Museums, culture and art
Get culture! The museums of Lisbon encompass centuries of history and span an array of niche interests. Portuguese culture at the fado and tile museums balances out with all the antiquities, the natural history and local as well as international modern / contemporary art exhibits showcased in well-coordinated expositions throughout this culturally rich city. While its easy to get distracted, an effort to soak up some cultural features will be a rewarding experience, and might make you sound smart at the bar later on.
This museum has a great collection of art spanning almost every major period in Western history. They also have some impressive Eastern Art. Of note to all you Art Nouveau heads is the fantastical collectional from designer Rene Lalique.
Across the way is the Centro de Arte Moderna, which has Portugal’s best collection of 20th Century Portuguese art. Connecting the two museums is a very nice park that can serve as a refuge from the hustle and bustle that accompanies all major cities.
Avenida de Berna, 45A
Open Wednesday to Sunday 10h-18h / Tues 14h-18h
Museu do Coches (Coach Museum)
Ever wish you could see what Cinderella’s garage would look like if she was a free-spending rock star or football god? Well, now you can. Housed inside an 18th century royal riding hall, this museum has 45 horse drawn coaches.
Each one elaborate and amazing.
Praca Afonso de Albuqurque
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10h-18h
5€ entry / FREE under 15yrs / FREE Sunday until 14h
Berardo Modern Art Collection
This is one of the best museums for Modern Art in Lisbon, and hands down one of our favourites. It’s also always free. The hundreds of pieces range from Picasso and Duchamp to Warhol, Bacon, and local Paula Rego.
Centro Cultural de Belém
Praça do Imperio
Open Saturday to Thursday 10h – 19h / Fridays 10h – 22h
Museu Nacional De Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art)
Lisbon’s largest state owned museum. Comprehensive view of Portuguese art from the 12th to 19th centuries. Works include Nuno Goncalves’s masterpiece, the Panel of St. Vincent.
It also has a Bosch Panel and a whole smathering of classical art. Good café and garden.
Rua de Janelas Verdes
Open Tuesdays 10h – 18h / Wednesday to Sunday 10h – 18h
4€ entry / FREE under 15yrs. / FREE Sunday until 14h
Museu do Azulejo (Tile Museum)
“What’s with all the tiles on the buildings?” you find yoursel asking to no one in particular. Stop talking out loud and looking crazy and head to this museum for answers.
Housed in a former convent, this museum charts Portuguese tile art and its development from the 15th century up to the present. This one is definitely worth checking out just for the blue tiled alter inside.
Rua de Madre de Deus 4
Open Tuesdays 14h – 18h / Wednesday to Sunday 10h – 18h
5€ entry / FREE under 15yrs. / FREE Sunday until 14h
Museu do Fado
Before hitting one of the many Fado clubs in Bairro Alto or Alfama, a trip to the Casa do Fado e da Guitarra Portuguesa is a good place for a quick study of Fado’s history.
Its well put together audiovisual displays allow the visitor to get lost in the sights and sounds of these bluesy melancholic chants of Portugal.
The tour ends in a virtual performance that, with the right kind of eyes and ears, can be quite moving. Be sure to check out the ever-changing exhibitions.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10h – 18h
Closed on January 1, May 1, and December 25
MUDE (Museum of Design & Fashion)
Product design and fashion museum that should’t be missed by Eames and Nelson lovers. Great collection of modern furniture and fashion pieces.
Rua Agusta, 24
Open Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday 10h – 20h / Friday to Saturday 10h – 22h