On the streets, in museums and galleries, contemporary art looms large in Lisbon

I love street and contemporary art. It’s playful, engaging, and often provides a comment or a reflection about the world we live in today. So I was really excited that this type of art was so prominent and powerful throughout the city of Lisbon.

There is some terrific street art found throughout the Mouraria, Alfama, Castelo, and Graça neighborhoods. Some of it is large scale and painted on the walls of buildings. Some of it is simply tacked along walkways. Some of the art was created to make a political statement. Some of it feels like a modern installation in a museum or a gallery. It was incredible to discover these different pieces of art as we made our way haphazardly up to the Castelo and wandered throughout these neighborhoods during our stay in Lisbon.

One of the best places to see fantastic modern and contemporary art (and the only formal art museum we visited during this trip) is at Museu Berardo. From the moment we stepped onto the grounds, the museum grabbed our attention with its clean exterior design and primary color sails providing shade from the sun at the entrance. The outdoor interactive art installation of cork blocks captured our imagination and put us in the right frame of mind for the works of art inside.

The galleries at Museu Berardo featured stunning pieces created by Portuguese contemporary and modern artists and a broad collection in a variety of formats and styles including surrealism, pop art, hyperrealism, minimalist, and conceptual art. The temporary exhibition called Enigma and the permanent exhibition Coleção Berardo were outstanding.

Thinking about picking up an original piece of art as a souvenir or for your collection? Then head over to Ó! Galeria on Rua São Cristovão in Mouraria for a great selection of original art and prints by Portuguese artists.

Dorothy Hoffman is the creator of the travel blog, Squirts and Seniors. She is a Gen X-er who writes about traveling at home and abroad with her young son and aging parents.