Here Are 8 Must-See Museums In Lisbon

Discover the roots of Fado music and catch a glimpse of Lisbon’s iconic Azulejo tiles. 

Lisbon’s museums offer immersive experiences of Portugal’s longstanding history. Typically housed in historic buildings, these establishments allow visitors to travel back in time. The city’s first settlements can be traced back to 1200 BCE, which in turn created the vibrant mosaic of traditions, culture, and art that we know today.


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Museu Arqueológico do Carmo

1150-343 Lisbon, Portugal

Situated in the ruins of Convento da Ordem do Carmo, the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo offers a fascinating glimpse into Lisbon’s history. Constructed in 1389, this unique location features artifacts spanning millennia. Visitors can marvel at mummies and sculptures with a backdrop of the convent’s roofless nave, which was left in ruins after a devastating earthquake in 1755, killing over 30,000 people.

Carmo Convent
Photo by Pexels User on Pexels

Museu Nacional do Azulejo

R. Me. Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisboa, Portugal

The Museu Nacional do Azulejo pays homage to one of Portugal’s most cherished art forms: azulejos, or glazed ceramic tiles. Spanning centuries of tile-making tradition, its collection showcases stunning examples of azulejos, from intricate Moorish patterns to Baroque-inspired designs. Travelers can discover the evolution of its techniques and explore exhibits that dive into its cultural significance in Portuguese architecture.

Museu nacional do Azulejo
Photo by Museu Nacional do Azulejo Facebook

Museu Nacional dos Coches

Av. da Índia 136, 1300-300 Lisboa, Portugal

Step into a world of luxury at Museu Nacional dos Coches, home to one of the finest ceremonial carriages ever known. Housed in the former Royal Riding Arena, there is an exquisite array of horse-drawn coaches and carriages dating from the 16th to 19th centuries. Each carriage is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, adorned with intricate carvings, gilded embellishments, and plush upholstery. SEE MORE: All The Food You Must Eat In Portugal (And Why).

Museu nacional do coches
Photo by Museu Nacional dos Coches Facebook

Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado

R. Serpa Pinto 4, 1200-444 Lisboa, Portugal

Located in the historic Chiado district, Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado is a dynamic hub of artistic experimentation and expression. Boasting a diverse collection of contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries, this permanent exhibition showcases works by famous artists alongside emerging talents. From avant-garde installations to thought-provoking pieces, guests can view snippets of how Lisbon’s art has evolved over time.

Museu Do Fado

Alfama, Largo do Chafariz de Dentro 1, 1100-139 Lisboa, Portugal

Museu do Fado
Photo by Museu Do Fado Facebook

Nestled within the historic Alfama district and only a 10-minute walk from Castelo de São Jorge, Museu Do Fado provides an immersive experience that explores deep into the cultural roots and significance of this iconic art form. Travelers are invited to discover the evolution of Fado through interactive exhibits, including vintage recordings and photographs. Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about Portuguese culture; a visit to the Museu do Fado promises to be an enriching experience, offering insight into this nation’s musical heritage. Click here to learn the secrets behind timeless Portuguese folk music.

Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia Museum (MAAT)

Av. Brasília, 1300-598 Lisboa, Portugal

Situated by the Tagus River, the Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia Museum (MAAT) was designed by acclaimed architect Amanda Levete. Inside, visitors can explore a diverse range of exhibitions. From art, architecture, to technology, the entire museum showcases both local and international talents. From cutting-edge installations to thought-provoking pieces, MAAT offers a platform for creative exploration.

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

R. das Janelas Verdes, 1249-017 Lisboa, Portugal

The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga is known for its exceptional array of art spanning from the 15th to 19th century and features masterpieces that reflect the nation’s artistic innovation. Situated within the former Palace of Alvor-Pombal, there is also an impressive collection of sculptures and ceramics, giving guests an eye-opening insight into Portugal’s past creative expressions.

Museu Do Oriente

Doca de Alcantara Norte, Av. Brasília, 1350-352 Lisboa, Portugal

The Museu do Oriente is housed in a former warehouse and traces the connection between Portugal and Asia through a rich collection of artifacts, artworks, and relics. Travelers can explore galleries dedicated to maritime trade routes, Asian artifacts, and the influence of Portuguese exploration on global trade. From intricately carved ivory sculptures to colorful Chinese ceramics, this establishment offers a captivating glimpse into the cross-cultural encounters that have shaped this nation.

Museu do Oriente
Photo by Museu Do Oriente Facebook
Natalia Guerra

Contributing Editor

Natalia Guerra was born in Miami and comes from a Cuban background. Aside from her passion for travel writing and culinary arts, she also loves to step out of her comfort zone to live life to the fullest. Her lifestyle is being a digital nomad, working remotely as she travels the world one city at a time. Her favorite country has been Spain for its beautiful architecture and food, which reminds her of her Cuban culture.

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