For our last day in Portugal we decided to explore Belem, which meant that an all day metro/bus/trolley pass would be a good option. Luckily it was really easy to buy from the self-service machines in the metro and we were on our way in two minutes.
After about 30 minutes of metro and bus we arrived in Belem, and the first order of business was to find some breakfast pastries. This was a little harder than expected, but we found a small market, and took our breakfast down to the water to enjoy them with a view.
The Belem Tower was 6€, and is reported to not be worth it, so we skipped. From there we walked along the water to the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument of the Discoveries), dedicated to the Portuguese Age of Discovery. It was surprisingly big, quite nice. As with the tower, we did not pay the entry fee to enter.
Next up was the main attraction, Jerónimos Monastery. This is a very popular stop for tours, with dozens of buses unloading people. Entry is convoluted – you get tickets from the Archeology Museum on the left, then proceed to a different line in front of the monastery to enter. The signs are tiny but at least they did have people trying to direct crowds to the proper line.
Finally we had our tickets and entered. The square cloister courtyard has some amazing details and views.
You can also see the top floor of the Church of Santa Maria.
However, besides a few interpretive displays, there isn’t much else to see, so we both felt that the monastery is definitely overpriced at 10 euros.
The Church Santa Maria de Belém itself is free for the ground floor, so we also went in there. The tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões flank the entryway.
the church from the ground floor; tomb of Luís de Camões (with gorgeous stained glass light)
We stayed in Belem for lunch and an egg tart, then headed back to Lisbon via bus. All in all we weren’t that impressed with Belem – it was quite pricey and very touristy.