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Belém Tower

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Built in the 16th century as a maritime defense, Belém Tower (or Torre de Belém) is a stunning example of the Portuguese Manueline (or Portuguese Late Gothic) style, set on a small island in the Tagus River. One of Lisbon’s most popular sites, lines can be extremely long, so book your tickets or tour in advance to save time on the day.
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Lisboa Card

Get entry to the Torre de Belém plus many other attractions when you buy a Lisboa Card.
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Lisbon Card: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Pass

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Belém Tower Fast Track Entrance Ticket

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Belém Lisbon 3-Hour Walking Tour

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Small Group Walking Tour of Belém

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4 Tips for Visiting the Belém Tower

Lisboa Card
1
If you’re looking for a great deal which includes entry to attractions like the Belém Tower and free public transport in Lisbon, consider buying the Lisboa Card! You can choose between 24, 48, or 72-hour passes and get access to Lisbon’s most popular sites.
Belém Tower | Photo: Flickr, SnippyHolloW - CC-BY-SA 2.0
2
Belém Tower is an extremely popular stop for tour groups, and there’s a limit on the number of visitors who can enter the site at any one time. Lines can be long, so visit in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds.
3
Combine your trip to the Torre de Belém with a visit to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery) and the National Archaeology Museum - combo tickets cost €12. If you visit the monastery first then you can skip the ticket line at the tower, which is usually longer.
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Make sure to stop at the nearby café called Pastéis de Belém, which has been making traditional Portuguese pastéis de nata, or custard tarts, since 1837. The family who owns the bakery bought the original recipe from the monks at the Jerónimos Monastery after it closed in 1833, so these are the real deal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s so special about the Torre de Belém?

The Torre de Belém was built as a defensive fortress on the orders of King Manuel I of Portugal and completed in 1519. It was initially named the Castle of St Vincent, after Lisbon’s patron saint. Philip I of Portugal once referred to the castle as ‘useless’, but the tower was used as a customs control point, prison, and barracks over centuries, and survived the Great Lisbon earthquake in 1755. From 1940 it was handed over to the Ministry of Finance, which began conservation efforts, and in 1983 it was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also been on the Seven Wonders of Portugal list, created by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, since 2007.

How long does a visit take?

A visit to the tower takes between 30 minutes and an hour, with additional time for ticket lines if you decide not to book in advance.

Is there an elevator?

There is no elevator inside the Belém Tower, so only parts of the interior are available to visitors with limited mobility. The tower’s terrace is on the 5th floor, and the staircase is a narrow and reasonably steep spiral. Visitors are advised to bear that in mind when planning your visit.

What is there to do nearby?

Other sites or attractions in the district of Belém include the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery) which contains royal tombs as well as that of explorer Vasco da Gama, the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (or MAAT), which is stunning inside and out, and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos or Monument to the Discoveries. There’s also the Maritime Museum and the Coach Museum, plus you’ll get to walk along the picturesque banks of the River Tagus.

General Information

Opening Hours:

From October to May, the tower is open from 10 am to 5.30 pm, with the last admission at 5 pm. From May to September, the tower is open from 10 am to 6.30 pm, with the last admission at 5 pm. The tower is closed on Mondays, January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, June 13, and December 25.

Address:

Belém Tower
Av. Brasília
1400-038 Lisbon
Portugal

Tickets:

Tickets cost €6, with a 50% discount for visitors aged 65 or over, or visitors with student cards. Free admission is available for children under the age of 12, holders of the Lisboa Card, and on Sundays and public holidays for Portuguese citizens.

How to get there:

To reach the tower, you'll have to walk through the Jardim da Torre de Belém, a public park. The closest suburban train station is Belém Station, and you can also take the ferry to Belém ferry station. The tower is also served by tram number 15 and city bus numbers 28, 714, 727, 729, and 751.
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