The National Coach Museum is proper fairy-tale material.
When I went to Lisbon earlier this year, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend some time among beautiful carriages worthy of a hundred Cinderellas. You could say I needed my dose of Rococo and the museum was suitably decadent. The place is crammed with historical coaches whose heydays were spent carrying Portuguese royals, European high nobility and Popes. And one thing I learnt about 18th century Popes, when it came to their vehicles, it was the flamboyant way or the highway. Popemobiles have had a rough evolution, that’s for sure.
I think all this gold and silk intimidated me and I had a hard time setting my camera, it just wouldn’t do what I wanted. I suffered from a severe case of lense-fright!
Also if there’s any photographers out there looking to visit the place, prefer a wide angle lens. The coaches are parked like sardines, it looks like coronation day in there.
Anyways, technicalities aside, I had a regal time inspecting all the carriages, ooh-ing and aah-ing and wondering how on Earth the silk and the velvet covering the seats survived the 4 seasons again and again.
On the second floor of the museum, multiple accessories are housed under glass displays. Intricate stirrups, the coach drivers’ uniforms and beautiful keys can be found among other treasures. I can’t think of a better place to play pretend! Hear ye, hear ye!
National Coach Museum
Praça Afonso de Albuquerque
Train: Belém Station (Cascais Line)
Bus: 28, 714, 727, 729, 743, 749, 751
Opening Hours: 10am-6pm
Closed on Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, Easter Sunday and December 25th
Admission Fee: General 5€/ Senior 2,50€ / Youth-card holders 2€
Free entrance on Sundays and Bank Holidays until 2pm