Belém Museums and Galleries
Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia
Av. Brasília, Belém
Situated right along the riverfront, the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) is one of the most recent additions to Lisbon's historic Belém District. Designed by the British architect Amanda Levete, the oval-shaped building is strikingly modern, allowing for individuals to walk along the top and take in the views; the new structure sits beside the Tejo Power Station, an older building that exemplifies Portuguese industrial architecture from the beginning of the 20th century and has housed a museum of electricity for many years. The schedule at MAAT is refreshingly eclectic, offering both standard contemporary art exhibitions and hybrid presentations that explore everything from music to performance art to the history (and future) of technology. Suitable for all ages.
Praça do Império, Belém
Halfway between the Tower of Belém and Jerónimo's Monastery in the heart of the city's Belém District, this museum houses the collection of Lisbon businessman José Manuel Rodrigues Berardo, with a particular emphasis on Portugal's finest contemporary artists. The permanent collection contains the works of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, and Andy Warhol (which are always on view on the second floor), but they also organize rotating, temporary exhibitions that bring in works outside the collection. There's a lot for kids to enjoy, and admission is free.
Museu Nacional dos Coches
136 Av. da Índia, Belém
Locals weren't universally pleased when the long-standing Coach Museum moved from its beloved location in an 18th-century riding arena to a sleek, modern new building across the street last year. Though the new building brought much-needed space for the impressive collection, many worried that the stark surroundings served to sterilize the opulent gilded carriages on display. Despite the (ongoing) debate over the architecture, it's a mistake to skip this unique museum, devoted to transportation before cars. Inside, you'll find incredible carriages, cabriolets, and even some sedan chairs that housed Portuguese royalty dating back to the 1600's. Die-hards can visit the old riding arena across the street, which still houses a small collection.
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