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My Escapes Portugal Another Lovely Trip to Portugal! Belém Belém Day Trip

Belém Day Trip

September 11, 2014

Your Lisbon trip shouldn't lack a day trip to Belém.
Initially, I intended to spend 3-4 hours max., but I ended up burning most of the day out in Belém and still many places remained unvisited.

Belém's name derives from "Bethlehem" and it's a highly important historic hotspot with lots of attractions of monumental value.

The Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery, the Monument to the Discoveries, the National Coach Museum are all there and they're just a very from all the sings you can see there.

I took a short train ride from Cais do Sodré Railway Station in Lisbon along a very beautiful river bank.

The place is awe-inspiring... So, on the way back I just strolled along the Rio Tejo for a while...

Details of my experiences in Belém are found below...

Monument to the Discoveries

Monument to the Discoveries

Built near the Tejo River, it's perhaps Portugal's most famous monument - dedicated to the age of explorations and discoveries - by Portugal, of course, in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Let's not forget, Portugal used to be a major global power and dominated the Indian Ocean for a century.


Belém Tower

Belém Tower

I was told by a local guy that it's often referred to as "The Fortress". Actually, it used to be totally surrounded by water. The river used to wash the ground near the Jerónimos Monastery.
The Belém Tower used to guard Belém and the entrance to Lisbon from the sea.


The Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery

The Jerónimos Monastery is an imposing establishment dating back to 1459, when it was constructed at the order of Henry the Navigator.

This is where you can find Vasco da Gama's coffin.


Museu do Combatente

Museu do Combatente

It's found inside an old fortress and it was quite an interesting place to visit. Although I haven't planned for this experience, I did eventually burn some time in there...


Various Interesting Buildings, Less-visited Attractions

Interesting buildings

Besides the attractions having monumental importance, besides some statues, there were several other buildings that stood out - I reckon they used to be "ordinary" to the locals, at least, but they made them more fancy.


Munch 'n' Brunch: Pastéis de Belém and Pastéi de Bacalhau

Belém eating and drinking

The pastel de nata pastry products are notorious around here and because word spreads rapidly over the internet, I had to wait a long line in order to grab mine.
I also tasted the bacalhau dish at a fast food restaurant...


Weird Statues in Belém

Weird Statues

I came across a few strange statues scattered here and there. They made my walk from attraction to attraction more interesting.


Outdoor Military Exhibition

Military exhibition

The Portuguese Army had some of their vehicles exposed along the Tejo River's bank.

A few armoured vehicles and two jet-planes (an F-16 and an Alpha Jet) were there.


Vehicle Spotting in Belém


The most unusual sighting was an amphibious bus. They're becoming popular nowadays... It's not the first time came across one.
Besides, there were rather usual motor homes parked near the railway station...


Belém's Marinas and Boat Names

Marina in Belém

Several yacht marinas are found along the river bank and they intrigued me - some of the boat names were really unusual.


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