July 19, 2022 4 min read

The Local


We’ve joined with Sarah Nicollier to bring you our ‘Secret Lisbon’ edit. Selecting favourites from Portugal’s capital, some that are lesser-known, and others not quite yet on the tourism radar to give you a unique experience of this vibrant city. Discover old palaces to stay in and rooftop pools to hang out in with our edited round up.

We sent Sarah some questions to get to know more about her and why she's loves Lisbon so much!


Tell us a little about yourself;

I’m originally from Germany, 49 years old and have an 18 year old daughter. I have lived 25 years in Geneva where I have studied and worked mainly in the construction and interior design business. I live since 16 years with my high school love and we have just moved to the Algarve in Portugal during lockdown 2021. I recently opened my interior design showroom here, a continuation of my 15 year business in the industry. Before the Algarve we lived for 8 years in London Chelsea and my daughter stayed there to continue her studies.


What makes living in the Algarve so special?

The light, the sun, the energy and the beauty ! A slower pace and very kind people brings more calm. We have 320 days of sun here in a year with amazing life quality for a low living cost. It’s a no brainer for us.


How does living in the Algarve inspire you creatively and influence your businesses Sarah Nicollier Interiors and Algarve Luxury Stays?

I get inspired a lot here by nature and a different way of living. We mainly live outdoors so those spaces need to become our interiors. I love to meet creative people here and new suppliers. Portuguese manufacturers do amazing work and I am working with totally different brands then I used to which is very refreshing.


Where is your go to destination for a weekend city break?

Lisbon is such a fun city and by car only 2:15h away. The highway is always empty and the scenery beautiful so we are never tired of driving up. It's edgy, artsy, a little alternative but has a very chic side to it with amazing hype restaurants and a lot of gourmet places to visit.


Describe Lisbon in three words or less:

Vibrant and Beautiful


When is your favourite time of year to visit?

Any time of the year for me but avoid August and July…too busy.



Hotels and AirBnbs:

Hotel Da Baixa
Hotel Verride Palacio
Hotel H10 Duque de Loule
The One Palaccio


Coffee destination?

The oldest coffee house - A Brasileira in Chiado a must!

To be honest Lisbon is full of cute coffee shops so I stop wherever and take in the vibe.


Brunch destination?

Comoba is a place my daughter and I love. Its a bit more alternative and the food and coffees are just fantastic. Or try JNcQuoi for the chic brunch.


A quick bite?

Boa-Bao (always busy and great asian bites)

Don’t miss a quick bite at Time Out Market, such a fun place.


Dinner with friends?

Rocco Lisboa is cosy and hype, also love Palacio Chiado


After Dark?

Miradouro de Santa Catarina or an early dinner at Montemar Cascais.

For a rooftop, very few  bars in Lisbon’s can rival the sophistication of Lumi.


Favourite shops—what should we take home with us?

I love shopping in Lisbon. The little streets around Chiado have so many cute little boutiques and concept stores. If you want the high end, Liberdade is the place.


Favourite place to take in the local scenery:

Chiado is a busy great area in the old town and I love to walk the entire Avenide de Liberdade up and down. Belem and Bairro Alto are also great areas with shops and a local feel. I love to just sit at Praca do Comercio, its so beautiful.

Miradouro de Santa Luzia is possibly the most beautiful view point in Lisbon!


Any eco-friendly gems in the city?

21.PR Concept Store is lots of fun and all made in Portugal.

Fair Bazaar, inside Embaixada, a charming shopping centre carved out of a renovated mansion full of Portoguese fashion and artists.


What are some of your sustainable tips to travel more consciously to protect the planet and reduce your impact?

Choose sustainable accommodation, stay in places longer, support local business, visit parks and protected areas… I find myself doing more and more of it. Still only tiny steps though… 


What is your go-to uniform for a weekend in Lisbon?

When it’s warm I pack a pair of sneakers, shorts and dresses only. A pair of wedges for the evening and a cardigan if it’s chilly. You do need sneakers in Lisbon. The cobble streets are often slippery and walking in the city is the best way to discover.


Why should Lisbon be on our travel wish list?

It’s a beautiful city with a huge amount of history and places to visit. It’s also very affordable which is always a plus for me and I just love the food and the energy. It’s a big city with a laid back vibe.



Victoria Macrame Bag, Grey Corals Bikini and the Penelle Jumpsuit



Sarah Nicollier Interiors 

Rua Joaquim Magalhães

Lote 9 - Loja 2

8200-112 Albufeira

+351 962 109 698