Belém Palace and a monument to the Portuguese viceroy of India
The official residence of the President of Portugal was originally built in the 1500s, and bought by King João V a century later. It served as a royal palace for only a few decades, and its current appearance dates from a renovation in the late 1800s. It became the official home of the President of the Republic in 1911.
The waterfall in the palace's garden
The highlight of a visit is the garden with a waterfall that Queen Maria I had built in the late 1700s as the home of exotic birds. The interior of the palace includes a chapel that in 2002 added eight paintings by one of Portugal’s leading contemporary artists, Paula Rego, illustrating the life of the Virgin Mary.
Guards by the entrance to the palace and museum
Guards stand at the entrance which leads to the gardens and the building, while to the left is the Museum of the Presidency. The museum chronicles the history of the Portuguese Republic through the Presidents' official portraits and personal objects, many of them gifts from notable national and international personalities and heads of state.
Inside Belém Palace
In front of the palace is the Afonso de Albuquerque Garden, a tribute to the Portuguese viceroy of India. A statue of Albuquerque stands on a pedestal in the center of the garden.
The exhibition in the Presidency Museum
How to Get to Belém Palace and the Presidency Museum
Belém Palace is just a few feet from the Belém train station. The fastest way to get there is taking the train that departs from Cais do Sodré Station to Cascais every 20 minutes. It stops in Belém in just 7 minutes. Alternatively, you can hop on tram 15 or 18, or bus 714 or 727 (the trams and the buses are much slower and usually packed, so the train is the faster and more comfortable option).
You may ride the train, the trams and the buses (as well as the city’s metro and funiculars) for free with the Lisboa Card.
Praça Afonso de Albuquerque, Belém
Admission and Tickets to Belém Palace and the Presidency Museum
A ticket to the palace and the museum is €5.00. For just the museum it’s €2.50. It’s not included in the Lisboa Card.
The museum is closed on Mondays. The palace only opens on Saturdays (guided tours at 10:30am, 11:30am, 2:30pm, 3:30pm and 4:30pm).
Across the street is the Coaches Museum, and across the train tracks is the MAAT. The Jerónimos Monastery is a short walk away, and the Royal Palace of Ajuda is about a 15-minute walk up Calçada da Ajuda.