Lisbon is a city that has several museums for the tourists to visit, but it’s almost impossible to visit all of them during a stay of only a few days. But don’t worry, in this article you will find the 10 Lisbon museums which you shouldn’t miss and, thus, you will also be getting to know better this magnificent city.
Check below my top 10 of Lisbon Museums:
1. Museum of Lisbon
Museum of Lisbon (former City Museum) is not the conventional museum located in just one place – on the contrary, this museum is divided into five different centres: Santo António, Casa dos Bicos, Torreão Poente, Teatro Romano and Palácio Pimenta.
The goal of these five places located in sites of enormous historic importance and that constitute the Museum of Lisbon is that of presenting to their visitors all of the city’s richness throughout the centuries and in the most diverse areas.
Special note to Torreão Poente that, unlike the other branches, is a place solely dedicated to temporary exhibitions.
- Site: www.museudelisboa.pt/en
2. Puppet Museum
Another of the Lisbon museums you should visit is the Puppet Museum (Museu da Marioneta). This museum is located in Bernardas Convent since 2001 and is a platform to divulge the puppets’ history and theatre.
In its collection you’ll find several puppets and masks from Portugal but also from southeast Asia and from Africa.
3. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
Inaugurated in 1969, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is one of the most important museums in Lisbon and in Portugal. Here, the visitor can admire more than a thousand works of art on display, however the collection of this museum has around 6 000 pieces.
In this museum you can have two available tours: one dedicated to oriental and classic art and the other dedicated to post 11th century European art.
Aside from visiting this museum you can’t miss the opportunity to discover the magnificent gardens around this beautiful complex.
4. Water Museum
Much like the Museum of Lisbon, the Water Museum is also divided into some places. Barbadinhos Steam Pumping Station is the main branch with a permanent exhibition.
Visitors can also discover the other facilities: Águas Livres Aqueduct, Mãe d’Água das Amoreiras Reservoir and the Patriarcal Reservoir – you can’t miss the opportunity to visit these places which are part of the only Portuguese museum that has won a Council of Europe prize.
5. National Tile Museum
Another of beautiful Lisbon museums that you can visit is the National Tile Museum (Museu do Azulejo). This museum offers to the public a collection with more than 7 000 pieces, spanning from the second half of the 15th century to present day.
Aside from the major contribute that this museum gives to tile production, you can also find here several pieces of pottery, ceramics and faience from the 19th and 20th centuries.
6. Coleção Berardo Museum
Located in Centro Cultural de Belém, Coleção Berardo Museum was inaugurated in 2007 and is already a reference in the city’s and Portugal’s cultural landscape.
With around a thousand works of art in this collection, the museum presents to its visitors various artistic tendencies from the 20th century. Among others, here you’ll find works from renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and Paula Rego.
- Site: www.museuberardo.pt
7. Ajuda National Palace Museum
This museum is part of Ajuda National Palace, a Portuguese national monument since 1910, and is one of the most beautiful Lisbon museums you’ll find. In this museum you can admire pieces from the most different areas: pottery, sculpture, jewellery, photography, painting, textile and others.
Aside from works of art from these different areas you can also admire the palace’s rooms and hallways that were once part of the Portuguese nobility’s daily life.
These and other reasons make this one of the most beautiful museums in Lisbon and one of the only palace-museums in Portugal.
8. National Museum of Ancient Art
This is the most important Portuguese museum of ancient art and it has thousands of pieces concerning different areas and periods, spanning from the 12th century to the 19th century.
In this huge collection of art, you can admire various pieces from Portugal but also from other countries in areas such as painting, sculpture, furniture, jewellery, pottery and textile – undoubtedly one of the Lisbon museums you shouldn’t miss!
9. National Coach Museum
With new facilities since 2015, the National Coach Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches) was the public museum with more visitors in 2016 (382 593 visitors). Of the Lisbon museums, this is one of those you must visit.
With 70 gala coaches and others spanning from the 16th century to the 19th century, this museum offers to its visitors a ride throughout history – discover the means of transportation of nobles and clergymen from this period.
10. Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT)
Located in Belém quarters, this is the most recent of the Lisbon museums and is another museum turned to contemporary art.
Constituted by two branches belonging to EDP Foundation, MAAT appeared as a way to transform the cultural and landscape view and wants to present its visitors with a modern and sophisticated collection.
- Site: www.maat.pt/en
These are the Lisbon museums that you should visit. As you can see, there are several reasons why you should visit this wonderful city – read my other articles about Lisbon, you won’t regret it!
I need to point out that, if you’re thinking of visiting more than one of the Lisbon museums while staying in the Portuguese capital, you can buy a mix ticket. To know more about mix tickets, please visit the museums’ websites.
You should also know that you can visit several of these museums for free on the first Sunday of each month.
Information: after visiting some museums, book this guided tour (affiliate link) and venture into a unique 8-hour experience in which you can discover Lisbon. Start with a visit to the beautiful castle Castelo de São Jorge to enjoy views of the historic city centre. Then, visit the Alfama quarter and the beautiful narrow streets to enjoy a lunch next to Tagus river.
To make this activity (affiliate link) even more special, know that you will have the opportunity to board a boat to admire the capital from a unique perspective, from the waters of Tagus river. An activity you must try!
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