We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“An unsung gem”

Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos
Ranked #147 of 422 things to do in Lisbon
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The major venue where opera productions are staged during the September to June season, as well as classical concerts year round.
Ilkeston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
192 reviews
145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 270 helpful votes
“An unsung gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2014

Sao Carlos Opera House, sadly, does not seem to enjoy as much publicity as many of the other Lisbon attractions in the tourist schedules and – apparently due to the Portuguese economic situation – there are currently less performances than normal. Their website is only in Portuguese. In our fortnight in the city the only opera performances were of the rarely performed ‘El Gato Montes’ (The Wildcat), by Spanish composer Manuel Penella. Having never heard of the composer I almost didn’t bother going and only enquired the day before. There were only a few seats left - but as over 65’s get in half-price (so just £15 for a seat in a 3rd floor box) – we booked. We were so glad we did. The opera was surprisingly entertaining: the soloists of international standard, the orchestra good and the huge chorus adequate. There must have been about 80 musicians and performers altogether.
The opera house itself is a beautiful building with baroque features at the side of a pleasant square in the centre of Chiado. Except for the booking foyer and restaurant, it is not normally open except for performances.
The charming young Portuguese attendants all spoke excellent English. I guess they were students in suits and ties: but really helpful and very smart.
The 3rd floor boxes had a huge, ornate, withdrawing room right behind. I was told it is sometimes used to entertain visiting dignitaries. We were allowed in, but no refreshments were available there – only in the ground floor bar, which had the most enormous queue at the interval, making it impossible to get drinks. A pity.
If you can get tickets, a night at the Sao Carlos Opera is an evening well spent.

Visited March 2014
5 Thank Jeffrey F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

62 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good classical spectacles. Theater, ballet, Operas”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2012

Good ambiance. Lisbon top rated spectacules with well known portuguese and international actors, singers and players.

2 Thank Luis F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A special place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2012

Modeled after Milan's Teatro alla Scala but smaller, this is where the opera lovers come to many times during the year. Not a major opera venue, but a respected one.

2 Thank AB0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Fabulous opera house”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2012

The theatre is located in the historical center of Lisbon, in the Chiado district.. Interior is fabulous, architectural inspiration is the great Italian theatres

2 Thank ZaidaFreire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great restaurant at the theatre on the square!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2011

One evening we stopped at the Restaurante Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos and had dinner below the theatre. The restaurant has an Italian and Portuguese flare with wonderful food and service. We ate outside at one of the many tables facing the Sao Carlos square. We enjoyed both the Lasagna and the Salmon Ravioli with lemon sauce. There were also wonderful desserts like the chocolate crepe a la mode. Especially trilling that night was the free outdoor concert performance by two classical ensembles we got to enjoy with our meal. Apparently there are many free outdoor events throughout the year in the Largo de Sao Carlos - Google the "Festival ao Largo" in June/July and there was a similar event on October 1st when we visited.

Would definitely recommend this restaurant - sorry to see it does not have a listing in the restaurant section of TripAdvisor as it has earned 5 stars in my book.

(Address: Largo de São Carlos 21, 1200 Lisboa, Portugal.)

Visited October 2011
2 Thank Erica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos also viewed

Lisbon, Lisbon District
Lisbon, Lisbon District
Lisbon, Lisbon District

Been to Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing