Portugal, Europe’s oldest country, is famed for its rich cultural heritage built over centuries by a unique infrastructure of language, literature, music, and art.
The nation is home to some of the most reputed contemporary art collections and houses breath-taking museums and grounds that draw visitors from around the world.
However, with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, tourist hotspots across Europe have been forced to close their doors until it is deemed safe to do otherwise, including the stunning museums which would have been in the plans of hundreds of thousands of travellers.
In Portugal, while visiting in person may not be possible, some of the most stunning museums, galleries, and attractions, have fully immersive experiences to allow tourists to take virtual tours, bringing the magic of the historically inspiring visuals to life in the safety of your home. Perfect for the whole family to enjoy, learn and be amazed, everybody will have the opportunity to see some of the most prestigious periods in Portugal’s esteemed history, which sets it apart from the rest of the World.
Below are some of the best virtual tours available during the lockdown period. So, sit back, gather everyone around and get ready to be amazed – a tour of Portuguese history and culture is just a click away!
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum – Lisbon
Located in the heart of Lisbon’s, at Avenidas Novas district, the iconic Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, also known simply as the Gulbenkian Museum, is a major encyclopedic art museum in the city which boasts one of the largest private collections of art in the world.
A visual experience like no other, encompassing art from antiquity as well as the private collection Calouste Gulbenkian, you do not need to be in Lisbon to access the wonders of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum’s collection.
There will be the opportunity to embark on a 360-degree virtual tour from the comfort of your own home with both the Founders Collection and The Modern Collection.
The Founders Collection – Explore each room of the Founder’s Collection, featuring more than 6,000 pieces gathered from Ancient Egypt and the Middle East or works by artists like Rembrandt, Turner, and Monet. In “A Collection of Stories”, several curiosities are revealed about the making and acquisition of the works, together with tales about their authors and previous owners.
The Modern Collection – Featuring the largest and most complete collection of Portuguese art, including the likes of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Almada Negreiros, Paula Rego, and Vieira da Silva. The Modern Collection gives visitors a unique experience of just how Portugal grew into the country it has become today.
To take the tour, visit here.
National Palace of Sintra – Lisbon
The National Palace of Sintra is a major attraction of the Portuguese Riviera, due to being one of the country’s best preserved medieval royal palaces.
A favourite of the nobility, from as early as the 15th century, take the opportunity to walk amongst Kings and explore the halls of this famous landmark which once housed the likes of King Duarte I and King Alfonso V.
The castle cemented itself as a cultural landscape by earning itself a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list in 1995 and continues to encompass Portuguese culture today.
To make a virtual trip and explore the grounds of the palace, visit here
National Museum Grão Vasco – Centre of Portugal
Named after the famous artist Vasco Fernandes, this museum was founded in 1915 by Francisco de Almeida Moreira, who devoted much of his life to collecting Portuguese works of art, especially those that were works of the best Portuguese modern and contemporary painters. He wanted to ensure they were celebrated for generations to come.
The collection includes the remarkable 19th-century Portuguese paintings, Portuguese faience, Oriental porcelain, and furniture to help whet the appetite for what would promise to be a cultural experience like no other.
Visit here to look around the National Museum Grão Vasco in Viseu, housed in the Paço dos Três Escalões, the palace adjacent to the city’s cathedral.
Museu Nacional dos Coches – Lisbon
For those looking for a different experience, the National Coach Museum contains an exceptional and unique collection of richly adorned royal vehicles, ranging from the 17th to 19th centuries.
With coaches, berlins, carriages, chaises, litters, and sedan-chairs used by the Portuguese and other European courts on show, these offer a rare and interesting range of items which paved the way for the advent of the motor car at the latter part of the 19th century.
This is a perfect way to travel back in time and see how the Portuguese lived and travelled around the country.
Click here and take a virtual tour with dates to be announced soon.
Fundação Serralves – Porto
For those looking for a more modern virtual experience, Porto’s home of famous contemporary art features both national and non-national artists from the 60s onwards.
A cultural institution, the architectural design was the work of architect Álvaro Siza Vieira.
Hence, in addition to the 4,500m2 of exhibition area with its emphasis on scale, proportion and light, the remaining 8,200m2 features a range of facilities for people to explore including an auditorium, a library, a documentation centre, store, bookshop and even experience the art of Portuguese leisure by taking in the relaxation areas and enjoy the view of a terrace overlooking the Park.
Serralves Museum‘s contemporary art collection is just a click away. Visit it here.
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga – Lisbon
The heartbeat of Portuguese culture is this Museum. With 40,000 pieces of art on display, including paintings, textiles, and ceramics that will truly give tourists an authentic experience Portugal.
There is also an opportunity to enjoy the magnificent garden overlooking the River Tagus. There are some remarkable paintings by artists from between the 15th and 19th centuries, as well as permanent collections of outstanding European schools and artists.
There are also collections of religious sculpture from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period and some stunning examples of decorative art.
However, it is the garden that really tops this trip, so why not escape and let your imagination soak in the virtual Portuguese sunshine that you have been longing for?
Click here to enjoy the remarkable collection of the National Museum of Ancient Art.