How to Enjoy a Full Day in Belem, Lisbon (with a map)


 

After the Alfama, Belem is probably the most historic neighborhood in Lisbon. It’s where the first settlers would have entered the country, back when there was nothing more than nature on this coastline.

Belem is by no means the most social or eventful part of the Portuguese capital, but spending a full day here is totally doable! Here are my recommendations for how to spend a morning, afternoon and evening soaking up this village on the coast.

Morning

Breakfast on the water at Mensagem in Belem

There is no better way to greet the day in Belem than with a hearty breakfast right on the water’s edge.

Mensagem is a beautiful cafe right on the harbor where breakfast dining starts at 7am daily. You can choose to do a regular breakfast experience, or to have a boozy one with mimosas.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday — 7am to 11am // 12:30pm to 3pm
ADDRESS: Altis Belem, Doca do Bom Sucesso, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal
Train STATION: Belem

Mensagem in Belem – by Mensagem – Uploaded by them

Buy Pastel De Natas at Pastéis de Belém

Once you’ve finished your first meal of the day, it’s imperative that we move on to a very important attraction to Belem. The Pasteis de Belem bakery has been here since 1837, and is widely regarded as the best place for pastel de nata in the country.

These custard cakes are a hot commodity, which is why we have to go first thing in the morning. Arrive any later than 9am and you’ll be queuing for hours!

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday — 8am to 11pm
ADDRESS: R. de Belém 84 92, 1300-085 Lisboa, Portugal
Train STATION: Belem

Pasteis de Belem – by Mister No – Wikimedia Commons

A Visit to the Museu Coleção Berardo

Belem has many great museums, but since our time is limited to just a day I must recommend my personal favorite.

The Museu Coleção Berardo is a modern and contemporary art museum; one of the most important in the country. The space is enjoyable even for people who aren’t necessarily art fans, children like it all the same!

Entrance is just €5 per person, and two to three hours here is plenty!

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday — 10am to 7pm
ADDRESS: Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal
Train STATION: Belem

Museu Coleção Berardo – by Dilum2444 – Wikimedia Commons

Afternoon

Walk to the Tower of Belem

From the Museu Coleção Berardo you’re in prime walking position to pay visit to the Tower of Belem. This is one of Lisbon’s most significant monuments, marking the exact spot where voyagers would arrive in Portugal during the settlement in the country.

The tower is open to the public day and night as it is admired from the outside. There is likely to be a lot of crowding and many tour groups in the space, don’t be alarmed.

by Alex Paganelli – Unsplash

Walk to the Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Belem

About a ten minute walk along the water will bring you to another very important Belem monument: the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.

This is a bold monument, featuring massive carvings of all of Portugal’s most important navigators throughout history. It’s quite something to stand before, as the sheer size of the structure is hard to put into words.

by Alireza Lashkari – Unsplash

Lunch at the beautiful Espaço Espelho d’Água in Belem

Right next to the monument is our lunch spot: Espaço Espelho d’Água.

This unusual piece of architecture houses a really wonderful restaurant that juts right out into the water. Seafood is on the menu, and perhaps a glass of Port Wine or two to really set the scene.

I highly recommend the muscles! And followed by that, walk the pastel de natas you’ve been carrying around right to the edge of the bay and enjoy them as dessert.

Espaço Espelho d’Água – by Espaço Espelho d’Água – Uploaded by them

Visit the Jerónimos Monastery in Belem

Just a few paces north of the restaurant is the Jerónimos Monastery. This is an old Portuguese monastery that now runs as a church. Subjectively, I believe it to be the most beautiful church in all of Lisbon.

Take your time walking both the exterior and the inner courtyard, observing all of the intricate detail along the way.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday — 10am to 5pm
ADDRESS: Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
Train STATION: Belem

Jerónimos Monastery – by Kent Wang – Wikimedia Commons

Sunset Boat Cruise from the Doca do Bom Sucesso in Belem

Back down in the harbor where you had lunch and pastries, there is Belem’s only boat cruise company. You’ll find it on the edge of the Doca do Bom Sucesso.

Each evening they depart for sunset boat cruises along the Tagus River. The trips last about an hour and you don’t need to book long in advance; showing up about half an hour before sunset will be sufficient.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday — 10am to 7pm
ADDRESS: Doca do Bom Sucesso, Avenida de Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal
Train STATION: Belem

Doca do Bom Sucesso – by Vitor Oliveira – Wikimedia Commons

Evening

Traditional Portuguese dinner at O Recanto in Belem

To end off the day in Belem, a traditional and authentic Portuguese dinner is in order.

O Recanto will wine and dine you with all of the classic dishes that make up the Portuguese cuisine. It’s an upmarket space with a very welcoming, wholesome and home-like enegry.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Opening Hours: Sunday to Friday — 12pm to 5pm
ADDRESS: R. Praia do Bom Sucesso 24, 1400-026 Lisboa, Portugal
Train STATION: Belem

O Recanto – by O Recanto – Uploaded by them

Drinks on the water at Sud Lisboa in Belem

To end off the evening, we move back down to the edge of the water to a popular (and one of the only) nightspot in Belem.

Sud Lisboa is a restaurant, bar, rooftop, pool and events venue. It ticks all of the boxes when it comes to evening entertainment in Belem, saving you from having to make the trip into the bar districts in the city center.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday — 12pm to 2am
ADDRESS: MAAT, Avenida Brasília – Pavilhão Poente (ao lado do, 1300-598 Lisboa, Portugal
Train STATION: Belem

Sud Lisboa – by Sud Lisboa – Uploaded by them

If you’re not confident in self-navigating your way through Belem, then you can easily book a guided walking tour instead. This way you’ll be guided through the streets, with a constant flow of educational history along the way!

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