Belem is located 6 km west of the city center of Lisbon and has a beautiful mix between some of Lisbon’s most historical landmarks, stunning gardens and museums.
It is easily accessed by train or tram.
One of the most famous sights is the impressive 16th century Torre De Belem located in the water of the Tagus River, it was built as a defence tower to protect the city from foreign attacks but was also a monument to the power of Portugal at the time and is now part of UNESCO World Heritage Site and an example of Manueline architecture.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) was built in the 1960s as a tribute to 33 significant people in the history of Portugal’s age of discoveries, Henry the Navigator being on the front of the monument closely surrounded by navigators, explorers and other people that all played a big role in the discoveries made in the 15th and 16th centuries.
This beautiful pink 16th century building is since 1910 the official residence of the president of Portugal.
The Presidency Museum is part of the palace and It tells the story of the Portuguese Republic and its Presidents through out time.
MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology)
2016 this new astonishing Museum opened its doors to the public, it is a venu created for all auditions with exhibitions for everyone as well as lectures and debates.
Even if this museum may not be to your taste, go and visit to see the building itself, this beautiful arch is built with the thought to blend the structure in to the landscape allowing visitors to walk under over and through the building with the roof designed as a outdoor room with views of the river on one side and the city on the other.
Jardim Botânico Tropical
This true nature sanctuary in the middle of the city, founded in 1912 it is with its 7 hectares one of the largest gardens in Lisbon and have a wide variety of plants from all over the world.
Jerónimos Monastery is quite the sight both on the outside and on the inside, the monastery is built in Manueline architecture style, a portuguese style from the 16th century with gothic tones and was built with the intention to be a place of spiritual protection for sailors and explorers whos ships left from the Belem area during the Portuguese Age of Discovery, a sanctuary where they could seek shelter or come to pray before leaving for months out at the sea.
The que to the monastery can get quite long at busy times and has a charge of €10 but it is also a church attached to the monastry witch is free of charge and still shows of the incredible gothic style with a mixture of nautical, religious and royal symbols detailedly sculptured into the stone throughout.
Pasteis de Belém
You can’t visit Portugal without trying one of the countries famous pasteis de nata and to get the real deal you happen to be in the right place, the original pasteis de nata recipe comes from the 1830s monks of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos who at the times used large quantities of egg-whites for starching clothes and used the leftover egg yolks to make cakes and pastries, the almost 200 year old recipe is so secret only 6 people know it, these 6 people never travel in the same car, flight or eat the same dish when dining out.
Pasteis de Belem was also listed in the guardian 2009 as the 15th most tasty delicacy in the world.