Located about 9 kilometres (6 miles) from downtown Lisbon, Belém is a riverside district, home to the city’s finest monuments and museums.
Highlights include the Unesco-listed Jerónimos Monastery and the peculiar Belém Tower. But there is much more to explore in Belém.
It’s easy to get there if you follow these directions.
Unlike the historic tram 28 that runs through Lisbon’s steep hills, tram 15 (aka 15E where “E” stands for “Eléctrico”, the Portuguese word for tram) runs on a flat area of the city from Praça da Figueira in the Baixa neighbourhood to Belém and onwards to Algés outside the city limits. Usually on a modern, fast tram, the ride can occasionally be on the vintage cable car.
Tram 15 (or 15E) departs from Praça da Figueira, the square next to the Rossio, with stops in Terreiro do Paço (aka Praça do Comércio) and Cais do Sodré on its way to Belém. Take the tram headed to Algés (Jardim), which runs regularly (every 10-15 minutes). The ride from Praça da Figueira to Belém takes about 25 minutes. Get out at Mosteiro dos Jerónimos stop, or two stops after at Largo da Princesa, closer to Belém Tower (then walk 5 minutes towards the River Tejo).
Use the Viva Viagem card, or buy the ticket on board (which is more expensive).
The suburban train to Cascais is another option to get to Belém. You can take the train from Cais do Sodré station to Belém, which is three stops away.
Belém station is midway between MAAT (the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) and the Coach Museum. Jerónimos Monastery is less than 10 minutes walking distance, and from there Belém Tower is another 10-minute walk. You can also use your Viva Viagem card on the train to Cascais.
By hop-on hop-off bus
The hop-on hop-off bus is the third option to reach Belém.
If you choose the Yellow Bus service, you want to take the Tagus Tour that departs from Praça da Figueira, and visits several tourist areas, including Belém. It presents key sights and top attractions in Belém such as the Coach Museum, Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower and Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos).
An alternative is the Red Bus, operated by City Sightseeing, that departs from Marquês de Pombal. It also visits Belém’s landmarks and attractions, namely the Electricity Museum, Monument to the Discoveries, Belém Tower, CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém), Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Palace.
By bike or electric scooter
Lisbon now counts with an immense fleet of bikes, thanks to bicycle rental schemes such as Gira and Jump, and electric scooters scattered around the city.
Riding a shared bike or scooter is now a popular way to get around Lisbon, both by locals and tourists. If you’re in Terreiro do Paço or Cais do Sodré, it’ll be easy to find and rent a bike or electric scooter, and even easier to ride on this flat area of the city, along the River Tejo to Belém.
How to Get from Belém to Ajuda
The Ajuda Botanical Garden and its neighbouring National Palace are a 20-minute steep-walk away from Jerónimos Monastery. To get there, look for buses 727, 728 and 729 west of Praça do Império.