Belem Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Belem, Pará, Brazil)

As you walk around central Belem, you quickly get a feel for the city's layout and the location of the main tourist attractions, which include a series of colonial buildings. The Teatro da Paz (Peace Theatre) is one such attraction, as is the rather distinctive waterfront Mercado Ver-o-Peso.

An impressive and highly successful renovation project in Belem, the Estacao das Docas (Station of the Docks) complex saw a total of three early 20th-century riverfront warehouses transformed into a modern commercial space, complete with a small theatre, shops and restaurants offering al fresco dining with a view.

Once you have explored the docks of Belem, you may well like to check out the animals at the Amazon Biopark Zoo or the Parque Zoobotanico, before taking a river cruise or relaxing in the landscaped Bosque Municipal Rodrigues Alves (Botanical Gardens).

Estacao das Docas (Station of the Docks)

Address: Avenida Marechal Hermes, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
The imaginative revitalisation of the Estacao das Docas has reconnected the city with Guajará Bay and many locals come here to stroll along the waterfront promenade, which is lined with bright yellow cranes - a symbol of the city's strong shipping roots. Most evenings there is live music on a moving platform above the dining area, while other highlights include both the Fortaleza de Sao Pedro Nolasco Memorial and the Porto Memorial.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Teatro da Paz (Peace Theatre)

Address: Praca da Republica, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 091 3224 7355
Located on the Praca da Republica, the Teatro da Paz literally translates as the 'Peace Theatre' and dates back to the early days of the Pará 'rubber boom', being built between the years of 1869 and 1874. The theatre has become well known for its beautiful neoclassical-influenced facade and features imposing stone columns, busts and Italianate finishings. Guided tours are available on an hourly basis Monday to Friday, between 09:00 and 17:00, and again on Saturday and Sunday, from 09:00 to 13:00.
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday - hours vary according to performance
Admission: charge for performances and guided tours, guided tours are free on Tuesdays

River Tours

Address: Valeverde Cruises, Estacao das Docas, Avenida Marechal Hermes, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 091 3213 3388
Address: Amazon Star Turismo, Rua Henrique Gurjao 210, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 091 3212 6244
A choice of river tours is available in the city, a number of which do not need to be booked in advance and simply board passengers as they arrive. Amazon Star Turismo is amongst the most popular and this company does actually require advance reservations, and in most cases will arrange transport to collect you from your hotel. For something special, consider taking an early morning bird-watching cruise or a sunset trip.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:00 to 22:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Mercado Ver-o-Peso

Address: Avenida Castilho Franca, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
The Mercado Ver-o-Peso has long been a leading attraction in Belem and this market earned its name when historically it was necessary to 'check the weight' (ver o peso) of produce for tax purposes. The iconic structure housing the market has a particularly interesting history, since it was actually made in England, shipped over and finally assembled in 1901. If you are shopping for seafood, then be sure to arrive early, when the boats are unloading the day's catch.
Open hours: daily - 05:30 to 20:30
Admission: free

Parque Zoobotanico (Zoological Park and Gardens)

Address: Avenida Governador Magalhaes Barata 376, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 091 3249 1233
Located on the Avenida Governador Magalhaes Barata and just a short distance from the Praca Justo Chermont, the Parque Zoobotanico is located alongside the Museu Emilio Goeldi attraction. Most would agree that this is the best zoo in this part of Pará. Many native Amazonian creatures call the Parque Zoobotanico their home, including some huge anaconda snakes, colourful birds and jaguars. There is also a group of rare manatees, which are often referred to as 'sea cows'. It is worth noting that Sunday tends to be a very busy day.
Open hours: Tuesday to Thursday - 09:00 to 11:30, 14:00 to 17:00, Friday - 09:00 to 11:30, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Bosque Municipal Rodrigues Alves (Rodrigues Alves Woodland / Botanical Gardens)

Address: Avenida Almirante Barroso, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
The Bosque Municipal Rodrigues Alves ranks amongst the oldest botanical gardens in the whole of Brazil and this important chunk of the Amazon stands in the very heart of the city. Comprising some 40 acres / 16 hectares in total, the gardens contain a selection of important collections, such as cacti, succulent plants, orchids, coniferous trees and medicinal plants. Other attractions include lakes, waterfalls, caves, a miniature mountain and a small zoo, which comes complete with a large group of turtles.
Open hours: daily - hours vary
Admission: charge

Mangal das Garcas (Mangrove of Herons Garden)

Address: Praca Carneiro da Rocha, Belem, Pará, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 091 3242 5052
A stunning park located within the Cidade Velha area of Belem, just behind the Navy Arsenal, the Mangal das Garcas has become something of a city oasis, being favoured by many indigenous birds. The style of landscaping and planting is quite contemporary, with modern lighting, boardwalks, a stylish lighthouse, irregular lagoons, marshes and pleasant views across the river. Look out for the butterfly house, the white herons, the scarlet ibises and the walk-through aviary. Of interest, the Mangal das Garcas was a gift to the city from the navy, who donated this land, and was officially inaugurated as recently as the beginning of 2005.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free