Top Five Museums in Lisbon

Like any other EU capital, Lisbon has numerous museums dedicated to the Portuguese records and standard items. Here are 5 of the best, for now, that show what Lisbon has to offer, and the variety of things you could discover.

There are many other museums you may find extra exciting, like the Tile museum, but for now take a look at these five unique museums in Lisbon which might be really worth to go to, if you have time.

  • The National Coach Museum

The main exposition of this museum is coaches from the fifteenth century to the twentieth.

  • The National Museum of Ancient Art

A vast collection of paintings, sculptures, religious items, royal dishes and others.

  • Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Personal collection with great variety. From paintings to old Chinese ceramics

  • Berardo Museum

Personal collection of painting and sculptures. Most of the exposition is modern.

  • Design and Fashion Museum

Recent museum with a growing collection of items from the last 75 years.

Pictures of the Old Coach Museum

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Coach Coach DoorCoachMuseum CeilingMuseum Paintings
 Coach Door
Coach Door
Museum Ceiling
Museum Ceiling
Museum Paintings
Museum Paintings

The National Coach Museum

The museum is located in the touristic area of Belém, where you can eat the famous "Pastel de Belém", also know as "Pastel de Nata" that can be translated custard tart.

What to see:

The focus of the museum is antique coaches, so do not expect to see many paintings or artifacts. There can be some as adjunct of the coaches, but there is no room only for other arts.

The National Museum of Ancient Art

I believe this is one of the best museums if you are looking for painting and artifacts of the church and history of Portugal, mainly the Royal House.

What you can find:

The permanent exposition has:

  • European Painting, with paintings from several European countries (Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands...) that include sights and portraits.
  • Furniture, mainly furniture from the 15th-19th centuries from the Royal Family.
  • Oriental Art, most of the art exposed was result of the Portuguese golden years during the discovery of the new sea lanes to India.
  • Ceramics, Portuguese and the famous Chinese ceramics.
  • Gold and Silverware, there are several pieces made with gold from the 12th-19th centuries, the variety is big.
  • Decorative Arts, many countries are represented in this area, there are pieces of art from Spain to Iran.

The highlights of the museum are:

  • Panels of St. Vincent, important in the Portuguese history because of the people shown in the Panels.
  • Pot from China, it represents the commercial relations that Portugal had with Asia in the 16th century.
  • Salt-Cellar from Benim, from the beginning of the 16th century after Portugal started a network of commerce around the world. Many African cities were important as intermediates for the Portuguese commerce, that included the newly discovered America and the new sea lane to Asia.
  • Namban Screens from Japan, it is also one of the first products that Portugal traded with the distant empire of Japan.

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Calouste Gulbenkian was born in the Ottoman Empire in 1869, in 1942 he was invited by the Portuguese ambassador in France to visit Lisbon, when he was thinking of fleeing from Vichy France to the USA. The visit to Lisbon became permanent and he died in Lisbon in 1955, leaving his fortune to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, owner of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.

The Collection

The Calouste Gulbenkian collection has over six thousand pieces, but only one thousand are in the permanent exposition, these are considered the most important.

The variety exposed may be divided in:

  • Egyptian Art
  • Greco-Roman Art
  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Decorative Art
  • Far Eastern Art
  • Eastern Islamic Art
  • Art of the Book

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Inside the Berardo MuseumInside the Berardo MuseumInside the Berardo MuseumInside the Berardo MuseumInside the Berardo MuseumInside the Berardo MuseumInside the Berardo MuseumInside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum
Inside the Berardo Museum

Berardo Museum

The Berardo museum is also located in Belém and it is in the modern building CCB(Cultural Center of Belém).

It is a private collection of the Portuguese citizen Joe Berardo, that made a deal with the government, to have his collection in a public space offered by the government.

There are several exposition and events and you can find a variety of art, from the first centuries to the modern Pop Art.

Rua Augusta seen from Terreiro do Paço
Rua Augusta seen from Terreiro do Paço
MUDE Museum
MUDE Museum

Design and Fashion Museum

The "Museu do Design e da Moda" is also known as MUDE, a simple name for the museum that is located in Lisbon downtown, Baixa. It is on one of the main tourist streets near Terreiro do Paço, which is very close to the river Tagus.

There are several news about Mude nowadays, since it is only 3 years old but it has already reached 650.000 visitors.

  • Mude is a success because there is a growing number of people who are looking for a place about design and fashion.
  • It is a still growing collection, with 120 new pieces in three years and 300 waiting for approval.
  • It had a wall covered with post-its with ideas for Lisbon.

show route and directions
A markerCoach Museum, Lisbon -
National Coach Museum, Praça Afonso de Albuquerque, 1300-004 Lisboa, Portugal
[get directions]

One of the best collections of Coaches in Europe

B markerNational Museum Ancient Art, Lisbon -
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, R. das Janelas Verdes, 1249-017 Lisboa, Portugal
[get directions]

C markerCalouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon -
FUNDAÇÃO CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN, Avenida Berna 45, 1067-001 Lisboa, Portugal
[get directions]

D markerBerardo Museum, Lisboa -
Museu Coleção Berardo, Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal
[get directions]

E markerMude, Lisbona -
Mude, Rua Augusta 24, 1100-053 Lisboa, Portugal
[get directions]

National Museum of Ancient Art

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