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Like I mentioned in my last Lisbon travel diary, not only is the city proper unbelievably beautiful and filled with incredible history, but so many parishes and cities right outside of the city (i.e. a super short train or cab ride away) are on par in terms of beauty and history. Cue Belém – this parish of Lisbon is filled with must-see monuments, sights and most importantly (in my opinion), the best pastel de nata straight from the famous Portuguese pastry’s birthplace – click through to read this full travel diary!
First of all, if you’re going to Belém from Lisbon, I’d suggest you just cab. Cabs are unbelievably cheap in Lisbon, so you’ll spend probably 8-10 euros tops to get to the parish and especially if you’re sharing the cab with someone else, it’s the cheapest and fastest option.
However you do get there, once you’re in Belém, I suggest you start at the absolutely breathtaking Jerónimos Monastery. This Late Gothic monastery is allegedly where pastel de nata was first created so not only is it a beautiful world heritage site with history worth uncovering, but it’s likely the source of all the creamy deliciousness you’re enjoying every day in Portugal (literally, I think I ate 5 a day on average).
After you’re there, stop by Pastéis de Belém – as a local in Alfama described it to me, it is the originator and the standard that everyone else tries to uphold but somehow, its amazingness can never be fully replicated, even if it comes very, very close.
Then head down to the lovely walk by the sea to take in the Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Belém Tower, built back in the 16th century. It’s a pretty amazing experience to take in all the history while enjoying a stunning seaside walk. Lots of great dining in Belém though prices are a bit higher since this is a tourist area, so my suggestion is to just head back into Lisbon for dinner – worst case scenario though, “expensive” in Lisbon is really still incredibly reasonable for anywhere else in the world, so you can really pop in anywhere if you’re starving.
I was so happy after my last Lisbon travel diary and on my Instagram that some of you are headed to Portugal or have rerouted to take in the country – I can’t stress enough how much I loved it, how incredible the people are and how much there is to see. I’m already desperately trying to figure out when I can go again – best of all, I still haven’t even shown my favourite cities yet! Stay tuned and happy weekend friends!
Travel Diaries You Need to Read: