Lisbon Stories and Tips

Lisbon day 2 - Belem, Amoreiras, Rossio

Less than 10 km west of downtown Lisbon, is the Tagus to the Belém district, rich in museums and sights and monuments from the period of exploration. Although Belem today has become a modern residential area, it remains part of Lisbon in particular historical and cultural significance.

Ponte de 25 de Abril
We take the bus 714 from Praca da Figueira towards Belém. During the half hour ride along the banks of the Tagus is the Ponte 25 de Abril the only attraction, a massive bridge that is named after the day the revolution broke out in Portugal. If the sight of the Ponte 25 de Abril makes you think of the SF bridge , it is certainly no coincidence, it concerns the same maker.

Belém (Portuguese for Bethlehem) can not miss from your program when you're in Lisbon a few days. This section is located in the west of the city near the banks of the Tagus. Especially Torre de Belem and Padrão dos Descobrimentos are worth a visit. Possibly you can also actually add the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos.

The Padrão dos Descobrimentos is shaped like the prow of a caravel in which Henry the Navigator is shown followed by a row of heroes. An elevator can take you to the top of the sculpture 54 meters high from where you start and gives a great view of Belem and the rest of the environment (including the Cristo Rei statue). From the top of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos you also have a nice view of the compass through a drawing depicts the explorations of Portugal. A beautiful tile that is indeed a gift from Africa.

The Torre de Belem is a bit difficult to find, since the tower is small and is also right at the back of Belem that he is not so easily visible. Looking at the many stairs of the tower to climb to visit all the watchtowers, battlements, arrow slits and recesses of the building, he appears much less small! The tower was commissioned in 1515 by Dom Manuel I built in order to protect the harbor.

Many tourists add to the obligatory visits in Belém, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, a huge building built in Manueline style that more than 70 years took to complete. It is one of the few buildings in Lisbon, who were not destroyed by the great earthquake of 1515 and the great flood. The exterior of the building is certainly impressive, especially because of its size. A portion of the inside of the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos offers room for the Museu da Marinha and the Museu Nacional de Arqueologia.

Pasteis de Belem
Once you have visited Belém, just be sure to visit Pasteis de Belem at Rua de Belem. This store exists since 1837 and is best known for the traditional Pastel de natas Lisbon. The recipe was and still is a mystery, for the 150 employees of the store is only a handful of people known.

If we believe the travel guides, Amoreiras one of the most imposing buildings of Lisbon. It is a huge complex with three towers of mirrored glass and concrete that houses elite apartments, offices, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, galleries and even a shopping complex. Fun couple of hours if you wish to shop, but not interesting enough if you're looking for culture.

Rua das Portas in the Santo Antão, a nice street with several bars and restaurants, our first taste of the famous Portuguese cherry liqueur Ginjinha.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
In Lisbon there are several known miradouro's. These are places known for their beautiful city views. The miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is one of them. Alcântara is a port district (Alcantara is Arabic for stone bridge) whose name recalls a bridge over the Tagus by the great earthquake of 1755 was destroyed. Miroudaro of the Alcântara offers a beautiful view over the city, however similar to the view from the balcony of our terrace.

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