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Table of Contents
How to get to Belém
How to get to Belém from Lisbon? It’s super easy! There are four ways to get there; by bus, train, hop-on, tram, and hop-on-hop-of bus.
The tram to Belém
The easiest might be by tram. Tram 15 departs from Lisbon’s city centre from Praça da Figueira, Praça do Comércio, and many stops in between. It’s easiest to exit the tram around de Jerónimos Monastery, and all the sights will be just a short walk away. The downside: it can be jam-packed in the tram to Belém, and it is slow! Often a new larger tram is riding between Lisbon and Algés, but sometimes you’ll be on one of the cute old trams Lisbon is famous for.
The bus to Belém
There are plenty of buses between Lisbon and Belém. They leave every few minutes and stop exactly where you want to be. The most effortless connections are the 714 from Praça da Figueira, the 727 from Marquês de Pombal, and the 728 from Cais do Sodré. You can buy a ticket from the driver, use your Viva Viagem card or use your Lisboa Card. To learn more about the public transport system in Lisbon, click here. The bus can be just as crowded and slow as the tram.
The Cascais train to Belém
The good news is you can also take the train. They run less frequently, but you’ll arrive at the train station in Belém within 7 minutes! If That’s not a timesaver…
The hop-on-hop-off bus in Lisbon
Lastly, you have the option to take the hop-on-hop-off bus. The tickets are valid for 24 hours, and you can explore a vast part of Lisbon. This option is best if you plan for no more than half a day in Belém. The Lisboa Card or public transport are cheaper options if you stay longer.
Benefits of the Lisboa Card
Public transport in Lisbon is pretty straightforward, and it’s easy to get from A to B. Tickets are relatively cheap, between € 1.35 (Viva Viagem) and € 1.50 for the standard fee. If you travel to a few places on the same day, a day ticket for €6.45 might be your best bet.
To get the most discount possible in Belém, the Lisboa Card is a recommendation. You cannot only use the public transport system for free, but you also have free entrance to the Tower of Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery! A 24-hour Lisboa Card costs € 21,00, and you can use it for other sights in Lisbon also. To recap the offers with Lisboa Card in Belém:
How much time do I need in Belém?
The above list is not all there is to see in Belém! Belém is a district towards the west of Lisbons’ city centre and has some of the city’s most famous landmarks and museums. So you can imagine you might want to block some time for Belém itself. Besides, Belém is lovely at night when all the day visitors have left, and it’s a quiet and unique area to stay overnight.
As a minimum, half a day in Belém is a must. Depending on the queues, you might be able to visit the Jerónimos Monastery, have a look at the Tower of Belém and walk along the Tagus shore towards the Monument to the Discoveries. As a maximum, in two days you’ll be able to visit most places including some museums. So ideally, a day is needed to see some sights, or two days to get the most out of your visit to Belém.
What are the best sights in Belém?
Some sights are already mentioned, but below you’ll find a detailed list of all the places you can visit in Belém. Let’s have a look at the ultimate guide to Belém!
Torre de Belém
The Tower of Belém is one of the most famous landmarks of Lisbon. Once built as a fortification on the shores of the river Tagus, it’s now one of the most visited sights in Belém. Torre de Belém was built between 1516 and 1519, and, since 1983, it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your ticket gives you access to the bastion and the tower during your visit to Torre de Belém. Read more.
9:30 AM to 6:00 PM – Last entry is at 5:30 PM
Closed on Monday and January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st, June 13th and December 25th.
The entrance price for the Tower of Belém:
A ticket to enter the Tower of Belém costs € 9,00 and up, or enter free with your Lisboa Card.
Another must-see sight is the mesmerising Jerónimos Monastery. It was built at the same time as the Tower of Belém, with the same stones and in the Portuguese Gothic Manueline style. The famous pastéis de Belém originate from this former monastery and has also been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read more.
9:30 AM to 6:00 PM – Last entry is at 5:30 PM
Closed on Monday and January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st and December 25th.
Entrance price Jerónimos Monastery:
Free with Lisboa Card, and the church is free for everyone
Standard Ticket € 10,00
Free for children aged 12 and under
Monument to the Discoveries
The Monument to the Discoveries, or Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Portuguese, is a monument on the shores of the Tagus. It was designed in 1940 to commemorate the Age of the Discoveries as part of the Portuguese World Exhibition. The 1940 structure was a temporary monument, and it was reconstructed in 1960. That was when Infante Dom Henrique (Henry the Navigator) passed away 500 years ago. The monument has a viewpoint, and from the top, you have a stunning view over Belém and the river Tagus.
November / January
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM (Last admission 5:30 PM)
Every day, 10 AM – 6 PM (Last admission 5:30 PM)
March / September
Every day, 10 AM – 7 PM (Last admission 6:30 PM)
Every day, 10 AM – 6 PM (Last admission 5:30 PM)
Closed 1st January; 1st May; 24th, 25th and 31th December
Entrance price to the Monument to the Discoveries:
20% discount with Lisboa Card. The ticket costs € 4,80 for the exhibition, viewpoint and film – the exhibition only costs € 2,40
Standard tickets are € 6,00 for adults for the exhibition, viewpoint and film
Children from 13 to 18 years old pay € 3,00
Free for children under 12 years old
The Botanical Gardens in Belém
Close to the Jerónimos Monastery and behind Pastéis de Belém, you can visit the Botanical Gardens of Belém. It’s an oasis of peace with plenty of peacocks roaming the grounds. If you’re looking for a quiet spot and some shade during the busy summer months, this is the place to be!
The garden was created in 1906, and the size is about 5 hectares. The park is a National Monument, and since 2015 it’s been part of the University of Lisbon. You’ll spot plants from different continents, mostly of tropical or subtropical origin, and species from Portugal’s former colonies. Back in 1906, the garden was called the Colonial Garden, which was later changed to the Tropical Garden.
You’ll notice some tile panels and busts in the garden, which were included in the Portuguese World Exhibition in 1940. You’ll see, for example, the marble sculptures by Giuseppe Mazzuoli and Bernardino Ludovici, as well as Calheta Palace.
The Botanical Garden is open daily apart from Christmas and New Year.
Winter time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Summer time: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Last admission: half an hour before the Garden closes
Free access on Sundays from 10:00 to 13:00
The entrance price for the Botanical Gardens in Belém:
Admission is € 5,00 for adults and € 12,50 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children until 17 years of age
Children up until 10 years of age can enter the gardens for free
With the Lisboa Card, you’ll get a 10% discount
Monument to the Overseas Combatants
The Monument to the Overseas Combatants is located between Torre de Belém and the Bom Success Fortress. The monument is a tribute to the people who risked their lives for their country. However, the Monumento aos Combatentes do Ultramar was created explicitly for the losses suffered in the Portuguese Colonial War.
More than 9,000 Portuguese soldiers lost their lives during the Overseas War between 1961 to 1974. This war caused some significant changes politically. The public went against fascist leader Antonio de Oliveira Salazar and ended up in the 1974 military coup. The monument is a reminder of what war costs on a human level and stands for peace.
In front of the monument, you will see the armed guards that watch over the eternal flame. On the 180 bronze plates, you’ll see the names of the soldiers who lost their lives in the Portuguese Colonial War. The monument is free to visit and open all day long. In Forte de Bom Sucesso you’ll learn more about the dark history of Portuguese conflicts and the Overseas War.
Bom Sucesso Fortress
Behind the monument, you can visit the Bom Sucesso Fortress. It’s a pretty small museum, but a recommendation if you’d like to learn more about Portuguese history and the former colonies. The museum is located in a fort that was built in the 1780s. There are several exhibitions about different wars. The museum is open daily between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM and tickets are available from € 5,00 for adults and € 3,00 for kids. Children under 5 years of age can enter for free.
Big Raccoon by Bordalo II
Scattered all over Lisbon and other cities worldwide, you’ll discover unique works of art by Bordalo II. In Belém, you’ll spot the big raccoon on the side of a building. Artur Bordalo’s work is always colourful, and if you look closely, you’ll spot everyday objects in his pieces. His works question the materialistic and greedy society with the continuous use of “garbage”.
Quake is an immersive experience whereby you travel back to 1755. You’ll witness one of Europe’s most damaging earthquakes that happened in the centre of Lisbon. During this experience, you’ll learn about the history and science of earthquakes and walk Lisbon’s streets like it’s 1755 again.
Tuesday to Thursday: 2 PM to 7 PM
Friday to Monday: 10 AM to 7 PM
Entrance to Quake:
Standard tickets start from € 21,00, and € 18,00 for children
Museums in Belém
Belém is THE place to visit museums, and you can easily spend a rainy afternoon in one of these many places. From art to history, there is something interesting for everyone!
Art lovers should not miss a visit to the Museu Coleção Berardo. The Berardo Collection consists of modern and contemporary art devised over two permanent and three temporary exhibitions. Want to see what’s on today? Check it out here.
The permanent collection contains works by Piet Mondrian, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Cindy Sherman. Just to name a few! Read more.
Opening times Berardo Collection:
Open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM
Ticket price for the Berardo Collection:
Free admission day: Saturday
Free admission on May 18, International Museum Day
Free for children under 6
Standard tickets cost € 5,00 per person
Visitors aged between 7 and 18, students, seniors, and visitors with reduced mobility receive a 50% discount
Lisboa Card 30% discount
Audio guides are available for € 3,50
MAAT, Museum of Art Architecture and Technology
MAAT is another favourite museum in Belém! Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia is another art museum with temporary exhibitions. The museum consists of two buildings; the modern and newly built complex and Central Tejo, the iconic repurposed power station along the river Tagus. Read more.
Opening times MAAT:
Wednesday to Monday from 10 AM till 7 PM
Closed on Tuesdays, January 1st, May 1st, Christmas and New Year
Tickets for MAAT:
The tickets to visit Central Tejo + MAAT cost € 9,00 per person
Teenagers (12+), Students, 65+ have reduced access for € 6,00 per person
Children under 12 can visit MAAT for free
The first Sunday of every month is also free for the general public
With Lisboa Card, you get a 15% discount
National Coach Museum
The Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum in English) hosts an impressive collection of royal coaches. It was even the first coach museum in the world! Here you’ll discover horse-drawn carriages from the 17th until the 19th century. The building is already worth a visit as it’s located in a former riding school.
Queen Amélia of Orleans and Bragança inaugurated the museum in 1905, and the collection consists of vehicles belonging to the former royal family and other prominent figures. There is a horse-drawn carriage that once belonged to Philip II of Spain and even one that Pope Clement XI used.
The Royal Riding School used to be part of the Royal Palace of Belém, consisting of the old riding school and a new building. The new facility hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions, and there is a space for the conservation and restoration of vehicles. Click here to read more about this unique museum.
Opening times Museu Nacional dos Coches:
Tuesday to Sunday: 10 AM until 6 PM – last admission 5:30 PM
Closed on Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, Easter Sunday, June 13th, and December 24th and 25th
Ticket prices for the National Coach Museum:
The old Royal Riding School € 4,00 per person
National Coach Museum € 8,00 per person
Both museums cost € 10,00 per person
Free entrance with Lisboa Card
Popular Art Museum + National Ethnology Museum
The Popular Art Museum is part of the ethnology museum in Belém, and it’s worth a visit if you’re into folk and Portuguese history. Museu de Arte Popular has mostly temporary exhibitions, whereas the National Ethnology Museum hosts the permanent collection.
The National Ethnology Museum is located on Av. da Ilha da Madeira, whereas the Popular Art Museum is located on the river Tagus, close to the monument Padrão dos Descobrimentos. Read more.
Opening times Popular Art Museum:
Monday and Tuesday closed
Wednesday to Friday: 10 AM till 6 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM till 1 PM and 2 PM till 6 PM
Opening times National Ethnology Museum:
Closed on Mondays
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM till 8 PM
Closed on January 1st, May 1st, Christmas and New Year
A ticket for the National Ethnology Museum costs € 3,00
The Popular Art museum entrance is € 2,50
Free entrance with Lisboa Card
The Archeology Museum
The Archeology Museum, or Museu Nacional de Arqueologia, is the largest archaeological museum in Portugal, and it’s right next to the Jerónimos Monastery. The museum was created in 1893 and hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The permanent exhibition covers more than five thousand years of history, ranging from Prehistory, the Egyptian civilisation, and the Greco-Roman Period. There is a wide range of jewellery, Roman mosaics, glassware, ethnography, and metalwork on display.
Closed on Monday
Tuesday until Sunday: 10 AM until 6 PM
Tickets for the Archeology Museum:
Free with the Lisboa Card
The Archeology Museum only € 5,00 per person
Combination ticket with a visit to the Jerónimos Monastery € 12,00
The Museu de Marinha is the Naval Museum in Lisbon, and here you’ll learn more about the Portuguese navigators and the World of Discoveries. King Luís founded the museum in 1863, and it’s located at the Jerónimos Monastery. The collection holds over 23,000 pieces, such as navigational instruments, boat models, and replicas.
Daily from 10 AM until 5 PM
Children Free until (age): 3
Children: € 3,25
Adult: € 6,50
Family: € 14,60
Senior: € 3,25
With Lisboa Card, you get a 33% discount
The Navy Planetarium is located behind the Jerónimos Monastery, and here the world of astronomical science opens for you. You’ll learn about the cosmos’ mysteries, and an educational program is available for young children.
Closed on Mondays, January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st, and December 25th
Tuesday to Friday: 09:30 AM until 12 PM | 1:30 PM until 4 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM until 12 PM| 1:30 PM until 4:30 PM
Standard tickets € 5,00 per person
Children up until 17 years of age € 2,50
Free for children under 12
On the 1st Sunday of each month, the general public gets a 50% discount
The National Palace of Belém is the place where the President of the Portuguese Republic lives. It’s the former residence of the Portuguese Royal Family, and the pink complex consists of several buildings.
In Palácio de Belém, you’ll learn more about the Portuguese Republic, the President, and national symbols. There are several exhibitions which contain paintings, sculptures, and tapestries. It’s a recommendation to join the English tour, which will explain more about Portuguese history, and you’ll get to visit the Sala das Bicas, the Golden Room, the Empire Room, and the Chapel.
Closed on Mondays, January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st, and Christmas
December 24th and 25th
Tuesday to Friday: from 10 AM until 6 PM
Saturday and Sunday: from 10 AM until 1 PM, and from 2 PM until 6 PM
Standard tickets € 2,50 per person
A family ticket for five people € 6,00, or for nine people € 12,00
Fun activities in Belém
Aside from the famous sights and museums, Belém has plenty of activities to participate in. Let’s have a look!
Baja Bikes cycling tour
A fun and active way to explore Belém and Lisbon is by bike! A bike tour is a great way to combine a day in Belém, and the guides tell you loads of interesting facts along the way! Baja Bikes offers fabulous tours from Belém to Lisbon’s city centre and vice versa, depending on your departure time.
The Highlights Tour leaves in the morning from Marques the Pombal to Belém. In the afternoon the tour goes back to the city centre, and the bike tour is a little shorter. The Private Tour is perfect if you want to create your own tour and schedule your own times.
Sunset sailing tour on the Tagus
To end your day full of activities in Belém, there is no better way than to finish it when a boat tour on the river Tagus! With a drink of choice in hand, you’ll sail along Lisbon’s coast. You get the best viewpoint over the city, Cacilhas, and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. The sun will slowly sink into the ocean, and after a couple of hours, the sailing trip will end in Belém.
Sunset Tagus Cruise
Where to eat in Belém?
By now, you must be up for a nice meal! Thankfully Belém has a wide variety of places to eat!
Pastéis de Belém
A visit to Pastéis de Belém is simply a must when you’re in Belém. This is where the original Pastel de Belém comes from, and the bakery has many other tasty treats on its menu! Pastéis de Belém is open daily from 8 AM until 9 PM. You can sit in their lovely cafe, and they have a takeaway service. Pastéis de Belém makes for an excellent gift for the home front, and they come in easy-to-carry boxes to make transport easy.
Miolo is an excellent place for breakfast and lunch! Not only will you enjoy a fun and colourful decor, but you’ll also love the food just as much!
Adega de Belém
Are you looking to end the day with a tasty Portuguese meal? Then Adega de Belém is the play to be. The restaurant has authentic decor, and there is plenty of meat and fish on the menu. It’s the perfect place for an affordable, traditional and easy meal.
For an easy meal with your family, a visit to Nosolo Italia is perfect. They serve fabulous pizza, and the ice cream is fantastic! On top, you’ll enjoy a beautiful view over the river Tagus.
For an exquisite dining experience, Feitoria is the place to be. You can choose between 7 or 9 courses with matching wines. Dinner at Feitoria is an experience you won’t forget!
Enjoy a 20 € discount on your next meal! Book with the code 8362E39E on TheFork and enter the code when you make the reservation.
Where to stay
To enjoy Belém even more, you can book your accommodation here. It’s a nice quiet area to stay in, yet Lisbon’s city centre is within reach. Whether you’re looking for a romantic hideaway in Belém or a hotel for your family, there are plenty of rooms to choose from.
As you can see, there is A LOT to do in Belém! You’ll easily spend a day here, if not more. I hope this guide is helpful for you, and I’ll try to update it as often as possible to keep the list up-to-date. Let me know what you think! Or maybe you have something to add?