Opening only for a few days a year, underground Galerias Romanas are trully hidden attraction of Lisbon. Here is how to get inside!
Why to visit: When you are walking from the Lisbon square Praça do Comércio towards Rossio, notice a small cover in the middle of the street Rua da Conceição, just a few meters from the crossing with Rua da Prata.
Few times a year, the Museum of Lisbon opens this cover, and lets a small number of visitors to see an interesting underground from Roman times. If you are prepared and lucky, you can visit this attraction most of the tourits don’t even know about!
What is down there? Simply a small labyrinth of corridors with nice archways and a bit of water. As you can see from the pictures, there is not much left – but the fact that you are below the streets of the city, exploring about two thousand years old parts of the roman architecture feels nice – we enjoyed the visit even though we honestly didn’t understand much, since the guided visit was mostly in portuguese (due to a limited capacity of the visits there was no English tour).
How to get there: Since the galleries are often flooded during the year, they are opened to public just once or twice a year – usually in September or April. The exact date is announced few weeks ago by Museu Lisboa (follow their Facebook page) and the tickets can be booked through the internet (this was the site in 2016, I am not sure if they use it every year).
However, all the tickets were sold out just a few minutes after the beginning of the booking period when we tried, and all the information is just in portuguese – so if you want to try to get them, be really prepared :-)
And if you are not that lucky to be in Lisbon by the time the Galerias Romanas open or don’t manage to get the tickets and still want to see more, check this short but nice TV video report. I have even found this youtube video with a full visit recording.
Good luck with the hunt for the tickets!