Our trip to Lisbon, Portugal was split up into two different groups, geographically. Our first day in Lisbon we spent in the downtown area of Lisbon, of which you can see the travel guide here.
The second day we headed to the more western edge of the city and along the Tagus River. We specifically walked to the Belém parish, home to many of Lisbon’s iconic landmarks.
Lisbon Walking Map
Top Attractions in Lisbon along the River Tagus
Palace of Necessidades
The Palace of Necessidades is located in between downtown Lisbon and the Belém perish. It is a pretty cool pink palace, but that is it. It was not really worth the walk, but there are some benches and tables to enjoy a meal on a peaceful hill top, with no view.
25 de Abril Bridge
The 25 de Abril Bridge is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge and we totally agree. While it was not done by the same builders the San Fransisco bridge was part of the inspiration.
The bridge is the start to a beautiful bike and walking path down the Tagus River, towards the Belém perish.
Museum of Electricity
The Museum of Electricity is located only a short walk from the bridge, in the old Tejo Power Station. This new museum is a preserved and restored view at a traditional thermoelectric plant. It is much more interesting than in it sounds.
And it is free, so there is nothing to argue about! The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1oAM to 6PM.
Afonso de Albuquerque Square Garden
The beautiful Praça Afonso de Albuquerque Garden is only a five minute walk from the Museum of Electricity. The square has many flowers within a well planned garden and pools. At its center is a large monument and statue of Afonso de Albuquerque.
Directly behind the Afonso de Albuquerque Square is the Belém National Palace. This historically rich palace now serves as the offices of the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic.
The complex also houses the Museum of the Presidency of the Republic, an interactive museum that explores the historical and contemporary role of the presidents.
The museum is open Tueday to Sunday from 10AM to 1PM and 2PM to 6 PM. Tickets are €2.50/adults and €1.50/students.
Just a block down the street is the Jeronimos Monastery. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only a remarkable example of architecture but also serves as integral part of Portuguese culture and identity.
Entry to the monastery is €10, but there are also options for combined tickets with surrounding attractions. The hours are as follows:
- October to May: 10AM to 5:30PM
- May to September: 10AM to 6:30PM
It is not as grandiose as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, yet the artistic work is just as beautiful.
Praça do Imperio
In front of the Jeronimos Monastery is the Empire Square, with a massive fountain in the middle. We suggest taking some time in this square, as a commemoration to the great Portuguese Empire.
Monument to the Discoveries
In front of the plaza, right on the Targus River is the Monument to the Discoveries. It is a monument to the age of discovery in Portugese history. At the head of the statue is Henry the Navigator. This river is where many of the ships departed to explore and trade with India and Orient.
At the base of the monument is a massive compass rose, gifted by the South African government. It is a map of the world situated inside the compass.
The Belém Tower is a defensive tower built on the banks of the Tagus River and serves as ceremonial gateway to the city of Lisbon. It appears the tower was built in the river itself, but it was actually built upon a small island in the river.
You can enter and climb the tower for €5 to enjoy a beautiful view down the banks of the river. The hour are as follows:
- October to April: 10AM to 5PM
- May to September: 10AM to 6:30PM
Next to the Belém Tower is the Museum of Combatants. The museum tells the story of Portuguese military personnel serving in the Overseas War, also known as the Portuguese Colonial War.
Outside of the museum is the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier and memorial to fallen soldiers.
Ajuda National Palace
The Ajuda National Palace is a long walk up the hill from the river. The front facade is interesting, but it is a bit out of the way from everything else. If your legs don’t mind the walk, it is worth it.
Gare do Oriente
We took a taxi back to the bus station, as it would have been a three hour walk, and it only cost €12 for a 16km ride.
The modern style bus station was built for the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition. It is a work of art in itself, and worth visiting even if you are not traveling by bus.
Attached to the bus station is the Centro Vasco da Gama commercial center. We ended our time enjoying not only the stores in the mall, but the architecture of the building itself. There are many options of places to eat, or a grocery store to pick up some snacks at the start or end of your trip, if you travel by bus.
If we are missing anything from our Belém, Lisbon Travel Guide, please let us know in the comments!