Lisbon's Top Museums: A Collection of Culture in the City


Museums in Lisbon number some of the city’s most popular cultural attractions. Among these is the celebrated Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, located near Praça de Espãnha, where over 6,000 individual exhibits are housed. The collection of valuable and historic artefacts related to the history of pharmacy and world health at the Museu da Farmácia, near Chiado, make this a particularly unusual Lisbon museum. Meanwhile, in Santos, you’ll find the stunning Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. This is Portugal’s national gallery and houses the largest collection of Portuguese paintings in the country. In nearby Alcântara stands the excellent Museu do Oriente. Here, the exhibition highlights Portugal’s presence in the Far East. A relatively new addition to Lisbon’s cultural scene is the Museu do Aljube-Resistência e Liberdade. Housed in a former prison facility near the cathedral, the permanent exhibition chronicles the rise of fascism in Portugal and the subsequent struggle for freedom and democracy. The world’s most comprehensive collection of horse-drawn coaches and carriages can be appreciated at the Museu Nacional dos Coches in Belém. Back in Lisbon’s Baixa (downtown) district, a tour of the quirky Hospital de Bonecas includes a visit to the doll’s museum, a display that numbers thousands of figurines, some very rare. The Museu de São Roque is certainly worth a look for its valuable sacred art. Similarly, the amazing assortment of ancient tiles and ceramics displayed at the Museu Nacional do Azulejo justifies the jaunt east out of the city centre towards Parque das Nações. And for lovers of contemporary art, allow a good hour to explore the rare and wonderful works at the Museu Colecção Berardo, located in Belém.  


Multi-millionaire Portuguese entrepreneur Jose Berardo has housed his astonishing collection of modern art in this contemporary space, a gallery tucked inside the Centro Cultural de Belem. The display which brings to together some of the most...  Read More

The National Tile Museum enjoys a beautiful setting within the cloisters of the 16th-century Convento da Madre de Deus in the eastern suburbs of the city. This is one of Portugal's most important cultural institutions and as such visitors often...  Read More

Best combined with a visit to the stunningly decorated adjoining church, which is free to enter, the São Roque museum houses an interesting collection of scared art that includes standout pieces from the orient – the Middle East, India, Japan...  Read More

One of the most unusual visitor attractions in Lisbon, the Hospital de Bonecas really is a hospital for toy dolls, where all kinds of damaged figurines made in all sorts of materials can be repaired or restored to their original condition. ...  Read More

The Museu Nacional dos Coches – National Coach Museum – holds the largest collection of historic coaches and carriages in the world, and is certainly the finest museum of its kind in Europe. The coaches, comprising state and promenade...  Read More

The Aljube Museum of Resistance and Freedom stands as a grim reminder of Portugal's oppressive dictatorship under Salazar. Housed within the former Aljube political prison, the museum is as much a memorial to the victims of imprisonment and...  Read More

24 de Julho & Docas/Alcantara

The Orient Museum's permanent collection, exhibited under the banner 'Portuguese Presence in Asia – Heritage. Memory. Collections' brings together a rare and priceless cache of artefacts from Eastern Europe, the Far East and Indian...  Read More

Cais do Sodré/Santos

Portugal's national gallery houses the largest collection of Portuguese 15th- and 16th-century paintings in the country, but this revered museum is also home to a glittering array of European art from the Middle Ages to the late 19th century....  Read More

Showcasing one of the most surprising and remarkable exhibitions in the city, the Museu da Farmácia (Pharmacy Museum) chronicles Portuguese pharmaceutical history and the wider theme of global pharmacy and health. The result is multi-faceted...  Read More

The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian has one of the finest and most valuable collections of art in Europe. There are over 6,000 individual pieces displayed here, exhibits that span over 4,000 years, from Antiquity to the 19th century. Incredibly, they...  Read More


Meet Paul Bernhardt

Paul Bernhardt cut his teeth as a press photographer in England before leaving the UK to settle in Portugal, where he has lived for over a decade, and where he started to focus on more...  More About Paul