Lisbon's Iconic Tiles Audio Guide

Track down the influence of Portuguese tile from Roman mosaics to Ming Dynasty China
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1 at US$20
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Audio Guide Details
1 hour
Product Type
Audio Guide
Alfama Neighborhood
Preview Lisbon's Iconic Tiles Audio Guide
Start: National Pantheon
Mural de Azulejos - Botto Machado
The Blue Tiles of Lisbon
Photos & Highlights
Audio Guide Description
  • Take your time to soak in all the fine artistic details of Lisbon's famous tiles as you explore on your own schedule
  • Hit play together and stroll the city or wander solo, but always with an expert in your ear as your personal guide

Portuguese tiles, also known as azulejos, are a significant part of Portugal's colorful, ancient history. On this self-paced audio guide tour by architect and Context Travel expert, Bert de Muynck, you'll see some of Lisbon's most famous architectural structures in the historical neighborhoods of Graca and Alfama. Along the way, you'll learn about the history of these tiles – whose blue color comes from cobalt pigments and was influenced by the porcelain designs of China's Ming Dynasty – and find out why they're so ubiquitous in Lisbon, and almost everywhere in Portugal.

Our tour starts in front of the National Pantheon, also known as the Church of Santa Engrácia. From there you'll learn how azulejos arrived in Portugal, their many influences, and how they became a modern practice with everyday uses, including preserving the temperature inside homes and delaying the spread of flames in the case of a fire. You'll discover the story-telling tiles inside the Church of São Vicente de Fora, which boasts a staggering 100,000 tiles and constitutes the world's largest collection of its kind. You'll also visit Vila Sousa, a historic gem that is a testament to the city‘s rich architectural heritage. 

As you walk, you'll hear how Byzantine and Roman mosaics inspired the creation of azulejos. You'll find out about the cultural and historical connections between the Iberian Peninsula and the Arab world during the Middle Ages, and how this is reflected in azulejos. Bert will also tell you how ceramics production during the Industrial Revolution led to tiles and other ceramic objects becoming a part of day-to-day life in Portugal.

On this audio guide tour of Lisbon, you'll:

• Visit Convento da Graça, or Graça Convent, one of the oldest in Lisbon
• Learn about and touch some of the most ancient and famous azulejos in Lisbon 
• Discover how Portuguese tiles are made, and how they maintain a constant dialogue with the past
• Roam up and down Rua de São Vicente to visit different tile makers' studios and browse shops to learn about the city's rich tile-making heritage
• Delve into the techniques that have preserved Portugal's history on these exquisite canvases for centuries
• Marvel at the intricate religious tiles that illuminated the city's spiritual and artistic sides
• Revel in breathtaking views over Lisbon, and see tiles in architectural settings like buildings, churches, and train stations
• Explore Alfama, Europe's oldest neighborhood, with a history that dates back to the Moorish period

By the end of this hour-long audio guide tour, you'll have a deeper appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship behind Portuguese tiles, or azulejos. 
Meet Your Expert

Bert is an Architect and Writer and holds a Master's Degree in Architectural Engineering and Cultural Sciences. He was born in Belgium and has lived and worked in Amsterdam, Beijing, and Shanghai before relocating to Lisbon in 2018. He established his career through many academic and writing-focused roles throughout his journey – also working as an Architectural consultant. He is the co-director of "MovingCities," an independent research organization investigating the role that architecture and urbanism play in shaping the contemporary city of Lisbon. Bert lived in China from 2006 to 2018, where he first began leading Context walks. He also has a great understanding of Lisbon’s historic legacy, Jewish culture, and architectural style – fields of interest he has studied relentlessly since his first visit to the city in 2003.

How do I access the audio guide and download it for offline use?
Once you complete your purchase, you will receive a voucher code for your Audio Guide. You must download the Voicemap app and enter the code. 
  1. Install VoiceMap from the Apple App Store or Google Play
  2. Create an account
  3. Select Tour Codes from the menu, then select Enter Codes
  4. Enter your Voucher Code
  5. Select Download Now
Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
Yes! All of our audio guides have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

How long does each event last?
Our recorded audio guides typically run for 75 minutes.

How can I share this audio guide with friends or family?
You are welcome to listen together with friends or family, but each person listening to the guide on their own device will need to purchase the audio guide individually.

How long does my access to the audio guide last?
Once you purchase an audio guide, you are welcome to listen to it as many times as you would like. Your access to a purchased audio guide does not expire.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Sales for recorded audio guides are final upon purchase. Please contact us at if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.

(4.5) 2 Reviews

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

As a single traveler, I loved the idea of the audio tour. I didn't want to be confined to the timelines and the touristy feeling of a group walking tour. Yet, I received a lot of context, useful information, and interesting stories while wandering the narrow streets of Lisbon. The guide is very professional. I loved how easy it was to find specific buildings or elements to focus on. The audio platform is much better than other platforms I've tried.