Spend a colourful 24 hours in Lisbon by bouncing from one artistic corner of the city to another. Lisbon has gained a reputation as one of Europe’s creative capitals and the city seems to be offering more unique venues and events in response. With all that choice where should you go if you only have one day to explore? Here’s Culture Trip’s art lover’s guide to Lisbon.
Make a stop for coffee and/or lunch at this bright and cozy café that’s just a two-minute walk from the Santa Apolónia station. As its name suggests, the Arts Café has paintings decorating the walls and cute accents cheering up the place further (like colorful furniture and small vases on the tables filled with flowers). The menu is pretty full, too, with items ranging from traditional Portuguese pastries and toasties to salads, beer, juice, coffee, and more.
Founded in 2012, the Galeria Belo-Galsterer is a contemporary art gallery with an international and multicultural personality. The artists, who come from around the world, pull inspiration from their own unique perspectives and use many different ways to express themselves including sculpture, installations, and drawings. Located around the corner from Marquês de Pombal Square, it is centrally located and easy to find while exploring the city.
One stop on art tours through the Portuguese capital is the Galeria Graça Brandão, located in Lisbon’s eclectic Bairro Alto. Founded in 2006, the Galeria Graça Brandão shines a light on contemporary art created by some of the newest and best creatives in the Portuguese-speaking world.
This rainbow-hued mural consists of over 52,000 small azulejo tiles, making it Lisbon’s largest work of street art. Bright and seemingly random with international symbols like the Eiffel Tower and New York City skyscrapers, it showcases places and things with meaning to the artist. Of course, you’ll also see symbols from Lisbon like the Águas Livres Aqueduct and a cartoon caricature of Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. To really enjoy the mural and take stunning photos, avoid visiting on Tuesdays and Saturdays when the city’s Feira da Ladra flea market is in progress.
In reality, you could spend an entire 24 hours dedicated to finding Lisbon’s street art, and many neighbourhoods have excellent examples of urban art. Graça is a traditional neighbourhood, characterised by narrow cobbled streets, steep hills, and local restaurants and cafés. Walk uphill from the stunning Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte, after taking photos of the view and you’ll see these two popular designs decorating the façades of old buildings.