One of the many elegant palaces of Sintra, just outside of Lisbon, Queluz Palace dates back to the 18th century and is considered an excellent example of Portugal’s Rococo architecture. Its sprawling gardens, fountains, and statues have earned it its nickname as the Versailles of Portugal.
Built as a summer retreat for Prince D. Pedro of Bragança, it later served as the official residence of the royal family following a fire that destroyed the Ajuda Palace in Lisbon. Today it hosts state events, as well as classic music concerts in the summer months. The ornate Throne Room is a highlight for many, with mirror-lined walls and glass chandeliers overhead. The Royal Bedroom has walls lined with murals of Don Quixote and an impressively domed ceiling. The palace gardens and tiled canal, with water flowing to the many lakes, are impressive enough to warrant their own visit.
The palace is open Wednesday to Monday from 9 am to 5:30 pm, with extended hours to 7 pm from March to October. Get there on the Sintra train line, a 10-minute walk from Queluz-Belas station.