10 Things to Do in Lisbon Before the End of 2013

Christmas in Lisbon

THE PRADO IN LISBON
Spain’s biggest national museum, the Prado, is lending a few of its masterpieces to Portugal’s biggest national museum, the Ancient Art Museum. It’s part of a program of exchange of works between the two museums, and from Madrid to Lisbon will be brought around 60 paintings from masters like Rubens and Brueghel. The exhibition opens on December 3rd.

THE ROUTE OF THE TILE AT THE GULBENKIAN MUSEUM
From now until January 26th you can see “The Splendor of Cities: The Route of the Tile” at the Gulbenkian Museum. The collector that gave Lisbon’s most acclaimed museum its name was an admirer of tiled art, and this exhibition is a wonderful complement to a visit to the city’s Tile Museum. It remembers how tile is a feature of cities throughout the Mediterranean and beyond to central Asia, and on display are works from Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Persia and India.

FELIPE OLIVEIRA BAPTISTA AT THE DESIGN AND FASHION MUSEUM
He grew up in Lisbon and studied in London, but it was in Paris that Felipe Oliveira Baptista became a successful fashion designer. Lisbon’s Design and Fashion Museum now presents a retrospective exhibition of ten years of his creations, until February 16th. As always at this museum, admission is free.

THE DESIGN BIENNIAL
Lisbon’s design biennial is here, and until December 22nd you may see design-related exhibitions at several venues in the city. Complete info: www.experimentadesign.pt

THE ARCHITECTURE TRIENNIAL
It only happens every three years, but 2013 is a year of the architecture triennial. There are architecture-related exhibitions, debates, and special events until December 15th. More info: www.trienaldelisboa.com

500 YEARS OF THE PORTUGUESE IN CHINA
The Medeiros e Almeida Museum is Lisbon’s most surprising museum and still one of its most overlooked. Now and until December 31st, you may celebrate 500 years of the arrival of the Portuguese in China with the exhibition “Chins and Guo Yan Ta Xi.” It’s a collection of Chinese works of art, including textiles, porcelain, and furniture, spread around the works permanently displayed in the museum.

PLANET OCEAN AT THE OCEANARIUM
The Good Planet Foundation has set up a temporary exhibition (until January 6th) at Lisbon’s famous Oceanarium, presenting unique perspectives of the world’s oceans through aerial and underwater images. They’re accompanied by descriptions alerting to the threats that the oceans face today.

LISBON, WWII’S SAFE HAVEN
Until December 15th, one of the turrets of Comercio Square hosts an exhibition that takes you back to Lisbon during WWII. The images and objects on display show how the Portuguese capital was the European safe haven at the time, and how everyone from the lower to the upper classes of Europe used it to escape the war. The final destination was to be the Unites States, but as they waited for their documents, Lisbon became a strangely peaceful and free city.

THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE
From November 29th to January 6th, Edward VII Park will be a “Christmas Village” where families can meet Santa Claus and real reindeer. Always with a view of Lisbon as a backdrop.

CHRISTMAS CONCERTS
As the Christmas season approaches there is a series of concerts in Lisbon’s churches. Every weekend evening until December 1st there are concerts in São Roque Church, and after that, throughout December, there are more in other churches downtown. For free.

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