Home > Santa Clara 1728 Review
Updated: August 14, 2020
Santa Clara 1728 – This designer hotel is an exclusive home away from home.
History and design buffs love this sophisticated house near historic Alfama. Not a traditional hotel, this is the first Lisbon venture from owner João Rodrigues and architect Manuel Aires Mateus, who has carefully renovated this eighteenth-century townhouse with a quiet courtyard garden. The effect is a beautiful, restful blend of period bones and clean contemporary design that feels deeply connected to this place and its history: soft blue walls complement the original stone arches, local Lioz limestone is used for the flooring and generous bathtubs, and antique paintings sit next to unusual lights by designer Davide Groppi. Service is personalized and everyone is a guest of the family – meals are served around a single table in the dining room, and thoughtful touches include walking maps of the city and fresh pastries to take with you. The six beautifully simple suites have pine floors, large bathrooms, and fourposter beds from B&B Italia; all the bedrooms have French windows with views of the old town and river.
Santa Clara 1728 – Location
- Address: Campo de Santa Clara, 128, 1100-473 Lisbon.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: Santa Apolónia train and metro station is a 9-minute walk (0.4 mile) away.
- Area: Winning location in São Vicente for those who like historic surroundings off the tourist trail. Surrounded by hilly, medieval streets that are full of traditional restaurants and cute cafes. Plenty of artisan workshops for shopping, starting at the Mercado de Santa Clara in the square outside. Alfama, the oldest part of the city, is an easy 4-minute stroll (0.2 mile) west, Castelo De São Jorge is 14 minutes (0.6 mile) away, and charming Graça is just to the north (0.3 mile, 8-minute walk). It is a bit further out from the center and some big tourist sights, with Baixa 17 minutes (0.8 mile) away.
- How to Get There: The hotel offers complimentary airport transfers. Otherwise, from Lisbon Portela Airport, it is a 20-minute trip on the metro to Intendente: take the red line to Alameda, then change to the green line. From here, hop on the #28E tram to Voz do Operário, a 4-minute walk (0.2 mile) to the hotel. If arriving by train at Gare do Oriente, you can take a local train to Santa Apolónia, then take the #734 bus to the Mercado de Santa Clara stop, right outside the hotel.
- Handy to: Alfama, Castelo De São Jorge, Feira da Ladra.
Santa Clara 1728 – The Basics
- Ages: Guests tend to be independent travelers, late 20s and up, including couples and families. The hotel is popular with creatives and visitors looking for history and culture. Children are welcome.
- View: All of the bedrooms have great views of the Panteão dome and the river.
- Kitchen: Guests have access to a small kitchen but need to check availability with the chefs in advance.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: Laundry service is available through an external company (extra charge).
- Wi-Fi: Free basic Wi-Fi. Downloading large files or streaming video is not possible.
- Parking: None on-site, but public parking is available on the square outside. Note: The street is closed to traffic on Tuesdays and Saturdays for Feira da Ladra, the flea market.
- Extras: Complimentary transfer to and from the airport. Guests are shown the house on arrival and flexible check-in/check-out is possible depending on availability. Tea time each day with fruits, juices, handmade scones, cakes, and wine on offer in the ground floor lounge. Complimentary minibar, and complimentary Molton Brown toiletries in the bathroom. Day trips can be arranged to nearby sights like Sintra (extra charge). Walking maps and recommendations to help guests discover different parts of the city. Warm service with thoughtful surprises, e.g. a small picnic.
- When to Book: Book 3-4 months in advance for the summer high season.
- How to Book: The hotel website gives the best rates.
- Phone: +351 964 362 816
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: silentliving.pt
Santa Clara 1728 – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center.
- For Disabled Guests: There is an elevator to all the floors and step-free access from the street. Rooms are not specially adapted, but are very spacious, including the bathrooms, which are open-plan and step-free. Call to discuss your needs in advance.
- For Families: A babysitting service can be arranged, but otherwise, there are no special family-friendly facilities.
- Activities: The passionate owner and staff will be happy to advise on and help with organizing activities for you in the wider city, and will try to surprise you.
Santa Clara 1728 – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: The dining room on the ground floor, with its long oak table, sits 20 for breakfast and light lunches. There is no dinner service at present, though the previous in-house restaurant Ceia was highly sought-after. There are plans to reopen the restaurant with a new concept soon.
- Lounge/Bar: Tea, coffee, and drinks are available in the lounge, and guests are welcome to take them in the garden or elsewhere in the house.
- Breakfast: The freshly prepared breakfast is always included in the room rate, and is served 7am-12pm daily in the dining room (breakfast outside these hours is possible with advance notice). Guests sit together to enjoy a sharing menu; expect dishes like eggs with asparagus and avocado.
- Room Service: Room service is available, though due to the small size of the team, guests are requested to come downstairs to collect their orders.
Santa Clara 1728 – Rooms
- Room Types: Tejo Suite • Santa Clara Suite
- Smoking Rooms: Santa Clara 1728 is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The rooms are all spacious and uniformly attractive. The larger Santa Clara Suites come with separate sitting rooms and oversized bathrooms with 2 rain showers looking out onto the garden. Suites on the 2nd floor have the most enviable river views.
- For Families: Each Santa Clara Suite has a bedroom and separate sitting room with a sofa bed, and can sleep up to 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children.
Santa Clara 1728 – Local Transport
- Walking: Walking in Lisbon is great fun, provided you have good footwear and do not mind hills and cobblestones. Picturesque Alfama is a 4-minute stroll (0.2 mile), Castelo De São Jorge at the top of the hill takes 14 minutes (0.6 mile), and the Sé de Lisboa cathedral is 12 minutes (0.6 mile) away. The nearest metro and train station at Santa Apolónia is a 9-minute walk (0.4 mile) downhill from the hotel.
- Metro, Tram, and Bus: Public transport in Lisbon is good and includes the metro, buses, historic trams, and 3 funiculars. There are also local trains to Sintra and Cascais from Rossio and Cais do Sodré respectively. Consider getting the Lisboa Card, which covers unlimited trips, including on the trains, as well as free entry to lots of attractions. The metro is good for getting to the airport, while trams are both popular and practical. The famous tram #28E starts at Voz do Operário, 4 minutes (0.2 mile) away, and is a fun way to see the winding streets of Alfama and get across to Baixa, Chiado, and Estrela, while #15E will take you west along the river from Praça do Comércio (1 mile, 21-minute walk) to Alcântara and Belém.
- Taxis, Uber: A taxi from Lisbon Portela Airport will take around 20 minutes (5 miles) and should cost around €16, plus a luggage charge. There is a risk of drivers seeking to cheat tourists on this route; to avoid this, buy a prepaid voucher from Ask Me Lisboa in Arrivals. Uber and other ride-sharing services are cheaper (starting at €10 from the airport), and more so in the city center.
Santa Clara 1728 – What’s Nearby?
The hotel’s peaceful location does often mean you have further to walk. Getting the #28E tram or making using of the free Elevador Castelo to get up to the castle or down to Baixa are less tiring options.
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Lisbon Street Art Tours – If you are curious about Lisbon’s growing urban art scene, go on a dedicated 3-hour stroll. There are open, small group, and private tour options (Open Tours are tips-based). Learn about local and international artists here contributing to this form of art – part of the proceeds goes toward funding the creation of more street art. Open Tours and the Authentic Alfama Tour start at Praça Martim Moniz (0.7 mile, 15-minute walk).
- Devour Lisbon – Spend half a day seeing a new side of the city and Portuguese culture and tasting its iconic foodie highlights. Devour’s tours are decent value at €69 per adult for 3.5 hours. There are over 10 stops, enough for breakfast and lunch, taking in specialties like salted cod, cheeses, pastel de nata, and port. Starts at Praça da Figueira, a 19-minute walk (1 mile).
- SANDEMANs – Become a Lisbon insider by booking a walking tour with a passionate local guide. Fun options include an Alfama tour (€14) and a pub crawl (€15). The most popular offering is the 2.5-hour Free Tour of Lisbon, which is tips-based and takes in Bairro Alto and Baixa. The Alfama tour starts on Praça do Comércio, a 21-minute walk (1 mile) away.
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Santa Clara dos Cogumelos – A popular shrine to mushrooms in the Mercado de Santa Clara, with the cogumelos appearing in every dish on its evolving menu. From eggs with truffle cream to porcini risotto and truffle crème brûlée, it is a delicious mushroomy experience. Across from the hotel. 1-minute walk (15m).
- A Travessa do Fado – A romantic spot for classic Portuguese fare and wine by the Museu do Fado. It is the little sister to the glamorous A Travessa, and gets points for its inviting terrace and live fado shows in the evening. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Zé da Mouraria – Cozy, traditional tasca in Mouraria, famed for its roast cod and large portions. Great for over-indulging in traditional Portuguese fare at a decent price. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Chapitô à Mesa – Warm-toned restaurant from top chef Bertílio Gomes, with distractingly pretty views. It is a casual place attached to the Chapitô circus school by the castle. The menu is a creative take on Portuguese classics such as baked octopus with sweet potatoes or shrimp with kimchi and coconut sauce. Outside, there is also the Chapitô bar with its shaded terrace and dishes cooked on a charcoal and wood grill to enjoy. 15-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Esperança Sé – Appealingly simple pizza-focused Italian place in the shadow of the Sé. Enjoy their wine, risottos, and some of the best pizzas in town. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Tentações de Goa – Spice-lovers should make for this hidden family-run Goan gem in Mouraria. It is popular with an artsy crowd, the flavors are punchy, and the curry is never mild. 16-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Prado – Hip yet affordable spot in Alfama for sharing farm-to-table small plates, pretty with greenery on the ceiling and pendant lights. Young chef António Galapito’s ever-changing menu is all about organic and seasonal Portuguese ingredients. Look out for delights like line-caught squid served with ink and Iberico pork loin and chard. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Cervejaria Ramiro – Pricey but informal, Ramiro has been stuffing diners with quality lobsters and prawns since the 50s. It is renowned for its seafood in Lisbon and does not take evening reservations, so come early or be prepared to queue. 18-minute walk (1 mile).
- Pinóquio – Traditional Portuguese restaurant in busy Baixa. It draws tourist crowds but deservedly so, with excellent takes on classics like rice with cod, prego (steak sandwich), and impressive seafood platters. 20-minute walk (1 mile).
- Alma – Unpretentious yet Michelin 2-starred, Alma is a soulful foodie destination from Henrique Sá Pessoa in a gorgeous historic warehouse. His crack team blends global influences into beautiful modern Portuguese dishes in the open kitchen, complemented by bold wines. Tasting menus (€110-€120) celebrate local fish and seafood and the chef’s Asian-influenced classic dishes. Reserve well in advance. 27-minute walk (1.5 miles), or walk to Santa Apolónia and take the metro to Baixa-Chiado (14-minute trip).
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Damas – An alternative crowd flocks to this restaurant/bar/concert venue, where evenings are lively and full of good vibes. Alexandra and Clara – the Damas – are making quiet Graça a place to go out with their Portuguese fusion kitchen and diverse programming. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Graça do Vinho – This quirky local wine bar is a great find, thanks to its passionate owner Miguel. There are over 40 wines to try by the glass in a welcoming atmosphere, as well as delectable meat/cheese boards. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Topo Martim Moniz – The trendy Topo original exudes casual cool from its perch on top of a shopping center. There are wide wooden benches to take in the panoramic views, cocktails, tempting light bites, and funky music. Topo Chiado is another great location from the group, behind the Convento do Carmo. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Memmo Alfama bar – Memorable in every way, the rooftop bar of this bijou hotel offers a stunning view of Alfama, with wine, tapas, and signature cocktails to taste, great service, and a chic pool terrace to enjoy it all. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Lux Frágil – Join the cool crowd at Lisbon’s hottest club. It has 2 dance floors playing an eclectic mix of music, and a beautiful roof terrace for sipping cocktails by the river. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Hotel Mundial Rooftop Bar – Sleek white rooftop lounge with a nice selection of gins and cocktails. With a panorama that includes nearby Castelo de S. Jorge, it is also one of the best bar views in town. 16-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Outro Lado – Cozy craft beer bar with a retro feel in Alfama. Settle in on a comfy sofa and enjoy their great selection of brews (15 on tap, many more in bottles), board games, and a friendly atmosphere. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Casa Independente – Cool, open cultural space in an old mansion in up-and-coming Intendente. Explore the house to find the Tiger Room, which hosts DJs and the resident band, works by artists in residence, a café, and a courtyard for enjoying a drink or a film screening in summer. 18-minute walk (0.8 mile).
- Ginjinha Sem Rival – Hole-in-the-wall near Rossio making and selling ginjinha, Lisbon’s specialty sour cherry liqueur. The family has been running this famous bar since 1890. Join locals queuing up outside for a shot. 19-minute walk (1 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
- Copenhagen Coffee Lab and Bakery – Danish import bringing excellent espresso and Nordic minimalist vibes to Lisbon. Their cinnamon swirls are scrumptious and they do a mean all-day breakfast for €12. 1-minute walk (50m) to the Campo de Santa Clara branch; 6-minute walk (0.3 mile) to the Escolas Gerais branch.
- Fábrica Lisboa – Not to be confused with Fábrica Coffee Roasters, this café on the edge of Alfama is known for its freshly baked breakfast goodies. Get here early and you will be rewarded with perfect croissants, plain or with fillings, pastries, warm breads, and quality espresso. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Teresa Pavão – Gallery/workshop by the Sé that shows off Pavão’s delicate works: glazed white clay bowls, tiles, bags inspired by traditional bread bags, and even clothes and scarves, mostly handmade. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- A Vida Portuguesa – Your one-stop shop for artisanal Portuguese products, from tinned sardines to pencils, ceramics, and notebooks. The brands are carefully chosen to maintain traditional production as well as make excellent gifts. 18-minute walk (0.8 mile) to the Largo do Intendente branch.
- Manteigaria Silva – Venerable gourmet grocery store stocking the best of Portuguese specialties for over 100 years. It’s all about fine traditional products including charcuterie, cheeses, salt cod, and local wines. 19-minute walk (1 mile) to the historic Rossio branch.
- Garrafeira Nacional – Local wine-selling institution with its own little museum. A great place to stock up on all manner of Portuguese wines, ports, and spirits. 19-minute walk (1 mile) to the Rua de Santa Justa branch.
- Amazingstore – Eco-friendly accessories: watches, bags, wooden glasses, and even wooden bikes, all produced with a focus on sustainability. 19-minute walk (1 mile).
- Cortiço & Netos – Fabulous azulejos (tiles) from discontinued lines, produced by Portuguese factories since the 1960s and collected for preservation and sale by the company. Great for souvenirs and gifts. 19-minute walk (1 mile).
- Rua Augusta – The main artery of Baixa, or downtown, has plenty of high-street fashion as well as edgier finds in grand surroundings built in the Pombaline style. 20-minute walk (1 mile).
- Typographia – Bag yourself a rare find at this artsy provider of locally designed T-shirts with limited runs. 20-minute walk (1 mile).
- Avenida da Liberdade – The swankiest designer shopping in town is found along this grand boulevard. Big names like Armani and Miu Miu have stores here; Fashion Clinic has womenswear and menswear branches, bringing together international brands; and 39a Concept Store is both, an art gallery and a fashion boutique. 24-minute walk (1 mile).
- Street Art – Lisbon is known for its vibrant urban art scene and it is worth taking time to seek out some of the best pieces or joining a dedicated tour if you get really into it (see above). Nearby standout locations include Escadinhas de São Cristóvão with its fado mural (0.8 mile, 18-minute walk) and André Saraiva’s Paris-Lisbon fusion tile mural on the wall of Jardim Botto Machado (150m, 2-minute walk).
- Alfama – Get lost in Lisbon’s oldest and most romantic district. Once the city’s Moorish quarter, its winding streets feel lost in time and are a magnet for tourists. Climb up to the imposing ramparts of Castelo De São Jorge crowning the hill, gaze out from the many miradouros (viewpoints), and mix with the locals in the bars and cafes. At night, with the soulful sounds of fado coming from restaurants, it feels truly magical. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Museu do Fado – Steep yourself in the history and sounds of fado, the bluesy Portuguese tradition still alive in Alfama today. There are evening performances at the restaurant, A Travessa do Fado. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Castelo De São Jorge – Lisbon’s most imposing landmark is the fortified castle crowning its highest hill, which is lit beautifully at night. Climb up and explore the area inside the ramparts, parts of which date back to the 6th century, and which has since seen Moors and Portuguese royalty come and go. There are museums and guided tours daily. The Elevador do Castelo on Largo Chão do Loureiro is a good way of saving your legs if coming from the west. 14-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Museu do Aljube Resistência e Liberdade – Important, somber museum in a former prison that bears witness to Portugal’s 20th-century fight against dictatorship. It preserves the memory of the dictatorial regime which was in power from 1926 to 1974, its repressive tactics, and the resistance to it, leading to the Carnation Revolution that ended it. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Sé de Lisboa – Also known as Lisbon Cathedral, the Sé is the most austere and monumental of Lisbon’s churches. Built in 1147 in a Romanesque style, it takes visitors back to the Christian Reconquest of Portugal from the Moors and stands on the site of a former mosque. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Núcleo Arqueológico da Rua dos Correeiros – Fascinating site that reveals layers of ruins under Baixa. Book a tour with an archaeologist and explore the mainly-Roman structures, including Lisbon’s only Roman mosaic as well as traces of later Visigoths, Moors, and the medieval city. 20-minute walk (1 mile).
- Praça do Comércio – Lisbon’s grandest square impresses with its massive scale and graceful 18th-century colonnades which are beautifully lit at night. Here you will find the triumphal arch, Arco da Rua Augusta (you can take a lift to the top for the view), plenty of fine restaurants and cafes, and Lisbon Story Centre, an interactive museum where you can learn all about the city’s history. 21-minute walk (1 mile).
- Elevador de Santa Justa – Lisbon’s answer to the Eiffel Tower, this cast-iron lift was built in 1902 by Raoul Mesnier, Eiffel’s apprentice. It’s a very classy (if pricey and packed) way to travel from Baixa up to Largo do Carmo. The viewing platform with its gorgeous views can be accessed for just €1.50 from behind Convento do Carmo. 22-minute walk (1 mile).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Mercado de Santa Clara – This 19th-century market hall houses a Center for Culinary Arts, while the side stalls are a good place to find antiques, local cafes and restaurants, and artisans selling clothing, jewelry, and handicrafts. Across from the hotel.
- Feira da Ladra – Lisbon’s most famous flea market, or “thieves’ market”, has been running since the 13th century and takes over Campo de Santa Clara twice weekly. Hunt for bargains among stalls flogging art, jewelry, vintage homeware, and more, and enjoy the bustle. Runs Tuesday and Saturday. Across from the hotel.
- Mercado da Baixa – Tented street food market that takes over Praça da Figueira for about a week each month. Great for browsing and tasting everything, from hot sausages and cheeses to suckling pig sandwiches and sangria. 18-minute walk (1 mile).