46 Best Things to Do in Belem

Showing 16 - 30 of 46

  • Basilica da Estrela - Lisbon
    Basilica da Estrela

    The Basílica da Estrela in Lisbon is a huge baroque/neoclassical church with a most impressive dome. It was built by order of Queen Maria I of Portugal to celebrate the birth of her first (and only) son, José, Prince of Brazil. It is perhaps no coincidence that the styling is similar to the National Palace in Mafra as this was built by her father, João V, to celebrate the birth of his own first child.

    The architects were Mateus Vicente de Oliveira and Reinaldo Manuel de Sousa whose other work included the...


  • Jardim da Estrela - Lisbon
    Jardim da Estrela pond and cafe

    The Jardim Guerra Junqueiro as it is officially known is one of Lisbon's largest and best parks. Still known to most as the Jardim da Estrela the park covers 4.6 hectares (11.4 acres) in Lisbon's city centre. The park is surrounded by history; overlooked by the stunning, domed Basílica da Estrela to one side, there is the old English cemetery (Cemitério Inglês) and the Military Hospital on the other. The cemetery dates back to the early 1700s and its most celebrated inhabitant is novelist Henry Fielding (author of Tom Jones) who died in Lisbon in 1754.

    Inside the imposing cast iron...


  • Sao Roque Church Interior - Lisbon
    Igreja de Sao Roque

    The earliest Jesuit church in Portugal and one of the first in the world, the Igreja de São Roque was built in the 16th century specifically for preaching. When built it was positioned beyond the walls of the city to cut it off from Lisbon and was used as a burial ground for those victims of the plague. It is one of the few buildings in Lisbon to survive the 1755 earthquake.


  • Praça Marquês de Pombal - Lisbon
    Praça Marquês de Pombal
    Marco Verch | BY-SA

    Praça Marquês de Pombal is a major traffic roundabout marking the top end of Lisbon's central thoroughfare, Avenida Liberdade. As such it is often referred to locally as simply 'Rotunda'.

    The centre of the plaza is dominated by a statue of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, better known as the Marquês of Pombal, the Portuguese statesman who led the drive to rebuild the city after it was devastated by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami on All Saint’s Day in 1755. As well as being...


    Public Places
  • Interior of Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Mártires
    Interior of Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Mártires

    The Basilica of Our Lady of the Martyrs (Basílica de Nossa Senhora dos Mártires) is one of a trio of Rococo / Baroque churches built within a stone's throw of each other on Chiado's Rua da Garrett. This and the other two strikingly similar churches were built in the late 18th century after much of the area was flattened by the great earthquake of 1755.

    There was previously an earlier Baroque church on the site but the original church here dated back to 1147 when the forces of D. Afonso Henriques reconquered Lisbon from the Moors. On the main door there is a relief by Francisco Leal...


  • Avenida da Liberdade - Lisbon
    Avenida da Liberdade
    Alexander-Svensson | BY-SA

    Lisbon’s answer to the Champ-Elysee is an elegant boulevard, linking the Praca dos Restauradores in the Baixa district to the Marques de Pombal roundabout and the Parque Eduardo VII. With its central location and grandiose styling locals refer to it as simply 'Avenida'. 


    Public Places
  • Convento dos Capuchos - Caparica
    Convento dos Capuchos
    Juntas | BY-SA

    The stretch of coast along Costa da Caparica is home to a slightly strange geological feature where the cliffs rise not from the sea, but several hundred metres inland. This is most pronounced in the resort town itself where behind the apartment blocks is a small plain with fields. Suddenly, a steep escarpment rises up, and it is here that you will find the 16th century Convento dos Capuchos.

    As you can imagine the convent commands a spectacular sweeping panorama over the coast below. In fact there is a viewpoint (miradouro) here from which you can see Lisbon and the hills of Sintra...


  • Praça Dos Restauradores - Lisbon
    Praça Dos Restauradores

    Praça dos Restauradores is a square in the central Baixa region of Lisbon. Around the square are a number of the city's most iconic buildings, including the Italianate pink façade of the Palácio Foz and the Teatro Eden and Condes Cinema buildings, both fine examples of Art Deco architectural style. At the centre of the plaza towers a 30-metre-high white obelisk, built to commemorate Portugal’s fight to regain independence in the 17th century after 60 years of Habsburg rule.



    Public Places
  • Monumento dos Restauradores - Obelisk - Lisbon
    Monumento dos Restauradores

    Most tours of Lisbon will pass through the Praca dos Restauradores in the Baixa district. Here, towering over the centre of the plaza is a 30-metre high, white obelisk, built to commemorate those who fought in the 17th century War of Restoration, helping to free the country from six decades of Spanish rule under the Habsburg dynasty and facilitating the transition of power to the House of Braganza which held power in Portugal until the 20th century.

    It looks like the kind of obelisk that might have been...


  • Convento do Carmo
    Convento do Carmo

    Mediaeval convent that was ruined in the great earthquake of 1755. Set overlooking the city the ruins provide a poignant reminder of the destruction wrought on Lisbon. The convent is also home to an archaeological museum with exhibits including a Peruvian mummy.


  • Elevador de Santa Justa, Lisbon
    Elevador de Santa Justa)

    The Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa lift) is a 47 metres (145ft) Lisbon's only remaining vertical elevator and connects Rua do Ouro in the Baixa to Largo do Carmo near Bairro Alto. It was built, along with several other cable powered urban lifts and funiculars, in a time before cars and the Metro. Whilst this may sound quite utilitarian and uninteresting nothing could be further from the truth.

    Inaugurated in 1902, the elevator is a cast iron tower decorated with Neo-Gothic style filigrana details. Some say it is reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and this is not...


  • Lisbon Zoo entrance
    Lisbon Zoo

    Founded in 1884 the zoo now contains around 2,000 animals with more than 300 species are represented. Includes the conservation and breeding of endangered species, as well as scientific research, and educational and recreational activities


  • Rossio - Lisbon

    If you’re looking for the heart of Lisbon, this centrally located square with its traditional Portuguese mosaic cobbles has been one of the city’s main plazas for centuries. Located in the downtown Baixa district it is officially known as Praça Dom Pedro IV, the locals prefer to use its old name, 'Rossio'.

    The square features a large pedestrian area flanked by trees with numerous cafes, restaurants and touristy shops - not to mention some majestic buildings, two elegant, bronze fountains, which were imported from France in...


    Public Places
  • Praca do Comercio statue
    Praca do Comercio statue

    No visit to Lisbon would be complete without a stop-off at the majestic Praça do Comércio, one of Europe's largest squares, surrounded on three sides by classical 18th century buildings and opening up on the south side to the Tagus River estuary. This plaza was once known as the "gateway to Lisbon", in recognition of the time when merchant ships arriving at the port would offload their cargo here.  This was also where passenger ships disembarked. 



    Public Places
  • Praca do Comercio - Lisbon

    Positioned on Praça do Comércio and acting as a grand opening onto the Baixa's central Rua Augusta, this ornate and imposing archway is also known as the Rua Augusta Arch.

    As the name hints, the Arco Triunfal was originally built to commemorate Lisbon’s reconstruction following the devastating earthquake in 1755, although the version that exists today dates from 1875.

    The Rua Augusta Arch is adorned with various statues of historical figures and following restoration in 2013 it now gives...




Belem travel guide »

Beautiful, culturally resplendent and immensely significant in Portuguese history, Belém is one of the jewels in Lisbon’s crown. In terms of places to visit and sights to see, this elegant area of the city...