Lisbon has a firm grasp on its past, and celebrates it with an impressive number of museums and cultural institutions. You’ll find some of the best listed below. For more information on these and other activities, please consult the Lisbon Through Four Seasons Eyes City Guide, our first-ever insider’s guide to our beloved city, designed by the staff at Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon with you in mind. Use it to plan your trip in advance, and download the PDF to your iPad to bring along as a sightseeing reference.
Centro Cultural de Belém
Belém Cultural Center
West of Lisbon along the Tagus River, this multipurpose centre hosts concerts, performances, theatre productions, international conferences and prestigious exhibitions.
Museo Coleccão Berardo
Berardo Collection Museum
The Belém Cultural Centre hosts this private collection showcasing 800 original pieces of art from the likes of Picasso, Miró, Dalì, Francis Bacon, Warhol, Tàpies, Vieira da Silva, Paula Rego and Gilbert & George.
Centro de Arte Moderna
Modern Art Center
Part of the Gulbenkian Foundation Trust, this museum houses works by contemporary Portuguese artists, including Vieira da Silva, Amadeo Sousa Cardoso, Júlio Pomar and Nicolau Bettencourt.
Set in the former headquarters of the state bank, this cultural complex houses an art gallery and several auditoriums that regularly host music, ballet, theatre, jazz and movie events.
Museu Rafaelo Bordalo Pinheiro
This 1912 villa is home to a museum dedicated to artist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846–1905). He began his career drawing caricatures before moving onto the portrayal of figures and faces in witty and unusual ceramic forms, including vases, cups and teapots, where a cigar might serve as a spout!
Museu Nacional do Azulejo
Azulejos are an integral part of Portuguese daily life. The traditional glazed tiles are celebrated here through collections ranging from Hispano-Arabic trends and the 18th-century Delft school to modern applications. Part of the Gulbenkian Foundation, the museum is housed in the former Madre de Deus convent.
Fundação Calouste Gulbekian
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Founded in 1956 by Armenian oil magnate and art collector Calouste Gulbenkian, the modern complex houses a library, an auditorium, a space for temporary exhibits and two museums.
Fundação Medeiros E Almeida
Entrepreneur António Medeiros e Almeida’s passion for art led him to create this foundation, which includes European paintings, English and Portuguese silver, Chinese porcelain, furniture, rugs, sculpture, glass, jewellery, clocks and watches.
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
Founded in 1884, this museum displays Portuguese art from the 12th to 19th centuries, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, silverware, jewellery, ceramics, furniture and fabrics.
Museu do Fado
This museum charts the history and story of fado, a nostalgic and mournful musical genre that reached its peak in the 1930s.
Museum of Fashion & Design
MUDE houses the collection of fashion mogul Francisco Capelo, including many pieces from iconic designers and famous fashion items.
Museo do Chiado
This museum carries the country’s most important national collection of art from the 19th century to the present and hosts temporary exhibits to showcase Portuguese artists.
Fundaçâo Arpad Szenes and Vieira da Silva
Inside an 18th-century silk factory, the works of artists and spouses Arpad Szenes and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva are on show, in addition to works by the couple’s friends and contemporaries.
Museu de San Roque
Dedicated to the rich baroque period, this museum is home to over 300 pieces, including relics and paintings, sculpture, jewellery, oriental art and liturgical objects, plus the artistic masterpiece: the Chapel of St. John the Baptist.
This museum showcases both fine art and everyday pieces, including a wall of snuff bottles, Japanese armour, Timorese ritual masks, rare Chinese screens and a 19th-century opium pipe from the Qing Dynasty.
Fundação Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva
Rare goldsmith works, furniture and carpets are on display here, and the shop sells reproductions created in the workshops.