Santa Maria de Belém

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

51 travelers at this place:

  • Apr5

    Belem, Lisbon

    April 5 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    Bought a 24 hour public transport ticket to discover a further part of the city (but also we just cannot walk anymore). Belem tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and great view to the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge with small showers all day. We have tried the 'best pastel de nata in the world' (the queue was long but it was worth it) and later in the evening we had the best sandwich in our lives, bifana (warm pork meat in soak bread, yumi). Bairro Alto is the party district on the top of a hill (of course) with many great cheap pubs. We drunk, danced and made friends with some Bangladeshian guys who told us that we are made for each other, great last night in Lisbon!Read more

  • Mar28

    Belém's Incredible Monastery & Natas

    March 28 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Belém isn’t just known for the National Coach Museum. The 16th-century Tower of Belém and the sail-shaped Discoveries Monument are featured on almost every postcard. Also there is the immense Gothic Jerónimos Monastery, and the very popular Pastéis de Belém patisserie, famed for its custard tarts. We only have so much energy and there is just so much to see and do!

    We wandered over to the Jerónimos Monastery after seeing the coach museum and were really impressed by its grand size (100m long) and the carvings on the limestone walls. King Manuel (1495) erected it as a thank you for the discoveries made by early Portuguese explorers. He built the church near the site where a small chapel stood where sailors spent their night before their frightening voyages, praying.

    Portugal was a wealthy country in those days and and no expense was barred from creating this spectacular monastery. You have to see it to believe it.

    The monastery is the final resting ground of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who was the first European to sail to India. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was declared a National Monument in 1907.

    Now the time came to have a coffee and a great and we were in the right place!

    Everyone who visits Portugal learns about and eats the famous pasteis de nata, but to sink your teeth into the real deal, made using the original 187-year-old recipe, you need to stop in at a cafe called Pasteis de Belém. And guess what? It is practically next door to the monastery.

    The first owners of this well-known pastry shop (which was a sugar refinery at that time) purchased the recipe in the 1830s from the monks of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery), who first sold the pastries as a way to raise money. Flaky on the outside and creamy on the inside, they are delicious pastries, and it didn’t take long for the Pasteis de Belém to become one of the most popular pastry shops in Lisbon. The lineups tell it all.

    We were able to see where they make the 20,000 or so tarts a day and what a sight. Donna, Karen and Rob, and members of our family would be drooling. We just sat down at a table, sprinkled the hot tarts with cinnamon and powdered sugar and ate them with a cafe com leite (coffee with milk). Yum.

    Now we had to face our 40 minute tram ride home with a trolley full of students and tourists - it was like being in a can of Portuguese sardines! Wow!
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  • Day2

    Pasteis de Belém

    June 29 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Pasteis de nata... Was invented in Belem. And they are, hands down, the best pasteis de nata in the world. Whatever they sell you downtown, is just not as good - you gotta go Belem and queue for it to get it!

  • Day47

    Day 47d. Lisbon, Portugal

    September 20 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    The Jardin de Belem contains monuments in front of the Presidents Palace known as Palacio Nacional de Belem which is expansive and remarkably pink
    But our destination was The Monsteiro Jeronimos, the magnificent Cathedral that houses the tomb of Vasco da Gama the famous navigator who found the way to the Spice Islands (Indonesia) .Read more

  • Day5

    Day 4 in Lisbon

    April 22, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    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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  • Day7

    Delights of Lisbon

    April 21, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    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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  • Day104


    December 27, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Für heute haben wir uns das Örtchen Belém, einem Vorort Lissabons ausgesucht.

    Wir schlendern entlang des Ufers des Rio Téjo und schauen uns das Jéronimo-Kloster, sowie den Torre de Belém und das Padrão dos Descombrimentos an.

  • Day74

    Tributes and Treats in Belem

    March 14, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    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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You might also know this place by the following names:

Santa Maria de Belém, Santa Maria de Belem

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