A Conversation with Miguel Júdice

LAST UPDATED
January 26, 2019

Miguel Júdice was born and bred in Lisbon, the city where he lives and loves. He’s an entrepreneur in the hospitality field, the former president of the Portuguese Hotel Association, and the author of the awesome guide 'The 500 Hidden Secrets of Lisbon'.

A Conversation with Miguel Júdice

We love and always recommend your book 'The 500 Hidden Secrets of Lisbon'. What would you say are the top 5 hidden secrets of Portugal?

The beaches south of Porto Covo, the small towns of Alentejo like Serpa and Terena, the Douro International Nature Park, the abandoned villages of the Lousã Mountains, the Montesinho Park.

Praia do Malhão Beach.
Praia do Malhão, one of the glorious beaches south of Porto Covo.
The Dam at the Douro International Nature Park.
The Dam at the Douro International Nature Park.

A Schist Village in Lousã.
A Schist Village in Lousã.

What’s your ideal day trip to escape the city?

For sure the Alentejo, whether the coast or the inland part. It’s the most pristine area of the country and it’s easy to access it from Lisbon.

What are your fondest memories from Portugal?

The summers I spent as a kid in Coimbra, at Quinta das Lágrimas, my family’s ancestral home.

Quinta das Lágrimas, one of Portugal's most historical sites in Coimbra, and a luxurious 5-star hotel
Quinta das Lágrimas, Miguel’s family home which also happens to be one of Portugal's most historical sites in Coimbra, and a luxurious 5-star hotel

I want a snack and a drink like a true local. What do I go for?

A glass of vinho verde in summer or a glass of Moscatel wine in winter time.

Where can you get the best view?

Lisbon is a city with many viewpoints but for me the one that beats them all is the one in Cerca Moura (Miradouro de Santa Luzia).

View from the Miradouro de Santa Luzia in Lisbon.
View from the Miradouro de Santa Luzia.

Tell us about a place that looks like nothing special but is in fact a real gem.

I love going to a place called Casa Independente, located in a shabby, run-down building in Intendente. You go inside and step into a different world, a very cool hipster and alternative bar with live music, an outdoor terrace and a permanent fun groove.

Living room at casa Independente in Intendente in Lisbon
Casa Independente in Intendente.

Tell us about your favourite neighbourhood to hang out in.

I love spending time in Príncipe Real because it is a mirror of what Lisbon is today, a blend of old and new. It’s a neighbourhood full of cool shops as well as traditional ones, hip restaurants, small tascas (Portuguese taverns), and a great vibe that is visible on peoples’ faces.

Oliveirinha café, in Príncipe Real garden in Lisbon.
Príncipe Real.
“Príncipe Real is a mirror of what Lisbon is today, a blend of old and new.”
– MIGUEL JÚDICE

Describe your perfect day in Lisbon.

My perfect day in Lisbon is a spring Saturday that starts with breakfast in a bakery in Chiado, then a walk to my favourite antiques shops or to Feira da Ladra.

Old objects in Ladra flea market in Lisbon.
Retro finds at the iconic Feira da Ladra flea market in Lisbon.

I want a culture fix that is unique to Portugal – which monument, historical site, gallery or museum should I visit?

The Museum of Tiles (Museu Nacional do Azulejo), which is a gem of our culture.

For the romantics, what is the best place to take someone on a special date?

A picnic on the lawns of the Palácio de Monserrate (Monserrate Palace) in Sintra.

Palácio de Monserrate (Monserrate Palace) in Sintra.
Palácio de Monserrate (Monserrate Palace) in Sintra.

A place to eat that is cheap but amazing?

The Food Temple in Mouraria on a warm summer night and seating outside, on the stairs of the small square where the restaurant is located.

The Food Temple restaurant in Lisbon.
The Food Temple.

What is the Portuguese dessert or sweet treat to try, and why?

My favourite is the Travesseiro of Sintra (eaten warm). It’s light and sweet, made with a delicate mille-feuilles dough and an egg and almond cream.

What should visitors take home as a souvenir?

Portuguese wines, which are hidden treasures too.

Obrigada Miguel!

Joana with the book 'The 500 Hidden Secrets of Lisbon', written by Miguel Júdice.
We love and always recommend 'The 500 Hidden Secrets of Lisbon', written by Miguel Júdice.


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Obrigada,
xx
Joana and Sofia

© Photos by JO&SO except for the portrait (courtesy of Miguel Judice) and the following photos which are licensed from stock.adobe.com:
Serpa town © Jorge Anastacio
Douro international park © Alfonsodetomas
Schist village in Lousã © Jorge Anastacio
Miradouro Santa Luzia © Henner Damke
Feira da ladra © Klublu
Palácio Monserrate © Jcas

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