Sintra is the romantic, historic town located on the rolling mountain slopes of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. The entire area, including the Sierra de Sintra, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A short drive from Lisbon and Cascais, the stunning town and surrounding countryside provides a great day out with many activities, including nature walks, visiting the historic sights, beaches, local markets and museums. Alternatively, you can simply enjoy the beautiful setting amongst the ancient cobblestone streets to while away a relaxed afternoon at a local restaurant, or sampling the wines at one of the local wineries in Colares or Mafra.
It is worth allowing at least two days to visit all the main sights, however a longer break is ideal for those that crave nature and tranquillity, whilst allowing more time to explore everything the region offers.
To enhance your visit, it is worth booking one of the best hotels in Sintra. Whether you are looking for a characterful guest house in the centre of town, a countryside spa resort, or a historic palace in the lush forest, we have selected for you some of the most beautiful places to stay while you experience the magical Portuguese town and region of Sintra.
Luxury Hotels in Central Sintra
Casa Holstein Quinta São Sebastião
This beautifully renovated 19th Century palace has been converted into a wonderfully indulgent hotel, offering elegant rooms with period furniture, some with a private terrace, and an independent two-bedroom villa. The surrounding private park and gardens, with a tree-lined swimming pool and wild peacocks roaming the grounds, makes Casa Holstein a wonderful oasis right in the centre of the old town and the perfect base for exploring all the main sights.
Lawrence's Hotel is a charming, historic hotel set in a renovated countryside manor in the centre of the old town. Self-proclaimed as the oldest hotel in Portugal and Spain, it has hosted famous authors, including the poet Lord Byron and Portuguese writer José Maria Eça de Queirós. A fine dining restaurant and a bar are open until late at the hotel. The guest rooms are ornate and traditionally decorated, with antique furniture and a lounge area. The hotel is also family-friendly, providing childcare services.
Boutique Hotels in Sintra
Sintra Boutique Hotel
Perfectly located in the historic centre, but just off the main route of bustling crowds, this aptly named boutique hotel offers modern and spacious themed rooms and suites that each highlight a different era or event in Portuguese history. With views of the old town and Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, you can enjoy a relaxed drink in the garden after a busy day of sightseeing at the courtyard bar. The Sintra Boutique Hotel offers a substantial breakfast and includes an upscale restaurant serving contemporary Portuguese cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients.
Guest Houses in Sintra
A beautifully restored 19th-century townhouse with a historic feel, conveniently situated right in the centre of town. The elegant living rooms have a vintage feel, decorated with frescoes and antique furniture and lots of natural light shining through the large windows overlooking the garden. Relax in the sun on the rooftop terrace, or you can enjoy the picnic area amongst the trees in the beautiful gardens featuring antique water fountains and ponds.
Ideal for a couple or group of friends with children, Chalet Saudade includes 4 eclectic rooms with vintage wooden or mosaic floors, romantic in style adorned with lush Portuguese textiles. All rooms include a living room, some with a balcony. Breakfast is served at their charming Café Saudade, located across the road from the property.
Luxury Hotels Outside Sintra
Penha Longa Resort
This elegant and luxuriously laid-back resort is housed in a former 14th century estate within the Sintra Cascais Nature Reserve. Taking you back to the time when hermit monks and royalty inhabited this place, The Penha Longa Resort was a beautiful monastery from the time is part of the hotel grounds. The spacious rooms and suites have a contemporary feel, all featuring private balconies with views across the beautiful gardens.
The hotel has many recreation facilities, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, horse riding, a fitness centre and world-class spa. The golf course is in the top 30 in Continental Europe. Also family friendly, the resort features a kid’s club, children’s playground and mini golf course.
There are 9 onsite restaurants, two of which are Michelin starred, offering a range of cuisines, including Portuguese, Basque, Italian, and Japanese. An exquisite, extended buffet breakfast is served at Il Mercato restaurant or overlooking the gardens.
Tivoli Pálacio de Seteais
Once closed to the public, the Tivoli Pálacio de Seteais is a renovated 18th century neoclassical palace with period architecture, located in the wooded Sintra mountains of Seteais. Originally home of Portugal’s Dutch Consul, it then passed through the hands of the Portuguese nobility. This unique hotel maintains its grand historical style, offering the closest experience you will find to staying in an actual Sintra castle!
The place exudes elegance and character, with its traditional interiors featuring frescoed walls, chandeliers and antique furniture as well as a glamorous dining room and bar. Indulge yourself in luxury and choose from one of the 30 opulent rooms and suites, all with stunning views over the Sintra valley to the Atlantic ocean, some with a private terrace.
Many famous guests have stayed at the hotel over the years, including Agatha Christie and Mick Jagger. There is a spa and tennis court on the grounds and a swimming pool set amongst the beautiful gardens and wild peacocks.
Guest Houses Outside Sintra
Chalet O Amorzinho Sintra Praia
The Chalet O Amorzinho Sintra Praia in Azenhas do Mar offers the perfect location in nature for beachlovers, whilst only a 20 minute drive from Sintra town and still convenient for visiting all the main sights. After a morning of sightseeing in the surrounding area, you can relax on the sun terrace in the garden with an oceanfront outdoor pool and jacuzzi. The contemporary rooms feature a patio or a balcony with sea views. Guests can take the opportunity to further explore the area’s stunning Atlantic coastline, with Aguda Beach, Macas Beach and Praia Pequena do Rodizio a short distance away.
Hotels with Beautiful Views Around Sintra
Sintra Palace Marmòris
This elegant 19th century manor house is a beautiful private home perfectly situated in between the historic centre and Sintra National Park. Surrounded by extended lush gardens and woods the property offers spectacular views. The Sintra Palace Memòris has 9 spacious rooms and suites, all lavishly decorated by the family owners, featuring marble floors and bathtubs from the family’s own marble quarry in Alentejo. There is a heated outdoor pool onsite, as well as a lovely restaurant serving refined Portuguese cuisine.
Stay here to take full advantage of the natural gardens of Sintra and its breathtaking scenic views over the National Palace and Mouros Castle, whilst only a short walk from the historic centre.
Eugaria Country House
This charming 18th century country house has been renovated into a charming boutique hotel situated in an idyllic location in Colares, only a 10 minute drive from Sintra town and a short distance from the area's coastline and stunning beaches. With far reaching views over the Sintra mountains and Atlantic ocean, Eugaria Country House features elegant rooms in a peaceful and quiet location surrounded by nature. The friendly hosts provide a wonderful organic breakfast with their own fruits and vegetables freshly picked from the garden.
Sintra Top Tips
Weather - Sintra experiences a microclimate all year round, with its mountain location where the cool Atlantic air meets the warm Mediterranean air, creating magical misty mornings across the forest canopy and cooler evenings, even in the Summer months.
Dress Comfortably - With unpredictable weather, sometimes hot and sunny, cool and rainy all on the same day - bring layers and a rain jacket. Many of the sights require a lot of walking, so it's advisable to wear good walking shoes.
Timing Set out bright and early to avoid the afternoon crowds. Allow at least 2 days to visit all the main sights, but it’s worth setting aside longer if you want to explore the natural park, historic towns and beautiful wild coastline in the surrounding region.
Plan Ahead - A popular town for tourists and Portuguese locals, the best places to stay in Sintra are busy all year round, it’s worth planning and booking your stay well in advance.
Beautiful walking trails in the surrounding Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais
Local markets and museums - including the Museu das Artes de Sintra and the Sintra Myths and Legends Interactive Centre is great for children.
The Palacio da Pena, built in 1854 by Fernando II as a romantic hideaway, will transport you into a living fairytale.
Castelo dos Mouros, the hilltop Moorish 8th century castle. The views from the castle walls are stunning!
The 1000 year old Palacio Nacional, located in Sintra's historic centre.
The beautiful Monserrate Palace, combining Eastern and Moorish architecture.
Quinta da Regaleira, a grand 20th century Templar themed mansion with spectacular gardens, full of hidden tunnels and ancient symbolism.