If you’re looking to gain some historical knowledge during your trip, then our suggestion of the museums you should visit in Lisbon is ideal for you. The Portuguese capital is full of tourist attractions and, besides the various monuments and historical sites that you should visit, Lisbon also has a wide range of museums. Find out which Lisbon museums you must visit:
The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) opened in October 2016 by Fundação EDP and the architecture is fascinating.
This museum can be found on the waterfront in the historic area of Belém and features national and international exhibitions by contemporary artists, architects and thinkers. Its diversity of spaces and programs make it a crucial point to explore in a cultural visit, as it presents a proposal oriented for all kinds of public and ages. MAAT offers an educational program filled with interdisciplinary activities related to art, architecture, and technology. The goal of these proposals is to feed creative thinking and new forms of appropriation and construction of knowledge.
Through its exhibitions, MAAT intends to offer its visitors programs that foster the creative vein, knowledge and leisure, so be sure to stop by.
Location: Avenida Brasília, Belém | 1300-598 Lisbon
Opened in May 2008, the Orient Museum is the result of the vocation of the Fundação Oriente, established in 1988. This Museum arose from the will to provide Portugal with a museological space that would simultaneously estimate the testimonies of the Portuguese presence in Asia and the several Asian cultures. Thus, the Orient Museum is the testimony of the historical relations between Asia and Portugal, the first country to reach the most distant oriental ports. This Museum is in the Alcântara Dock, in a building from the 40s with a privileged location by the Tagus River.
The Museum is organized around two major permanent exhibitions. On floor 1, you will find the exhibition dedicated to the “Portuguese Presence in Asia”, consisting of artistic and documentary objects separated over the years by the Fundação Oriente.
The exhibition “Chinese Opera” which is on level 2, was planned from the Kwok On Collection, one of the most important of its kind on a European scale, and consists of more than 13,000 pieces. Along the exhibition route, there are about 280 pieces such as costumes, wigs, headdresses, make-up models, puppets, engravings, paintings, musical instruments, as well as photographs and videos.
Overall, the Museum’s programming is diversified and aimed at all audiences, with temporary exhibitions, courses, conferences, workshops, guided tours, and other educational activities such as music, dance, theater and puppet shows.
Orient Museum aims to show the importance of multiculturalism and cultural diversity as symbols of promoting understanding, democracy, citizenship, respect for human rights, tolerance, and peace among people.
Location: Avenida Brasília, Doca de Alcântara (North) | 1350-352 Lisbon
If your goal is to learn more about the history of Lisbon, then Museu de Lisboa is the ideal place to visit. Located in an old palace and also a former City Museum, the Museu de Lisboa has as its core department at Palácio Pimenta. The Roman Theatre, Santo António, Torreão Poente and Casa dos Bicos are also part of the departments of this new museum created in 2015.
A permanent exhibition recalls the evolution of Lisbon, from prehistory to the early 20th century, while the Black and White Pavilions, located in the gardens, function as a temporary exhibition area. The Museum of Lisbon also runs the Roman Galleries, located in the basement of Baixa Pombalina and open to the public only twice a year.
This Museum offers guided tours, animated tours, plastic expression workshops, conferences, debates, and training sessions, providing the opportunity to learn more about the history and experiences of the city of Lisbon.
The activities are aimed at the general public since the mission of the Museum of Lisbon is to reveal the city in different ways, to make known all the riches of one of the oldest cities in Europe.
Location: Palácio Pimenta, Campo Grande | 1700-091 Lisbon
Opening on April 25, 2015, the Aljube Museum Resistência e Liberdade is located in the former Aljube prison, which operated as a political prison of the Estado Novo between the years 1928 and 1965. The building was recovered and adapted to be dedicated to immortalizing the fight against dictatorship and the resistance of those who, for many years, defended freedom and democracy.
The Aljube Museum houses a long-term exhibition, where it characterizes the Portuguese dictatorial regime that lasted from 1926 to 1974. In this exhibition, you will also learn more about the means of oppression and repression used by the Salazar regime, the resistance of the oppositions, the anti-colonial war and the 25th of April of 1974. In its temporary exhibitions that are held regularly, the resistance of the past is crossed with the defense of citizenship and human rights in the present. However, besides these exhibitions, other activities are also promoted. Guided tours, conversation cycles, sessions with cinema and debate, and also visits to parts of the structure of the building where the museum is housed, and an archeological exhibit raised from its basement.
Although the museum tells the story of the dictatorship times in Portugal, this space reflects something bigger because this is a situation that is still occurring in many countries. Therefore, this is a must-visit place for anyone of any nationality, as it portrays the cruel reality of fascism. Take a visit to Aljube Museum and learn more about the Portuguese Resistance and Freedom.
Location: Rua Augusto Rosa | 1100-059 Lisbon
We hope you enjoyed our suggestions of museums you should visit in Lisbon!
And remember that, if you need it, our staff is willing to advise you on the best way to get to each of these museums, and what else you can visit nearby. You won’t lack things to do or visit when you stay at Hotel Portuense.