Gulbenkian Garden Lisbon | Portugal Visitor
Gulbenkian Garden, Lisbon
The Gulbenkian Garden (Jardim da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian) is a formal garden at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and occupies the space between and around the main museum and the Modern Collection.
There are lawns, two lakes, fruit trees and benches to relax as well as an outdoor theater and concert space – the open air amphitheater.
There is also a pleasant cafe/restaurant in the grounds with outdoor seating. An Interpretation Centre is named after Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles who created the space in the 1960s.
The modernist Gulbenkian Garden in Praça de Espanha, an upscale district of Lisbon was designed by landscape architects Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles (1922-2020) and António Viana Barreto (1924-2012) with help from Alberto Pessoa, Pedro Cid and Ruy Athouguia. The latter three were the Portuguese architects responsible for the buildings of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
The area once belonged to aristocrat and politician José Maria Eugénio de Almeida where he constructed the São Sebastião Palace and Santa Gertrudes Park (Parque de Santa Gertrudes). This land, which was serving as a fairground (Feira Popular de Lisboa) at the time, was acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian in 1957.
Work on the garden began in 1963 and was completed in 1969.
The 7.5 hectare (19 acre) grounds are laid out around two lakes, one large, and incorporate bridges and paths. Sculptures by Portuguese and international artists dot the lawns here and there.
Altogether there are over 230 species of flora in the garden including ash, azaleas, cypress, ginkgo, juniper, laurel, lime, magnolia, oak, olive, palm, pine, sycamore and willow.
In addition, the gardens are a haven for wildlife, especially birds. Over 40 species have been identified including blackbirds, blue tits, chaffinches, herons, kingfishers, mallards, moorhens, sparrows, thrushes and wrens.
The open air amphitheater hosts a variety of performances (music, dance, drama) as well as the annual jazz festival in August (Jazz em Agosto Festival).
The Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles Interpretative Centre provides a history of the garden using audiovisuals. As well visitors can enjoy the ice-cream parlor, coffee shop and outdoor seating area.
The Foundation’s buildings and the garden are on Portugal’s tentative list to become a UNESCO World Heritage site in the future.
Access & Hours
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (gulbenkian.pt/museu/)
Avenida de Berna 45A
Tel: 21 782 3000
Hours: The garden is open daily until sunset.
The nearest Lisbon metro stations to the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian are São Sebastião or Praça de Espanha; alternatively take any of Lisbon buses: 716, 726, 756 (Avenida de Berna), 746 (Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar) and 713, 742 (Rua Marquês da Fronteira).
Entrecampos Station is 15 minutes away on foot. It is on both the Fertagus line over the River Tagus south to Setúbal Station in Setúbal and the Sintra Line (Linha de Sintra) west to Sintra.
Bicycle parking is available.
Other attractions within fairly easy reach of the Gulbenkian Garden include the Lisbon Central Mosque, the El Corte Inglés department store with an entrance from São Sebastião metro station and the Igreja de São Sebastião da Pedreira. All are located a few minutes’ walk from the garden.
Both the Jardim Amália Rodrigues and the Parque Eduardo VII are a short walk south.
Other Gardens in Lisbon
Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Lisboa