Belem Tower surrounded by water during the afternoon
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History of Belem Tower

Belem Tower is one of the most well known icons of Portugal. I’ve visited Lisbon twice and made sure to visit Belem Tower on both trips. Not only is it great for sightseeing and photos, but it’s a key historical site in Lisbon.

In 1983, Belém Tower and the nearby Jerónimos Monastery were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Belém Tower has been used as a customs post, a telegraph station, and a lighthouse. Surprisingly, it also served as a political prison during the Spanish occupation of Portugal.

Belem Tower Tickets

You can visit the exterior of Belem Tower without tickets, but tours are affordable and provide intimate insight into this historical fort.

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Belem Tower Hours & Belem at Night

You can visit the inside of Belem Tower from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you can see the exterior from sunrise until late evening. I recommend visiting early in the morning to have the tower all to yourself for sunrise photos. But Belem at night is also a dream.

The area around the Discoveries Monument is stunningly beautiful at night. It feels peaceful and serene. We sat and listened to the waves lapping against the shore. You also get a lovely view of the Christ the King monument and the 25 de Abril Bridge, which resembles the Golden Gate Bridge.

Places to Eat Near Belem Tower

a plate of 7 pastel de belem Portuguese pastries

You can spend an entire day eating your way through Portuguese food and exploring the historical sites near Belem Tower. You can’t leave Lisbon without trying pastel de nata, a custard pastry with a crunchy crust. Belém Pastries is the number one place for pastel de nata. Lines get long, and items sell out fast, so make an early reservation. Other popular restaurants near Belem Tower are:

  • Nosolo Italia
  • O Recanto
  • Maritima Do Restelo
  • Descobre
  • Nau do Restelo

Belem Tower Photos

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