Cristina Leal was born in Lisbon in 1961. She completed a degree in Germanic Languages and Culture at the Rijksuniveristeit Groningen in the Netherlands and a degree in Tourism in her home town Lisbon.

Her capacity of reading both Dutch and Portuguese 16th century documents enabled her to attain a Masters in History of the Discoveries on the First Voyage of the Dutch to Java and their interactions with the Portuguese in Asia.

She also nurtures a special interest in Art History, especially on the topic of 17th and 18th century Portuguese and Dutch tiles.

As a tourist guide her love for Lisbon made her develop her own itineraries and become an expert on the field of walking tours, specially focused on gastronomy and heritage. However, tourist guides in Portugal are educated to successfully conduct tours nationally, which she has done extensively, as well as worldwide as a tour manager.