National Tile Museum, Lisbon

4.5
#2 of 286 in Museums in Portugal
Housed in the monastery of Madre Deus, National Tile Museum showcases tiles dating back to the 15th century. If you are interested in ceramic tile work or in learning more about a specialty of the region, take the time to visit this museum. Step inside and discover azulejo--the painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tiles. The Moors brought this craft to Portugal, where it has become an essential part of the country's culture. It's typically seen in churches, palaces, homes, and even railway stations. Explore the colorful, decorative exhibits that chronicle historical and cultural events in Portugal throughout the last several centuries. Make National Tile Museum a centerpiece of your Lisbon vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Lisbon trip planning app .
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National Tile Museum Reviews
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  • Museum a bit but which is worth a visit if you're interested in azulejos. A lot of parts. A chapel to take your breath away. At the end, small shaded very pleasant courtyard.
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  • Beautiful place with amazing exhibitions, we got to know a lot about azulejos as well, we spent there about 2 hours but after a while, it became a bit boring. We had a lunch in the restaurant of the m...  more »
  • One of the most beautiful museums of the city where the treasures of this strictly Portuguese art are the "azulejos" tiles are presented. Beauty and variety of colours, drawings, assemblies. We can go back often without ever tiring. A must.
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  • There were 3 cruise ships in port the day we wandered around Belem and we decided not to stand in many hour long lines to see the tower or monastery so we went to find the Azulejo (Tile) Museum. We were hoping it was not going to be crowded like the other attractions in Lisbon and listed as excursions from the cruise ships. Thankfully it is not! We took the bus and had a bit of a time figuring out where to get off and did get off way past and had to walk back down the hill about 15 minutes to the museum. It would be easier to take a taxi as they are not very expensive. We wandered around the museum at our leisure taking photos (no flash) and then had a coffee and snack at the nice shop inside. We sat in the courtyard and it was peaceful and lovely. There were hardly any people in the museum which was a Wednesday. Plan on several hours because what you will see is beyond your imagination.
  • I listened to the MNAZ app before going to the museum and recommend it. The museum is filled with examples of tiles from all periods in Portugal. The palace itself is a wonderful building. Go early.
  • That museum was one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Lisbon. When I was in Faro I step into one of the small workshops, where those beautiful Portuguese tiles are made, designed and painted. I was mesmerized by them and by creativity, skills and passion of people who make them. I was told that Lisbon is the place to see even more...In Lisbon I didn't see as many as I wish but that museum make up for it. From the oldest to the newest, from simple to very elaborate, from plain to colourful. Room after room is filled up and then there is the chapel...wow.😍 If you fallen in love with Portuguese tiles like me, it would be a place for you. I could keep talking about them for ages. They are everywhere in restaurants, shops, hotels, on streets, whole houses are tiled outside from top to bottom. In other countries they are just in the bathroom plain mostly white...but not in here. Thank you for that.☺
  • Nice place to see interesting tiles typical for Portuguese architecture. Unique exhibition. But souvenir shop should not take a lunch break during the most busy hours or if they are smart enough they should adopt shift working system. Also tickets counter should have change and don`t expect everybody to carry around large sums in coins! A lady in front of us could not get a change from 50 EUR and the cashier just sent her away... This museum made me understand why Portugal was one of the contributors of EU economic crisis. Good place to bring your kid to let them know definition of laziness. No work, no Nata.
  • Large variety of beautiful azulejo tiles, and their evolution over time from 17th century to more modern artistic rendering. Displayed in a converted church with an equally beautiful chapel. Cheap admission (€5), well worth a visit.

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Check into one of Lisbon's grand city center hotels to position yourself well to explore the central historical districts on foot. To avoid the potentially high prices of some of the Old Town's central upscale hotels, try staying in a hostel instead. While some hostels have an upper age limit for their guests, they're affordable and oftentimes offer access to attractions on par with or better than bigger hotels. In the upper town, opt for one of the family-run bed and breakfasts, which provide affordable rooms and, as the name would suggest, include a meal as well.
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