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10 Best museums in Lisbon

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Lisbon

Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 17/04/2024, 20:30

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

Lisbon isn’t just Praça do Commercio, or viewpoints. It’s also great museums, filled with history and information about Portuguese culture. On your next trip, visit the best museums in Lisbon and learn more about the capital and Portugal.

Museums in Lisbon are good to visit in the off-season, when they are a bit quieter. I like to go to them in winter or autumn, when it rains more and is cloudy. In summer, of course, it’s also a cool experience, especially if you combine your visit with a good lunch at an interesting place or a traditional tasca you’re sure to find next door.

Here are the top 10 museums in Lisbon.

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Museo de Azulejo

The museum holds amazing collection of tiles and the restaurant here is beautiful.

Definitely one of the most beautiful and colorful places in the capital.

Azulejos are hand-painted tiles that you will find on the facades of houses and churches almost everywhere in Portugal. It is a beautiful art that originated in Muslim countries and has been present in Portuguese culture for centuries.

Pro Tip: Many museums are free on the first Sunday of the month.

The Azulejos Museum is located in an old convent on the outskirts of the city. The whole place is divided into 3 floors. Here you can admire the various tiles, which are stunning in color. Finally, head to the restaurant with a garden at the bottom of the building.

Address: R. Me. Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisboa
Admission: 7 euros
Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays.

The Ancient Art Museum

The museum is huge and is really interesting.

Certainly one of the largest museums in Lisbon. I spent almost the whole day there, and still didn’t see everything.

The collection in this museum is mostly paintings, but you will also find home furnishings from the 17th century, and clothes that were worn, for example, by priests in those days.

The museum is very interesting and is sure to delight art lovers.

Through a side entrance you can also enter the cafe and garden, which is located at the back and offers a beautiful view of the river.

Address: R. das Janelas Verdes, 1249-017 Lisboa
Admission: 10 euros
Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays.

MAAT

The building is really beautiful and fits its surroundings very well.

It is my least favorite place. I think the exhibitions there are small and often too expensive. However, I include them here because of the fact that the building itself is beautiful and blends in wonderfully with the surroundings.

Address: Av. Brasília, 1300-598 Lisboa
Admission: 10 euros
Opening hours: 10 am to 7 pm, closed on Tuesdays.

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    Museo do Fado

    Museum of Fado, Lisbon.
    The museum is small, but it’s a real treat for Fado and music lovers.

    Fado is a traditional Portuguese music, listed as a UNESCO Intangible Heritage Site.

    The Fado Museum is located just off the Alfama. It is small and rather inconspicuous, but I personally liked it there very much.

    It presents the history of Fado music, and its most notable personalities. In addition, you can sit here and watch or listen to concerts and recordings.

    Address: Alfama, Largo do Chafariz de Dentro 1, 1100-139 Lisboa
    Admission: 5 euros
    Opening hours: from 10 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays.

    Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

    This museum belongs to one of the wealthiest families in Portugal. It houses various collections of secular and sacred art. There are also exhibitions, and you can use the library.

    In the back there is a cafe and a beautiful garden, where you can, for example, have a picnic.

    Address: Av. de Berna 45A, 1067-001 Lisboa
    Admission: 10 euros
    Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays.

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    Museum of Electricity

    There are some exhibits here that make you stop and think.

    This museum is located at MAAT. When you buy a ticket to MAAT, you also have free admission to the Electricity Museum.

    In my opinion, this is an interesting place and very cool for children, who can run around here and have their own corners for various experiments. The place may not be a must-visit, but it will be great if it’s raining and there’s not much to do.

    Address: Av. Brasília, 1300-598 Lisboa
    Admission: Free if you buy a ticket to MAAT.
    Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm, closed on Tuesdays.

    Lisboa Story Centre

    Two manekins at the Lisboa Story Centre in Lisbon showing the aftermath of the big earthquake.
    I found this museum to be very informative and interaktive. The part about the earthquake was the most fascinating.

    Are you interested in the history of Lisbon? At Praça do Commercio you’ll find a great interactive museum that shows the founding of the city and then takes you through all the events up to the present day.

    Certainly interesting is the film about the earthquake. It is shown in a special room with screens surrounding you on 3 sides.

    Address: Praça do Comércio 78, 1100-148 Lisboa
    Admission: 7 euros
    Opening hours: 10 am to 7 pm, daily.

    Dance and Theatre Museum

    I found this museum to be a real gem in Lisbon.

    In my opinion, this is a wonderful gem that has not yet been discovered by anyone. The Museum of Theater and Dance is located in the Lisbon suburb of Telherias.

    It consists of 2 buildings and a large garden with sculptures and a small pond. The whole place, of course, is dedicated to actors and dancers. Unfortunately, everything is in Portuguese, but it’s still worth a visit.

    Address: Estr. do Lumiar 10, 1600-495 Lisboa
    Admission: 7 euros
    Opening hours: 10 am to 1 pm, 2 pm to 6 pm, closed on Mondays.

    Money Museum

    The museum is in the very centre of Lisbon and it’s worth a visit on a rainy day.

    In the very center of Lisbon you will find the Money Museum. It may not be some focal point of every visit to the capital, but I think the place may interest more than a few.

    The museum is modern, with many interactive exhibitions. I think it would be a good place for children.

    Address: Largo de São Julião, 1100-150 Lisboa
    Admission: 10 euros
    Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

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    Earthquake Museum

    The latest addition to Lisbon’s canon of museums. The Earthquake Museum tells the story of Portugal’s largest-ever earthquake from the 17th century. The biggest “attraction” here is the tremor simulation.

    Address: R. Cais de Alfândega Velha 39, 1300-598 Lisboa
    Admission: 20 euros
    Opening hours: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm.

    Lisbon has even more museums than those listed in the text, but this is definitely a set that I would recommend to anyone coming here on vacation. Pick at least one or two museums from it to get a better idea of the country’s history and culture.

    Also remember that I have a guide to Lisbon for you to help you plan your trip.