Located just 20 minutes outside of Lisbon, you can find the National Palace of Quelez (Palácio Nacional e Jardins de Queluz). Less crowded than other highlights in the Lisbon area, but an absolute must-visit if you are staying in Lisbon.
The Palace is located in Quelez, a little town just outside of Lisbon. I have visited Quelez by train, a 20-minute ride from Rossio station. When arriving at Quelez train station, you wouldn’t expect to find such a treasure in this little town. At the time I arrived, around 10.30 in the morning, I couldn’t find any busses to bring me to the Palace, so I decided to walk there. It’s a 15-minute walk, mostly downhill, towards the Palace of Quelez.
Arriving at Palace of Quelez
After the 15-minute walk it was quite hard to miss the Palace of Quelez. As soon as you walk around the last corner you can find the enormous building and sub buildings across the street from each other. If you want to visit Quelez by car, you can easily find a parking spot on the big parking area next to and across from the palace.
When I arrived around 11.00 in the morning, I was afraid there would be a lot of visitors in the palace, meaning that it would be difficult to take pictures. But I was lucky! There were almost no visitors and I even had some rooms and gardens all to myself. Around 12.30 it started to become more crowded.
Entrance is €10, but if you buy your ticket online you will get a 5% discount.
Inside the Palace of Quelez
Your tour at the Palace starts on the inside. Photos are allowed, as long as you don’t use the flashlight. Backpacks need to be worn at the front of your body, according to instructions of the museum employees. The first room to enter is the ball room and is one of the most beautiful rooms in the palace. The lights, glass, gold and chandeliers radiate nothing but pure luxury and beauty.
The tour will bring you to more than 15 rooms within the palace, with each their own purpose, setting and furniture. There is not a lot of information about the rooms, other than a short text in Portuguese or English. But that doesn’t matter, the design of the rooms immediately shows what it’s all about.
Outside the Palace of Quelez
Once you’ve wandered through all the beautiful rooms inside of the palace, the tour continues outside and brings you to the gardens. Here you’ll find 16 hectares of gardens, including sculptures, fountains, flowers and much more. The gardens are very well maintained and look very clean.
If you completely want to explore the gardens, I advise you to take some time because it’s pretty big. Unfortunately, I only had 2 hours for my visit to the Palace of Quelez, so I wasn’t able to discover all its secrets. If you’re hoping to get the gardens all to yourself, Monday morning is a very good time to start your visit.
I have visited Palace of Quelez because I’m a big fan of palaces and castles. Have you visited other beautiful palaces? Please let me know in the comments below!