I wish I was a tourist so I could see Lisbon for the first time
I was born and raised in Lisbon, so I always had a very special relationship with the city. I used to play in the street, to walk to school or to the garden, to go to the grocery store running errands for my parents, and even asked for “um tostãozinho para o Santo António” (asking money to offer to Santo António). I had a very free and happy childhood in Lisbon and certainly this contributed greatly to my passion for the city.
What makes the difference in Lisbon?
Although I continue to feel dazzled by the city, I spend my life saying that I wish I was a tourist so I could see Lisbon for the first time. It must be fascinating to land in such a versatile city, where you can see and do so many different things. We have the old town, we have new areas, we have taverns and super fancy restaurants, the countryside and beach nearby, and we have incredible views. It is a very cosmopolitan city but at the same time full of history and traditions, and I like to see how it all blends so harmoniously, an immense synergy of concepts. And then, of course, we have a wonderful river and a unique light. The light that everyone talks about and that really makes a difference.
What was the last discovery you made in Lisbon?
It's funny, because despite living in Lisbon and walking daily through the city, I spend my life discovering new streets, new shops, and new restaurants. Nowadays, Lisbon is a bustling city, there are always new things happening, and I make sure to keep me abreast of the news. I think my most recent discovery was Topo rooftop, in Martim Moniz. It has been open for some time, but have only recently managed to go there. And it's worth it: for brunch and to enjoy one of the best views of the old town.
What is your favourite restaurant?
That is a bit like asking me my favourite song or movie. I cannot pick just one, it is an impossible mission. But I can name some of my favorites. For example, El Clandestino, Olivier Avenida, Sushi Café Avenida, Esperança da Sé, Casanova, Sea Me, Rio Maravilha, 100 Maneiras, Pizzaria Zero a Zero, Yakuza First Floor…
When you need a place to relax in the city, where do you go?
Any place where you can see the Tagus River. For example, Bairro Alto Hotel terrace. I also really enjoy running or cycling along the river.
What is the best kept secret in Lisbon?
I think it is no longer a big secret, because it was recently voted by the Lisbon Bar Show as the best bar in the country, but the Red Frog is an amazing place. Nothing like ringing the bell, going down to a basement where the cell phone network does not reach, and experience some of the best cocktails ever in a cosy and relaxed atmosphere.
Where do you like to go shopping?
I am quite eclectic when it comes to shopping, I like street shops, smaller and with a distinctive concept, but I also enjoy shopping in one of the many shopping centers of the city. It depends on what I'm looking for. It is good to see new spaces emerging, such as the Embaixada, which brings together a number of different brands in one place.
If you had to recommend a culture space in the city ... what would it be?
I really enjoy the work that Barbado Gallery has developed with the photographic exhibitions. They have already brought to Lisbon names such as Antoine d'Agata or Steve McCurry which, for a photography curious like me, is absolutely commendable.
One word to describe Lisbon…
Lisbon is everything to me.
Give us an idea for Lisbon…
It may seem like a request a bit irrelevant, but I really wished the city had more terraces. As long as they respected the various aesthetic guidelines, and with an adjusted planning. We have an incredible riverfront and, in my opinion, very badly used.
Who is Ana Garcia Martins?
Ana Garcia Martins was born in Lisbon in 1981. She graduated in Communication Sciences at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and postgraduate studies in Communication, Protocol and Public Relations in Madrid, as well as Marketing Management and Image Consulting.
She worked at Antena1 / Antena 3, was a Culture and Society journalist for the newspaper A Capital and editor of the Consumer section of Time Out Lisboa for five years. She is the author of the blog A Pipoca Mais Doce, which, since 2003, has counted 50 million visits, two books - A Pipoca Mais Doce e Estilo, Disse Ela – and an Agenda.
She opened a shop (Bazaar Chiado), created her own brand and she is a mother. In 2014, she launched the first children's book, “Quem deu um pum?”, from the Mateus Collection, published by Porto Editora.
Where can you find her?
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