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Lisbon Belém Tour: Age of Discoveries & Beyond

Delve into the Age of Portuguese Discoveries and taste the world's most iconic custard tart
$261 and up
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Tour Details
About the Tour
3 hours
Photos & Highlights
  • Detailed explanation of the Portuguese Age of Discovery from early settlers to present day
  • Led by a local historian
  • Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower (exterior), Pastéis de Belém, and Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries)
Tour Description
Where You'll Start
Tour Experts
58 Reviews (4.85)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

Tiago was terrific! He was knowledgeable about Geronimo's monastery, high energy, funny, and philosophical. He was especially engaging with the teenagers. We learned a lot and we enjoyed his company.
I am disappointed to report that our first (and likely last) Context tour was a disappointment. My husband and I were traveling through Spain and Portugal last month with another couple and we were responsible for planning a day in Lisbon. Having heard about Context through a relative who thoroughly enjoyed their experience with your company in Barcelona, I suggested we book a Context tour of the Lisbon Belem sights. The website description was very compelling and I assured our travel companions it would live up to its relatively expensive cost per person. It most certainly did not. There were many contradictions between the posted itinerary and the actual experience. Firstly, let me say that our tour guide, Jose, was imminently bright and charming. And anxious to impart to us his extensive knowledge on the history of Portugal. However, the three hours felt more like a professorial lecture than a tour of sights. The itinerary stated that we would begin by sitting down with pastries and coffee at the historic Belem pastry shop to meet our guide and begin our orientation of Belem (and its legendary “pastry secret”). Instead, we stood on the sidewalk in front of the pastry shop and began our tutorial on the history of Portugal. From there we walked to the Jeronimos Monastery. We held our own places in line for at least 15 minutes while Jose went to obtain the tickets. There was no evidence of your “skip the line tickets” as promised on your website. Once in the monastery, we stood in several rooms (the refectory, the cloister, the choir loft) and continued to hear about Portuguese history. There was really very little narrative on the monastery itself – or on what we were seeing all around us (art, architecture, religious imagery, tombs). I don’t even recall seeing the burial place of Vasco de Gamma which is housed in the monastery. But, we learned a great deal about the history of Portugal. From there, we walked across to the dramatic explorers’ monument – but we did not, as your description suggests, learn in depth about all the people depicted in the sculpture. We walked then up to the Tower of Belem and heard a little about this structure from a distance. When we asked if we could go into it, Jose said it would take too long to wait in the long line to enter and that there wasn’t really much to see or experience inside the Tower ruins, (once again, no evidence of “skip the line tickets” ) He did, however, offer to give us the tickets to the Tower, which he had purchased earlier, if we wanted to stand in that line after his tour was complete. Jose was extremely helpful in suggesting how we might want to spend the rest of our day in Lisbon and we gratefully followed several of his ideas - and enjoyed them. He has an interesting background and knows his city very well. We were grateful for his specific instructions on how to best get around the city. However, the three hours just did not live up to our expectations nor to the $94 price tag. Two days later, we booked a three-hour bike tour of Porto for $29 per person and received for that price a most engaging and well informed guide, a tour of the city sights, use of an electric bike, apples, bottled water and a ferry ride across the river. It made us even further aware of how much money we wasted on the Context tour in Lisbon. I was embarrassed that I had insisted on this Context tour with our friends; assuring them it would not disappoint. I grimly await the credit card bill for this mistake. I suggest, in the future, you work harder for your ticket price on this particular tour. Sincerely, Peggy Normandin (representing also: Jim Normandin, Fred Kindgren, Nancy Kindgren.)
Pascal is a great asset for Context. Easy going and very knowledgeable.