Jerónimos Monastery | Lisbon

jeronimos monastery courtyard

After the wonderful visit to the Coach Museum in Belem, I couldn’t help but trot off to the Jeronimos Monastery… Often at the top of Lisbon’s guides and personal must-see lists, the monastery, a fine flagship of the manueline style, has impressed and taken many a breath away for hundreds of years.

The structure is deeply connected with Portugal’s History. It was built at the end of the 15th century, on the order of King Manuel I, thanks to the gold that Vasco de Gama brought back from his explorations. The manueline architecture calls back to those voyages, incorporating maritime elements as well as influences drawing from Indian Temples.

It took 100 years to complete the construction. It was then inhabitated by the monks of the order of Saint Jerome. They were appointed for the sole pupose of comforting sailors  and praying for the King’s soul. Despite their busy spiritual agenda, they also managed to fit time in to invent only the most delicious pastry in the Universe: the famous pasteis de nata, Lisbon’s celebrated custard tarts.

jeronimos monastery domedecorated slab jeronimos monasteryjeronimos monastery arcadejeronimos monastery dome

In 1833, the monastery was turned into an orphanage and a school and while I was walking under the honey-coloured stoned arcades, I couldn’t help but thinking it must have felt like an epic Portuguese version of Hogwarts back then.

Top Tip: If you’re on a tight budget, don’t overlook a visit to the monastery as the entrance to the annexed church, Santa Maria, is free (and I may have preferred it to the cloister but shhhh…)

santa maria church nave
tomb of luis de camoesreligious icons church of santa maria
benches church of santa maria
religious icon church of santa maria
stained glass window church of santa maria
jesus icon church of santa mariachurch of santa maria ceiling cross

Appropriately, Santa Maria Church holds the tomb of Vasco de Gama as well as the most beautiful religious icons I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. The craftmanship is outstanding. But that aside, I think the most important thing you must do once you step inside is to look up… holy guacamole, that ceiling…

jeronimos monastery side

Practical Information

Jeronimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos)
Praça do Império
1400-206 Lisbon

Train: Belém Station (Cascais Line)
Tram: 15
Bus: 28, 714, 728, 729, 751

Opening Hours: 10am – 5.30pm (Oct – May) / 10am – 6.30pm (May-Sep)
Closed on Mondays, January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st and December 25th

Admission to the cloister: Adults 10€ / Seniors 5€ / Students 5€ / Children <12yo Free / Teenagers <18yo 5€ / Combined passes for Belem’s attractions
Free on the first Sunday of the month and Holidays until 2pm

Admission to Santa Maria Church: Free


2 thoughts on “Jerónimos Monastery | Lisbon

  1. I still think 7 euros is a bit expensive to get in there but oh well. Pastéis de nata are okay but I prefer to go for a cheesecake :p I love the green area opposite do Mosteiro dos Jerónimos though. And there’s also a nice chinese restaurant nearby that I miss a lot. I love the way you write these posts, you really described Belém perfectly! xx


    • I agree with you especially now that as of yesterday the price has been bumped to 10quid. It is an amazing place but there’s very little to do inside the cloister, I thought the church was more ‘eye-challenging’ in a way. I loved the park too, so beautiful, I sat there for ages taking it all in. That Chinese restaurant sounds intriguing, I’ll have to ask you the adress if I ever go back!
      Thank you so much for your comment lovely lady <3
      ps: now don't make me choose between cheesecake and pasteis de nata ;)


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