Portugal
Belém Tower

Here you’ll find travel reports about Belém Tower. Discover travel destinations in Portugal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

45 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    Day 4 in Lisbon

    April 22, 2017 in Portugal

    So, each day gets tougher to get out of bed, but by God we did it! Hiked up a few small hills to a Farmer's Market, where we bought some bread and cheese and then ate at a small restaurant in this pretty little park next to the market. Afterwards, we headed out for a 10 minute walk to a metro stop, where we jumped the metro for two stops to a train station where we were going to catch a bus to the Tile Museum (Tiles are definitely a big time Portgugese thing). After waiting around for a bit, it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps we were on the wrong side of the station! Sure enough, whipping out Google Maps and studying that little arrow which shows which direction.the Tile Museum lies revealed our error! So we went to the other side and after about a 20 minute wait , the bus showed up and we jumped on it for the mile ride to the museum.

    Got off, explored - = actually petty good! Had some ham and cheese sandwiches and then the plan was to head towards Belem where the Jerónimos Monastery
    https://goo.gl/maps/6fc5g56vcYS2 lies along with those world famous custard pastries (ok, so you haven't heard of them, but you should - scrumptious - we had already had a few, but these were warm and served with powdered sugar and cinammon! But I digress! First of all we decided we didn't want to wait for an hour for a bus to come by, so I whipped out my Uber app, requested a driver and within 2 minutes he pulled up. 10 minutes later we were at our destination. Great guy - nice Mercedes. We then jumped on the 15E tram using our Zap cards which we had just refilled (refillable Metro cards). Note - zap cards can't be refilled in the Metro in Lisbon with Visa cards - won't take them. We kept using cards and wondering what the hell was going wrong - well, had it confirmed later by a shop clerk.

    Waited on the tram for Belem - the sign said it would show up in 25 minutes - everybody is standing in the sun. It gets down to 4 minutes and then suddenly it jumps back up to 23 minutes. People were getting a bit crazy by then. It finally shows up and we pack on like little sardines (a Portuguese thing) . Totally smashed for the 30 minute ride. Fiinally make it to the monastery - impressive! Sprawls over about 3 blocks. Interior is amazing as is the church. Definitely a must see in Lisbon. Headed over afterwards to see the monument "Age of Discoveries" (built in 1960) on the water dedicated to Vasco de Gama and his explorers - Awesome memorial - starting to wear out, backtrack to the pastry shop we had heard so much about - world famous custard tarts - oh boy , were they good - warm - slightly crunchy crust - dang - consumed 4 between us and took 6 to go. (for a video by Rick Steves on Portugal and how these are made , see this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYh4SiuFvsc Back to the tram, we caught one of the old fashioned ones - again packed - nice thing about this one was that it didn't stop at any of the 14 stops on the way back to Lisbon - too full. So we got back fairly quickly. Spent a 1/2 hour in a Lisbon souvenir shop, then took a 10 minute stroll north towards our apt with a sidetrack to a Rick Steves recommended little hole in the wall where I had a Bifana sandwich (marinated pork - another Portuguese speciality) and Janet had Monkfish stew with rice. Oh , did I say I had a half bottle of Portugal red wine? Do you know how hard it is to type this at 10:45 after a half bottle?

    So tomorrow - we're heading to the airport on the metro bright and early where we are going to pick up our little ECAR to head south to the southern coast of Portugal and 2 nights in Lagos. Should be interesting adventure.!
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  • Day30

    Day 30: Evora to Lisbon

    March 17, 2017 in Portugal

    Time to move on again! We weren't due to arrive at our Airbnb in Lisbon until 2pm or so, and it wasn't a long drive away, so we decided to spend a bit more time wandering around Evora after some pastries for breakfast. We had a good wander, took some more photos and did some more filming, then headed back to the car just after midday.

    Lisbon was about 150km away, so about 1 1/2 hours drive on the freeway, though it had an unexpectedly high toll - 9 euros! Lucky we could pay with card, as I didn't have any cash on me. Crossed into the city from the south via an enormous bridge, identical in appearance to the Golden Gate, and found our way to our Airbnb. It's a nice little apartment with a big backyard - a nice change from having to get dressed properly to take Schnitzel outside! Bedroom a little on the small side but the living area is really nice.

    Had a late lunch of soup and a savoury pastry in a coffee shop adjacent, then set out for a wander! We headed down to the waterfront and walked west, checking out the sites. First stop was of course the UNESCO-listed Monastery of the Heironymites, one of the few buildings in this area to survive the gigantic earthquake of 1755. It's also where Portuguese egg tarts were invented!

    We took turns looking at the interior, though we couldn't go right into the cloister as it was ticketed and late in the day for a proper look around. Stopped at an outdoor bar for a drink, then walked further west to the Tower of Belem, which again is a rare pre-1755 building. It was a guard tower set up at the entrance to the harbour, intended to shore up the defence of the city, though the first time it was used in anger it surrendered within a couple of hours! Very picturesque though, and lovely late afternoon sun.

    Schnitzel was getting near constant attention in a way that he hadn't in Spain - I guess dogs or at least dachshunds are less common here? At one point a crowd of 7-8 people were huddled around him, patting and cooing. He just takes it all in stride, though I'm not sure how interested he is in everything.

    Given that it'd been a long afternoon of walking to reach this point (probably 3km away from our apartment), we ended up getting a taxi back for the princely sum of 4 euros. Relaxed in the apartment for a bit before heading to a local restaurant we'd seen earlier in the day. Had a great meal of nachos and roast pork with couscous and a couple of wines. Also had a good chat with the owner who spoke excellent English and had been to Sydney a couple of times!

    I've noticed as well that English seems more widely spoken here than in Spain - I guess there's a lot of places in the world where Spanish is very useful, but outside of here and Brazil the same isn't true of Portuguese! So maybe they put more effort into learning some English. I haven't made headway into learning any Portuguese, it's similar enough to Spanish to confuse me, but with some very different sounds included too which I just can't imitate.
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  • Day3

    Lisbon, Portugal

    February 22 in Portugal

    We got to Lisbon and saw the sunset on a rooftop with an amazing view of the Lisbon bay. The rooftop was part of a cool designers facility called LX Factory (Elchi factory as it prinounced in Portuguese). From there we took a taxi to the "timeout food market", tasted the famous "Pastel de neta" at the Manteigaria, and just walked around the city.

  • Day31

    Sleepover day 31

    August 19 in Portugal

    We are staying in the carpark that we parked in first thing this morning.

  • Day3

    Whatever...

    April 15, 2017 in Portugal

    Gestern habe ich euch manch skurriles oder schönes unterschlagen, das lag an der späten Stunde und sicher auch an den Cocktails 😉
    Auf dem Weg zum Castelo de São Jorge haben wir gestern kurz vor dem Eingang zur Burg, direkt am Weg ein Urinal entdeckt, das auch noch in Nutzung zu sein scheint. Wir wollen uns nicht vorstellen, wie das dort riecht, wenn hier im Sommer 40 und mehr Grad herrschen - puuuhhhh. (Foto ist angehängt).
    Auf dem Gelände des Castelo de São Jorge lebt auch der eine oder andere Pfau und man hätte meinen können, dass sie extra für die Touri's und die Kameras posen. Ist schon faszinierend, was die Natur bei diesem Tier für eine Farbenpracht hervorgebracht hat.
    Die "Große Wäsche der Kuscheltiere" ist uns auf dem Weg von der Burg ins Centrum begegnet.
    Es gibt auch noch ein Foto von unserem gestrigen Strandmenü, musste Julia erst fragen, ob ich es verwenden darf 😉.
    Mit der Pizza haben wir die Grundlage für die Cocktails gelegt. So ein Becher fast einen halben Liter. Inhalt eigentlich nur Rotwein, Zitronenlimonade, ein paar Eiswürfel und Zitronen/ Orangenscheiben = Tinto Verano. Lecker 😋!
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  • Day7

    Delights of Lisbon

    April 21, 2017 in Portugal

    We began our tour of Lisbon today under the leadership of our guide Anna by visiting St. Jerome monastery. Afterwards we went to the explorers monument and also to Belem tower. We had lunch at a lovely restaurant called The Patio and then went to the Convent of the Mother of God. That building is now a museum to the blue tiles for which Lisbon is famous, the "azulejos." The architecture is an amazing reminder of the former glory of the Kingdom of Portugal. This nation had the good fortune of "getting in on the ground floor" of the explorations of the sixteenth century. Much of the early wealth realized in that enterprise found its way to this city and the remnants of that wealth are indeed glorious. Failure to reinvest this wealth, along with competition from other nations, left Portugal as an economic and political backwater by the end of the eighteenth century. Still, Portugal was not completely erased. There is a monument to an early Portuguese airplane that made the first transatlantic crossing. It is fortunate, though, that Portugal has maintained her buildings and the art. It was interesting that there were quite a few Brazilian restaurants here, and also Brazilian food and music. It is as though the mother country was affected as much by her daughter as Brazil was by Portugal. The food here is fantastic, and there is a lovely old ambience to the city that must make it a delightful place to live.

    We visited a museum for carriages and coaches that has an interesting recent history. It seems that the European Union had voted funds to be distributed to its member nations for historical and artistic purposes. Portugal was not about to turn down free money, so it accepted a major grant from the EU without any clear purpose in mind. Years passed until the European Union finally told Portugal either to use the money or return it. The Portuguese government was quite undecided about how to spend the funds and very nearly lost them. Finally they realized that Portugal possessed one asset that few other nations in Europe had--an abundance of historical carriages and coaches. A team of historians used the money to renovate an old warehouse. Then they got the owners of these old vehicles to loan them to the museum. Now there is a very interesting and very large museum housing everything from sedan chairs to royal coaches. I realized that many of the places we visited can be photographed better from the ship. So as we leave Lisbon I plan to be on the sky deck taking pictures.
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  • Day74

    Tributes and Treats in Belem

    March 14 in Portugal

    When we finished touring the Monastery, we carried on with our sightseeing despite the light rainfall. We walked about 15 minutes to the riverfront where there is a 170 foot tall stone monument called “the Monument to the Discoveries”. The ships departed from here in the 15th and 16th centuries so this was to commemorate the “Age of Discovery” and the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. Down the river we could faintly see through the mist to the National Sanctuary of Christ the King, a monument rising 240 feet to overlook the city. It was erected in gratitude because the Portuguese people were spared any effects of World War II.

    It was time for a break. Another short walk away was the restaurant, Pasteis de Belém, which is known for originating the Portuguese egg tart pastry. Since 1837 they have been making these tarts by hand using an ancient, secret recipe from the Monastery. This tasty pastry is sold everywhere in Portugal and John has tried many variations, surely raising his cholesterol with each bite. Lunch was good as was the tart that is served warm at the end of your meal.

    I wanted to take the trolley back to central Lisbon but John wasn’t feeling adventurous and was sure we would get lost. He’s generally been getting better at trusting my knowledge of the public transit systems wherever we have gone, but on this day he wasn’t taking any chances, so we returned by the same bus that brought us here.
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  • Day5

    Belem lisboa

    June 10 in Portugal

    Took the train out to Belem. it is 5 km from where we are staying in the Bario Alto, cost around 1.30 Euro to get there. Weather cloudy and cool today.

    First stop was the Jardin Alfonso de Albuquerque, a square close to the monastery that was our main goal.

    Praca Afonso de Alburquerque is named after the fist Potuguese viceroy of India. A neo Manueline column in the centre bears his statue with scenes from his life carved on the base. (DK Eyewitness source) He was shown with a turbine like head dress, and there were many elephants at the base of the statue. Elephants are used a lot to show the world dominance, and exoticness of Portugal in the relationship to the rest of the world at this time. 1500's.Read more

  • Day5

    Left the cloister at 5 and had a quick bite to eat. Nice little cafe/coffee shop next to the botanical garden where we had a Toastee (grilled sandwich) and wrap, apple desert and 2 espressos. It started to mist while she were outside so we moved in as did everyone else that was out on the patio.

    The botanical garden was just kitty corner to the monastery. It was a bit run down, not quite as bad as the cuban botanical garden, but in some ways similar.

    Lots of Palms, some that were dying unfortunately.

    There was a section on Macao as that was a Portuguese colony. so many familiar asian species, Viburnum, Honeysuckle, Mahonia,

    There was a grevillia tree that was over 100 feet tall.......I have a grevillia in a 1 gal pot in the green house.

    Parts of the garden were no longer open to the public, the old nursery.

    The old glass house had plants in it, but many many broken panes, and It looked like the lost gardens of Heligan.....

    There was the old palace too and an interesting hard instillation of hammocks. probably around 12 hammocks and lots of people resting in them. It was a Brazilian, portugal joint instillation.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Belém, Belem, Torre de Belém, Belém Tower, Belémin torni, Tour de Belém, Belém torony, Betlehemsturninn, Tuerm vu Belém, 贝伦塔

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