The Museu de Lisboa at the Pepper Palace
Occupying five separate sites spread across the city, the Museu de Lisboa is not the kind of museum where you’ll be able to see everything within a day. And you wouldn’t want to, if our experience at the museum’s primary collection in the Palácio Pimenta was any indication. Except for its garden, this was easily the worst museum we visited in Lisbon.
It bears mentioning that, during our visit, the Museum de Lisboa was undergoing renovation, and the entire ground floor was closed to visitors. Perhaps that section is endlessly fascinating, filled with delightful exhibits which are captivating to minds both young and old. But given what we saw on the second floor, I sincerely doubt it.
The collection was nothing more than old sketches of how Lisbon once looked, along with a few small statues and pieces of furniture. That was it. The sketches weren’t even particularly good, and there wasn’t much information to go along with them. We went from “intrigued” to “utterly bored” within a matter of seconds.
We were especially disappointed by the “Pepper Palace” itself; its name would seem to practically guarantee a unique experience. By all rights, this 18th century residence built for the mistress of the king should be amazing. But anything special about it has been stripped out, leaving a bunch of bare, boring rooms.
At least the garden was nice, (protip: you don’t even have to pay entrance to the museum to see it). With legions of live peacocks and strange, larger-than-life ceramic animals clinging to the shrubs and trees, this was by far the highlight of the palace.
The entire reason we had chosen to visit a museum was that this was yet another of Lisbon’s rainy winter days. So, of course, this turned out to be the one museum whose outdoor section is the only worthwhile part. Oh well… not every experience can turn out to be a winner.