The mountainous city of Sintra attracts millions of tourists thanks to its nature and its classic sights. It is one of the wealthiest and most picturesque areas of Portugal and highly worth visiting. Most tourists simply do day trips to Sintra while staying in Lisbon, but if you want a fairytale vacation, consider staying for a few days in Sintra itself.
Many have asked where to stay in Sintra, and this article should give you some nice options. We will keep it brief with some hotel recommendations and quick area descriptions!
Best hotels in Sintra
Sintra has many nice hotels, so the question is what suits you. Most travelers wish to stay in a nice and comfy place that is near the main attractions. For that reason, we have decided to focus on hotels that are within a fair distance of Castelo dos Mouros, Quinta da Regaleira, Palacio Nacional, and Sintra’s other great sites.
You will find our three hotel recommendations in Sintra below.
This stylish hotel is located less than 100 meters away from Palacio Nacional and within a fair distance of the other main attractions. On top of its ideal location, the 4-star Tivoli Sintra is also one of the best-rated hotels in town when it comes to pure quality.
The rooms are very spacious, and you’ll get a nice impression when you step into the lobby – Tivoli is cleverly furnished and gives off a nice vibe (without being overly fancy).
Most rooms are regular 2-person rooms with a decently sized bed and features such as a minibar, air conditioning, and TV with multiple channels. A standard room is perfect for most travelers, but if you want to spend a bit extra, you can get a superior bedroom – even with the possibility of adding an extra bed to the room.
Be sure to book a room with a view. There is a great view from the hotel. The majority of the rooms do have a view, and it can either be looking out over the town or over the valley.
Tivoli Sintra has a restaurant and a bar. When booking your stay, you can add breakfast if you want to eat there in the morning. This is completely optional though, and there are nice cafés in the vicinity where breakfast is also cheap, so you have several options here.
The distance between the hotel and the Lisbon Airport is about 35 kilometers. Using public transport will require multiple stops, so we recommend taking advantage of the airport transportation service that the hotel provides for an extra fee. If you are arriving in your own car, Tivoli Sintra offers parking.
Overall, we believe that Tivoli Sintra is the best option for most travelers visiting the city. It is also affordably priced (cheapest rooms start around 100€ if booking early) so it is our primary recommendation if you are staying in Sintra.
Casa Miradouro is another great hotel in Sintra. It is located in the exact same area as Tivoli Sintra, just a shy bit north. Therefore, it is also near most of Sintra’s top attractions, and you will be staying in a very green area.
In many ways, Casa Miradouro is unlike other high-rated hotels. It is basically a charming, traditional house. There are only a handful of rooms to choose from, so we advise you to book EARLY! It is often fully booked. If you see a room available, even the standard room, just book it and start getting excited. All the rooms are elegant, so it does not matter which one you choose, really – unless you want extra space. In that case, book the master suite!
We should also add that all rooms have balconies. The Miradouro house has a well-kept garden where you can also sit down to enjoy the sun whenever the weather is good – which it is most days in Sintra.
There is a tasty breakfast buffet in the morning with freshly baked bread. So when staying in this hotel, you will get a great start to the day. No doubt.
It is one of the most idyllic places of accommodation in Sintra, so it isn’t cheap. But if you want a romantic and memorable stay, definitely pick Casa Miradouro.
Hotel Nova Sintra
Here is another charming hotel in Sintra. Hotel Nova has a different location than the other two, as it is further away from the attractions in the hills, but closer to the town centre and very close to the station.
It’s also an affordable hotel where you get much more for the money than what the 2-stars indicate.
Hotel Nova Sintra has a very typical Portuguese style. The rooms are not super big, but they are nice and comfortable. They were recently renovated, so you can rest assured that everything is safe and in order. The style of the hotel can be a bit quirky in the common areas, but that is part of the charm. There is a big sun terrace with a nice view of Sintra – be sure to enjoy it.
The service at the hotel is on point, and the staff speaks four different languages (English is one of them, of course). But you should be aware that the hotel has very limited hours for check-in (2 pm to 7 pm) and check-out (7.30 am to 11 am). So plan for that in advance.
There’s free parking if you’re coming in your own car. Hotel Nova Sintra offers car rental to its guests, so if you’re not coming by car, but you want to explore Sintra and the nearby towns with some privacy, this is a great opportunity.
With very reasonable prices, this has become one of the most popular hotels in Sintra among tourists who are looking for a central and calm vacation.
Best areas in Sintra
We will also take a look at the best areas in Sintra to stay in (or near) if you are coming to visit.
São Martinho is the old area, west of the train station. Most of the major sights in Sintra surround São Martinho, so this is a great area to stay in. On top of that, there is a nice selection of hotels, so it is easy to find accommodation in this part of town.
The National Palace, as well as the Sintra Historical Museum, are both just north of São Martinho. Quinta da Regaleira is west, while Castelo dos Mouros and Palacio da Pena are south. So it’s the perfect area, seeing as you can go in all directions for sightseeing. In the middle of São Martinho, you’ll find the old church, along with a few nice restaurants. Buses stop by regularly, and if you have the energy for a walk, São Martinho isn’t too far from the town centre.
Sintra town centre
Hotels in the town centre are not as overbooked as the ones in São Martinho. Obviously, the reason is that the classic attractions in Sintra are a bit further away. But they are still within a fair distance of the modern centre of Sintra. If you stay in the centre, you will also be near the station to go to Lisbon, and you will have supermarkets and modern facilities near.
By going north, south or further west to the Atlantic coast, there are some remote areas that could also be of interest. First of all, these areas are rich in nature and therefore really beautiful. But there are also resorts. One example would be the ultra-popular Penha Longa Resort, located a bit less than 10 kilometers south of Sintra, in the area of Penha Longa. Closer to the coast there are several cute towns with holiday apartments that you could also consider if you fancy a more remote stay without as much hustle-and-bustle from mainstream tourism.
Staying in Lisbon and going to Sintra for a day
Of course, the solution that most visitors take is to stay in Lisbon and make that the centre of their trip. From Lisbon, they go to Sintra on a day trip, which is easy when taking the train from Rossio. You can also do this – it’s amazing to stay in Lisbon, but the question is if one day is truly enough to experience Sintra.
If you are a first-time traveler to Portugal, we recommend you to take a city trip to Lisbon and enjoy that city for all it has to offer. In that case, a day trip to Sintra is enough to get a first impression, and enough to see the main sites. But – you should book a guided tour to make sure you see it all in one day.
If you have already been to Lisbon and you have tried staying in a central hotel there, you might want to focus your next trip on Sintra and do the reverse. You could stay in Sintra for a week, have a more calm holiday, and be surrounded by nature and the remote historical sites. Lisbon is still there to visit if you want to go shopping or partying – but it could be for a single day, while you’re staying in Sintra for the majority of the time. It’s all up to you!
Sintra is a wonderful place to visit. It’s a magical town with some unique sights. Most tourists visit Sintra on a day trip from Lisbon, but if you’re in the mood for more than that, consider finding a place to stay in Sintra for multiple days and truly enjoy the experience.