Sitting right on the river (in fact, it’s surrounded at high tide), Belém Tower is an easy 10-15 minute walk from Jerónimos Monastery. Much smaller than it’s counterpart, the fortified tower was built in the early 16th century, and once served as a ceremonial gateway to the city as well as part of its defence system. Roughly 40 feet wide and 100 feet tall, visitors enter the tower via a small bridge. Head to the top for excellent photo opportunities of the Tagus river and surrounding city.

Still in Belém, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) shows that the most beautiful buildings in Lisbon aren’t all centuries- old. Housed in a former power station beside the river, the museum opened in 2016, spread over two buildings. With a sweeping, wave- like design, including an exterior walkway that leads up from ground level to an open rooftop viewing area, the MAAT is a bold, modern and spectacular building.

Start your architectural journey by taking a tram, train, bus (or your feet!) along the riverfront, out to the popular Belém neighborhood. There are several stunning buildings in the area, but the most impressive has to be the Jerónimos Monastery. The UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 1500s, and dominates the surrounding area. Several important figures from Portuguese history are buried there, including poets, explorers, and members of the royal family.


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