Let me take you to what has become one of my favorite places. A place so special, so inspiring and left me creatively refreshed and renewed. There aren’t enough words to describe, nor photos that can do the beauty of the Palacio Nacional de Queluz, justice. It’s often been referred to as the Versailles of Portugal, and one can clearly see why. Having not been to the famed French palace yet, I was no longer making comparisons when upon entering the first hallway in Queluz, it had already taken my breath away.
In that moment alongside a fellow admirer, although being sadly rushed by her partner, we were equally captivated and mesmerized by its charm. She having been to Versailles, was quick to remark when I made the comparison, that the Palacio Nacional de Queluz was far more beautiful and enchanting, than the exuberance of its French counterpart. A mere handful of minutes and we both knew just how special and unique this place is. It’s intriguing, so full of details in every direction and corner one stops to admire … but it’s a calming richness, that can only be appreciated in person.
Each room, so different and distinctly their own. It should come as no surprise my favorites, which were many, were the ones designed mostly by women. When visiting Palacio de Queluz for the first time, I sincerely suggest you clear your day for this beauty. It’s not somewhere you can rush by in an hour or two, perhaps you can, but you simply couldn’t embrace every rich intricate detail it holds. Even if royal history or palaces aren’t your thing, go for the design, the art and aged interiors that speak endless words, all while being still in time.
Every room deserves its full attention. Walk by or turn around too quickly, and you will miss the vast amount of minuscule but detailed vastness even the smallest corner can embody. The way the colors, textures and shapes all perfectly blend, never overpowering one another. Perfection. It truly is no surprise it’s one of the prettiest palaces in Portugal, but it also happens to be one of my favorites whenever I see a wedding styled in one of its grand rooms, or garden spaces. And now, even more so.
As the handful of tourists that were also visiting quickly walked on by, snapping their photos, I was fully immersing myself into this stunning world. Hours went by, and I left feeling like there was so much still left to see. The gardens are as vast as the interiors, so plan for a leisure walk around the green walkways. For the locals, one can actually just visit the gardens, making it a great place for an afternoon with the kids or escape the hustle of city life.
Arriving I nestled into a table at Impecável’s esplanada, savored a mushroom risotto and glass of wine, and gazed onto the Palacio’s walls — excitedly anticipating what wonders awaited me.
Sintra is a beautiful city, one full of history and gorgeous palaces, all from another time and all distinctly unique and beautiful. The city is colorful, like its iconic Palacio da Pena, lush in florals and with plenty for one to get “lost” and wander. If you’re in the Lisboa area of Portugal, I highly recommend taking some time to visit Sintra. From someone who hasn’t even made a dent in all there is to experience here, it’s worth making time to visit whenever possible!
You can read all about the royal palace’s rich history, along with the story of each room, here.
For this travel journey, we’ll take a quiet walk, admiring all the beauty I fully savored. All that has permanently left their beautiful etchings on my soul…..