With its colorful architecture and traditional azulejo tiles, it comes as no surprise that Lisbon is a haven for art lovers. From collections spanning modern technology to street art and ancient artifacts, here are a few of our top picks for art lovers in the Portuguese capital.
Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT)—Art and Culture in a Striking Setting
As well as boasting maritime-themed architecture and an observation deck that overlooks the Tagus River, MAAT covers everything from Portuguese culture to technology. Highlights include the undulating design of the museum’s exterior and temporary exhibits from global contemporary artists.
National Museum of Ancient Art (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga)—The World’s Largest Collection of Portuguese Art
If your artistic tastes lean toward the classic rather than the contemporary, the National Museum of Ancient Art should be at the top of your Lisbon itinerary. The museum houses more than 40,000 items—paintings, sculptures, and illuminated manuscripts—in the yellow-walled Alvor Palace (Palácio Alvor), which is an attraction in itself.
National Museum of Contemporary Art (Museu do Chiado)—Modern Art in a Historic Building
Nestled among the shops and restaurants of Lisbon’s Chiado district, the National Museum of Contemporary Art houses one of the largest collections of modern art in Portugal. As well as boasting cutting-edge contemporary pieces, the museum is housed in the historic São Francisco da Cidade monastery.
Street Art in Lisbon—Neighborhood Art from the Gritty to the Traditional
Though harder to find in Lisbon than other cities, street art plays a significant part in the creative culture of Portugal’s capital. Areas such as the Tobacco Garden (Jardim do Tabaco) in Alfama and Rua da Madalena in Graça are home to some of the city’s best murals—take a street-art tour to discover Lisbon’s urban offerings.
Galeria Belo-Galsterer—A Home for New and International Artists
Housed in a striking art deco building that dates back to the 1940s, Galeria Belo-Galsterer exhibits the work of some of Europe’s most promising up-and-coming artists. Plus, a prime location on Avenida de Liberdade makes it easy to tag this onto sightseeing in the city center.