Discover the cultural highlights of Lisbon by visiting some of its top museums and art galleries. From classical to contemporary art, Lisbon has it all.
You’ll be captivated by the wealth of knowledge and unique collections that Lisbon’s museums and art galleries offer.
With so many museums to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to visit. That’s why I’ve curated a list of the top Lisbon museums that you can’t miss.
Immerse yourself in Portuguese history and culture, and explore the city’s thriving arts scene by visiting these top cultural attractions in Lisbon.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian | A Haven for Art Lovers
Escape to a world of beauty and history at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, one of Europe’s premier institutions for fine arts. Immerse yourself in exhibits dating back to 2000 BC and ranging all the way up to the early 20th century.
Step into the world of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, a passionate art collector who amassed a stunning collection of both Eastern and Western art, now housed in the Gulbenkian Museum.
A must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city of Lisbon, especially during the winter months. Tucked away in the peaceful northern edge of Lisbon, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by art lovers.
Showcasing pieces from 5,000 years of history, including Egyptian sculptures, and Art Nouveau jewelry, the museum is a brutalist building that exudes a serene and sophisticated atmosphere.
Don’t miss the captivating temporary exhibitions featuring pieces from renowned institutions from across the globe.
Surrounded by tranquil gardens, take a break in the museum’s charming café or browse through the small gift shop, and catch a midday classical recital in the art library on Sundays.
National Museum of Contemporary Art | Uncover the Cultural Treasures of Portugal
Art enthusiasts will want to add the National Museum of Contemporary Art to your Lisbon itinerary.
This state-run museum, established in 1911, underwent a stunning revival in 1994 post the Chiado fire, featuring a sleek modernist design by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte.
Step inside to discover a comprehensive overview of 150 years of Portuguese art, with over 100 works from its permanent collection on display.
From romanticism to naturalism, neo-realism, surrealism, and abstractionism, the museum takes you on a journey through the evolution of Portuguese art up until 1975.
Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply looking to learn about Portuguese culture, this museum is a must-visit destination.
LOCATION: R. Serpa Pinto 4, 1200-444 Lisboa, Portugal
National Museum of Ancient Art | Visit Timeless Treasures
The National Museum of Ancient Art showcases Portugal’s national art collection boasting masterpieces from the 16th to 19th centuries, acquired during the Liberal Wars.
Explore historical exhibitions featuring Renaissance-era Lisbon and paintings from the Age of Discovery, and immerse yourself in the stunning world of ancient art.
LOCATION: R. das Janelas Verdes, 1249-017 Lisboa, Portugal
Berardo Collection Museum | Explore the World of Modern Art
Lisbon’s premier modern art museum – Berardo Collection Museum is a must-visit for art lovers, with themes ranging from surrealism, pop art, and hyper-realism to minimalist art and conceptual art.
This museum showcases an eclectic range of artworks that will leave you in awe.
The museum features regularly rotating exhibitions that bring the best of works by Dali, Warhol, Picasso, Joan Miró, Jeff Koons, along with lesser-known Portuguese artists.
Located near the popular Belem area, Berardo Collection Museum, the museum offers a comprehensive history lesson in the development of modern art. The museum is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring its two floors of exhibitions.
And on Saturdays, admission is free! So come and see the world of modern art in a new light at the Berardo Collection Museum.
LOCATION: Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal
MAAT Museum | Art, Architecture and Technology
The newest addition to Lisbon’s contemporary art scene is MAAT, a museum that seamlessly blends art, architecture, technology, and science.
Step inside the MAAT, an awe-inspiring cross-cultural hub that’s housed in a renovated 19th-century power plant on the banks of the Tagus River.
Explore over 3000 square meters of exhibition space and delve into thought-provoking temporary exhibitions that cover a wide range of themes.
The permanent collection showcases a diverse range of art, from pop art to ceramics, while rotating exhibitions range from urban affairs to sound art and fashion.
Located in Belém, the museum’s stunning design by British architect Amanda Levete draws visitors with its white ceramic tiles and rooftop terrace.
Not only is MAAT one of Lisbon’s most architecturally stunning museums, it’s also one of its most diverse.
In addition to the impressive collection of national and international art, the museum’s rooftop doubles as a lively venue for live DJs, making it the perfect place to dance under the stars and enjoy the sparkling views of the Tagus.
LOCATION: Av. Brasília, 1300-598 Lisboa, Portugal
National Tile Museum | Unraveling the Rich Legacy of Azulejos
Discover the fascinating history of Portuguese tile art at the National Tile Museum in Lisbon.
Housed in a beautifully preserved 16th-century convent, the museum showcases the evolution of azulejos (hand-painted tiles) from Moorish influences to contemporary designs.
Museu do Fado | Enjoy History & Live Fado Performances
Come and experience the soul of Portugal’s music scene at Museu do Fado in Alfama.
Explore the origins of Portugal’s soulful musical tradition, which dates back to the early 19th century, and learn about the musicians who helped shape its evolution.
The museum features a collection of exhibits, including rare musical instruments, and memorabilia from legendary Fado singers, such as Amália Rodrigues.
Visitors can also enjoy live Fado performances in the museum’s intimate auditorium, a truly immersive experience that captures the spirit of this iconic music tradition.
LOCATION: Alfama, Largo do Chafariz de Dentro 1, 1100-139 Lisboa, Portugal
Lisbon’s museums are a treasure trove of art, history, and culture, offering visitors an unparalleled experience. Whether you’re interested in classical or contemporary art, architecture, or history, Lisbon has something to offer.
By visiting these top cultural attractions, you’ll have a deeper understanding of Portugal’s rich heritage and artistic scene. So go ahead and explore Lisbon’s top museums for an unforgettable cultural experience.
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