Belem Tower - Torre de Belem Lisbon
Travel Update Summer 2020: Most destinations, sites and parks reopened with limitations. Check the official websites and read our crucial ‘BEST TIME TO GO' and ‘AVOIDING THE CROWDS’ tips:
It’s a popular landmark and for us one of the most impressive sights of Lisbon. Usually, ii's crowded even in winter. Less busy in the morning at 10 a.m. when it gets opened. Expect to queue the rest of the day due to limited access to the tower. Only 150 people are allowed going up the tower at the same time. Torre de Belem is also famous for tourists and Portuguese as well to watch the sunset.
- May to September from 10 a.m. until 6.30 p.m. Last admission is at 5 p.m.
- October to April closing one hour earlier at 5.30 p.m. Last admission is also at 5 p.m. (like in the summer).
- Closed on Mondays. Also closed January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, June 14, December 25
Tip: Entrance fee 6 €, combined with Jerónimos Monastery 12 €.
To enjoy the Belem Tower come here early in the morning and avoid Sundays. Citizens get free admission until 2 pm. Even in the winter, it is busy here but summer is worse. However, we always come here when we are in Lisbon but only during the week. The sunset is truly beautiful and of course, the promenade is packed with people.
Perfect location to watch the sunset
Weather and Crowds in Lisbon by Season
Lisbon is an outstanding travel destination throughout the year.
Day temps in spring are pleasant around 20°C / 68°F. Nights are a bit chilly on average between 10°-16°C / 50°F-60°F. We like this season; not hot but warm although in June temps increase already and it's almost always sunny. Showers can occur occasionally. In April crowds are still bearable except for Easter. From May onwards more tourists come to Lisbon and Portugal.
Expect at least 30°C / 86°F and consider the powerful sun. Summer is the driest time of the year. July and August are the peak season and it’s pretty busy in Lisbon.
September is still very warm with temps around 26°C / 79°F. Nights are cool on average 17°C / 63°F. During October day temps are still above 20°C / 68°F and in November around 18°C / 64°F. Rain increases in October, however, below 100 mm in November. That’s not much. In October and November, fewer visitors come to Lisbon and the surroundings. You can enjoy the city and Sintra much better.
In winter the day temps are on average around 15°C / 59°F, one-digit temps / below 50°F during the night. However, it’s mild but the wind can be chilly. Although it’s winter, the sun is still strong UV 6. Precipitation occurs more often, but it’s rare to experience rain the entire day. We’d been here several times in January and February. Usually, you can even walk barefoot at the beach. We love to come at this time of the year except for Christmas. Most of the sights are quiet with view visitors only.
Belem tower located 5 km from the center of Lisbon close to Jerónimos Monastery is a must visit sight. Belem is a Unesco World Heritage Monument since 1983. The fortress only 52 meters high was built from 1514 until 1520 in the middle of the Targus River; in Portugues Tejo. The earthquake in 1755 and the slow flow of the river narrowed the river mouth of the Tejo; the reason that Belem tower is close to the riverbank now. It was constructed to protect Lisbon harbor in former times; the official name Torre de Sao Vicente.
You get into the tower on a walkway. Expect to queue up to an hour. During high tide, you may get some sea splashes on the walkway while waiting. Belem Tower is pretty small and the staircase narrow. The reasons that the staircase is controlled by a traffic light. Every three minutes people can walk up or down, but usually, no one pays any attention.
Torre de Belem has turrets in Moorish style at each corner. Belem is a four-story building; the lower floor was the prison, the terrace on the first floor is decorated with a statue of Mary with child to protect the seafarer. The second floor has a loggia with sculptured columns and balconies. On top of the Belem tower are beautiful carvings, and you get rewarded with an awesome view of the River Tagus.
Close by is the famous "Pasteis de Belem" with the unique “Pastel de Nata” made with an ancient recipe from Jerónimos Monastery. I promise you get addicted to them.