Gulbenkian Orchestra. Photo: Tiago Paixão
Gulbenkian Orchestra. Photo: Tiago Paixão


Anne Kaasa’s cultural guide to Lisbon

Norwegian pianist Anne Kaasa moved to Lisbon in 1988 and has never looked back. Living in an apartment in the old town, Anne lists many things she loves about the city, including its light, colors, architecture and way of life.

Anne grew up near Bergen and later in Horten, south of Oslo. Although Portugal is quite different from her native Norway, Anne admits that she has discovered some similarities between the two countries.

“The Portuguese and Norwegians are both friendly, gentle people with a strong attachment to the sea,” she continues. “I don’t think I could live somewhere that wasn’t close to the water.”

Over the years, Anne has performed at most of Lisbon’s concert venues and explored its cultural offering extensively. This is her guide to all things cultural in the Portuguese capital:

CCB's annual classical music festival "Dias da musica". Photo: Rita Carmo

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

“Lisbon’s cultural center is home to two art museums, a lovely concert hall and the beautiful Gulbenkian gardens. It has a contemporary art museum, as well as a classical collection, with pieces that extend from Ancient Egypt to French impressionism. Meanwhile, the great concert hall attracts some of the very best international musicians. I’d highly recommend anyone visiting Lisbon to see the museum, take a walk around the gardens and attend a concert here.”

Avenida Berna 45

 Pianist Evgeny Kissin performs at the Gulbenkian. Photo: Márcia Lessa

Teatro Nacional de São Carlos

“You can feel the history everywhere you go in Lisbon’s beautiful 18th century opera house. It stages stunning operas and symphonic concerts and has seen performances from many of the greats, including Maria Callas. Its restaurant is worth a visit, even if you can’t attend an opera.”

Rua Serpa Pinto 9

Foz Palace

“This 19th century palace right in the center of Lisbon has a magnificent mirror hall in which chamber music concerts and other events are often held. It’s one of my favorite venues – both as a visitor and a performer.”

Praça dos Restauradores

Cultural Centre of Belem

“Situated right next to the famous 15th century Jerónimos Monastery in Belem, this modern cultural center houses several concert halls, an art museum, a café and lots more. It’s a modern, dynamic venue with a varied program ranging from classical music to jazz, fado, world music, ballet and theater.

Praça do Império, Belem

Vieira da Silva.

Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva Foundation

“A small, intimate art museum, mainly dedicated to Portuguese painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and her Hungarian husband, Árpád Szenès. Vieira da Silva is one of my favorite painters; her work is quite abstract and very intense, while her husband’s paintings are so soft. I enjoy seeing their work together and how they complement one another.”

Praça das Amoreiras, 56/58

Bela Vinhos e Petiscos

“Finally, a typical, small Portuguese restaurant, where you can hear really authentic Fado music on Sundays. This is typical of the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon – the kind of place tourists wouldn’t usually find.”

Rua dos Remédios 190


Text: Isabelle Kliger

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