Lisbon, Portugal
Natalia, 36
Graphic Designer
see her Lisbon city guide

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a graphic designer specialised in branded environments and customer experience. I've always been obsessed with places that have an unique personality and leave an impression on you; it's as if spaces can become the physical expression of its owner or brand. Mostly I try to make them liveable, comfortable, easy to navigate and where details are there to make you smile.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Hmm, possibly I would be in a roller coaster of moods, going from Cat Power's song "Where is my love" to the track "hate" and then probably Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable" finishing the day with "Single ladies". I don't know, tbh its been a long while since I got my heart broken!

What are the best TV shows of all time?

The best TV show ever has to be "Six feet under", but more recently I loved "Stranger things".

Name some spots in Lisbon that are good for a Tinder date.

It really depends on the mood, if you want to sound casual and chill' I would say go to the Monte Agudo Observatory(near Anjos) and the end of the day for an unpretentious drink with an incredible view. With the same vibe but with a different view you have the Miradouro do Jardim do Torel (a beautiful garden observatory near Avenida da Liberdade). If it's a proper date or you're feeling peckish go to the restaurant "Oficina do Duque"(near Chiado) and you'll have a wonderful fuss-free meal with some flattering light (perfect to get you in the mood) and if the date doesn't go has planned at least you'll have a great meal to remember!

Who’s your hero and where in Lisbon would you take them out for a serious hang?

Rashida Jones, because she's an amazing humanist and totally down to earth. In the daylight I would probably take her to Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra (outside lisbon) for a whimsical day out and at night we could go hang-out na Graça for food and a couple of drinks (it would depend how jet lagged she would feel).

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

I don't have a particular spot where I buy my clothes from, tbh, most of it is still from London (among thrift stores, &Other Stories, COS, etc) where I lived for the last 10 years (I moved back to Lisbon 1,5 year ago).

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

I avoid Rua Augusta and all its souvenir shops and tourist-traps-restaurants and cafés (I seriously can't take it).

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

To get lost in quirky neighbourhood streets without a destiny, I wish I had the time to do more of that!

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Lisbon and where did you get it?

Ox tail at Damas (Graça).

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Lisbon that you particularly like?

Procópio bar, located by the lovely Amoreiras garden. It's a quiet quirky pub that takes you back in time with its Art Nouveaux decoration.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Lisbon? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

Boi Cavalo in Alfama, it's a small restaurant that used to be a butchers with only a couple of tables that serves the most amazing portuguese traditional tasting menu with a twist. You'll have an amazing evening! It's around €100 for two.

What restaurant in Lisbon looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

The restaurant Zé dos Cornos, it's a traditional "tasca" with both traditional portuguese dishes and service. It's a truly Lisbon food experience combined with a crude decoration. It's located at Mouraria.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Lisbon? Which one do you like?

I don't think that you'll get amazing cocktails in Lisbon, you'll find caipirinhas, G&T, a margarita if you're lucky... but if you fancy a good wine bar you have the By the Wine located at Chiado.

Where would you take your partner in Lisbon if you wanted to really pamper them?

To the Boi Cavalo restaurant.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

Pastéis de nata (amazing portuguese custard tarts that are served warm with sugar and cinnamon on top that will melt in your mouth) at Manteigaria, located near Largo de Camões.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Lisbon?

Mercado da Ribeira (located near Cais do Sodré metro station). It's noisy, unappeling and frankly overrated.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Lisbon?

The MNAA-Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. It is the home to the most important Portuguese public collection of art and you don't see it mentioned in any "must visit" publications. Here you'll find paintings, sculptures, gold and silverware, as well as decorative arts from Europe, Africa and the Far East.

What are the Lisbon spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Castelo de São Jorge (it's a Moorish castle occupying a commanding hilltop overlooking the historic centre of the Portuguese city of Lisbon and Tagus River); Miradouro do Jardim do Torel (It remains one of the best hideaways in the city, renovated in 2009 with a cafe on the lower terrace. That's also where you find a pond with an 18th-century mermaid statue, which turns into a pool every August for the "beach of Torel."); Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and Torre de Belém (both at Belém). You should also try and get lost at traditional neighbourhoods such as Alfama to see its narrow streets and traditional architecture.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Lisbon. How do you spend it?

I would go for brunch at Kaffeehaus located at Chiado, they have the best croissants in Lisbon. After that I would go to Calouste Gulbenkian Gardens to chill and check if there's any exhibition worth seeing; after a while I would get some edible souvenirs at the store A vida Portuguesa" (at the metro station Intendente) and after that I would probably go to Casa Independente for a beer or G&T (also at Intendente).

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam). It's the most fast paced city I ever been to with the most chilled vibes. I love how nature and civilisation live in such harmony there and how you can satisfy your taste buds in literally every corner of the city.

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