Belém attractions

Top Choice Market in Belém

Mercado Ver-o-Peso

The name of this waterfront market, with its iconic four-turreted structure at its southwestern end, comes from colonial times, when the Portuguese would ver o peso (check the weight) of merchandise in order to impo…
Top Choice Market in Belém

Estação das Docas

An ambitious renovation project converted three down-at-heel riverfront warehouses into a popular gathering spot, with restaurants, bars, shops and even an art-house theater. There are river views and displays about…
Church in Belém

Basílica Santuario de Nazaré

Rather humdrum from the outside, the Basílica Santuario de Nazaré has a truly spectacular interior. Sink into a cushioned pew and admire the soaring marble columns, brilliant stained-glass windows and ornate wood an…
Museum in Belém

Palácio Antonio Lemos & MABE

This rubber-boom palace served as city hall in the late 1800s, and its 2nd floor now houses the Museu de Arte de Belém. The museum has gorgeous wood floors – cloth slippers are provided – and a fine collection of st…
Museum in Belém

Museo do Círio

The many idiosyncrasies of Belém’s famous religious festival, the Círio de Nazaré, are explained in this handsome museum, from the discovery of a tiny statue of Mary in a riverbank in 1700, to the story behind the 4…
Historic Building in Belém

Teatro da Paz

Overlooking Praça da República, the Teatro da Paz is one of Belém’s finest buildings. Completed in 1874 and built in the neoclassical style, the architecture has all the sumptuous trappings of the rubber-boom era: c…
Fortress in Belém

Forte do Presépio

The city of Belém was founded in 1616 with the construction of this imposing fort, which was intended to protect Portuguese interests upriver from incursions by the French and Dutch. Today it houses a small but exce…
Church in Belém

Catedral da Sé

After years of slow, sad decline, Belém’s historic cathedral is once again radiant, thanks to a major renovation. The exterior gleams a brilliant white, while the soaring interior has polished marble floors and intr…
Zoo in Belém

Museu Emílio Goeldi & Parque Zoobotánico

This museum and zoo contains Amazonian species, from anacondas and white-whiskered squirrel monkeys to jaguars and giant river otters, plus an aviary, small aquarium and an exhibition hall with rotating exhibits on …
Museum in Belém

Museu de Arte Sacra

Closed indefinitely for renovations when we last passed by, this museum, once it reopens, has two parts: the impressive Igreja do Santo Alexandre and the adjoining Palâcio Episcopal (Bishop’s Palace). Santo Alexandr…