Belém is located west of the centre of Lisbon and is famous for being the location where the Portuguse explorers departed. The area is steeped in history and is a cultural centre of Lisbon. A visit to Lisbon is not complete without visiting Belém. Below are Activities In Portugal 10 Things To Do In Belém.
1, Pastéis de Belém
A visit to Belém is not complete without a visit to the Pastéis de Belém, the oldest bakery in the area. This is where the famous Portuguese custard cakes were created and the secret receipe has been fiercely guarded since 1847. Head into the shop and purchase the delious cake, but expect a very long line!
2, Tropical Botanical Garden
The Tropical Botanical Garden has recently reopened after being remodeled. The garden has 500 perennial species, 4000 species of tropical plants and the garden was created in 1906. The garden is a welcome break from the summer sun, take a rest in this tranquil garden.
3, Museu Coleção Berardo
Museu Coleção Berardo is the museum of modern and contemporary art in Belém. José Berardo is one of the wealthiest people in Portugal and in 2016 he agreed to loan his art to the gallery so that the Portuguese people and tourists could enjoy his collection.
4, Praça do Império
Praça do Império are the gardens outside of The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and in front of Museu Coleção Berardo. The gardens were born during the Portuguese World Exposition in the 40’s, it has beautiful hippocamp statues (seahorses) and fountains.
In Belém there are two marinas, Doca do Belem and Doca do Bom Sucesso. In both you can hire a yacht or catamaran for the day, here at Activitie in Portugal we can arrange Lisbon Yacht Hire for you at a great price. Alternatively just enjoy the view and watch the yachts go out on the river.
6, Big Raccoon – Bordallo II
Artur Bordalo is a Portuguese graffiti artist based in Lisbon that makes outstanding street installations from recylced materials. The Big Raccoon was created in 2015 and sits magnificently on the side of a building in Belém. You can find Bordalo’s artwork all over the city and his studio is based in Beato.
MAAT is the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology and a recent addition to Belém. Built in 2016 it is now one of the most visited museums in the country. The building itself is futuristic in style, with smooth gliding edges. The roof serves as a view point with grassed area. Entry is … but the building is so splendid and can be enjoyed just as much from the outside.
8, Torre de Belém
Torre de Belém is from the 16th-century and was the embarkation and disembarkation for Portuguese explorers, the tower was the ceremonial entry into Lisbon. The tower stands 30-metre and is four stories high. The Torre de Belém is classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower has a grisly history with many battle being fought in front of the tower and opposing troops being quartered in the towers dungeons. Today the Tower sits on the edge of the Tagus river providing stunning images of Lisbon. Visitors are permitted inside the tower.
9, Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Padrão dos Descobrimentos is a stunning piece of architecture, the monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery. Built in 1940 by the architect José Ângelo Cottinelli Telmo, originally the structure was temporary and only for the Portuguese World Exhibition but the monument was so popular that between 1958 and January 1960 the structure we see today was developed. Not only is the monument stunning but the flooring is equally a master peice. The compass rose is a 50-metre-diameter flooring dipicting the routes of the Portuguese sailing ships, it was gifted by the South African government.
10, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos stands imposingly over Belem, The monastery is classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The existing structure dates from around 1495. The famous explorer Vasco De Gama and his men spent a night in the structure before their journey in 1497, when hey discovered the world. The monastery that we see today was started on the 6 January 1501 and completed 100 years later. The monastery is steeped in Portuguese history from the days when the Spanish king ruled Portugal, to its Independence, to todays Republic, in fact the Lisbon Treaty was signed on the 13 December 2007 by the EU members. The monestry costs 10 euros and is one of the top vistor attractions in Lisbon.
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