Immerse yourself in the colonial world of Belém

Discover the city of Belém

Belém is the Portuguese name for Bethlehem. Hidden in the Amazon estuary in northern Brazil, this port city of 1.5 million inhabitants is the capital of the Parà state. Belém stretches out over an area of 1 065 km² on the banks of the river Guamá. It was the first European colony in the Amazon and became Brazilian in 1715. There are numerous mango trees in the streets, giving the city its nickname of the "City of Mango Trees". The city lives primarily from trade, tourism and the food and fishing industries. It is also host to two major events in the world of fashion: the Belém Fashion Days and the Amazônia Fashion Week.

If you want to discover this former colonial city, book your London - Belém flight in a few clicks on our website, at the same time as your hotel and car. Air France offers flights to Belém all year round from London .

What to see and do in Belém?

There's so much to do and to see in Belém that you'll never be bored. The Praça de la Republica is the centre of the city: covered with greenery, it's the ideal place to stop and breathe in the atmosphere of the city. It's also where you'll find most of the hotels. Begin your visit in the Ver-O-Peso market. This 26 000 m² market welcomes thousands of visitors every day to discover the aromas: spices, flavours of the sea, the river and the Amazon forest, and also clothing. Here you'll be able to taste exotic fruits such as pineapple, mango, açai and pupunha. It's the ideal place to find medicinal plants and herbs to brew up your magic potions, just ask the sellers for whatever you need.
The historic centre of the city is filled with sumptuous colonial buildings and pretty coloured streets which are a pleasure to stroll down. Art lovers will enjoy visiting Belém's many museums. The Casa das Onze Janelas, or house of eleven windows, is also worth a visit. It was the governor's palace and then a hospital before becoming a modern art museum. You will also discover the Museu de Arte Sacre, the Museu do Cirio and the praça Dom Pedro which is home to several museums. As for the Goeldi museum, it is home to a botanic garden and zoo with 600 regional animals and some 2000 species of Amazonian plants, as well as several rare species of fish from the Amazonian rivers.
If you visit Belém in October, don't miss the annual Círio of Nazaré procession. This has been held in honour of the Virgin of Nazareth for over 200 years, and is a particular occasion to ask for her help in solving the problems faced by the region's inhabitants. It is one of the most important religious festivals in the country.

Useful information before you take off for Belém

The time difference between London and Natal is 4 hours in summer and 2 hours in winter: when it is noon in London, it is 8 AM in Belém. As everywhere in Brazil, the language is Portuguese and the currency is the Brazilian real. Belém has an equatorial climate but no dry season. It is possible to visit the city and its surroundings all year round.
Belém is a vast city and has an excellent bus network to get you around the different quarters. Take with you a map and a few words of Portuguese to ask the way. There are also plenty of taxis and the rates are not excessive. You can also hire a car, which will allow you to visit the area around Belém.

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