we visited on a Saturday in late October. We did discover an unassuming looking Bar - Tostaria just across the street from the palace entrance. 

Bar - Tostaria awning near Queluz Palace

The place looks like a dive, but the sandwiches served on toasted baguettes were actually outstanding. Try the ham and cheese or tuna tosta. Depending on how hungry you are, you could probably share one tosta between two people.

Is Queluz Palace Worth Visiting?

I hope you'll agree that Queluz Palace is definitely worth visiting. The building itself is well-maintained and filled with sumptuous period furnishings. The self-guided CloudGuide audio tour provides a glimpse into the rich history of this place and its importance to the Portuguese royal family.

On a sunny day, you could spend hours simply strolling the expansive Queluz Palace Gardens. Queluz Palace is definitely a Lisbon hidden gem and an ideal Lisbon day trip to consider.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Is Queluz Palace and Gardens Worth Visiting on a Trip to Lisbon?
Is Queluz Palace and Gardens Worth Visiting on a Trip to Lisbon?
Are you wondering if Queluz Palace is worth visiting? Plan a day trip from Lisbon to Queluz National Palace and garden with this helpful travel guide.
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