The best independent guide to Lisbon
The best independent guide to Lisbon
The Museu Nacional dos Coches (Coach Museum of Lisbon) houses an exceptional collection of ceremonial coaches and other ornate horse-drawn carriages. The collection brings together state carriages used throughout Europe from the 16th to the 19th century.
The subject of the museum is incredibly niche and will not appeal to the majority of tourists, but if you have the slightest curiosity, you will find yourself rewarded with one of the finest museums in Lisbon.
The museum was originally housed in the fabulously ornate royal riding arena but has been extended into the modern concrete complex opposite. The admission is to either building, or there is a combined ticket (€8 individual or combined ticket €10). The royal riding arena is the much more atmospheric building, but the modern complex houses more exhibits, and are more historically significant.
If you can only choose one section of the museum to visit, it should be the modern side, as there is a much better range of exhibits. The royal riding arena only houses eight carriages, a selection of portraits and a wing displaying 19th-century firefight equipment. This is a shame, as the main riding area is ornately painted and a fascinating building.
Our opinion: Purchase the combined ticket, and a visit should be started in the riding arena and then (after a coffee and Pastel de Nata) move on to the modern complex.
The most important and oldest exhibit is the coach used by King Felipe II of Portugal as he traveled from Spain to Portugal in 1619. Another standout exhibit is the ceremonial Coach of the Oceans, a carriage belonging to Pope Clement XI, which was given King John V in 1715, and is lavishly decorated in gold.
The coach collection was created by Queen Amélia in 1905 and housed in the royal riding arena. The arena was 50m long and 17m wide, and was used for training horses, for horse riding exhibitions and games. The arena used to have balconies so that the Portuguese royal family could watch the events from luxurious surroundings.
The royal riding arena was added as an extension to Belem Palace which was later converted into the Museu Nacional dos Coches under the Queen Amélia requests. The queen included all of the carriages belonging to the Portuguese royal family in the museum’s collection. After the demise of the royal family the Portuguese government maintained the coach museum.
One of the best ways to discover Lisbon and to meet fellow travellers is to join a guided tour. We have worked with Getyourguide.com for the last six years, and some of the best tours of Lisbon include:
Discover more of Lisbon with our most popular guides
We really appreciate you visiting our website, but the digital world is changing for the worse.
Independent publishers like us face many new challenges. Search engines now prioritize ads over organic content, and AI replicates our hard work.
If you enjoyed our work, please bookmark our website to easily find us again or share it on social media with your friends and family.
We aim to keep our 1,600+ pages accurate and fully updated. If you spot any errors or outdated information, please contact us at: [email protected]
A complete list of all of our Lisbon articles
Please help us
The digital landscape has shifted, squeezing small publishers like us. Between search engine biases and AI plagiarism, we're feeling the heat.
All we ask is that you bookmark us for quick access and share the articles you love.
Spotted an error? Let us know - with over 1,600 pages to maintain, we always welcome your vigilance.
Please contact us at: [email protected]