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The best museums in Lisbon

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Lisbon offers a fantastic diversity of museums. With more than 70, it's hard to pick which one to visit. To help you out, we’ve made a list with the best museums in Lisbon for your next trip.

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

The Gulbenkian Museum is the most famous museum in Lisbon. As part of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, it houses one of the largest private collections of art in the world. With more than 6.000 pieces, it includes Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Asian and European Art, divided in two buildings.

The collection belonged to a single man, the oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian, one of the wealthiest men in the world in the 1930’s. During WWII, he moved to Lisbon and spent his last years in the city. He donated all his art collection to the country when he died at the age of 86. Among the many highlights, you’ll find an Egyptian mummy mask, a 2400-year-old Greek vase, Chinese porcelain, Japanese prints, Persian tapestries, French furniture and also work of famous artists, such as Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Claude Monet, Van Dyck, and Ghirlandaio.

The second building hosts the Modern collection, containing modern and contemporary Portuguese and foreign art displayed on two floors. Among the items, you’ll find works by Paula Rego, Almada Negreiros, Souza Cardoso and Vieira da Silva.

I also recommend visiting the wonderful garden belonging to the museum. It’s the perfect place to relax on a sunny day.

Price: 10,00 euros

Free entrance on Sundays after 14:00

Opening hours:

Wednesday to Monday from 10:00 to 17:45

Closed on Tuesday

How to get there: Metro São Sebastião (blue and red lane)

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Berardo Collection Museum

The most visited museum in Portugal, according to the Art Newspaper (April 2019), the Berardo Collection Museum host the most important collection of Modern and Contemporary Art in Portugal.

Its collection display works by Pablo Picasso, Miró, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Hans Bellmer, Jeff Koons, Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Paul Delvaux, Joan Mitchell among others, representing dozens of modern art movements such as Surrealism, Realism, Pop Art, Minimal Art, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism and others.

The art collection belongs to the Portuguese Magnate Joe Berardo. He’s made an agreement with the Portuguese Government to support the housing of his art collection and the Museum Collection Berardo was founded in the facilities of the Cultural Centre of Belém (CCB).

The museum was inaugurated in 2007, with 863 of Berardo’s estimated 40.000 artworks, spread over two floors and consisting of sculptures, photography and paintings.

Some of the collection highlights are Francis Bacon’s Oedipus and the Sphinx after Ingres, Pablo Picasso’s “Femme dans un fauteuil”, Dalí’s “White Aphrodisiac Telephone” and Jackson Pollock’s “Head”.

Price: 5,00 euros

Free entrance on Saturday

Opening hours:

Everyday from 10:00 to 19:00 (last entrance at 18:30)

How to get there: Tram 15 from Praça do Comércio

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The National Tile Museum

The National Tile Museum is my favorite museum in Lisbon. Its collection is dedicated to the famous, “azulejos”, the traditional tile work of Portugal and it’s the only museum of its kind in the world.

The wonderful permanent collection features decorative tiles from the second half of the XV century to the present day, starting with the display of the materials and techniques used on the manufacturing of tiles and follow a chronological order.

The museum is a bit out of the way, in the former Madre de Deus Convent. This wonderful building was founded by Queen D. Leonor in 1509 and went through a massive renovation after the Great Earthquake of Lisbon in 1755, becoming one of the most beautiful convents at the time. The church dedicated to St. Anthony and the chapel dedicated to the Queen D. Leonor are spectacular.

The highlight of the collection is a blue and white tile panel with Lisbon cityscape made in 1738. This magnificent work piece has 1300 tiles and is 23m long.

Price: 5,00 euros

Opening hours:

Wednesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00

Closed on Monday and Tuesday

How to get there: bus 759 from Praça do Comércio

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National Coches Museum

This museum houses an unique collection of horse drawn carriages and is considered to be one of the best in the World, with vehicles dating from the XVII, XVIII and XIX century.

Founded by Queen D. Amélia in 1905 to preserve the important collection of vehicles belonging to the Royal House, it was displayed in the richly decorated XVIII century royal riding school, which was part of the Belém Palace. In 2015, to celebrate its 110th anniversary, it was transferred to a new building designed by Pritzker-winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

Some of its highlights are a late XVI century traveling coach used by King Phillip II to come from Spain to Portugal in 1619, a ceremonial coach given by Pope Clement XI to King John V in 1715 and the three coaches of the Portuguese ambassador to Pope Clement IX, built in Rome in 1716, decorated with allegorical scenes representing Portuguese military and maritime triumphs.

Price: 8,00 euros

Children under 12 years old: Free

Students / +65 years old: 4,00 euros

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Sunday

From 10:00 to 13:00 (last admission at 12:00)

From 14:30 to 17:00 (last admission at 16:00)

Closed on Monday

How to get there: tram 15 from Praça do Comércio

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MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology

Lisbon’s newest Museum became a remarkable example of modern architecture in Portugal. Located on the banks of the Tagus River, the building was designed by the British architect Amanda Levete at the cost of 20m and was considered Europe’s most lyrical new museum according to an article on Newsweek magazine.

It’s connected with a former power plant and one of the most prominent examples of industrial architecture from the first half of the XX century, later known as the Electricity Museum but now also part of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology. Both buildings present national and international exhibitions by contemporary artists, architects and thinkers.

It’s possible to walk over the building and enjoy one of the nicest views of the Tagus River from its Terrace.

Price: Maat: 5 euros

Power Station: 5 euros

Maat and Power Station: 9 euros

Opening hours:

Wednesday to Monday: 11:00 to 19:00

Closed on Tuesday

How to get there: Tram 15 from Praça do Comércio

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National Museum of Ancient Art

Located in Santos, this National Museum was founded in 1884 to display the collections of the National Academy of Fine Arts and the Portuguese Royal Family. It hosts the most important public art collection of Portugal with paintings, sculptures, decorative art and silverware (Portuguese, European and expansionist) from the middle ages until the XX century, including the biggest number of works classified as “National Treasures”.

Among the most important works are “The veneration of St. Vincent” by Nuno Gonçalves (undoubtedly the most important of the Portuguese paintings), the “Belém Monstrance” by Gil Vicente (ordered by D. Manuel I in 1506 using the first shipment of gold brought home by Vasco da Gama), the Namban Folding Screens (registering the arriving of the Portuguese in Japan in the XVI century), “The temptations of St. Anthony” by Bosch (a masterpiece from the beginning of the XVI century and one of the museum’s most valuable treasures), and “St. Jerome” by Dürer (an innovative representation of the saint from the XVI century).

Price: 6,00 euros

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00

Closed on Monday

How to get there: Tram 25 from Praça da Figueira

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