In this Blog we will describe our Day Trip to Belém (a Lisbon District). Plus we'll also show our surprise pit-stop for a Happy Hour at the LX Factory !
Plus, check out our Professional Vlog of this Day Trip at the very end of this BLOG.
Customize your Day Trip
First of all, there are quite a few sights to discover on this one day trip to Belém - Lisbon. Hopefully we can inspire to visit a few or even all the sights we saw. Ultimately, you decide who you would like to plan your day. You might want to spend more time Discovering the Monastery, the Tower or the LX Factory!
We'll also share a few other extras that can add to your day. However, as we mentioned, feel free to plan your day trip the way you like. You can start your day with the Belem Tower then work your way back to the Jeronimos Monastery or add a Tagus river boat tour. We felt one day was sufficient for our visit, however you might need two days to feel fulfilled with all the exciting things going on.
If you're looking to great a great shot of the Belém Tower, Serge recommends that you start your day there. Since the position of the sun will present better light for portraits.
Just be aware that all main attractions to visit in Belém - Lisbon are CLOSED on Mondays, then it's not worth the trip. Check the Attractions official websites mentioned in the Blog for further information.
1. Jeronimos Monastery
The Jeronimo Monastery is one of the most beautiful places we've visited from our many discoveries in Europe.
The monastery is located on the Tagus river in the parish of Belem - Lisbon. It's a 45-60 minute bus ride, depending on the time you leave Lisbon. Since Lisbon traffic is quite congested, we highly recommend that you take public transportation or a guided tour to get to Belém.
When you arrive
A little piece of advice for when you arrive at the Monastery for your self guided tour. We ask that you pay special attention as you make your way to the monastery entrance. There are three main entrances, one for the Archeology museum, another for the Monastery and lastly the church.
There are 3 main entrances.
1. First : When facing the building, the entrance on the far right of the building is meant to access the Church. It's Free to visit which explained why there was a huge line the day we visited.
2. Second : The entrance in the middle of the building and to the left of the Church entrance is the entrance to the Monastery. However, you will need a ticket to enter. You will need to pay and acquire the ticket from the 3rd entrance, located on the far left.
TIP - It's possible to see inside the “Church” from the Monastery.
3. Third : As mentioned above, this is the line you should take if you didn’t buy your ticket in advance. This entrance also gives you access to visit the Archeology Museum. We bought the ticket for the Monastery access, however we recommend that you check their official website for further information.
A few Tips
✅ Visit first thing in the morning
Whether you plan to see the Monastery or the Tower. We recommend that you arrive in Belém first thing in the morning, in order to avoid the queues. Our trip took place in October and we were astounded at the amount of visitors during the supposed 'off ' season.
✅ Make time to Visit the 'Pastéis de Belém'
When in Belém - Lisbon, be sure to make time to visit the “Pastéis de Belém”. We walked from the bus stop to the Monastery and the factory was on the way. If we had to guess, maybe it was an early meeting spot. However, we visited after the Monastery and the crowd had diminished considerably.
✅ Think Comfort
A visit to the Belém - Lisbon district means a lot of time spent on your feet and potentially in the sun. We recommend comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and a small pack sac for essentials like water and snacks to last the day.
2. Pastéis de Belém Factory
As mentioned, the “Pastéis de Belém” Factory is just a short walk from the Monastery. When we saw it, our first instinct was to visit before going to the Monastery. However, we reconsidered once we saw the huge line and decided to visit on the way back.
We continued on to the Jeronimos Monastery and headed back to the Belém factory during a much needed lunch break.
Think of the Pastéis de Belém as an European café. They have assorted salty and sweet snacks. We felt like a bigger lunch to keep us going strong the rest of the day, so we ate at Pão Pão Queijo Queijo located a few doors down.
It's possible to order your Pastéis de Belém to go, or have a seat and enjoy it on site. We were eager to get back to our Discovering, so we took the desserts to go.
3. Padrão dos Descobrimentos
It's quite easy to add this monument to your day trip to Belém - Lisbon since it's located between the Jeronimos Monastery and the Belém Tower. Padrão dos Descobrimentos is a huge monument located in front of Tagus river. It represents the Portuguese explorers and colonization, including the discovery of Brazil.
There are beautiful views of the bridge “Ponte 25 de Abril” which is a Golden Gate look alike, the Tagus river and the impressive monument. Here we noticed many touristic attractions, various boat tours on the River Tagus for example. At the time we visited, we noticed available bike and scooter rentals. People were using this along the boardwalk, in order to get to the Belém Tower. Otherwise it's a 12-15 minute walk from the monument to the tower.
TIP - Whichever option you choose to get to the Tower, be mindful about the designated lanes.
We didn’t visit inside, but if you check their official website, you will find out the tickets prices for expositions and a viewpoint (Miradouro).
4. Belém Tower
This is a must see while visiting Belém – Lisbon. It’s a 15 minute walk from Jeronimos Monastery and 20 minutes if you include the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
The Belém tower, officially the Tower of Saint Vincent, is a 16 century fortification with an amazing location in front of Tagus River. The Tower presents really beautiful details and it’s a popular place for all Instagram Lisbon pictures.
Unbeknownst to us, the tower is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Plus, according to official website sources “It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and now sits near the shore because the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake''. In fact, the tower was built on a small island in the Tagus river near the Lisbon shore.
Avoid the Queues !
There was a huge line when we arrived, which discouraged us from making the queue. Needless to say, we didn’t visit inside. It was a gorgeous day to be outside, so we enjoyed a short walk on the sand right in front of the Tower. If you feel like planning in advance, feel free to check online, how to buy the tickets and more information on the official website:
Photographer's TIP : Are you a photographer or looking for a great shot of the Belém Tower? You might want to visit first thing in the morning for better lighting.
5. LX Factory
Less time spent in Belém - Lisbon and at the Belém Tower meant a little room for another discovery - the LX Factory !
On the way to the “Belém” district, you will find the LX Factory. It's easily accessible by public transport and that way you don't need to worry about parking.
We saw many postings about the LX Factory on Instagram with many restaurants with great views of the famous “Ponte 25 de Abril” bridge. Since we were a little ahead of schedule, we planned a quick visit.
Great place for a cocktail or pint
It was a perfect turnout since we were right in time for 5 à 7, so a few drinks on the terrace were in order ! At first, we weren't quite sure what the LX Factory was. Turns out, it's an old industrial area that was transformed in a hip and cool place with lots of restaurants, bars with open patios. You can just sit and have a beer on one of the various available terraces, browse the unique souvenir stores, visit a fun and unique book store/café shop “Ler Devagar”. We were surprised with the amount of decorations in the streets, lots of Murals & Art including a really cool hostel with a bee or mosquito design and lots of fun areas to explore.
The area gives the impression of new age and recycled design with a lot of thought put into it.
We recommend that you visit Rio Maravilha, if you can. Unfortunately it was closed for a private event the day we visited, so we didn't get the view we were hoping for. It seems like they have a terrace up this old building, which would be a very chill place for a drink ! Hopefully you can make it - and if so, please feel free to share your pics tagging @DiscoveringDestinations on Instagram 🙂
Regardless, we loved our discovery of the LX Factory !
This is a quick summary of our main tops of things we did in one day visiting Belém - Lisbon for your review and plan accordingly:
- Jeronimos Monastery
- Pasteis de Belem Factory
- Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument
- Belém Tower
- LX Factory (Happy Hours or Dinner)
Other related Lisbon, Portugal blogs:
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