10 New Reasons to Visit Lisbon in 2017

Botanical Garden, Lisbon

The Botanical Garden in the Príncipe Real district, much neglected over the last several years, closed in 2016 but should reopen in the spring of 2017. In addition to cleaned-up green spaces, it will have a new café with outdoor seating and a small amphitheater.

Estação Sul e Sueste

A ferry station from 1931, largely abandoned in the last few years, will finally be renovated and open as a leisure and tourist attraction. It will have restaurants with outdoor seating and be the starting point of sightseeing cruises. The 7-million-euro renovation should be completed by the end of 2017.

MuDe, Lisbon

Also scheduled for late 2017 (sometime in the fall) is the reopening of the Design and Fashion Museum (MuDe). It will actually be a brand new museum, as it will expand beyond its two floors to an entire building covering an entire block. It will have more space for the entire international design and fashion collection, plus a new design store and a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Convento da Graça

It’s said to be one of the biggest renovations of a historical building in the last few years. It’s the Graça Convent, next to a landmark church opening to one of the city’s favorite viewpoints, that was never open to the public throughout the centuries. It will be free and open for visits in the spring. In addition to the baroque architecture in several tiled rooms, you’ll be able to enjoy an interior garden.

Campo das Cebolas

The new cruise terminal will finally be completed, and so will a new landscaped square across the road. The new “Campo das Cebolas” has had a few delays due to archaeological finds, but should be completed by the summer. You’ll then be able to picnic under pine trees, looking out to the cathedral and the historic Casa dos Bicos.

Jewish Museum, Lisbon

Not far from the cathedral will also be the new Jewish Museum. It will be at the center of one of the city’s Jewish quarters (it used to have two), and will tell the story of the Jewish community in Lisbon throughout the centuries. The controversial new building (due to its modern façade in a historic little square), should be completed by the end of the year.

Pavilhão Carlos Lopes

A beautifully tiled building in Edward VII Park, “Pavilhão Carlos Lopes,” originally used for sports events, is currently being cleaned up and will reopen in the spring for all sorts of activities. One of them is the city’s biggest gastronomic event, the “Peixe em Lisboa” festival, already scheduled for March 30th to April 9th.

Berardo Art Deco and Art Nouveau Museum

There is the Berardo Museum of modern and contemporary art since 2007, and in 2017 there will also be the Berardo Museum of art deco and art nouveau. Collector Joe Berardo found a tile-covered building below 25 de Abril Bridge to house his collection of international art deco and art nouveau pieces, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics and crystals dating back to the early 1900s from different international artists, and shall open it in the first half of the year.

25 de Abril Bridge observation deck

Not far from the new Berardo museum will be a new exhibition space telling the story of the city’s landmark bridge. You’ll be able to take an elevator to the top of Lisbon’s “Golden Gate,” enjoy the views from the observation deck, and then learn everything about this fascinating construction that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.


It was officially unveiled last October, but the new building of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), will only be fully operational in March of 2017. All of its exhibition rooms will finally be open and have temporary exhibitions to show, but it will no longer be free. However, you don’t need to pay anything to access its rooftop, which offers a view over the river and the bridge.

10 New Reasons to Go to Lisbon in 2016

MAAT, Lisbon

The major new attraction of the year is the MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, which will be found on the water’s edge in the Belém district. Directed by the former curator of contemporary architecture of New York’s MoMA, the first exhibition is scheduled for September, but you’ll be able to admire the exterior of the rather futuristic building before then.

It’s not being labeled a “museum” but rather a “museological space,” and it’s quite a space. It’s a replica of a ship from the 1500s, the type that left Lisbon for Asia, Brazil and around the world, and will explain the planning and process behind those voyages, together with all the different aspects (both positive and negative) of the Age of Discovery. It will be placed on the waterfront some time in the summer, by Ribeira das Naus, and will have a terrace at the top offering views of the Tagus flowing into the Atlantic, allowing you to imagine the ancient sailors heading into the unknown.

It’s been postponed year after year, but 2016 is said to be the year for the opening of the new Money Museum. It will be found in the mostly unlikely of places, a former church from the 1700s, but also extending to the building behind it, which belongs to the Bank of Portugal. Although the museum is said to open in the first half of the year, the former church is already open to visitors, showing traces of Lisbon’s medieval wall together with archaeological finds from the Roman and Moorish periods of the city.

Amoreiras Towers, Lisbon

It may be hard to believe for many locals, but the Amoreiras Towers have just turned 30 years old. Quite controversial due to their postmodern architecture in a historic city, they’re now very much part of Lisbon’s skyline and house one of its favorite malls. In 2016 it will open its rooftop to visitors for the first time, a new attraction it’s calling “Amoreiras 360.” That’s because it will offer 360º-views over Lisbon, reportedly at a cost of 5 euros per person.

One of the biggest events of the year will happen in July. From the 22nd to the 25th, “Europe’s Atlantic Capital” will have several activities (from concerts to exhibitions) related to the famous sailing race. Many of the ships will be open to visitors, and there will be lots of photo opportunities as they go down the Tagus towards the Atlantic.

The same company that turned a group of abandoned warehouses, now collectively known as “Lx Factory,” into one of Lisbon’s trendiest spots, will now try to do the same for a former hospital. The 500-year-old building actually started out as a monastery, then became an orphanage, then it was turned into military barracks, and finally became a hospital until 2006. In the spring of 2016 it will have its 11,000 square meters divided into shops, cultural spaces, restaurants and a hotel.

A larger number of tourists every year means that there’s still a need for new hotels. And the new ones try to stand out from the competition in any way they can. Studies show that Lisbon is one of the cities with the best-reviewed hotels in Europe, and the upcoming ones will make sure they keep it that way. There will be a new design hotel in the Príncipe Real district overlooking the city, a new hotel downtown from a new chain created by superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and a new four stars in the central Figueira Square.

The final touches are scheduled for January of 2017, but by the end of 2016 you’ll already be able to enjoy a large part of the renewed waterfront between Cais do Sodré and Campo das Cebolas, by the cruise terminal.
Extending the promenade Ribeira das Naus, also used as an “urban beach” during the warmer months, the square across from Cais do Sodré station will be landscaped, and the square across from the famous Casa dos Bicos will be mostly car-free, so you’ll be able to enjoy a picnic or relax in the Atlantic breeze.

25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon

In the year that the landmark 25 de Abril Bridge celebrates 50 years, there are plans for the addition of an elevator to take tourists to the top. It’s still in the planning stages, so there’s no guarantee that it will open in its 50th year, but sooner or later you’ll be able to go up 70 meters (230ft) in the air. It will not only offer bird’s-eye views of Lisbon, it will also tell the story of the bridge, including why it looks so much like San Francisco’s Golden Gate.

An entire floor of the Ancient Art Museum is currently closed and will only reopen in May. At that time it will have a (re)new(ed) space for the display of Portuguese paintings and sculpture that were rarely seen before. It will have around 200 new pieces, from the Middle Ages to the 1800s.
Until April you may also see the temporary exhibition “Great Spanish Masters”, with works by names like El Greco, Goya and Sorolla.

Coming Soon to Lisbon: A New Cultural Center and Architectural Icon

EDP Building, Lisbon

It’s just been announced that the neighborhood with the most cultural attractions in Lisbon will have yet another one by the end of 2013. That’s a new cultural center next to and managed by the Electricity Museum which will mostly present temporary exhibitions of contemporary art and also have an auditorium, a café and shop.
The 19-million-euro project will be designed by British architect Amanda Levete (who’s recently also been chosen for the expansion of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum), and will literally be on the river, with the water rising over the steps of the façade.
The top of the building will also be used as a big open space which you’ll be able to walk through and admire the views of the surroundings, further making this a future icon of contemporary architecture in the city.

Lisbon 2010 Preview

Lisbon in 2010

A New Praça do Comércio
As you can see in the photo above and can read in a previous post, Lisbon’s biggest square is being renovated. It will have a new pavement, will remove traffic from two of its sides, and plans to attract new businesses to the buildings under its arches. Originally the deadline for completion of the works was October of 2010 but City Hall has anticipated that for April or May, in time for one of the city’s biggest events of the year:

The Pope Visit
The Pope will be in Portugal from May 11th to 14th. He’ll of course be in Fatima, but will also celebrate mass in Porto and Lisbon. In Lisbon it will take place in Comércio Square.

Rock in Rio-Lisboa Returns
The self-titled biggest music event in the world that first started in Rio but that has moved to Lisbon will return to the Portuguese capital in 2010. It takes place every two years in Lisbon, and this year you can expect another series of concerts by many other the world’s chart-topping artists, bands, and world-famous DJs. So far only Muse has been confirmed, but expect the lineup to be revealed throughout the first months of the year. Rock in Rio-Lisboa in 2010 happens on May 21st, 22nd, 27, 28, and 29.

100 Years of the Portuguese Republic
When the last Portuguese king was assassinated in 1908, it was the beginning of the end of the Portuguese monarchy, giving rise to a new Portuguese republic in 1910. One hundred years later Lisbon will be celebrating the event throughout the city in October, with special events taking place downtown by Municipal Square, Comercio Square, and Belém.

The New Popular Art Museum
It closed a few years ago for its building to be transformed into a museum devoted to the Portuguese language and culture similar to the one in São Paulo (Brazil), but after a petition to bring the old museum back, the minister of culture has recently announced that the Museu de Arte Popular will be back in 2010. This is a museum dedicated to the traditional arts and crafts of Portugal, originally displayed by region. Its old home in a building between the Discoveries Monument and Belem Tower will be renovated to once again welcome the collection.

Parque Mayer Gains New Life
Parque Mayer is a sort of small Lisbon-style Broadway from the 20th century. It’s a group of old theaters around the corner from Avenida da Liberdade that have had a slow death over the years but that have also had rehabilitation plans for quite some time. Some of those plans were quite ambitious, including one by architect Frank Gehry for which he was paid 2.2 million euros. But the project has been rethought and it will now be less monumental, although perhaps a little more tasteful. It will include a connection to the Botanical Garden nearby and with works throughout 2010, it is hoped to be complete by 2011 and bring new life and theater magic to the center of the city.

Casa dos Bicos Reopens as the José Saramago Foundation
One of Lisbon’s most curious buildings due to its spiked façade will now have a new function. Casa dos Bicos in Alfama has recently been cleaned up and will soon reopen to serve as the José Saramago Foundation, which will reportedly include a library of the Nobel Prize-winning author.

Lisbon’s Chiado Contemporary Art Museum Now and in the Future

Lisbon's Chiado Museum - The National Museum of Contemporary ArtIt has just been announced that Lisbon’s Chiado Museum (officially the National Museum of Contemporary Art) will be expanding to a building currently occupied by a local police force. In the past, that same building was a convent and has been seen as the future annex of the Chiado Museum over the last decade. At the moment, the Contemporary Art Museum is housed in part of the former convent building, after a beautiful renovation by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte in 1994. It has around 4500 pieces of Portuguese art from the past century, but they’re not all displayed at the same time due to lack of space. Instead, the museum presents temporary thematic exhibitions of the permanent collection, but hopefully with this planned expansion it will be able to show all of its works together with special temporary exhibitions and educational services.
But as it is, this museum is already very much worth of a visit by admirers of contemporary art, and in particular by those curious about Portuguese artists. Now even more so, with its current exhibition “Modern Portuguese Art: From Amadeo to Paula Rego.” It’s being shown until the 31st of October, and if you go on a Sunday morning before 2PM, it’s free. It presents works from the first half of the 20th century in the cultural and political context of the time, as well as important works by Portuguese artists heavily influenced by the art of Paris, as was the case of Amadeo Souza Cardoso and Vieira da Silva. From more recent times there are pieces by Joaquim Rodrigo and Paula Rego, this last artist now with her own museum in Cascais, as recently reported here on GoLisbon.