10 Things to Do in Belem That You Shouldn't Miss

December 24, 2017 Alida England

Just four miles from the center of Lisbon, Belem (or Santa Maria de Belem) is best known for Belem Tower (or Torre), a 16th-century fortified lighthouse built to guard the port. This was, after all, the port from which famous Portuguese navigators like Vasco de Gama set off to explore the world. The area is also home to Belem Palace, built in the 16th century by King Manuel and now the official residence of Portugal’s president. Belem is also home to the magnificent Jerónimos Monastery.
Restaurants in Belem

1. Centro Cultural de Belem (CCB)

Praca Imperio, Belem 1449-003, Portugal +351 21 361 2400
Excellent
59%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 352 reviews

Centro Cultural de Belem (CCB)

This is a dynamic cultural space with art galleries, terrific views of the city, and a coffee shop.

Reviewed By RICK B - BILLINGS

The building that the Modern Art museum is in, is impressive to walk around. We went on Saturday and there was free admission to the museum. It was not crowded and had some very interesting pieces, including an exhibit on environmental issues from around the world. We are glad that we went there.

2. Santuario Nacional de Cristo Rei

Praceta do Cristo Rei 27A | Não é localizado em Lisboa e sim em Almada, Almada 2800-058, Portugal +351 21 275 1000
Excellent
56%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Santuario Nacional de Cristo Rei

Reviewed By alilon56 - Derbyshire, United Kingdom

We caught the ferry from Cais do Sodre 3 Euro return, then 101 bus to the statue,( they are every 30 minutes).
The back ground music is lovely, however we were disappointed with the actual grounds - a bit rough under foot and no Gardens to speak of - in places it looked like a building site.
The statue of Christ is awesome and beautiful, looking down on you.
We didn't realise that there were steps on leaving the lift, before reaching the top, plus before actually going outside , when you reach the top of the steps, the floor unexpectedly slopes and I nearly fell ( hubby just caught me) - there should be either a change of floor colour or warning signs. Outside there are good views.

3. The Cloister of Jeronimos Monastery

Belem, Portugal
Excellent
60%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 674 reviews

The Cloister of Jeronimos Monastery

Reviewed By VinceDarwin - Newcastle, Australia

€10 to get in, no line up this time of year. 500yo monastery which is impressive. Not large and you only need 39mins. The even more impressive attached church is free.

4. Alfama

Lisbon, Portugal
Excellent
61%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 15 reviews

Alfama

Wonderful sights delight walkers at every turn in this culturally rich and charming part of Lisbon, which through its architecture reminds visitors of its Visigothic roots, Arabic influence and fishing port heritage.

Reviewed By rattenpakker - Roeselare, Belgium

As you can read in the other reviews, this is an old and pittoresque part of town. We did this part on foot and by e-bike. Lots of hidden gems to discover!

5. Jeronimos Monastery

Praca do Imperio | Wrocław, Lisbon 1400-206, Portugal +351 21 362 0034
Excellent
63%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 22 reviews

Jeronimos Monastery

No expense was spared when they built this masterpiece of Manueline and Gothic architecture in 1502, which was inspired by Vasco da Gama who is buried here with other great navigators of the past.

Reviewed By happy_in_paris_10 - Atlanta, Georgia

Downtown, on the waterfront in Lisbon is the beautiful massive historic monastery, Jeronimos Monastery. Built as a thank you by King Manual to celebrate maritime discoveries, it houses the ornate limestone tomb of Vasco De Gama This was my first encounter with Manualine architecture and decor, with twisted rope carved into many walls and above each archway. The decor also includes carved tropical fruit and animals. Afterwards, I looked for this style of decor in many churches and public buildings and found it! Interesting intellectually, stunning visually, and well worth a visit! Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds...

6. Museu Nacional dos Coches

Praca Afonso de Albuquerque, Belem 1300-044, Portugal +351 21 361 0850
Excellent
51%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Museu Nacional dos Coches

Located in an 18th-century riding academy attached to the royal palace, the museum features coaches and carriages dating back to the seventeenth century.

Reviewed By Skeney57 - Sydney, Australia

Very interesting Museum , filled with many ceremonial Royal coaches and other means of transport. Some extremely old of around 500 years and the workmanship is excellent. The other hall is devoted to the Lisbon Fire Brigade and is also interesting. My only complaint was that the upper Gallery filled with period paintings & portraits was closed for no apparent reason ??

7. Afonso de Albuquerque Square

Rua Belem, Belem, Portugal
Excellent
20%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
29%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 145 reviews

Afonso de Albuquerque Square

This dramatic statue commemorates the famous 15th-century explorer, Vasco da Gama.

Reviewed By Borzov - Rijeka, Croatia

The square in front of the Belem Palace (today the presidential residence) is named after Alfonso de Albuquerque, the Portuguese naval commander and statesman whose bronze statue stands at the top of the beautiful Neo-Manueline style monument.

8. Bairro Alto

Lisbon 1200-109, Portugal +351 965 476 181
Excellent
54%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 10 reviews

Bairro Alto

Reviewed By Maxim123153 - Nuneaton, United Kingdom

Take the Elevador de Gloria unless you like walking up steep hills. Very vibrant area - great area for shopping and cafe during the day and very lively restaurant and bar scene at night.

9. Casa da Cerca

Rua da Cerca, Almada 2800-050, Portugal +351 21 272 4950
Excellent
67%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 78 reviews

Casa da Cerca

Reviewed By pmartinslux - Brussels, Belgium

You can visit Casa da Cerca for free, and that's the first plus. The Exhibitions are not particularly interesting, at least when I visited, but they are a good support of added interest for the visit. The main feature however, undoubtedly, is the views of Lisbon, on the other side of the rive, and the peacefulness and harmony of the Gardens. What a wonderful place to spend an afternoon at one of the tables of the café, slowly drinking tea while Reading a book or just watching the views. It's relaxing, it's peaceful and it's beautiful, and well worth a visit when going through the old part of Almada.

10. Castelo de S. Jorge

Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo, Lisbon 1100-129, Portugal +351 21 880 0620
Excellent
47%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 21 reviews

Castelo de S. Jorge

Open 7 days a week, Castelo de S. Jorge is now a place where you can enjoy our heritage, get to know a little about Lisboa’s History at the Permanent Exhibition, explore the traces of the Moorish neighbourhood dating back from the 11th century at the Archaeological Site, discover yet unseen sights over the city on the Camera Obscura, stroll across the Gardens and the belvederes, take a break at the Cafe do Castelo, participate of the guided tours or other didactical activities, or simply be enchanted by music, theatre, dancing and the talk shops on heritage that liven up your days at this remarkable Monument in Lisboa.

Reviewed By robww - London, United Kingdom

The castle is in a great spot, with commanding views of the city (no surprise there!) However the queue to enter it is long and the locality nearby is very interesting with small bars, viewing areas and hill climbing trams- so your time might be better spent exploring the area than waiting in a queue. (Perhaps queue jump tickets prebooked are available)

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