Tagus River (Rio Tejo)
Originating in western Spain near the Portuguese border, the Tagus River flows across central Portugal before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean just west of Lisbon. During Portugal’s Golden Age (15th–17th centuries) explorers Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama set out for the new world along this river, and it was an essential part of the trade route in the centuries that followed, as riches from India and Brazil poured into Portugal.
To enjoy the river, take a ride on a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing boat, bike along the riverfront, or book a private sunset cruise. You should also visit the majestic Praça do Comércio, a plaza with arched colonnades that open out onto the water.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Tagus River is known as the Rio Tejo in Portuguese.
A walking and cycle path runs along the riverfront from downtown Lisbon to Belem, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) away.
There are numerous cafes and bars along the riverfront.
How to Get There
The Tagus River runs along the edge downtown Lisbon. The riverfront is easily accessible on foot from other parts of town, and many buses and trams stop at Praça do Comércio. Boat trips leave from both the Terreiro do Paço and Cais do Sodré ferry terminals.
When to Get There
The Tagus riverfront is open all year round. Many boat trips operate on seasonal hours with more options in the summer than in cooler months. Hop-on hop-off sightseeing boats and private boat tours are very popular in the summer, so book ahead to secure a spot.
Just down the river from the heart of Lisbon sits the stylish town of Belém, where you can find sights like the famous Belém Tower, enormous Jerónimos Monastery, the Maritime Museum, and more. If you visit, treat yourself to a delicious pastel de nata custard tart, tour the former royal family’s private boat collection, and climb to the top of the Belém Tower for great views of the river.
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