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Must-See Museums in Lisbon

Must-See Museums in Lisbon

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is known for its steep hills and yellow tram that rattles around corners at impressive speed. For visitors interested in learning more about Portugal’s maritime heritage and cultural importance, there’s a great selection of museums to visit. Here are a few of the top choices. 

Sintra Palaces

An hour outside Lisbon city you find Sintra—once the Portuguese Royal Family’s summer base. There’s a host of different museums to see here, including the Royal Pena Palace, restored Moorish castle, mysterious Masonic initiation wells at Quinta da Regaleira, and Sintra National Palace.

**How to visit:**Join a small group tour with round-trip transport and entry tickets included. 

Maritime Museum

In the 15th century, before Christopher Columbus set out for the New World, it was the Portuguese who were the first Europeans to explore the world beyond their continent. Lisbon’s maritime museum in Belem traces this history from the early days of ocean navigation right up to the 20 century. Don't miss the collection of royal barges used over the years. 

**How to visit:**Join a hop-on hop-off bus tour and stop at Belem to visit the museum. 

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

With more than 10,000 artworks on display ranging from ancient sculptures to works by contemporary Portugese artists, the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon’s Saldanha neighborhood has something to please all art lovers. The museum hosts regular special exhibitions too, and in the summer puts on concerts in its charming grounds—a hidden oasis in the city.

**How to visit:**Take a hop-on hop-off bus tour, which stops at the museum. Book your visit in advance to avoid waiting in line.

Fado Museum

Fado is a type of folk music unique to Portugal, and if you spend any time in Lisbon you’re sure to hear its signature soulful voice and guitar coming from shops, bars, and restaurants in the city. The Fado Museum offers a chance to explore the origins of this emotionally charged music, and takes you through some of the biggest Fado stars of the past decades. Information is provided by audio guide so you can explore the museum at your own pace. 

**How to visit:**Join a tour that includes a hop-on-hop-off tram to reach the Fado Museum in Alfama followed by dinner and a Fado show. 

Castelo São Jorge

Lisbon’s St. George castle – Castelo São Jorge – stands proud above the city, visible at almost every turn. The castle in various guises has been used as a defensive outpost since at least the 1st century BC by the Phoencians, Carthinagians, Romans and Moors. Since the 12th century is has been used by the Portugese as a Royal palace and a military barracks before being opened to the public as a museum. You can walk the castle ramparts, check out the archeological finds in the museum and enjoy one of the best views in all of Lisbon from the castle yard. 

**How to visit:**Buy a skip the line ticket in advance; the castle is very popular and often has long lines.

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7 Tours and Activities

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Lisbon Half Day Private Tour

Lisbon Half Day Private Tour

star-4.5
154
Make the most of your time in Lisbon with a 4-hour, private tour that takes in the very best of the city. Enjoy the convenience of hotel or port transfers, work with your personal knowledgeable driver to create the perfect itinerary for your interests and experience Portuguese history and culture firsthand. Walk the narrow streets of the picturesque Alfama district and take in sweeping views from a hilltop castle. See the scenic coast of Belém and a UNESCO-recognized monastery, or find the best places to sample Portugal’s iconic egg tarts.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$97.82
Price varies by group size
From
$97.82
Price varies by group size

Private City Tour: Highlights of Lisbon

Special Offer

Private City Tour: Highlights of Lisbon

star-5
75
In Lisbon, monuments and museums abound. On this private tour, see the best that Portugal’s capital has to offer and listen to history-rich commentary from a personal guide. Travel between landmarks with ease in an air-conditioned vehicle and explore historic neighborhoods such as Chiado, Alfama, Baixa, and Belem on foot. Choose from morning or afternoon departure and enjoy the convenience of pickup and drop-off at your Lisbon hotel, cruise terminal, or airport.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$87.47
$109.33
$21.86 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$87.47
$109.33
$21.86 savings
Price varies by group size

Sintra Private Tour Half Day

Sintra Private Tour Half Day

star-4.5
64
See a different side of Portugal during this private 4-hour tour of Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon. Your private driver will pick you up from your hotel and whisk you off to the picturesque town of Sintra, where you can wander its historical center, and visit several important monuments. Wander through the Regaleira or Monserrate palaces or tour the historic Noorish Castle. You can gaze out at the sea from the westernmost point in Europe and see the towns of Cascais and Estoril. Transport will be provided in your choice of car class.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$106.46
Price varies by group size
From
$106.46
Price varies by group size

Lisbon All-in-One Hop-On Hop-Off Bus and Tram Tour with River Cruise

Lisbon All-in-One Hop-On Hop-Off Bus and Tram Tour with River Cruise

star-4
148
Spend three days exploring the best of Lisbon with tickets for a hop-on hop-off bus tour and a boat tour of the Tagus River. In addition to the river cruise and unlimited access to multiple open-top bus circuits, public tram rides, and entrance to the Santa Just Lift and Lisbon funiculars, as well as discounts to monuments, museums, and activities.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$51.79
From
$51.79

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum Admission Ticket

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum Admission Ticket

star-4
12
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is thought by many to be one of the best museums in the whole of Portugal. You’ll save time waiting in long visitor lines by having a pre-booked admission ticket. Enjoy the flexibility of choosing between a guided, or a self-guided tour. This museum showcases over 10,000 ancient and modern art pieces, including rare Egyptian and Greco-Roman art.
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  • 45 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$14.77
From
$14.77

Best of Sintra and Cascais Private Full Day Tour
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Best of Sintra and Cascais Private Full Day Tour

star-5
27
Marvel at the magnificence of Sintra’s landscapes on a full-day trip to Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon. As you drive along the Atlantic Coast, you’ll marvel at the beautiful beaches of Cascais and the magnificent Pena Palace. Absorb the picturesque charm of UNESCO-listed Sintra Village and enjoy stunning views from Cabo da Roca, Europe’s westernmost point, as you listen to informative commentary from your guide. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included from Lisbon.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$172.63
Price varies by group size
From
$172.63
Price varies by group size

Lisbon Your Perfect Day in the City Custom Private Tour
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Lisbon Your Perfect Day in the City Custom Private Tour

star-5
10
Customize your perfect day of sightseeing and monuments during this private guided walking tour in Lisbon. Select from either a half-day or full-day tour, and then let your local guide structure a tour based on your personal preferences to create the best Lisbon experience. Enjoy hassle-free day filled with popular attractions such as St George’s Castle, Jeronimos Monastery, or Belém Tower. Your guide will handle logistics and scheduling so you can discover hidden gems along the narrow streets of Portugal’s hilly capital.
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  • 3 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$147.81
Price varies by group size
From
$147.81
Price varies by group size