Set in a lush garden, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is regarded as one of Portugal’s finest private collections and contains artworks ranging from ancient Egyptian sculptures to modernist paintings. The museum also houses a large selection of European art, with pieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet, Van Dyck, and Renoir.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum contains two distinct collections: the Founder’s Collection, with over 6,000 pieces gathered by Calouste Gulbenkian himself, and the Modern Collection, which contains more than 10,000 works of modern and contemporary Portuguese art. After you peruse the museum’s pristine modernist interior, make sure to step outside and explore the winding paths and manicured lawns of Gulbenkian Garden.
Book your ticket in advance to save time and avoid waiting in line. It’s also possible to visit on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to see the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum along with other Lisbon attractions such as Marquȇs do Pombal Square (Praça Marquês de Pombal) and Belém Tower (Torre de Belém).
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is a must-see for art lovers.
- Restaurants, a book store, and an ATM are located on-site.
- Wear comfortable shoes for exploring the museum and surrounding garden.
- The museum and gardens are fully accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is located on Avenida de Berna, roughly 15 minutes by road from Comércio Plaza (Praça do Comércio) and Lisbon’s waterfront area. Take the metro to either São Sebastião or Praça de Espanha station. Alternatively, you can arrive by bus, taxi, or on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour.
When to Get There
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and Gulbenkian Garden are open year-round, although the museum is closed on Tuesdays and some holidays. Opt for an early morning or late-afternoon visit to avoid crowds.
History of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
Wealthy collector Calouste Gulbenkian amassed art for more than 40 years until his death in 1955, leaving his collection to the country of Portugal to be set up as a museum for the general public. His original collection contains paintings by European masters along with ancient relics such as a gold Egyptian mummy mask, a vast collection of Hellenic coins, rare Chinese porcelain items, Japanese prints, and Persian tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries.