Tag Archives: things to see

Explore Belem Lisbon

Belem is a city just outside Lisbon Portugal. A day trip from Lisbon is to come and visit Belem. Even though it’s only about three miles from the town, it’s a day trip because there are so many cultural sites here you could easily spend a whole day in Belem. Here are the top places to visit in Belem, Portugal.

Belem Tower
One of the most memorable attractions from Belem is the Belem Tower. This tower was built in 1519 as Harbor defense for Lisbon. You can go up to the top; it’s about a hundred steps up to the top to that viewpoint for great views of the harbor here. It is smart to come early because they only allow 150 visitors in the tower and the line can get quite long on busy days. After about a hundred steps to the top, there’s a pretty nice view that you can see of the suburbs of Lisbon.

Monument to the Discoveries
Another tower-like structure in Belem just about a 10-minute walk from the Tower of Belem is the Monument to the Discoveries. This tower was built to commemorate Prince Henry the Navigator and the people that are on the monument commemorate the teamwork that was required for Prince Henry to discover things as he was navigating. It was built in 1960 to model a previous monument that was built for the 1940s world’s exposition. Besides viewing it from the outside, there’s also an elevator that you can take to have a view from the top.

Jeronimos Monastery
The reason Belem can take a whole day particularly if you are a museum lover is that it is like a museum central. There’s the Planetarium, the Maritime Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and the Jeronimos Monastery. The Jeronimos Monastery is a big attraction in Belem – it is big in size and also big in significance. This is one of the most significant examples of the Beleman style of architecture, the same style that was in that Belem Tower. There’s a big church and the cloister which is very decorative and well preserved.

Pasteis de Belem
No trip to Lisbon or Belem would be complete without a trip to Pasteis de Belem – the originator of the delicious pastel Donata or Portuguese egg tart. Since 1837, they have been making these big tarts as a recipe from the convent that was just next door. This place is quite huge; when you walk up to it you’ll probably see a line out in front, that line is to buy the egg tarts to go. If you want to eat inside you have two options, you can go on in and there’s a little line for eating at the counter or just go on in and have a seat in one of many rooms. You can even see where they make the egg tarts, so wander around and pick the seat you like best.

National Museum of Coaches
Another must-see in Belem is the National Museum of Coaches. Now you may think to yourself at this point seriously the museum of horse-drawn carriages, it’s that cool you have to go in. The building looks like a parking structure or a convention center. If you think the carriage in Cinderella is exaggerated, it is not at all it is actually understated compared to some of the carriages that are in here from the 1700s. Just to know, there are actually two coach museums in Belem. There’s the new one which looks like a parking structure and has 99% of the coaches and then there’s a little tiny one which is the original one. This is just down the street, so pick which one you want to go into.

Visit to Milan, Italy

Milan is a fast-paced city where creativity is big business. In this sprawling metropolis, after-work drinks are an art form and looking good is compulsory. Located in the north of Italy, it is a city with ancient roots and extraordinary treasures. Milan may look like a moody town but its over one million inhabitants are alarmingly stylish, fabulously ambitious, and undeniably optimistic. Some people I know who run an Edmonton garbage bin rental company had nothing but great things to say about their time in Milan. Here are the top must-see attractions.

Cathedral de Duomo
Milan’s magnificent Cathedral de Duomo never fails to impress. With spires that reach to the sky and the largest stained glass window in Christendom, it’s a must-see attraction. For a bird’s-eye view of the city, you can wander between the stonework on the roof.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Directly across from the Duomo is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a temple of shopping. A soaring iron and glass neoclassical arcade, the galleria connects the city’s famous cathedral with the opera house. Armani, Versace, Prada, Gucci, and more all debuted on Milan’s runways. Fashionistas make a pilgrimage to the designer’s flagship stores in the Quadrilatero d’Oro. Chic concept shops and boutiques stocking emerging labels also line the city streets.

The Milanese has turned the after-work drink into an art form. The price of a drink also includes a tasty buffet of snacks and treats. Enjoy a cocktail while watching Milan’s beautiful people relax, catch up, and of course check each other out.

Pinacoteca di Brera
At the Pinacoteca di Brera, you can get your fill of Rembrandt, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. The gallery was founded in the late 18th century upstairs from the prestigious Brera Academy, one of Italy’s oldest art schools.

Novelli District
The Novelli district used to be a working-class area of ancient docks, canals, and warehouses. It is now home to some of Milan’s most scenic restaurants, liveliest bars, and innovative shops. Make sure you booked months in advance to view Leonardo’s the Last Supper. You will only have 15 minutes to gaze upon Da Vinci’s masterpiece, so make every second count before you deposit it back onto Corso Magenta.

The Milanese does not have time to play nice for visitors but they are happy to share their own intoxicating round of pursuits, be it precision shopping or downing an expertly mixed cocktail. Milan is sometimes called ugly but if you are willing to dig below the surface, you will find a vibrant city full of unique characters.