From ancient artifacts to modern art, museums in Lisbon offer a diverse range of exhibits that cater to every interest. Visit MAAT, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Nacional do Azulejo, Berardo Collection, National Coach, or National Museum of Contemporary Art for a different perspective on the city’s unique cultural tapestry.
Nestled along the scenic banks of the Tagus River, Lisbon is a city that seamlessly blends its rich history with a vibrant contemporary culture.
Lisbon has a thriving arts scene with many galleries and museums containing fascinating information about culture and history.
Looking for a cultural fix but unsure of where to begin? Your cultural to-do list should prioritize visiting these 10 best museums in Lisbon.
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Explore these cultural institutions and gain a deeper understanding of Lisbon’s rich heritage and its enduring impact on the global stage.
- Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) – is a cultural initiative focused on art, architecture, and technology for the city of Lisbon.
- Museu Calouste Gulbenkian – is home to one of the most significant private art collections in the world.
- Museu Nacional do Azulejo – is a Lisbon, Portugal-based art museum devoted to the traditional azulejo tilework of Portugal and the old Portuguese Empire, along with other Iberophone cultures.
- Berardo Collection Museum – is a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art situated in Belém.
- National Museum of Contemporary Art – is an art museum based in Lisbon’s Chiado neighborhood.
Top museums in Lisbon
Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT)
One of Lisbon’s most recent cultural projects, MAAT, was inaugurated in 2016 and occupied prime real estate on the Tagus River Bank.
The best modern Portuguese and international artists’ creations are showcased in multimedia-rich art exhibitions held inside the specially designed venue.
Further, the themes are wide-ranging, covering everything from human rights and social commentary to architecture and design.
However, visitors can immerse themselves in Portugal’s artistic evolution and witness the evolution of European art through the centuries.
Avenida Brasília | Wednesday to Monday – 10:00 to 19:00 | closed on Tuesdays
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
One of Lisbon’s best museums, the purpose-built Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is situated within a park that resembles an oasis.
The artwork displayed here is from a wide range of historical periods, some of which date back to antiquity. Examples of such works include Greco-Roman and art from ancient Egypt and Persia.
In addition, the highlight is the founder’s collection of Western and Eastern art, showcasing pieces by Rembrandt, Monet, and Lalique.
Hsteinmiller, an enthusiastic traveler, says -“Extremely lovely museum with beautifully arranged artifacts. The price of admission is well worth it just for the René Lalique gallery. Nice gift shop, with a friendly staff.”
Avenida de Berna 45A | Wednesday to Monday – 10:00 to 18:00| closed on Tuesdays
Museu Nacional do Azulejo
The centuries-old tile collection at the Museu Nacional do Azulejo is one of the more unique artistic representations of Portuguese culture.
When you go, you can see a thorough overview of tile art’s history, from works from the 15th century to the present.
Housed in the former Madre de Deus Convent, the museum displays a stunning collection of azulejos – traditional Portuguese ceramic tiles.
Nonetheless, these tiles depict historical and cultural scenes, offering a fascinating glimpse into the country’s narrative.
Rua da Madre de Deus 4 | Tuesday to Sunday – 10:00 to 18:00 | closed on Mondays
Berardo Collection Museum
The modern art collection housed in Belém’s Berardo Museum – Museu coleção Berardo is at the other end of the art spectrum and the city.
There are over 300 pieces in this collection, which includes ceramics, paintings, sculptures, furniture, and crystals.
Moreover, the museum features works by iconic artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Andy Warhol.
A vibrant addition to Lisbon’s museum scene, the constantly changing exhibitions guarantee that every visit is an exciting and new experience.
“Slightly outside of Lisbon’s downtown, close to the Torre de Belem, is an impressive and beautifully designed museum of modern art, “says Saul, a cultural enthusiast. “An excellent recommendation for anyone who likes museums!”
Praça do Império | Tuesday to Sunday – 10:00 to 19:00 | closed on Mondays
National Coach Museum
One of Portugal’s most popular museums is the Museu Nacional dos Coches.
Carriages used to carry Portuguese royalty between the 17th and early 20th centuries are on display in this enormous space that was once a riding school.
Visitors can marvel at the intricate designs and opulence of these historical vehicles, providing a unique perspective on the lifestyles of Portuguese royalty.
Avenida da Índia 136 | Tuesday to Sunday – 10:00 to 18:00 | closed on Mondays
National Museum of Contemporary Art
Important Portuguese artists from the era as well as some foreign and international artists are featured in the Chiado Museum National Museum of Contemporary Art.
Neverthless, this museum is a devoted 1850–1950 art museum located in Lisbon.
Part of Lisbon’s medieval Convent of São Francisco (Saint Francis) serves as its main residence.
The Chiado Museum is home to and features the largest collection of Portuguese paintings and sculptures from the Modern, Naturalism, and Romanticism eras.
Rua Serpa Pinto, 4 | Tuesday to Sunday – 10:00 to 18:00 | closed on Mondays
What should I not miss in Lisbon?
Lisbon offers a variety of attractions including the historic museums in Lisbon, Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, Alfama district, Tram 28, Pastéis de Belém, São Jorge Castle, and lively Bairro Alto nightlife.
What food is Lisbon famous for?
Lisbon is famous for its delectable seafood, particularly bacalhau and pastéis de nata, which are iconic Portuguese treats that are a must-try while visiting the city.
Where do locals shop in Lisbon?
Lisbon’s locals enjoy shopping at traditional markets like Mercado da Ribeira, Baixa, and Chiado districts. Also, LX Factory, Amoreiras Shopping Center, and Colombo Shopping Centre for fresh produce, artisanal products, and trendy boutiques.
Here you will find more information about shopping in Lisbon.
What is the prettiest part of Lisbon?
The Alfama district is often considered the prettiest part of Lisbon, known for its narrow streets, historic charm, and stunning views.
Does Lisbon Castle have free entrance?
Adults pay €15.00, youths (13–25) €7.50, and older people (65 and over) €12.50 to enter the Castelo de São Jorge. Children under 12 enter free of charge.
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