Our destination today is the new European creative hub: Lisbon. Considered “the new Berlin” and “the Silicon Valley of Europe, the capital of Portugal has fallen into the radar of the young people looking for a beautiful location, great weather, amazing food, friendly population, cheap cost of living and cozy atmosphere.
Andreia is one of our oldest local friends there, and has been showing visitors around for a few years now. An experienced traveler and a local full of sensitive insights, she’s a Landscape Architect and Urban Designer who was born in the Alentejo, Southern Portugal, but calls Lisbon home:
1. What makes your city unique?
Every city is unique. Lisbon has this beautiful light and atmosphere that takes us to somewhere in between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, a very important Portuguese geographer from the 20th century wrote: “Portugal is Mediterranean by nature and Atlantic by position”. In Lisbon you can definitely understand and feel this. As one of the most ancient European capitals, Lisbon is monumental and full of history, but at the same time is modern and contemporary, energetic and full of life due to its incredible weather.
2. Tell us about why you became a local friend.
I became a local friend in 2011 through an invitation from another local friend, Nathalia, from São Paulo (Brazil). I remember that I thought that it was an amazing idea the opportunity to show the city where I live through my eyes as I would show it to my friends who came visit and at the same time to meet travelers from around the world. In my opinion no one says that you cannot or should not feel at home when you travel.
3. What was your most memorable experience as a local friend?
I cherish all my experiences as a local friend. But my most memorable experience was with this american couple from Chicago. We got along so, so well that it looked as we were friends for a decade or more. We went to dinner and afterwards we went for drinks, and we had a lot fun.
4. If you could highlight 3 awesome sights in your city, what would they be?
The River Front – Lisbon has this amazing relation with Tagus River, and from some years now the city has been redesigning and improving much of the city river front.
The Mãe d’Água water Reservoir and the Great Arch of the Águas Livres Aqueduct – the Águas Livres Aqueduct is probably the greatest patrimonial asset of Lisbon and is at the same time one of the less explored and known monuments. An incredible and complex network that was built to take water to the city in the 18th century. Nowadays Lisbon has a much more modern water supply system, but the Aqueduct and its fountains, reservoirs and built elements are very interesting historic sites to visit.
Any belvedere (there are many) – Lisbon is also known for its hills. You will find a belvedere in witch normally with a kiosk to take a coffee or refreshment.
5. Have you traveled much yourself? What have been your favorite travel experiences?
Travelling is my favorite thing to do (after eating) ☺. I already traveled considerably trough many countries of Europe, but I also went to China, Brazil, and Morocco.
One of my favorite travel experiences was when I traveled alone for a month, from Berlin trough the Balkans (Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia) most of the time by train. It was an amazing experience in many ways. Another amazing experience that I already repeated is Macau and Hong Kong, the two special administrative regions in the south of China. In Macau it is amazing, almost surreal, to walk the streets and to see everything written in Portuguese and Chinese – the buses, the name of the streets, the neons – as Macau was a former Portuguese colony.
6. If you could describe your city in one word, what would it be?
7. Anything else you would like to us to add to the interview?
My experience of traveling alone showed me that even if traveling alone is a “must do” experience at least one time in your life, to have company while traveling is also so enriching, because for me experiences are better when they are shared. So next time you travel, rent a local friend.
Article by Local Friend Andreia
To book Andreia in Lisbon as your local friend visit her profile
“Architecture is my way to see the world and to live it. To know new people and new places around the world is a true passion, that I keep fresh by travelling every chance I have. I live in Lisbon for 10 years now, and since I came here one of my many pleasures is to walk around the city discovering its secrets. I have no doubt that you will enjoy this great and beautiful city as much as I do! See you soon ;)”