Top 20+ Free Museums in Lisbon

📅 22 July 2023 | Guides, Portugal | ⌛ 35 mins

Free museums in Lisbon

Free Museums in Lisbon?! Where?!

Lisbon, a city bursting with art, culture, and history, also offers an array of free museums, ready to transport you into Portugal’s vibrant past and present without costing a cent. These museums, rich with centuries-old art and deep dives into the city’s socio-cultural fabric, cater to all culture enthusiasts.

So, whether you’re an art fan, history geek, or a curious traveler, this free Lisbon museums trip guide will take you on an enriching, budget-friendly journey through Portugal’s enchanting capital. Ready for a costless exploration of captivating narratives? Let’s get started!

Lisboa Card – Is It Worth It?

If you have ever wondered what to do in Lisbon on a Monday, the Lisboa card can for sure give you some insight!

So, is the Lisboa card worth it?! The Lisboa Card is indeed a smart choice for those planning to explore Lisbon extensively over two days. The card not only simplifies your travel by offering free access to numerous modes of transportation including metro, bus, trams, elevators, and funiculars, but also provides free trips to the nearby sought-after cities of Sintra and Cascais.

Furthermore, it enables complimentary entry to 26 prominent venues, encompassing the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, Santa Justa Elevator, and the Azulejos Museum, among others. Additional perks include a handy guidebook filled with city insights and valuable discounts on the Aerobus airport shuttle and at the Fado museum. It’s an all-encompassing ticket to Lisbon’s marvels!

Free Museums in Lisbon on Saturdays

Saturdays in Lisbon are special with several museums offering free entry! A perfect chance to uncover the city’s rich artistic, historical, and cultural treasures without spending a dime. From the Museu Geológico’s prehistoric marvels to the fascinating collection at Medeiros e Almeida Museum, there’s a realm to explore. Your culture-rich Saturday awaits!

Medeiros E Almeida Museum

Housed within a 17th-century mansion, it’s home to an eclectic collection amassed by businessman António de Medeiros e Almeida. From a Chinese Ming Dynasty porcelain collection to Flemish tapestries and even Napoleon’s pocket watch, it’s an intimate walk through a personal passion for art.

The museum stands as a testament to a collector’s eye, showcasing the spirit of the ‘cabinet of curiosities’ tradition, all in the heart of Lisbon. Get ready for a captivating journey through time and taste at this unique museum!

📍 : R. Rosa Araújo 41, 1250-165 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : It’s free on Saturday mornings from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

🕘 : It’s closed on Sundays.

Lisboa Card Discount: 40% off with Lisboa Card

Geological Museum of Portugal

Dating back to 1857, this museum offers a deep dive into Portugal’s geological past. Imagine holding a 150 million-year-old dinosaur footprint, admiring an array of mesmerizing minerals, or studying Portugal’s seismic history.

The real showstopper? A collection of trilobite fossils, marine arthropods that dominated the oceans half a billion years ago! This charming museum brings the earth’s ancient history to life, making it an absolute must-visit for any science enthusiast or curious explorer. Embark on this prehistoric adventure today!

📍 : R. Academia das Ciências 19 2°, 1200-032 Lisboa, Portugal 

🎫 : It’s free on the first Saturday of the month.

🕘 : It working from 10:30 AM until 5:30 PM. It’s closed on Sundays.

Free Museums in Lisbon on Sundays

Experience the cultural richness of Lisbon without spending a cent, thanks to free Sundays at several city museums! Dive into diverse themes from art to geology, capturing the essence of Lisbon.

The Greenhouse

Nestled within Eduardo VII Park, it is a serene escape from the city’s bustling pace. The Greenhouse is home to a rich variety of plants from different climates, creating a tropical paradise in the heart of the city.

As you wander through its verdant pathways, you’ll be captivated by the delicate symphony of rustling leaves, chirping birds, and trickling water features. The Greenhouse is more than just a plant haven; it’s a sanctuary of peace and natural beauty. So take a breath, and let the Greenhouse enchant you!

📍 : Parque Eduardo VII, 1070-051 Lisboa, Portugal 

🎫 : Free Admission on Sundays until 2:00 PM.

🕘 : Opened from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM. Closed on Mondays.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free with Lisboa card.

MAAT

This ultra-modern structure, with its undulating design, encapsulates the city’s innovative spirit. MAAT showcases contemporary creativity across three disciplines – art, architecture, and technology, offering thought-provoking exhibits that blur traditional boundaries.

With its forward-thinking approach and engaging public programs, MAAT invites you to reflect on critical topics of our time, providing a different lens to view the world. Step into MAAT, and be prepared for an immersive journey into the realm of modern creativity.

📍 :  Av. Brasília, 1300-598 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free Admission on the first Sunday of the month.

🕘 : Open from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM. Closed on Tuesdays.

Lisboa Card Discount: 15% off with Lisboa card.

Belem Tower

Belém Tower, a symbol of Lisbon’s maritime history, started as a fortress, turned lighthouse, and later a customs center. Erected between 1514 and 1520 by Portuguese architect Francisco de Arruda, its Manueline style captures the age of discovery spirit. Granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1983, this edifice on the Tagus River’s north bank guards the city’s historical grandeur.

The five-storied tower boasts 16 windows with cannons on the ground floor, a grim prisoners’ pit, and progressively the Governor’s Hall, Kings’ Hall, Audience Hall, Chapel, and a rooftop terrace. A rhinoceros-shaped gargoyle graces the western façade, a memento of Portugal’s first rhinoceros from India in 1513.

📍 : Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free admission on Sundays.

🕘 : Working from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM until 53 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with the Lisboa Card.

Jerónimos Monastery

Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon’s crown jewel, stands as an eloquent testament to Portugal’s Age of Discovery. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, adorned in Manueline architecture, is an ode to Portugal’s maritime history and the explorers who set sail from its shores.

As you traverse its opulent halls and stunning cloisters, you’re taken back in time, enveloped in the grandeur of past eras. The monastery, a symbol of national pride, invites you to unearth tales of courage, discovery, and faith, etched in its ornate stone facades.

📍 : Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal 

🎫 : Free entrance on the first Sunday of every month.

🕘 : Open from 10:00 AM until 5:30 PM. Closed on Mondays.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with the Lisboa Card.

National Archaeology Museum

The National Archaeology Museums is among the best Lisbon history museums out there! Opened in 1893 by eminent archaeologist José Leite de Vasconcelos, the National Archaeology Museum in Lisbon boasts Portugal’s most extensive archaeological collection, tracing human history from the Paleolithic era to the Middle Ages. This museum, neighboring the Jerónimos Monastery in Belém, showcases an impressive array of artifacts, including precious stones, gold items, and ceramics.

Its Egyptian and Islamic halls are particularly captivating, with exhibits featuring mummies and an intriguing collection of vintage photographs. The museum’s diverse collections offer visitors a captivating exploration of global history, making it a worthwhile stop if you’re visiting the nearby Monastery.

📍 : Praça do Império, 1400, Belém‎, Portugal 

🎫 : Currently closed due to construction works until 2025.

🕘 : Free Admission on Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with the Lisboa card.

National Coach Museum

A treasure trove of historic horse-drawn carriages, Lisbon’s National Coach Museum is a must-see attraction. Situated within an old riding school, this museum— inaugurated in 1905 by Queen Amélia of Orleans and Bragança— holds an extensive collection of exquisite vehicles dating back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

Notable pieces include the coaches of Philip II of Spain and three Baroque Italian-style carriages belonging to Pope Clement XI. Alongside these, the museum also exhibits relevant paintings and artifacts. Unique and fascinating, this charming museum is worth a visit, and conveniently located near the Jerónimos Monastery.

📍 : Praça Afonso de Albuquerque, 1300, Belem, Portugal 

🎫 : Free Admission on the first Sunday of the month.

🕘 : Open from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Closed on Mondays.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with the Lisboa card.

Arpad Szenes - Vieira Da Silva Museum

Nestled in Lisbon’s Amoreiras district, the Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva Museum offers an immersive journey into the life and artistic journey of two extraordinary modern artists: Hungarian Arpad Szenes and Portuguese Maria Helena Vieira da Silva. As the only museum in Portugal dedicated to a female artist, it brings to light a profound narrative of artistic innovation.

The museum showcases a diverse collection of their works spanning various stages of their careers. Step inside, and you’ll discover a captivating blend of abstract expressionism, evocative of a dreamscape that defies conventions. A visit here provides a vibrant feast for the senses and mind.

📍 : Praça das Amoreiras nº56/58, 1250-020 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Every first Sunday of the month is free of admission.

🕘 : Working from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Closed on Mondays.

Lisboa Card Discount: 50% off with Lisboa card.

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Situated amidst tranquil gardens in Lisbon, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum offers a unique journey through 5000 years of art, reflecting the eclectic taste of its founder, Calouste Gulbenkian. As you navigate its vast collection, you’ll traverse epochs and continents, encountering Egyptian artifacts, European paintings, and Persian art.

The museum is split into two circuits – the Founder’s Collection and the Modern Collection, the former being home to Gulbenkian’s personal collection, while the latter showcases 20th-century Portuguese and international art. Visiting the Gulbenkian Museum is like unlocking a treasure chest of cultural history, making it a must-visit for every art lover in Lisbon.

📍 : Av. De Berna 45A, 1067-001 Lisbon, Portugal

🎫 : Free admission on Sundays after 2:00 PM.

🕘 : Working from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Closed on Tuesdays.

Lisboa Card Discount: 20% off with Lisboa card.

Maritime Museum

Founded by King Luís in 1863, the Maritime Museum in the Jerónimos Monastery honors Portugal’s rich naval history. Located near the spot where 15th-century Portuguese princes embarked on sea voyages, the museum narrates the grand era of the Discoveries and the development of trade and naval warfare.

Its expansive collection comprises over 23,000 artifacts, ranging from ship models, maritime instruments, to magnificent replicas and actual boats. Immersing in this maritime chronicle is an excellent way to cherish Portugal’s historic achievements at sea. A world of discoveries awaits every visitor who steps into this museum.

📍 : Praça do Império, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free on Sundays.

🕘 : Working from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM every day.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with Lisboa card.

Aljube Museum

The Museu do Aljube – Resistência e Liberdade, housed in a historical building dating back to the Moorish era, pays homage to Portugal’s struggle against the dictatorship from 1926 to 1974. This activist museum, whose name translates to “dry well”, “cistern”, “dungeon” or “prison”, was once a political prison from 1928 to 1965.

Today, it serves the opposite purpose, presenting a comprehensive examination of how fascism was resisted and combated. It’s a tribute to those who risked their lives in the fight for freedom and democracy, and a valuable resource for anyone seeking to understand this crucial period in Portugal’s recent history.

📍 : R. Augusto Rosa 42, 1100-059 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free admission on Sundays and bank holidays.

🕘 : Working from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: 20% off with Lisboa card.

Fado Museum

A visit to Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without a journey through the emotive world of Fado at the Museu do Fado. Showcasing one of Portugal’s most treasured cultural legacies, the museum not only houses permanent and temporary exhibitions dedicated to Fado and the guitar but also offers a document center, auditorium for events, a themed shop, and a restaurant serving traditional Portuguese fare.

Explore Fado’s history via interactive stations and listen to a wealth of Fado compositions via audioguides. Situated in a beautifully restored building of national significance, this museum blends tradition with technology, offering an immersive, unforgettable experience.

📍 : Alfama, Largo do Chafariz de Dentro 1, 1100-139 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free admission on Sundays.

🕘 : Working from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: 20% off with Lisboa card.

Júlio Pomar Museum

The Júlio Pomar Studio-Museum, an art and architecture hotspot in Lisbon, was established by Lisbon Council and the Fundação Júlio Pomar to conserve and showcase the works of Júlio Pomar, a noteworthy Portuguese modernist artist. The museum exhibits an eclectic assortment of hundreds of artworks including paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, ceramics, collages, and assemblages, manifesting the varied themes and evolving styles that define Pomar’s career.

The strikingly austere and minimalist building was designed by renowned architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, offering an inspiring space for reflection and creativity. Although not actually used as a studio, it carries the name, standing as a unique cultural and museum location in Lisbon.

📍 : R. Vale 7, 1200-474 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free admission on Sundays.

🕘 : Working from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM and from 2:00 PM until 6:00 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: 20% off with Lisboa card.

National Ancient Art Museum

Hosting Portugal’s most significant public collection, the National Museum houses treasures from the 12th to the 19th century, encompassing painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from Portugal, Europe, Africa, and Asia. This collection includes a wealth of national treasures, such as Nuno Gonçalves’s Panels of Saint Vicent and the Belém Monstrance, epitomizing 15th and 16th century Portuguese art, alongside masterpieces by Bosch, Memling, Dürer, Raphael, and Piero della Francesca.

Complementing the rich tapestry of art within, the museum also offers a stunning garden overlooking the River Tagus, complete with a restaurant, perfect for post-art appreciation relaxation.

📍 : R. das Janelas Verdes, 1249-017 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free admission on Sundays.

🕘 : Working from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with Lisboa card.

National Contemporary Art Museum Of Chiado

The National Contemporary Art Museum of Chiado is among the best Lisbon art museums. Founded in 1911, Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea – Museu do Chiado resides in the ex-convent of São Francisco da Cidade, a site steeped in history. Following a fire in 1988, the museum underwent a transformative refurbishment under French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte and re-opened in 1994.

As a canvas for Portuguese art from romanticism to contemporary, it’s an essential stop for art enthusiasts, showcasing influential works from the 19th century to the present. Its vibrant temporary exhibitions add depth to the museum’s offerings, complemented by an array of programs, such as guided tours, conferences, concerts, seminars, and educational initiatives.

📍 : R. Serpa Pinto 4, 1200-444 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free entrance on Sundays after 2:00 PM.

🕘 : Working from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM and from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with Lisboa card.

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National Tile Museum

Stepping into the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, you’re greeted by a unique celebration of Portuguese culture – the Azulejo (tile). Housed in the historic Madre de Deus Convent, a 16th-century marvel founded by Queen Leonor, this museum boasts an unparalleled tile collection. Traversing its exhibits, you embark on a time-travel journey, exploring the evolution of Azulejo from the 15th century to the present day.

The convent’s church is a spectacle in itself, decorated with Portuguese baroque grandeur – a blend of ornately carved and gilded wood, splendid paintings, and tile panels. This national museum is a testament to the uniqueness of Portuguese artistic expression.

The Azulejo Museum is among the best museums in Lisbon. It truly encompasses the culture and the history of Lisbon.

📍 : R. Me. Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free on Sundays and bank holidays.

🕘 : Working from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM and from 2:00 PM until 6:00 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with Lisboa card.

Ajuda Palace

Ajuda National Palace is among the free things in Lisbon you can try, especially if you have the Lisboa card. Its an embodiment of 19th-century Neoclassical grandeur and served as a royal residence from King Luís I’s reign till the monarchy’s dissolution in 1910. The palace retains its original charm, hosting an array of decorative artworks from the 18th and 19th centuries. As you wander, you’ll encounter an intriguing blend of private chambers and state rooms brimming with impressive collections of furniture, ceramics, textiles, sculptures, paintings, and photographs.

This remarkable palace continues its ceremonial function, hosting key state ceremonies presided over by the President of the Republic. A visit to Ajuda National Palace provides a captivating glimpse into Portuguese royal history.

📍 : Largo da Ajuda, 1349-021 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free admission on Sundays.

🕘 : Working from Thursday to Tuesday from 10:30 AM until 5:30 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with Lisboa card.

National Pantheon

The National Pantheon in Lisbon, also known as the Church of Santa Engrácia, is an impressive monument that serves as a sanctuary for Portugal’s revered figures. Rising elegantly over Lisbon’s Alfama district, this imposing Baroque-style edifice is the final resting place for numerous Portuguese luminaries, including presidents, writers, and Fado music legends.

Climb to its terrace for a breathtaking panoramic view of Lisbon’s sea of red rooftops, the Tagus River, and beyond. The National Pantheon is not just a mausoleum; it’s a testament to the nation’s history and a tribute to its heroes, making it a must-visit destination for any Lisbon itinerary.

📍 : Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-471 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free on the first Sunday of the month.

🕘 : Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM.

Lisboa Card Discount: Free entrance with Lisboa card.

Coleção Berardo Museum

The Museu Coleção Berardo is among the most fascinating museums in Portugal. Located in the iconic Belém district, this treasure trove of creativity is home to over 900 works of art, spanning the 20th and 21st centuries. If the sheer volume of the collection doesn’t amaze you, consider this: if you spent just one minute observing each piece, you’d be there for a whopping 15 hours!

This impressive collection was meticulously assembled by the museum’s founder, Portuguese billionaire José Berardo. Here, under one roof, you’ll find masterpieces by luminaries such as Picasso, Warhol, and Dali.

And, here’s a fun fact for budget-conscious art lovers: the Museu Coleção Berardo opens its doors free of charge every first Sunday of the month. That’s right – the world of contemporary and modern art, just a step away, and absolutely free on weekend days.

Go take a closer look at what the Museu Coleção Berardo has to offer, exploring its intriguing exhibits and uncovering the stories behind some of the world’s most influential artworks!

📍 : Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free entrance first Sunday every month from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM.

🕘 : Closed on Mondays

Lisboa Card Discount: 30% off from the admission fee

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Always Free Museums in Lisbon

Immerse yourself in the free Lisbon museums: from the Money Museum’s captivating journey through finance to the adrenaline-pumping narratives at the Sports Museum, to the architectural majesty of Basílica da Estrela. Delve into these intriguing spaces, brimming with tales and novelties. Ready for this insightful, cost-free Lisbon adventure?

Basílica Da Estrela

Overlooking Lisbon from one of its seven hills, the Basílica da Estrela shines as an icon of Baroque and Neoclassical design. Conceived by Queen Maria I of Portugal and crafted by Matteo Vicente de Oliveira, this grand edifice is more than a religious landmark; it’s a part of Lisbon’s rich cultural fabric.

As you admire its splendid façade, know it houses the world’s largest collection of nativity scenes, over 500 in number! Ascend its stairs to witness a panoramic spectacle of the city. The Basílica da Estrela invites you to uncover its historical and artistic treasures.

📍 : Praça da Estrela, 1200-667 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free Admission

🕘 : Open every day from 10:30 until 19:30.

Money Museum

Dive into the fascinating world of finance at the Money Museum in Lisbon. This unique attraction, set in an 18th-century church, traces the captivating journey of money from barter to bitcoin with its collection of over 2000 pieces. Imagine touching a 12.5 kg gold bar or learning about the impact of currency on society, all free of charge.

Awarded as Europe’s Most Innovative Museum in 2017, the Money Museum offers an enriching excursion into something we use daily but seldom explore. Are you ready to take this enlightening journey through the evolution of money?

📍 : Largo de São Julião, 1100-150 Lisboa, Portugal

🎫 : Free Admission

🕘 : Open everyday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

National Sports Museum

In the heart of Lisbon, within the exquisite Palácio Foz, resides the National Sports Museum, a testament to Portugal’s illustrious sporting history. Opened in 2012 to mark a century of the nation’s Olympic involvement, it showcases an extensive collection of over 18,000 items.

From Olympic memorabilia, photographs, equipment of various sports to prized possessions like Eusebio’s Golden Boot and Cristiano Ronaldo’s soccer shoes, this museum offers an engaging journey into Portuguese sports. The museum, dedicated to all sports in Portugal, is not just a historical archive, but also an evolving monument to the nation’s sporting triumphs.

📍 : Complexo de Piscinas do Jamor, Av. Pierre de Coubertin, 1495-751 Cruz Quebrada, Portugal

🎫  Free Entrance

🕘  It’s working from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM everyday except on Sundays and Mondays.

The Best Hotels to Stay in Lisbon

Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and warm hospitality. When it comes to accommodation, the city offers a diverse range of options, from luxurious international chains to charming boutique hotels. Here are three of the best hotels in Lisbon, along with some boutique options that promise an unforgettable stay:

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon: Located in the upscale Avenida da Liberdade district, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is synonymous with elegance and sophistication.

The Yeatman: Situated across the river from the city center in Vila Nova de Gaia, The Yeatman offers unparalleled views of the historic cityscape.

Pestana Palace Lisboa Hotel & National Monument: Nestled amidst lush gardens in the historic district of Belém, the Pestana Palace is a 19th-century palace turned luxury hotel.

Now, if you’re looking for boutique hotels in Lisbon, here are a few delightful options:

Memmo Alfama: Situated in the heart of the picturesque Alfama district, Memmo Alfama offers a unique and intimate experience.

Hotel Convento do Salvador: Housed in a beautifully restored 13th-century convent in the historic Mouraria neighborhood, this boutique hotel offers a serene atmosphere with a touch of history.

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I hope that you have found this post about the free museums in Lisbon useful. Do you plan to visit any of the suggested places this Christmas season?

Which one is first on your list?