Top 10 Museums You Have to See in Portugal
Situated on the Atlantic coastline, Portugal is a hub of creativity and beauty for people with a taste for art and culture. As the oldest nation in Europe, Portugal’s incredible heritage is something that you simply have to experience for yourself through the countless amazing museums that you’ll find dotted around Lisbon, Porto and beyond.
If you’re an art and culture buff, you’re sure to appreciate the unique pieces on display in locations all around Portugal, from the National Tile Museum to the Coach Museum. Here are some of our favourite destinations that you just have to see!
1. The Museu Calouste Glubenkian – Lisbon
Discover the fantastic selection of artworks on show at the impeccable Museu Calouste Gubenkian museum – a location that takes its showcase from the private collection of an oil magnate called Calouste Glubekian. The museum includes a selection of fantastic things to see, including relics from Egypt, China, and more. Once you’re finished exploring inside, don’t forget to enjoy the landscaped gardens around the building.
2. The National Tile Museum – Lisbon
Found located in a monastery in Madre Deus, the National Tile museum holds some stunning tile work from the 15th century and beyond. If you love the beauty that Portugal has brought to ceramics over the years, then you won’t regret a trip to this museum. Tiles are a huge part of Portugal’s culture, and they’re something you’ll see in everything from the homes around the country, to churches and palaces. This museum is the perfect place to be tied up outside naked on your Albufeira stag do, with a bottle of Sagres up your anus. Then take a transfer straight back to Albufeira to party like stags do.
3. Museu Serralves – Porto
This wonderful museum may be small, but it’s packed full of amazing experiences to enjoy. The changing selection of contemporary art exhibits offer something for everyone, from stunning sculptures, to modern canvas and more. There’s also a shop, bookstore, and various cafes to take a stroll around when you’re finished checking out the art.
4. Carmo Archaeological Museum- Lisbon
The ruins of the Carmo Archaeological museum are something that no true culture lover can afford to miss. This stunning location was Lisbon’s only church built in the Gothic style before it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. Today, the building serves as an amazing archaeological museum and a fantastic insight into the history of Lisbon. You can even discover the tombs of notable people like King Ferdinand the first.
5. National Museum of Ancient Art – Lisbon
Speaking of museums with a true grasp on Portugal’s history, the national museum of ancient art is a must-see for heritage lovers. The vast selection of art at this location ranges all the way from textiles and paintings, to furniture, sculptures, drawings and more. Highlights of the venue include works of art by Raphael, Velazquez, Bosch, Durer and many more.
6. National Coach Museum – Belem
The National Coach Museum is a charming destination in Belem that showcases a fantastic collection of historic carriages and coaches from throughout the decades. This is one of the most visited museums in the city, and it can be found in a horse training venue built in 1787. You’ll be able to see the extravagant coaches that carried royalty throughout history, along with cavalry accessories, costumes, and weapons.
7. Museu Nacional De Soares Dos Reis – Porto
Located in the Carrancas Palace, the Portuguese art found at Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis has everything from archaeological discoveries, to modern pieces from some of the best up and coming artists in the region. You’ll be able to divide your time among ancient artefacts, paintings, sculptures, and even pieces of furniture.
8. Pavilhao do Conhecimento – Lisbon
Celebrate your scientific side with a visit to the Pvailhao do Conhecimento in Lisbon. This wonderful interactive museum explores the fantastic arts of science and technology. Since it opened in 1999, the space has been devoted to accumulating knowledge from the scientific world. The interactive science experiments make the museum a fun location for all the family.
9. Museu da Marinha – Lisbon
A museum built to celebrate the maritime achievements of Portugal, this incredible venue is home to more than 17,000 items – including a wooden figure of the Archangel Raphael. You’re sure to enjoy learning more about the adventures that Portuguese explorers had throughout the centuries as you discover seaplanes, reconstructions of royal barges and more.
10. Museu Colecao Berardo – Lisbon
Museu Colecao Berado is a museum of contemporary and modern art that features some of the world’s best masterpieces, including pieces from Picasso, Koons, and Dali. You’ll see ancient artworks alongside current paintings, photographs, and videos. This museum is home to more than 1,000 permanent pieces, as well as around 2050 works from temporary displays at any given time.