Things to do

The 8 Lisbon museums you must have in your checklist

In Lisbon, you can breathe art and culture in every corner. More precisely in each museum and in each place created exclusively for the diffusion of art and culture (Portuguese and foreign). Find out here which are the Lisbon museums you can’t miss if you are visiting the city or if you intend to do so very soon.

Which Lisbon museums you must visit as soon as you can?

Known as one of the major references of modern and contemporary art in Lisbon, the Colecção Berardo’s museum has one permanent and four temporaries exhibitions currently on view. It presents the most significant artistic movements, as well as diverse cultural contexts and backgrounds, and also different forms of expression that has built the art history of the last century. 
Valuable works of art, from recognized artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró, Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, among so many others, are presented in Colecção Berardo’s museum; a place where you definitely should go if you are a modern or a contemporary art lover.

Another huge reference in the capital: Calouste Gulbenkian’s Foundation, created in 1956 by the last will and testament of the person who contributed the most for the diffusion of art in Portugal (especially in Lisbon), Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian - a philanthropist from Armenia, who lived in the capital between 1942 and 1955, year of his death. 
The museum of the Calouste Gulbenkian’s Foundation, which is the venue of its founder’s private collection, also presents a collection of modern and contemporary art, along with a choir, an orchestra, a scientific research institute, and a beautiful garden of the Foundation which are available to its visitors. 
Due to the importance and the massive influence that its founder still has in Portugal, this is definitely one of the Lisbon museums that you must go in your visit to the capital.

The MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, presenting itself as "a new cultural center in the city of Lisbon”, is a quite recent museum. It hosts national and international exhibitions from contemporary artists, architects, and thinkers. It’s also a place that offers a diverse programme where you can debate a wide range of topics adapted to the different audiences and ages. Another place that must be included in your Lisbon museums’ checklist.  

The house of the greatest fado artist of the last century, perhaps of all time, Amália Rodrigues - a  recognized worldwide Portuguese artist. If you love fado, or just want to know more about this type of music, so characteristic in Portugal, the Fundação Casa-Museu Amália Rodrigues is an obligatory spot to visit - especially because its creation was a great desire of the artist. 
Inside this house, you can find pieces of art, trophies, clothes and several decorations, all well-preserved since the last day of Amália in her house, on October 6, in 1999. Here you will feel fado all over the place, and you will have the honor to share the same space where once lived this Portuguese diva.

One of the most iconic Lisbon museums, the Museu Nacional do Azulejo presents a unique collection of tiles - an artistic expression where the Portuguese culture stands out. The location is also exceptionally special since it was built in the ancient Convento da Madre de Deus. A perfect place to visit if you intend to know the roots of the national culture.

Archaeology lovers: this is for you! The Museu Nacional de Arqueologia is the main museum dedicated to the archeology field in Portugal. Founded in 1893, in the Jerónimos Monastery (a prime location in Lisbon), presents itself as an institution of reference of the Portuguese Archeology. Because of that, it has multiples agreements with museums, universities and research centers all over the world. 
This museum exhibits the story of the settlement of the Portuguese territory, from its origins to the Middle Ages, although some collections have records of documents and goods dated until the 20th century.  

The Palácio Nacional da Ajuda is a very special place to visit. It was built in order to shelter the Royal Family after the huge earthquake of 1755, which destroyed the Royal residence and part of the city. But today, this building is not only an old Royal residence but also an important library (former Royal library) and the painting gallery of King Luís I. It is also used by the Portuguese State for official ceremonies. 
The Palácio Nacional da Ajuda gathers important collections, especially decorative arts dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries, which are included gold ware, jewelry, furniture, textiles, glass and ceramics, paintings, prints, sculpture and photography collections.

Of the most traditional Lisbon museums, this one serves as a museum and also as a public utility space. Located in the heart of Belém, its construction boosted the creation of new public spaces and urban routes. This museum has the most important collection of carriages from the 16th to the 19th century, and it also provides restoration and conservation workshops.

So, have these incredible Lisbon museums already convinced you of the potential of this city in the art field?

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