Ancient treasures, masterpieces by the masters, and some singular and offbeat collections
As expected in a great European capital, Lisbon has a wealth of excellent
museums, from the world-class
Gulbenkian Museum to the outstanding
Art Museum, and the more recent and acclaimed Design
There are dozens of public and private collections, many housed in former palaces and convents that would be worth a visit even without their museum displays. That's the case of the Tile Museum and the Decorative Arts Museum, where visitors end up spending much more time than they anticipate.
Other museums have some of the world's most valuable collections of their
kind like the Coaches
Museum and the Maritime
Museum in the Belem district, also home to the Archaeology
Museum and the lavish collection inside Ajuda
For contemporary Portuguese art there's the Gulbenkian Foundation's Modern Art Center, the Chiado Museum, and the Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva Museum, all featuring works by the country's most prominent artists.
Also look out for the Berardo Museum, a jaw-dropping collection of modern art with works by the great international artists from Warhol to Picasso inside Belem Cultural Center. A portion of the collection is also on display outside the city in Sintra's Modern Art Museum.
Spaces particularly linked to the city of Lisbon are the City Museum, the Fado Museum, and the award-winning Mãe D'Água Water Museum.
There are also two extraordinary private art collections that are often overlooked but worthy of a visit for admirers of decorative arts, the Anastácio Gonçalves Museum, and the Medeiros e Almeida Museum.
Several churches are also home to small but noteworthy collections, like Carmo Church's eclectic archaeological museum, São Roque Church's rich sacred art collection, and Saint Anthony Church's exhibits about the life of the revered saint that was born on the site -- all of them reminding you that Lisbon itself is a museum-piece of history, ruins and treasures.
The tourism office's Lisboa Card gives free access or reduced admission to most museums, and some are free on Sunday mornings. See the list below for more information on each Lisbon museum.
See also the 10 works of art to see in Lisbon».
Top 10 Lisbon Museums1. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum - Treasures from the East and the West.
2. Berardo Museum - World-class collection of modern art
3. Ancient Art Museum - Fascinating Oriental and European art.
4. Design Museum - One of the world's leading design collections.
5. The Tile Museum - An ancient art form in a lavish old convent.
6. Orient Museum - Lisbon in Asia. Asia in Lisbon.
7. Coaches Museum - The world's largest collection of magnificent royal coaches.
8. Maritime Museum - The story of Portugal's pioneering role in world exploration.
9. Chiado Museum - Portuguese contemporary art.
10. Medeiros e Almeida Museum - Outstanding private collection of fine arts.
Modern Art Center - Collection of 20th century Portuguese and British art
Archaeology Museum - Archaeological finds from over the centuries.
The City Museum - The story of Lisbon's long history.
Decorative Arts Museum - A captivating decorative arts collection.
Anastácio Gonçalves Museum - A phenomenal personal decorative arts collection.
Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva Museum - The gallery of two great 20th-century artists.
Interactive Science Museum - Scientific exhibits with cutting-edge technology.
Carmo Church's Archeological Museum - Fascinating archaeological finds.
São Roque Church's Sacred Art Museum - Ecclesiastical treasures.
The Aqueduct and Mãe de Agua Water Museum - An indestructible feat of engineering.
Saint Anthony Church and Museum - Saint Anthony's life story in his birthplace.
Fado Museum - The story of the national music.
Military Museum - A testament to the country's battles.
The Roman Theater and Museum - Archaeological finds of an ancient Roman theater.
Marionette Museum - Lovely collection of puppets from around the world.
Security Pavilion Museum - A collection of outsider art in a panopticon