The Orient Museum is in a 1940s warehouse on the waterfront
Portugal was the European power with the longest presence in Asia (Macau was only handed over to China in 1999), so it has quite a story to tell about how its culture influenced and was influenced by the East. This is the museum to know all about it, with a permanent collection dedicated to the Portuguese presence in Asia. Spread over two floors, it includes Indo-Portuguese furniture, Japanese screens, paintings, porcelain, masks, textiles and religious artifacts. The exhibition space is completely dark, with the light focusing on the pieces on display. It’s divided by countries, including Japan, China, India, and East Timor, which all had Portuguese colonies or trading posts. Everything is labeled in Portuguese and English.
The dark interior of the museum is divided by country
The foundation that runs the museum also puts together temporary exhibitions, covering a variety of themes related to the different Eastern cultures (ranging from Asian gods to Chinese opera).
The museum covers a variety of themes
The museum took over a 1940s warehouse in 2008, and is also a cultural center hosting events and conferences. On the fifth floor is a restaurant, which, naturally, serves Asian food. On the ground level is the museum shop.
How to Get to the Orient Museum
Bus 728 stops by the museum, but you must then use an overpass to cross the train tracks, and the museum is not immediately visible. The easiest way to reach it is by train, which departs every 20 minutes from Cais do Sodré Station. It’s the train to Cascais, which stops at the Alcântara-Mar station in just four minutes. Exit the station to the left, and the museum is about a 3-minute walk away.
With the Lisboa Card, you may ride the train and the bus (as well as the city’s metro, trams, and funiculars) for free.
Admission and Tickets to the Orient Museum
Tickets are €6.00, but it’s free on Friday evenings (from 6pm to 10pm). There’s a 20% discount with the Lisboa Card.
It's closed on Mondays
Walk west out of the museum, towards 25 de Abril Bridge, and you’ll reach Docas de Santo Amaro. A short walk from across the train tracks (using the underpass), is Lx Factory and Pilar 7 - Bridge Experience, the exhibition inside one of the bridge’s pillars explaining the history and mechanisms of the landmark.