Belem Tourism

Steamy Belem was founded when the Portuguese decided to build a fort here in 1616 to protect their investments in the area. Thus, it is the first of the Amazon Rainforest’s colonial towns.

It’s located practically on the mouth of the Amazon River; the Atlantic Ocean is barely 100 kilometres downriver. This made it an important port for the 17th century sugar trade. Later, cattle ranching became important, and in the 19th century, the city was critical to the rubber trade. This trade strategic importance meant that it saw much political strife and bloodshed before all then ended in the 19th century.

Touristic-ally, the city is loved for its charming colonial era districts. There are many historical buildings and areas, quite well preserved. This includes one of Brazil’s oldest churches, and one of Brazil’s largest. The area surrounding the city is full of natural tourist attractions, especially the Biopark Zoo. The museums in the city mostly deal with the culture and people of the Para region. The nightlife is revelrous, and mostly concentrated around the Estacao das Docas area. The beer is rich. The markets are rich. The food is local and unique; you must not miss the many flavors of ice-cream!

There are also two major out of town destinations for sightseeing. The lovely island of Algodoal is practically primitive in terms of amenities, but utterly charming; try spending an entire weekend exploring its swamps and beaches. The Ilha de Marajó is another appealing sandy retreat. You can get local travel guides to take you up river.

Essential travel information and Belem tips for your visit


  • Time Zone: BRT (UTC−3)
  • Currency: Brazilian real

Electricity and Internet:

  • Plug type: C, N
  • Standard: NBR 14136
  • 127 V; 220 V
  • 60 Hz

Languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish


  • NEVER drink and drive in Brazil. The police are unbelievably strict, and allowed to arrest you on mere suspicion.
  • Emergencies: 190 (police), 192 (ambulance)
  • Off-Beaten Path: n/a
  • Tipping: You don’t need to tip, except when being dropped to or fro from the airport; and a R$5/10 tip for the bellhop at hotels.
  • Tourist Traps: Estacao das Docas


  • Kissing on the cheek is a common greeting for women, but men should stick to handshakes and backslaps with each other.
  • Don’t make the ‘OK’ sign with your hand.
  • It’s ok and expected to be slightly late
  • Avoid sensitive topics.

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Belem

  • Save 7% Small-Group Hidden Communities Tour from Belem
    Small-Group Hidden Communities Tour from BelemNew on TripHobo

    Duration: 5 Hrs 30 Mins

    Visit the region known as Low Acara River, over the course of this 5.5-hour tour. Meet the local people, Ribeirinhos, who liv...

    Book Now
  • Know the pollution level of Belem before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 6.25 (Very Low)
    • Water Pollution 87.5 (Very High)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 50 (Moderate)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 87.5 (Very High)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 68.75 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 83.33 (Very High)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 43.75 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 87.5 (Very High)
  • How safe is Belem for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Belem.

    • Burglary and Theft 72.22 (High)
    • Mugging and Robbery 92.86 (Very High)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 94.05 (Very High)
    • Corruption and Bribery 91.67 (Very High)
    • Car Stealing 75 (High)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 84.52 (Very High)
    • Attacks 62.5 (High)
    • Drug offense 77.78 (High)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 19.05 (Very Low)
    • Safety walking alone during night 3.57 (Very Low)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 50 (Moderate)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 30.56 (Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 80.88 (Very High)
  • Quality of Life Index of Belem is 79.49 (Moderate)

    • Safety Index 20.79 (Low)
    • Climate Index 64.56 (High)
    • Pollution Index 51.87 (Moderate)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 37 (Moderate)
    • Cost of Living Index 49.83 (Low)
    • Health Care Index 38.06 (Low)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 19.01 (Very High)
    • Purchasing Power Index 23.55 (Very Low)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in Belem

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.27 USD
    • International Movie per seat 8.03 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 46.4 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 87 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 48.18 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ​and subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo