city break, Eat and Drink, Tips and Ideas, Travel

One day in Lisbon – Belém

I have lived in the outskirts of Lisbon most of my life and obviously I have a sweet spot in my heart for this beautiful city. The weather, the food, the white buildings and the cobblestone streets all together makes Lisbon an amazing city to visit. In this post I will focus in one part of the city – Belém. It is one of my favourite areas of Lisbon and you will quickly understand why.

So, let’s start with places to visit

The Belém Tower

Maybe you will find this monument more impressive outside than inside since inside it is quite simple and plain. Outside it is a beautiful tower. Made from lioz limestone its structure is a promonient example of the Manueline style. The Belém tower was built between 1514 and 1519 and it served as a point of embarkation and disembarkation of Portuguese explorers during the Age of Discoveries. Nowadays this tower still stands proud and a memory of those magnificient times of the Portuguese history.


Address: Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Close to the Belém tower this 52-meter high monument is a celebration of the Age of Discoveries. It is possible to visit this building inside and have the most amazing view of the city and the river from the roof top. In front of the building, on the pavement, you have a world map.


Address: Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa

Naval Museum

Keeping the subject, on the Naval museum you will find not only a lot of different ships from caravels to more modern cruises, you will also find a lot of information about the life in the sea and activities related to these activities. In total there are more than 17 thousand items displayed inside this museum.

I would recommend a visit on the first Sunday of each month when it is free to enter. Plus, bear in mind on Mondays this museum is closed.


Address: Praça do Império, 1400-206 Lisboa

Jerónimos Monastery and National Archeology Museum

It is impossible to miss the most beautiful example of Manueline style, the Jerónimos monastery. This monastery and the Belém tower mentioned above are classified as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. You will be awed by the cloisters, the architectural details, the gardens and the luxury of this amazing building.

The National Archeology museum is located next to the Jerónimos monastery and you will find the largest archaeological collection in Portugal. There will be displays items from the Paleolithic period to the Middle Ages.Both the monastery and the museum are free every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm and closed on Monday.


Jerónimos Monastery:

National Archeology museum:

Address: Praça do Império, 1400-026 Lisboa

Planetarium Calouste Gulbenkian

The high-tech projector that takes you to the universe

Maybe some of you will see the Planetarium more as place to take the children but I am a 31-year-old adult and I love this place. There are different regular sessions every day each explaining different subjects of astronomy. The most recent one I went was about black holes and I found it really interesting.

For those who dont know, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a prestigious institution in Portugal and its main purpose is “to improve the quality of life through art, charity, science and education” according to their website. You can be sure if the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is involved the information displayed will be accurate and reliable as it happens in the Planetarium.


Address: Praça do Império, 1400-206 Lisboa

Tropical Botanical Gardens

It is also in this area of Lisbon where you can find the Tropical Botanical Gardens. It is a good choice if you want to go a relaxing walk and see the amazing tropical and subtropical species. Entrance fee is 2 euros.


Address: Tv. Ferreiros a Belém 41, Lisboa

Go for a stroll

There is nothing better to enjoy the view of the river and the city in a sunny day. Lisbon is the most perfect city to relax and just enjoy the present. Walk along the river, the gardens or just sit and have a picnic or take a nap.


Pastéis de natal (Portugueses custard tart)

This is one of the most famous pastries in Portugal. In UK they have become quite famous in the past few months and there is a reason for that. The flaky pastry filled with smooth sweet cream is delicious. The “pastel de nata” is also called “Pastéis de Belém” and as they name indicates Belém is where they are orginated from. You will see the dark blue tilt with white letters and you have to go inside this cafe where the original Pastéis de Belém are there for you to try. Don’t be embarassed if you have to eat more than a few (everyone does in the end!)

The picture of their website


Address:  R. de Belém 84 92, 1300-085 Lisboa

Pão Pão Queijo Queijo (Bread, bread, cheese, cheese)

The name of this place may sound funny but it is the direct translation of its Portuguese name. This little place is next to Pastéis de Belém and maybe you should come here first to have lunch and then head to Pastéis de Belém for dessert. You have several options to choose from, you can have falafel or a pitta with lots of meat or a huge baguette and even salad. Even though this is a fast food cafe the food is really delicious. It is one of the places I miss so much and I try to go now and then when I visit Lisbon. You have the option to eat in or eat in the park with the river Tejo right in front of you.

Address: R. de Belém 126, 1300-086 Lisboa

Mercado de Algés (Algés Market)

This food market is around 30 minutes from Belém Tower. You can choose walk which is a nice walk or take a cab, public transportation or UBER. This is a nice place to have lunch or dinner (I prefer to come here for dinner) and choose which food counter most appeals you. The environment is very relaxed and informal which reflects the Portuguese culture. Good food, good wine and good friends. What else do you need?


Address: R. Dr. Manuel de Arriaga S/N, 1495-037 Algés


For those who love sushi as me there is a really good restaurant not far from Belem, but maybe you should get an Uber. Mokuzai is the name of the restaurant and you can choose to have a “all-can-you-eat” or just some pieces of sushi. It is really good and you will have a view of the river which is very enjoyable.


Address: Largo Leonor Faria Gomes 10A, 2770-134 Paço de Arcos

3 thoughts on “One day in Lisbon – Belém”

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