Though not very big, Portugal has many different cultural aspects that only make it richer. Besides roaming in the streets and interacting with the locals, one great way to get to know Portugal better is to explore the different museums. However, since it takes quite a lot of time to physically visit every museum that interests you, you have the option of making a virtual tour (e.g. using VR headsets).
Fortunately, many museums in Portugal have implemented efforts in creating software that allows anyone with a relatively good internet connection to get to know the museums in full from the comfort of their couch. Not to mention that these virtual tours are free (taking into consideration that, to visit many of these museums physically, you have to pay for a ticket) and they are often accompanied by information tags and audio guides in different languages.
After knowing this, you probably got excited and eager to start visiting museums this way, but where do you start? Check this list to learn about the top 20 Portuguese museums to visit online:
1. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
During this visit, you can see objects from all around the world, including artwork by famous artists. You can see pieces from Ancient Egypt or the Islamic East and work from famous painters like Rembrandt, Turner, and Monet.
2. National Museum of Natural History and Science
Here, you will have access to the national culture of Portugal. This Museum’s software will allow you to wander through the different spaces and read the information on the different displays.
3. National Coach Museum
There’s nothing like seeing the evolution of transportation throughout the centuries in Portugal. In the virtual tour, you can roam free and see all the different coaches, carriages, and earlier forms of automobiles used by the royal family of Portugal and other elite members.
4. National Tile Museum
Portugal is known for its famous tiles and the artwork in them. Here you can have a full understanding of the legacy Portugal left on the manufacture and artwork of tiles.
5. Museum of San Roque
If you love religious art this is the museum to visit, and now you can do it just by doing the virtual tour. You will be able to enjoy the frescos in the ceiling without having to twist your neck into uncomfortable positions.
6. Fine Arts Museum
Fine arts took an important role in Portugal’s architecture, for example, so visiting its museum will give you a glimpse of what inspired the architecture of this country.
7. Money Museum
You won’t regret making this visit, simply because the building of this museum is beautiful by itself. However, you can also learn a bit of Portugal’s History here, by watching their interactive videos.
8. Fado Museum
Much like the tiles, Fado music is something for which Portugal is known as well. Since it’s such a unique music genre, it can be clarifying learning more about it in the Fado Museum.
9. News Museum
In this virtual tour, you will also be accompanied by an audio guide that will tell you everything to know about the media in Portugal.
10. National Music Museum
If you think you know everything about musical instruments thinks again. This museum presents instruments that have been preserved since the 16th century and can give you new insights into the music of the past.
11. National Pantheon
The National Pantheon honors some of the most important personalities of Portuguese history and culture. You can see the tombs of Portuguese presidents, writers, and singers for example. Due to the nature of this museum, you can have a fulfilling experience just by doing the virtual tour.
12. National Palace of Sintra
This visit is highly recommended as this is one of the few royal palaces from the Middle Ages that is still standing. It was used by the Portuguese Royal family until the 20th century.
13. Queluz National Palace
This palace, though not very big, is a delight for the eyes. Here, you will have a clear notion of what the rococo art and architecture entailed as it was built in the 18th century.
14. Jerónimos Monastery
This is the biggest monastery you can find in Lisbon. It was built around the era of maritime discoveries, and because of that, you can find evidence of it in the decorative details of its architecture.
15. Mafra National Palace
The Mafra National Palace is the most important Baroque monument in Portugal. The building occupies an area of nearly 37,790 sqm2, comprising 1200 rooms, more than 4700 doors and windows, 156 staircases, and 29 patios and lobbies. Besides, this palace has one of the most beautiful and valuable libraries in the country.
16. Batalha Monastery
It’s worth visiting this monastery as it is as old as Portugal itself, dating back to the 12th century! There, you learn about the many historic moments in which this monastery was involved.
17. RTP Museum
If you want to learn about Portugal’s modern history, visiting the museum the first national TV channel, that is still on the air today is the way to go. You can learn about its early years and even see the cars that were used to collect exterior footage, all in the virtual tour.
18. Belém Tower
Dating from the 16th century, the Belém Tower is a symbol of Portuguese culture. It was built with the intent of being a defense tower, on the margin of the Tagus river.
19. Urban Art Gallery
The main goal of this gallery is to safeguard the city’s artistic and cultural heritage, while simultaneously seeking to raise awareness and promote new expressions of urban art. It’s a good way to get to know new artwork from artists that you may have not heard of.
20. National Museum of Contemporary Art
Even though Portugal has a History that crosses centuries and different eras, it’s still a living nation, and as such it keeps innovating itself. That’s why you won’t be disappointed by visiting the National Museum of Contemporary Art.