LISBON, circa 2017 - Wide establishing shot of Palacio Fronteira Palace, aka Palacio dos Marqueses de Fronteira, one of the hidden gems of Lisbon, Portugal, dating from 1671..; Shutterstock ID 781758556; your: Alex Howard; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira POI

© Filipe.Samora / Shutterstock

Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira

Top choice in Lisbon

This 17th-century former hunting pavilion is in the Benfica neighbourhood. Italian Renaissance influences are blended with Portuguese-inspired blue-and-white tiles throughout the palace and extraordinary gardens. The official residence of the Marqueses de Fronteira – who still live on premises – is one of the most unique and well-kept examples of baroque architecture in Lisbon. An ornate entrance fountain, Persian carpets you can walk on, 18th-century globes and stucco works, 17th-century antiques and tile work – it's all here in a fascinating lived-in palace.

Our favourite bit? The wow-inspiring 17th-century King's Gallery at the garden's south end behind the duck-strewn Knights' Tank, which features the busts of every king of Portugal (though three Spanish kings are conveniently left out!). Visits are limited to two guided tours per day in winter (11am and noon) and four in summer (10.30am, 11am, 11.30am and noon). Only groups can make reservations so don't leave it to the last minute to show up, especially in high season or on Saturdays and Mondays, the two most popular days. No photos are allowed inside.

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