Belém offers a total cultural immersion, with UNESCO World Heritage sites and tons of museums.

Belem, Lisbon, Portugal
Credit: Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery

Antiga Confeitaria de Belém

Locals line up in droves for pastel de Belém (also known as pastel de nata), a cinnamon-dusted custard tart produced from a fiercely guarded monastic recipe that dates to 1837.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Lisbon's top attraction is this UNESCO World Heritage jewel, a monastery that stretches across several blocks. The well-preserved Manueline masterpiece has maritime motifs and dramatic cloisters built to honor Vasco da Gama’s Indian sea route discovery in 1498.

Museu Colecão Berardo

The highlight of Belém's massive Centro Cultural Belém is millionaire businessman José Berardo’s contemporary art collection, a must-see mélange of abstract, surrealist, and pop art.

Espaço Espelho d'Água

One of Lisbon's best esplanadas (open-air terrace) is hidden behind this restaurant and cultural center separated from riverfront foot traffic by a peaceful reflecting pool with art installations.

Torre de Belém

The four-story, UNESCO–listed fortified tower by the Tejo river was built in the early 16th century. Its beautiful arcaded Renaissance loggia and Moorish-style corners are a testament to tonier times.