Belém Tour: Birthplace of Discoveries

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Basic Information
Total time
2 h 30 min
„Pay what you wish” tours do not have a fixed price. It is up to you to evaluate your guide’s work and reward it. Some people give 10€, others 50€ depending on their satisfaction and abilities.
Meeting point
Praça Afonso de Albuquerque in Belém - Garden of Afonso de AlbuquerqueGo to map
This tour is provided by our partner


Vessels under full sails, expeditions into the unknown, bravery, excitement and great adventures ultimately bringing unimaginable spoils for those who dared to reach for them – that is the story of Belem!

Join our tour to learn about Portugal and Lisbon’s road to power during the times of the Age of Discovery in the15th and 16th centuries. Learn how these far-flung expeditions come to life, consuming enormous funds and energy. Hear about people who despite the fear of the legendary sea monsters, unsure of what awaits at the end of their journey and whether there is anything at all there, were finally overcoming their limitations and deciding to take the boldest steps. The Portuguese sailors stood at the very vanguard of maritime explorations and discoveries. They were the people who allowed Europeans to sail the seas and oceans, reaching Africa, Asia, Canada and Brazil. They were first led by the prince Henry the Navigator, the key figure investing in voyages along the African coast. He was closely followed by merchant and explorer ships sponsored by the Portuguese crown, including the one of Bartolomeu Dias – the first European who rounded the southern tip of Africa and entered the Indian Ocean. Then came the groundbreaking voyage of Vasco da Gama, the first European who managed to reach India by sea. Following his route Pedro Alvares Cabral landed on the coast of Brazil… The list is endless – it all lead to Portugal becoming a land of plenty, establishing monopoly in the sale of many products, most important being the spices – pepper and cinnamon, slaves and of course gold. The need for information, new sailing techniques and cartography brought about something else – a rapid development in nautology and creating a whole new elite, built of scientists. Join our tour and let’s delve together into the fascinating stories of these people and their ideas!

We will spin this tale while walking through the most beautiful part of the city, the waterfront district of Belem. Looking around you will immediately feel the growing power of Portugal during the Age of Discovery. The maritime might externalised itself in a unique and lavish, Portuguese architectural style – the manueline. Two great symbols of Belem were built in this style. The first is the magnificent Jeronimos Monastery – a place where sailors embarking from the safe port of Lisbon were praying for protection and then returning from voyages – were thanking God for still being alive. The second is the Belem Tower, a lonely guard of the port and the mouth of the Tagus river. See with us the impressive Monument to the Discoveries, featuring 33 figures crucial to the history of Portuguese exploration as well as the compass rose with mappa mundi. But that’s not all we have in store! During the tour you will also have a chance to try Portuguese favourite sweet – pasteis de nata in one of the most renowned cafes in the city! Now that’s something you simply cannot miss while visiting Lisbon!

During our 2,5 hour you you will see and experience:

  • The Belem Tower

  • Jeronimos Monastery

  • Monument of the Discoveries

  • Presidential Palace

  • Maat (Museum of Art, architecture and Technology), 

  • the compass rose and the mappa mundi

  • Pasteis de nata

  • and much, much more!

Meeting Point
Praça Afonso de Albuquerque in Belém - Garden of Afonso de Albuquerque

Booking is obligatory. Our pay as you wish tours are designed for individual travellers and small groups. We don’t accept parties of more than 6 people on them. If you travel in a party of 7 or more (school groups, bigger groups of friends etc.), please choose a paid option, if it's available, or book a Private Tour. For more information on the latter, please contact us.


Rated 5.0 out of 5
4 months ago

Excellent tour Beatrix is knowledgable with humour.

Second tour with her she really is good



Rated 5.0 out of 5
1 year ago

Fiz o tour com a Ann-Elisa e foi maravilhoso. Conhece muito da história e explica muito bem. É bem solícita e ainda nos ajudou a comprar Pastel de Belem rápido e barato. Certamente farei o tour de novo quando estiver em Lisboa.


This tour is also available as
a Private Tour.

Private tour