There’s no better description of the Belem district of Lisbon other than that of a bundle of tourist sights. The history of Belem is greatly linked to the age of the great geographical discoveries, an age when Portugal was the colonial queen of the continent and a major sea trade power. Plenty of landmarks are reminiscent of those times, but tourist should carefully plan their visit to Belem in order to be able to experience as much as possible of the sightseeing opportunities the district makes available.

Located on the very bank of the Tagus River, the historical Belem welcomes visitors with a plethora of museums, religious edifices, monuments and palaces, though tourists should definitely not disregard the walks in the several parks and gardens located here, as well as are advised to allow for relaxing moments at one of the historical cafes and eateries of Belem (such as the 1841 Antiga Confeitaria de Belem).

Thus, the Jeronimos Monastery and the Belem Tower, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites by force of their architectural merits (they were built in an exquisite Manueline style), are two of the most iconic landmarks of Lisbon (and of Portugal, for that matter). The impressive Monument to the Discoveries should not, and, in fact, can not be overlooked, since it lies on the very bank of the Tagus, but there are also a handful of museums located in Belem, such as the Berardo Collection Museum (hosted by the Belem Cultural Center), the Maritime Museum and the National Archeology Museum (both within the precincts of the Jeronimos Monastery), as well as the splendid National Coach Museum, one of the most visited museums in the entire Portugal.

The Belem Palace and the Ajuda National Palace must also be listed on a thorough traveler’s prospects, just like the lush Tropical Agricultural Garden and the Ajuda Botanical Garden. A stroll in Praca do Imperio, the largest square in Portugal (and one of the widest in the entire Iberian Peninsula) can very well complement the sightseeing tour of Belem.

While sitting and relaxing at one of the numerous cafes and pastry shops in Belem, tourist can also admire the view yielded by the National Sanctuary of Christ the King and by the 25 de Abril Bridge. The bottom line is Belem is one of the most rewarding and compact tourist hotspots in Lisbon, and an opportunity not to be missed out in particular by one-time visitors of the capital of Portugal.

Lisbon, Portugal
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