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Admire our city on a tour that invites us to look at it from a different perspective: after the pick up service at the hotel, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city, where we will appreciate the beauty of the Belém neighborhood with the monuments referring to the time of the Discoveries Along the way, we will be able to admire the charm of the contrast between the night and the illumination of Lisbon’s most important squares, avenues and monuments, stopping at Nossa Senhora do Monte Viewpoint. In the end, indulge in a lovely evening listening to traditional Portuguese music, famous around the world, Fado. Enjoy a traditional meal accompanied by beautiful songs.
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This a custom-made tour so you may choose your starting time.
The harmony and delicate ornamentation of the Tower of Belém suggests a finely cut jewel to all laying eyes on her. However, its contemporaries took a rather different perspective: a formidable and imposing bastion defending the entrance to the Tagus and capable of combining firepower with the St Sebastian tower on the other bank of the river. Its construction was ordered by king Manuel I (1495-1521) and it was built by Francisco de Arruda between 1514 and 1521. The tower was built on a basalt island that was close to the right bank of the Tagus in front of Restelo beach. However, with the gradual change in the course of the river, the tower has ended practically swallowed up by the bank.
The tower takes on a quadrangular shape reminiscent of medieval castles and has a polygon bulwark, a defensive feature that meant it could withstand heavy bombardment from out at sea. The watch posts, complete with burgeoning cupolas and located on each corner, demonstrate the influence of Moroccan fortifications. Apart from such Moorish influences, the decoration otherwise takes on the Manueline style in the surrounding stone layouts, the heraldic designs and even the famous rhinoceros, the first stone statue of the animal in Europe.
The most highly decorated side of the Tower is south facing, with its narrow balcony. On the cloistral wall that rises above the bulwark, there is a sculptured image of the Virgin with Child dating back to the 18th century, forming the prow of the tower.
In 1983, the Tower of Belém was classified World Heritage by UNESCO.
On the spot where the Jerónimos Monastery stands today, next to the old Belém beach, was originally a small hermitage dedicated to Santa Maria that had been built by the Infante D. Henrique, in 1452. At the start of the 16th century King Manuel I’s intention to have a large monastery erected there was acknowledged by the Holy See, and which was donated to the Order of the Friars of St. Jerome. The epitome of Manueline architecture and intrinsically linked to the Discoveries, this monastery is the most remarkable Portuguese monastic ensemble of its time and one of the main European churches.
Construction on it began in 1501, lasted for a hundred years and was spearheaded by a remarkable group of architects and master builders both national and foreign. With an initial design by Frenchman Boytac, the work was continued by other Masters, namely João de Castilho and, in the middle of the century, Diogo de Torralva. After the arrival of the Portuguese in India, the Portuguese crown was able to fund the venture with money coming from trade with the East. King D. Manuel I channelled much of the so-called “Vintena da Pimenta” (a ‘Spice Tax’, approximately 5% of revenues from trade with Africa and the East, equivalent to 70kg of gold per year) to finance construction work.
In this monument, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, it is worth noting the facades, the church and the cloisters. On the south facade, one can admire the portal painted by João de Castilho, where the figures are arranged according to a specific hierarchy: below, Infante D. Henrique guards the entrance, the Virgin of Bethlehem blesses the monument, and Archangel Saint Gabriel, the protector of Portugal, completes the arc. The western portal, through which one enters the sacred space, is the authorship of Nicolau Chanterenne. To the left, protected by St. Jerome, is the statue of King D. Manuel, which is said to be a realistic portrait, and to the right is that of Queen D. Maria, his wife, protected by St. John the Baptist.
The imposing Monument to the Discoveries stamps its mark on the riverside at Belém. It was designed in 1940 to commemorate the “Exposition of the Portuguese World”, promoted by the Salazar government to celebrate the eighth and third centenaries of the founding and restoration of the Portuguese nation (1140 and 1640 respectively). However, it was only built in 1960 for commemorations marking 500 years since the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. Designed by architect Cottinelli Telmo, it features the work of sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida.
52 metres in height, the monument symbolises a caravel, headed by the figure of Prince Henry the Navigator followed by a cortege of 32 leading figures from the Era of the Discoveries including, for example, king Afonso V (1432-81), the driving force behind the first discoveries, Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) who discovered the maritime route to India, Pedro Álvares Cabral (1467-1520), who discovered Brazil and Fernando Magellan, who completed the circumnavigation of the globe in 1522, among others.
The façade facing down to the ground takes on the form of a cross decorated by the Sword of the Order of Aviz, the main financial sponsor of the voyages.
It was once one of the city’s biggest secrets, but it has been discovered by tour guides and young couples. It offers a panoramic view of Lisbon, which is also observed by a small image of the Virgin that gives the place its name (“Our Lady of the Mount”). Behind the image is a small chapel from the 1700s, which is almost always closed. According to an old legend, pregnant women who sat on the stone chair inside would have a problem-free childbirth.
This is one of the highest points in the city, so several monuments, identified on a tile panel, can be seen from here.
There is a number of things in which people agree about the invention of FADO, its origins going from homesick sailors in the age of Discoveries (15th and 16th centuries) to simple sadness and longing of what was lost, including things that were never gained in all ages of portuguese history. The houses of fado ( Casas de Fados) have been in order for decades and still are one of the most looked after attraction in Lisbon. Here you can have an intimate dinner while discovering the heart and soul of portuguese culture and tradition.
Duration 2 hours
Amazing experience. We saw the most famous monuments in Lisbon during Sunset and then we went to a neighborhood called Alfama to have dinner with live fado music. We took our time during the dinner and when we came out the driver/guide was waitng for us. I would definitely recommend!
Lisbon really comes to life at night! The dinner was amazing and our guide was quite knowledgeable.