BelemLisbon District

Image for Padrão dos Descobrimentos showing a monument, a river or creek and heritage elements

In this Portuguese city, travel back to times of global discovery. Tour this historic launch point for explorers seeking distant riches. 

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.

Top hotels in Belem

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
5 out of 5
Doca Do Bom Sucesso, Lisbon
SG$274
per night
Mar 10 - Mar 11

Located in Belem, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. Belem Cultural Center and Berardo Collection Museum are ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (317 reviews)

"The location is excellent: on the waterfront with beautiful views, and within short walking distance to a large number of tourist attractions. The design of the hotel is very modern and elegant. There's a Michelin-starred restaurant in the hotel, as well as a more casual, but very nice bar. The staff ..."…"

Reviewed on 5 Jan,2020

Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
Palácio do Governador
Palácio do Governador
5 out of 5
Rua Bartolomeu Dias, 117, Lisbon
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
SG$238
per night
Mar 14 - Mar 15

Located in Belem, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Berardo Collection Museum and Belem Tower. Jeronimos Monastery is 0.6 mi (1 km) away. Lisbon ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (281 reviews)

"Serene & elegant hotel with beautiful old world charm. Excellent location in Belem."…"

Reviewed on 15 Dec,2019

Palácio do Governador
Hotel Jerónimos 8
Hotel Jerónimos 8
4 out of 5
Rua Jeronimos, 8, Lisbon
SG$129
per night
Feb 27 - Feb 28

Located in Belem, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pasteis de Belem and Jeronimos Monastery. Belem Tower is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) away. Lisbon Belem ...

4.3/5Excellent! (360 reviews)

"Right next to a Catholic church so we can go to mass. Which is next to Pasteis de Belem (people come from all over the workd to taste these delights) hand the famous Mosteiro did Jeronimos. The hotel is also centrally located in Lisbon as a hub to explore"…"

Reviewed on 24 Nov,2019

Hotel Jerónimos 8
Ver Belem Suites
Ver Belem Suites
3 out of 5
R. Vieira Portuense 82, Lisbon, Lisboa
SG$82
per night
Feb 24 - Feb 25

Located in Belem, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Pasteis de Belem and Jeronimos Monastery. Belem Tower is 1 mi (1.6 km) away. Lisbon Belem Station ...

4.2/5Very Good! (18 reviews)

"The staff is very friendly and helpful. The room was very clean. My room was generally quiet but the main staircase was made of wood and pretty noisy. That was actually the only problem I faced."…"

Reviewed on 23 Sep,2019

Ver Belem Suites
Geronimo Guest House Belém
Geronimo Guest House Belém
3 out of 5
R. 2 3, Lisbon, Lisboa
SG$122
per night
Feb 24 - Feb 25

Located in Belem, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower. 25th of April Bridge and LxFactory are also within 2 mi (3 km). ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (12 reviews)

"The guest House is in the heart of Belem, a lovely historic neighborhood that is easy to walk Our stay was brief - a stopover on TAP. and staying here enabled us to get a taste of Lisbon/Portugal. We will be back"…"

Reviewed on 5 Dec,2019

Geronimo Guest House Belém
Terrace Lisbon Hostel
Terrace Lisbon Hostel
2 out of 5
Rua dos Jeronimos 16, Lisbon

Located in Belem, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Pasteis de Belem and Jeronimos Monastery. Belem Tower is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) away. Lisbon Belem Station ...

4.1/5Very Good! (19 reviews)

"Gostei da localização do hostel e da sala de estar"…"

Reviewed on 9 Mar,2019

Terrace Lisbon Hostel

Popular things to do in Belem

Belem Tower
Image for Belem Tower

Belem Tower

4.5/5(753 reviews)

Belém Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the northern bank of the Tagus River in the Belém district of Lisbon.

Jeronimos Monastery
Image for Jeronimos Monastery

Jeronimos Monastery

4.5/5(491 reviews)

See where monks once worshipped at this beautifully decorated monastery and where Lisbon’s famous custard-filled pastry is said to have been invented. 

Maritime Museum
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Maritime Museum

3/5(1 review)

Explore maritime history from the middle ages through modern times at this museum that celebrates the Age of Discovery, when Portuguese explorers traveled the world.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Image for Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Ocean cities often have monuments of their seafaring history. Visit this monolith commemorating famous explorers engaged in Portugal’s marine efforts.

Pasteis de Belem
Image for Pasteis de Belem

Pasteis de Belem

The house specialty of this well-known cafe is a buttery egg-custard pastry that was first baked by Catholic monks in the 17th century.  

Museum of Design
Image for Museum of Design

Museum of Design

Admire haute couture gowns worn by film stars and furniture made by some of the world’s most famous designers in this museum dedicated to fashion and design.

Top activities in Belem

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Tramcar Tours
Image for Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Tramcar Tours

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Tramcar Tours

80% of travellers recommend
SG$42
Per adult
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Boat
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Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Boat

SG$42
Per adult
Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour with Optional Bus Tour Combos
Image for Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour with Optional Bus Tour Combos

Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour with Optional Bus Tour Combos

SG$30
Per adult
Discoveries Sitway Tour
Image for Discoveries Sitway Tour

Discoveries Sitway Tour

100% of travellers recommend
SG$37
Per adult
All in one - Bus, Tram & Boat 72h Hop-On Hop-Off
Image for All in one - Bus, Tram & Boat 72h Hop-On Hop-Off

All in one - Bus, Tram & Boat 72h Hop-On Hop-Off

90% of travellers recommend
SG$67
Per adult
Lisboa City Tour & Shopping from Algarve
Image for Lisboa City Tour & Shopping from Algarve

Lisboa City Tour & Shopping from Algarve

SG$113
Per adult

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