This one takes me back to the time I was an Erasmus student in Rome. A cafeteria hidden inside a museum is a concept I became more familiar with when living in the Italian capital. When the time to bury my head in the books came along, I hunted the city for quiet retreats where I could set up shop and get on with my work. Places that had an artsy vibe, a beautiful scenery and an inspiring atmosphere.
The cafeteria in Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis is like that, and it’s there to prove that the saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ isn’t always true, since there’s no hint of it from the outside.
The museum is the oldest public one in Portugal. In 1942 it was transferred to its current address, where it occupies the stunning Palácio dos Carrancas, which dates back to 1795. With a € 5 ticket (regular price) you can visit the main exhibition as well as the temporary ones. You can also enjoy nice walks in the lovely gardens. If you want to skip the museum, head straight to the cafeteria.
This is a lovely place to spend an afternoon and maybe do some reading, while enjoying an espresso and a slice of homemade apple pie (highly recommended). Come sunshiny weather, the cafeteria extends to the patio, making it even more pleasant.
The surroundings and the bucolic quietness make this place special. A retreat in the city, is the best way to describe it.