city breaks, lisbon, portugal, travel

Lisbon Neighbourhood Guide: Belém

May 11, 2016

Belém is one of the neighbourhoods of Lisbon, a short journey away from the city centre. You can get here by tram (numbers 15 and 127) from Figueira Square or Comercio Square, or by train from Cais do Sodre.

Many visitors to Lisbon spend the day in Belém to taste the famous pasteis de belém or see the monuments. Most of the main attractions in Belém are closed on Mondays, so avoid visiting on this day unless you want to avoid the crowds. The best idea is to visit on Sunday mornings as the museums are free before 1pm.

Belém TowerOne of the most famous sights in Belém is the Belém Tower, built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbour. Today it is listed as a World Heritage monument and is one of the most beautiful buildings to see with the blue sky and river behind it.Jeronimos MonasteryJeronimos Monastery is one of the most beautiful buildings in Lisbon, built in 1502 during the age of discovery. It is open for the public every day except Mondays. Like the tower, the monastery is also a World Heritage Monument and is described as “Portuguese art at its best”.Discoveries MonumentAcross from the Jeronimos Monastery is the famous Discoveries Monument, built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. Inside the monument is a film about Lisbon, temporary exhibits and the ability to climb to the top to see magnificent views of Belém including a gorgeous view of the Jeronimos Monastery from up high.Belém Palace GardensThere are plenty of opportunities to relax in the gardens with a picnic. It’s the perfect chance to rest your feet or to soak up the sun, see some tropical plants and Portuguese wildlife. It’s also a good opportunity to see the Alfonso de Albuquerque statue.


Belém has a wide range of museums to suit various interests.

Coach MuseumFree on sunday mornings, the Coach museum is an opportunity to see the world’s largest collection of royal coaches. Each carriage once carried people such as European royal family members, ambassadors and other notable aristocrats.Belém PalaceCurrently home to the Portuguese President, this palace was once home to King Jose V. Visitors to the palace can see the Presidency Museum which has a large collection of national symbols, portraits of Portuguese presidents and gifts from other world leaders and prominent figures.Berardo Museum(Picture taken from wikicommons)

The Berardo Museum is home to over 250 works of modern and contemporary art, including pieces by Andy Warhol, Picasso, Salvador Dali and Francis Bacon. Together, they represent dozens of contemporary art movements and were all donated by Portuguese magnate, Joe Berardo, whose entire collection was over 4,000 pieces.



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