Belém district defines Lisbon as a historic gateway for voyagers beginning quests for precious goods from distant lands. Hop on trams snaking through the area or walk the black-and-white tiled sidewalks known as calçadas. Belém means Bethlehem in Portuguese.

Lisbon’s history revolves around the ocean and the Tagus River, which runs past Belém. As you wander along the riverfront, notice the 25th of April Bridge. Arrive at a towering marble monument dedicated to Portugal’s seafaring importance. The Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Discoveries Monument) shows the country’s principal Age of Discovery figure Dom Henrique leading notable people toward the ocean and distant shores.

Walk beyond the monument to a small castle along the riverbank. The Torre de Belém (Belém Tower) fortification defended the area from attacks by sea.

Go inland to the Jardim da Praça do Imperio (Imperial Square Garden). Admire the magnificent fountain at the center. Look across the park at the sprawling 16th-century Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, one of the city’s most visited sites. The monastery was erected with funds from the lucrative spice industry.

Also near the park is El Centro Cultural de Belém, housing the Coleção Museu Berardo, one of Lisbon’s finest museums. Travel beyond this popular area toward downtown and look for the large pink building surrounded by trees, Belém Palace, the residence of the country’s presidents.

A short distance farther is the Museo Nacional dos Coches (National Museum of Cars) with a collection of carriages used by European royalty and popes. Try Portugal’s national pastry, the pastel de nata, first made at the beautifully blue-tiled Pastéis de Belém bakery. Lines can be long but the custardy tarts are worth the wait.

Any visit to Lisbon must include Belém. Take the tram to this area quite easily. Alternatively ride the bus, which is often less crowded and not as likely to have pickpockets.

Known for

museum, temple and monument

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Top hotels in Belem

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
5 out of 5
Doca Do Bom Sucesso, Lisbon
SG$341/night
26 Jul-27 Jul
4.7/5Exceptional! (292 reviews)

"What was there not to like. Very friendly, knoewegable"…"

Reviewed on 12 Jul,2019

Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
Image for Hotel Jerónimos 8
Hotel Jerónimos 8
4 out of 5
Rua Jeronimos, 8, Lisbon
SG$132/night
26 Jul-27 Jul
4.3/5Excellent! (323 reviews)
Nice location and friendly staff

"Staff are friendly and the room was clean and big. The Location was great since Jeronimos Monastery is just in front of the Hotel. Therefore Monument to the Discoveries and Belem Tower are located 10 - 15 minutes by foot. One negative point was the rubber of window in my room was bit faded , so sound ..."…"

Reviewed on 29 Mar,2019

Hotel Jerónimos 8
Image for Palácio do Governador
Palácio do Governador
5 out of 5
Rua Bartolomeu Dias, 117, Lisbon
SG$243/night
8 Aug-9 Aug
4.6/5Wonderful! (210 reviews)

"This property is very lovely that's within walking distance of some great sights. The staff is excellent and helpful and they make you feel very welcome. The restaurant has very tasty food and the service there was also superb. We really enjoyed our stay and would certainly stay again."…"

Reviewed on 4 Jul,2019

Palácio do Governador
Image for Pensão Setubalense
Pensão Setubalense
2 out of 5
Rua de Belem, 28, Lisbon
SG$117/night
25 Jul-26 Jul
4.2/5Very Good! (209 reviews)

"The hotel has a great location and the rooms were very clean."…"

Reviewed on 15 Jul,2019

Pensão Setubalense
Image for The Lisbon-Way Apartments
The Lisbon-Way Apartments
4 out of 5
Rua Bartolomeu Dias, 73, Lisbon
4.8/5Exceptional! (29 reviews)

"My friends and I had a lovely stay at Sado apartment. The hosts communication and check-in was easy and quick. There is a lovely welcome pack in the apartment with recommendations in the area of things to do and places to eat. The apartment is nicely situated in walking distance from some lovely ..."…"

Reviewed on 15 Jul,2019

The Lisbon-Way Apartments
Image for 123 Embaixador Hostel
123 Embaixador Hostel
2 out of 5
R. do Emb. 123, Lisbon
SG$61/night
25 Jul-26 Jul
4/5Very Good! (4 reviews)

"The location is very convenient. The staff is very helpful. But The room is very small and the bunk bed is narrow, not very comfortable. Shared bathroom and shower."…"

Reviewed on 13 Jun,2019

123 Embaixador Hostel

Other areas in Lisbon District

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Image for Lisbon Old Town

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Trover photo by Joao Santana

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Image for Ericeira

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