Best Museums in Portugal

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Museums in Portugal

Portugal’s location in the Atlantic coastline has made it a platform for the discovery of the world, resulting in a long and rich history. The oldest nation in Europe, Portugal has a cultural heritage marked by the many influences of Africa, Asia and America. As a result, the country became a land of exquisite architecture, as evidenced by the many monuments and structural buildings in the land. Not only does this maritime state feature man-made wonders; it also showcases natural beauty, with its soft rolling hills, deep valleys, scenic mountains and scattered islets. No wonder the UNESCO has declared 18 Portuguese features as World Heritage sites.

If you are an art and culture buff, a trip to Portugal would seem a waste without visiting some of the many museums the country has. In Lisbon alone, you would find a number of galleries and centers that feature not only ancient artifacts, but also classical masterpieces and modern artwork collections.

Be transported in the past as you marvel at the treasures depicting Portugal’s history and get lost in the richness of the Portuguese culture as you visit as many museums as you can during your Portuguese trip.

Top Local Museum Tours in Portugal

Private Urban Art Tour with Secret Spots

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Illuminati Tour: Secrets & Symbols in Lisbon

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Lisbon's Kickstart Tour with a Local

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Top Museums in Portugal

  • The Biscainhos Museum in Braga wows visitors with its vast collection of decorative arts housed in a three-level 16th century castle surrounded by lush, magnificent gardens.
  • Photography aficionados will feel right at home in Braga’s Museum da Imagem, home of a myriad of photo collections by classic and contemporary photographers.
  • If science is your cup of tea, head to the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra and have the time of your life viewing exhibits of scientific instruments, botany, zoology and anthropology collections.
  • Fossils, anyone? Museu da Lourinhã in west Portugal showcases archeological, ethnological and paleontology finds, and even provides guests different educational activities to enjoy.
  • Swoon and gush over world-class pieces of modern and contemporary art as they go on display in Serralves Museum, the cultural heaven of Porto.
  • Porto also features the country’s first national museum, the Soares dos Reis. You can find valuable collections of jewelry, ceramics, glass and paintings here, mostly taken from convents and monasteries of the past.
  • See a vast private collection of Asian, Egyptian, Greek, Islamic and Roman art when you visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.
  • The Design and Fashion Museum or MUDE is a must-see for wardrobe and fashion stylists, models, or just about anyone who loves fashion, as it boasts of design trends from more than 230 designers all around the world.

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Historical Alfama & Scenic Viewpoints Tour

A tour with Bruno is like spending an afternoon with a good friend in his hometown.

Bruno adapted the tour to all our wishes and showed us so much more about Lisbon than we would have seen without him. We were almost overwhelmed from his knowledge of this beautiful city, there was no question that Bruno could not answer.

But especially Bruno's open character, his apparent love for his city and his friendly and courteous/obliging way of dealing with people made the tour so special for us. He did not only show us Lisbon, but we were able to develop a feeling for the city in a very short time.

If you really want to get to know Lisbon, we really recommend a tour with Bruno.

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Lisbon's Favorite Food Tour: the 10 Tastings

Joao was fantastic! We had a last minute switch but he was on time and great. Very knowledgeable about local foods, history and culture, and kept the pace to our liking with lots of wine breaks! Would highly recommend hanging out with Joao when in Lisbon!

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Best of Lisbon Tour: Highlights & Hidden Gems

We met Isabel shortly after arriving with an overnight flight to Lisbon. Figuring the public transport and the street names took longer than I thought, so we were a bit late. Isabel gave us a call and patiently directed us to the meeting place. Isabel appeared to be a well prepared guide passionate about Lisbon and its history. She is also an affluent English speaker and pleasant to communicate with. It’s hard to cover a lot with just 3+ hours we walked the streets, but Isabel gave us some memorable historic details and quite a few good ideas to further exploration of this great town.

Top 3 Must-Visit Museums in Portugal

  • Revisit Portugal’s great history by viewing artwork that depict the olden times in the country’s national gallery, the Ancient Art Museum (also known as Museu de Arte Antiga). It features “Veneration of St. Vincent,” the most important Portuguese painting. The museum also houses works by famous European artists such as Dürer, Bosch and Raphael and a fine collection of decorative art. Open on Wednesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm and on Tuesdays from 2pm to 6pm. Accessible through Tram 25.
  • Visit Museu de Evora and be mesmerized with its fine collection of archeological artifacts, sculptures and paintings that illustrate Portugal’s intricate history & culture. Founded in 1804 by Evora Archbishop Friar Manuel Cenáculo, the museum started as a public library and now houses more than 20,000 art pieces. The museum is open to the public from Tuesdays to Sundays.
  • View the Berardo Collection, an assortment of international modern & contemporary art that features American & European works of the 20th century in the Sintra Modern Art Museum. Open Tuesdays through Sundays, this museum is a must-see for all art enthusiasts. Tours of the collection are conducted by art critics and can be arranged in advance.