Speaker: Estela Mendes
Please introduce yourself and let us know what first inspired you to become a tour guide
Which is the best neighborhood to stay in while touring in Lisbon?
Estela Mendes: I think the best neighborhood to stay in Lisbon is by share the downtown of Lisbon. It is first of all, one of the very few neighborhoods of the city that are completely flat at this is the city of the seven hills. Also, those apartments were built in the second half of the 18th century after the earthquake of 1755. So they are quite large apartments and so they are very good if you are renting an apartment to stable your family. But a lot of those buildings are being converted. Two hotels nowadays you have all the amenities around you. You are right in the center of the city and you can walk up to each one of the hills which compose the historical center of the city. If you go up towards neither the libertad, it is a very beautiful avenue that was developed in the second half of the 18th century. It's walking distance from Bhatia, that avenue has some of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels in the city. They are both very central
What is the best food to eat when in Portugal? Pastel de nata perhaps?
Estela Mendes: So when we think about eating in Lisbon, the very first thing that comes to our minds is pastel de nata, the custard tart. And that is true. If you want to eat the original, you have to go all the way to ballet and eat pastel de ballet, the original custard tart, which is next the Jeremies monastery. But if you don't want to go all the way to the end of Lisbon, you can try it in central Lisbon in a particular place that it's called Manta area. That is the best custard tart. That really the only one that rivals the original. If you're not into sweets, if you are into seafood, I would totally advise you to go for seafood in many, many different restaurants. We have a huge variety of shellfish. Um and so I think this is something for you. If you are a meat lover, we have two famous sandwiches. One is made out of beef, another one of pork. If you want a pork sandwich, the name is B. Fan. If you want a beef sandwich, the name is prego.
What are the best day-trips to take to get outside of Lisbon?
Estela Mendes: So let's say you've done all the tours we have on our menu for Lisbon and now you want to go outside. You can come with me and some of my colleagues and we can take you all the way to Sintra and Cascais. Sintra is unesco world heritage and it is a little bit like visiting Disneyland, but for real you have very beautiful enchanted palaces. The landscape is phenomenal. We usually go on a full day tour outside of Lisbon where we cover Sintra and Cash, Cash. So to begin with, we visit two palaces in Sintra. And then after our beautiful lunch break, we take a road trip through Sintra and Cascais Natural Park where we will be able to visit Kabul, which is the most western point of mainland europe. That is a cliff with a beautiful view over the ocean. I think it's something you would not like to miss.
What is your very favorite place to take friends and clients when they are visiting Lisbon?
Estela Mendes: So the place where I like to hide in Lisbon away from all the crowds that needless to say that nowadays we have people traveling all over the world. There is a lot of tourism city of Lisbon. It is not very large. The sidewalks are not very large. So even if we don't have a lot of people, it feels like it's a little bit overcrowded. But there are many places where you can hide in Lisbon. So I'm going to tell you a secret that it's not so secret anymore. But one of my favorite places in Lisbon is Alfama. Alfama is the oldest neighborhood of Lisbon and yes, a lot of people visit Alfama. The neighborhood is right in front of the cruise ships terminal, but on the other hand it has many highly ways and many internal courtyards that you can actually hide. And it is in some of those places that I like to go because there are very traditional restaurants in there that though you might find tourists in there. You also will find the locals and I think it's very important when we visit a place that we would like to try a little bit of normality of how normal life actually is and I think we can actually experience that in Alfama. So if you come and join me one of these days, I'll probably take you there on a special trip to the oldest neighborhood of the city