At the gates of Europe lies a country full of rich colonial past and architectural masterpieces that magnetize millions of visitors each year. Its thriving nightlife and excellent dishes make all of them stay for a couple of days but what takes the breath away during the daylight hours is the remarkable museum representation of Portuguese capital.
Unique in style and affordable for anyone they await all curious visitors and art lovers to fall in love with cultural heritage from this part of the world. Today we will cover the most famous museums that you should visit if you want to know the true artistic face of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Artistic Side of the Portuguese Capital
Next to the rich nightlife opportunities that allure such great number of partygoers lie the artistic side of Lisbon. Bachelor parties in Portugal are already worldwide famous but Lisbon also homes some of the top 20 European museums that hide works of the most remarkable artists from this continent. Here is the list of seven museums that you need to visit right away just as you land on this beautiful cities soil.
National Tile Museum
This museum occupies the old convent Madre de Deus founded in 1509 and its mission is to visualize and disseminate an artistic practice closely linked to Portuguese culture from the fifteenth century to the twentieth century.
It is located in the district of Beato, at Rua da Madre de Deus and it is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 am and 6 pm, allowing entry until 30 minutes before closing time. The normal price is €5, and there are discounts of up to 50% for students, people over 65, and large families. The best option to get there is to use one of the buses that stop in front of it (718, 742 and 794).
National Car Museum
This museum has a spectacular collection, in fact, one of the most important worldwide, of royal carriages that date from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century. The National Museum of the car was founded in the neighborhood of Belém in 1905, located in the old Picadero of the Royal Palace of Belém (Plaza Alfonso de Alburquerque) a building of neoclassical style, attached to the current Palace of the Presidency of Portugal. Later it would be extended with a new building designed by the architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha in the nearby Avenida de las Indias.
Don’t miss the opportunity to dine in nearby charming restaurants to try some of that mouth-watering Portuguese cuisine.
It opens from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10 in the morning and 5:30 in the afternoon. Prices vary between 10 and 4 euros, depending on the areas visited. They also have a combined ticket with the National Help Center for €12. There are different ways to get there: from the bus (28, 714, 727, 729, 751), or by tram (15)
Aljube Museum – Resistance and Freedom
Opened in 2015, this museum reviews the years of repression and resistance that marked the 48 years of dictatorship that Portugal suffered between 1926 and 1974. Doing a job of recovering historical memory through the small resistances that were organized looking for freedom and democracy. It is very interesting to visit the exhibition in a building that was a prison for political prisoners during the Salazar regime.
It is located at Rua de Augusto Rosa, nº 42 (Alfama), and opens from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. How to get there? The best option is to use trams 12 or 28, or bus 737. The normal price is €3, or € 1.5 for students and free admission on Sundays until 2 pm.
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
The museum is one of the largest collections in Europe with a variety of exhibits that make a journey from 2000 BC until today. In the Founder’s Collection, we can find a thousand pieces of art divided by nuclei such as Egyptian Art, Greco-Roman, Islamic Orient. Or within Western art, Sculpture, Painting and the decorative arts of the 18th century. In addition, the foundation houses the Modern Art Collection that is the most complete collection of Portuguese modern art.
There are different ways to get to this wonderful museum: “All Inclusive. Collections + Temporary exhibitions “- €11.5 or ” Founder’s Collection + Modern Collection ” – €10. There are different discounts for students or people over 65. To get there, the simplest way is to use the blue metro line to the Plaza de España station, since the Foundation is located on Avenida de Berna.
Still not convinced? Do not forget to explore the gardens of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, they will not leave you indifferent!
Carmo Archeological Museum
Located in the long do Carmo, in the historic center of Lisbon, the Archaeological Museum of Carmo is located inside one of the most characteristic buildings of the city: the Carmo Convent. This convent was built in 1389 on the initiative of the city’s constable, Nuno Alvares de Pereira, a medieval hero. Currently, and after some modifications made over time, the convent is practically as it was after the great earthquake that devastated the city in 1755.
The Carmo Archaeological Museum opens from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm between October and May, and extends the hours from 10 am to 7 pm from June to September. The normal ticket has a value of €4, with different discounts available for students, children or group.
National Museum of Ancient Art
This museum houses more than 40,000 works of art classified by the State as “national treasures”. The number of works was growing thanks to generous donations and purchases, wanting to show the best of Portuguese art from the Middle Ages to the beginnings of Contemporary Art.
Admission is priced at €6, with different discounts available. The operating hours of the National Museum of Ancient Art are from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 in the morning and 6 in the afternoon. The museum is very well connected by public transport either by tram (15E, 18E, 25E) as buses (713, 714, 727, 728, 732, 760)
Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology
Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology – MAAT was inaugurated in 2016 as a new cultural proposal for Lisbon. It was born as a space for debate, which seeks to foster critical thinking and international dialogue around art, architecture, and technology. It is backed by the EDP foundation, which also manages the Electricity Museum located in the adjoining Central Tejo, so there is a joint pass to visit both spaces.
Normal entrance costs €5 for both individually, being €9 when buying the combined pass. The visiting hours are from 11 to 19 hours. How to get to the MAAT? The museum is very well connected by buses (728, 714, 727, 729, 751), by tram (15) or the suburban line of Cascais (Belém station)
Next, to Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, this city is also one of the cornerstones of artistic expression from the Iberian Peninsula. The part of Europe that has more history then it can stomach. And all of those historically rich pages of this story are well hidden and preserved inside Lisbon’s museums.
Lovers of art and culture, prepare a couple of days in front just so you can take a nice look at all the masterpieces this historical city can offer. Taking into consideration that the infrastructure of the city works perfectly, it won’t be any problem in reaching them with routs mentioned below the information of every museum in this article.