Top Attractions in Belém & Ajuda

With an attractive riverside location and maritime history, Belém is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lisbon, and a neighbourhood with amazing attractions.

Visit the Unesco World Heritage–listed Jerónimos Monastery and the peculiar Belém Tower.

Along the way, discover interesting museums such as the Berardo collection of modern art and one of the largest carriage collections in the world.

Follow our guide, and use the map below to locate the attractions.

1. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Jerónimos Monastery is Belém’s ex-libris, a Unesco-listed landmark commissioned by King Dom Manuel I, the Portuguese monarch at the time of Vasco da Gama’s pioneering sea voyage to India in 1498. Read More

2. Museu de Marinha & Planetarium

Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium

Housed in the west wing of Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon’s Navy Museum is packed with models of ships, naval uniforms and artefacts, including charts, maps and other navigation instruments. As part of the museum, the Planetarium will transport you to distant galaxies.

3. Museu Berardo

Centro Cultural de Belém

Don’t miss the Berardo Museum, devoted to contemporary and modern art. Located in the modern CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém), admission is free on Saturday all day. Read More

4. Padrão dos Descobrimentos

View from the top of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Get 360-degree panoramic views over the River Tejo from the 55m-high Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos). Admire the 50m diameter mosaic of a wind rose designed by the architect Luís Cristino da Silva. The monument was built in 1960 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator, responsible for turning Portugal into the leading maritime nation in Europe in the fifteenth century.

5. Torre de Belém

Torre de Belém seen from the river

Sitting at the side of the River Tejo, Belém Tower is one of the most peculiar defense towers, and a Unesco-listed monument. Discover its history and climb to the terrace of the most iconic tourist attraction in Lisbon. Read More

6. Pastéis de Belém

Pastéis de Belém

Take a break from sightseeing to sample a delicious pastel de nata. Find the authentic custard tarts in the century-old Pastéis de Belém patisserie. Read More

7. Museu dos Coches

Museu dos Coches

Discover one of the largest collections of vehicles in the world at Lisbon’s Coach Museum. Beautifully painted carriages and coaches dating from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries are housed in a minimalist building. Read More

8. Palácio Nacional da Ajuda

Palácio da Ajuda

Tour through private apartments and state rooms of a nineteenth century neoclassical royal palace turned museum. Admire the exquisite artworks dating from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries.

9. Jardim Botânico da Ajuda

Jardim Botânico da Ajuda

Across the street from the palace, explore Portugal’s first botanical garden. The 3.5 hectares are set on two terraces in the Italian Renaissance style, offering stunning views of the River Tejo. This verdant garden has a 250-year history, more than than 1,640 types of plants, including several tropical trees, and a 400-year-old dragon tree native to Madeira.

10. MAAT

The Power Station and MAAT seen from the river, courtesy of

Set on the River Tejo’s edge in Belém, MAAT (the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) deals with contemporary art, while the next door Tejo Power Station is one of Portugal’s most prominent examples of industrial architecture from the beginning of the twentieth century. The views from the undulating rooftop are amazing. Read More