Historically Lisbon’s docks and shipyards, the district of Belém sits west of the city centre near the mouth of the River Tagus.
This is an area full of history, and as well as being home to some of Portugal’s best museums and the birthplace of the delicious pastel de nata, it is also steeped in maritime legend. It was from here, in the 15th and 16th centuries, that explorers set sail around the world, including the likes of Vasco de Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, at the height of the Age of Discovery. Many ships returned full of riches and Belém reaped the benefits – much of the extravagant architecture, including Lisbon icon the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, was funded by these treasures.
You’ll also find two more of Lisbon’s most famous sights here, both on the waterfront - the Monument to the Discoveries and Torre de Belém. Once a military fortress, the Moorish-inspired design of Belém Tower is now Unesco-listed and offers beautiful views over the river. Alongside these impressive buildings, the district is also full of lovely parks, plazas and lovely riverside walks and is generally absolute charming to explore.
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