LISBON trip to QUELUZ PALACE – by Train

Lisbon is a cruise port many regular sailors will visit over and over again, and whilst it has much to see, there are some adventures you may not have considered. Queluz Palace is one such visit we have had on our bucket list. This time, despite the worry of getting back to see Gary Barlow live on our ship the Iona (see tour) at 8 pm, we ventured out. A few months earlier on the QM2 (great ship, see tour), we went to the station and did a recce and saw how easy it looked but decided to leave it to our next trip and leave early. We didn’t leave early but had to be back, so that might not have been bright. However, we know the route to Rossio Station, up through the square, under the earthquake arch, up to the main square where the Lisbon Christmas Market was, and then further on to the station. The walk took no time at all, the ticket purchase was easy and the train to Sintra left about five minutes later. Within 18 minutes we were in Bellos Queluz. The station offers no clues, so we explain in the video, turn right and leave the station, and turn left into town. The walk downhill through a basic area of houses and shops had signposts to the palace. The ticket office is in the opening of the facing building to the left. The queue is slow, so use the ticket machine on the left as shown in the film. The journey was so easy we will now try Sintra palace which is more of a visit and nearly an hour away and under the same management team so you can ask questions while at Queluz.

The National Palace of Queluz is a luxury dwelling that like all historic and World Heritage buildings is under constant maintenance. Its architectural style comes from three generations of the Portuguese Royal Family and reflects the evolution from Baroque to Rococo, and to Neoclassicism.

Possible Tours



Here is the link to the group of palaces including Sintra and Queluz. It also has the audio guide, which you can purchase on a 5-month deal to set up and test it before you go. You can run it against our film and get familiar with the site as this will really aid your enjoyment and you will look for the small things you might otherwise miss. 


A little trivia – Although Vincentian priest Pedro Maria Boss first suggested placing a Christian monument on Mount Corcovado in the mid-1850s, it was going to be a statue to Pedro’s daughter Isabel. Emperor Pedro II from Portugal decided to stay and rule Brazil and wanted a statue of his daughter Princess Isabel built to commemorate the end of slavery. She refused the statue and in 1888 stated that the statue should be that of Christ the true redeemer of men (meaning all sexes/everybody). See our film.

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After the Palace of Queluz, which offers an audio commentary there is also an app for the surrounding scenic gardens. These have huge Italian and English influences. In its glorious past, these have been the setting for sumptuous garden parties with gondola trips in the tiled mini-canal, theatre presentations, hunting, musical performances, masked balls, games and open-air recitals. It sports English and Italian statues and has waterfalls and fountains.

The original Queluz Country House was a summer retreat for the Spanish royal family, and it was secluded in a hollow. It was commissioned by the first Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo, Cristóvão de Moura, and confiscated in the wake of the Restoration of Independence in 1640 as the Spanish were driven out of Portugal. It then became a hunting lodge for the Portuguese King João IV, known as John the Restorer.

In 1747, Prince Pedro, third Lord of the Casa do Infantado appointed Portuguese architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira to expand the “Old Palace”. When he announced he was to marry his cousin and heir to the throne, Princess Maria, the property was further extended with the nobility of a royal palace. From 1826, the palace slowly fell from favour with the Portuguese sovereigns and became nationally owned. It is a lavish home rather than a grand palace, and easily seeable in a couple of hours.

  • 1654 King João IV
  • 1747 King Pedro
  • 1760 King Pedro married his niece who became
  • 1777 Queen Maria I and he became the consort
  • 1786 King Pedro III
  • 1792 King João VI
  • 1807 Napoleon invaded
  • 1821 Court returns to Portugal
  • 1826 King João VI dies, King Pedro IV was declared king, but abdicated in favour of his daughter Queen Maria II in order to stay as Emperor of Brazil which he proclaimed in 1822. The palace starts to lose favour.
  • 1828 King Miguel acclaimed absolute King of Portugal
  • 1831 King Pedro IV abdicated from his position as Emperor of Brazil and returned to fight for his daughter’s right to the throne.
  • 1832-1834 Civil War. Queen Maia II ascends to the throne.
  • 1908 King Miguel gives the palace to the National Treasury
  • 1910 Palace declared a National Monument
  • 1934 Palace fire. Part of the upper floor is removed rather than restored.
  • 2012 Parques de Sintra-Monte da Lua take over the management of the palace and begin major restoration.

At the end of the film, there are snippets on some of our other palace tours that can all be found in the Place and Royal Dwellings Playlist.

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