Heading to Portugal? Be sure to add Obidos to your list!

Some of us get fancy dinner plates as wedding presents… while others, like Queen Isabel of Portugal, are gifted an entire town!

The stunning village of Obidos is one of Portugal’s most impeccably maintained medieval towns. The town is informally known as the ‘House of Queens’ or ‘the wedding gift town’. This beautiful tradition started in the 13th century when King Dinis I and his beloved wife, Elizabeth of Aragon, visited Obidos. Elizabeth was mesmerized by its beauty, so much so that the king decided to later gift the town of Obidos to his wife as a wedding present! 

Visit Obidos

Being a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Portugal’s 7 wonders, we knew we had to include this fairytale visit on our 3 Week Portugal Road Trip!

Things to Do in Obidos Portugal

Obidos, Portugal, is perfect for those looking to step back in time and explore a charming medieval village. From exploring the historic castle to sampling the local delicacies, there is something for everyone in Obidos! Here are our favorite things to do in Obidos, Portugal.

1. Admire the Town’s Gate: Porta da Vila

After parking outside the city walls, you will walk through Porta da Vila, the main town gate of Obidos. Be sure to look up to the second story and admire the stunning Porta da Vila balcony, covered in azulejos (blue tiles) depicting the Passion of The Christ.

View of the balcony porta Da Vila
visit obidos porta da vila

2. Explore The Streets of Obidos

You will love exploring the small village of Obidos with its cobblestone streets and medieval architecture. The main street in Obidos is Rua Direita– where you will find lively cafes with traditional Portuguese fare, bookshops, pottery shops, bars, and quaint boutiques with beautiful handmade artwork, cork purses, and brightly painted ceramics.

cute cafes right inside the town walls of Obidos
cobbled streets of Obidos in central portugal

Also Read: Guide to Algarve Portugal

Don’t forget to savor some Ginja de Obidos- a sour cherry liquor!

You may have had it elsewhere in Portugal. However, not many towns marinate cherries for such long time periods (up to one whole year!) as they do in Obidos.

And for the chocolate lovers out there, you will love that most Ginja or Ginjinha shops in Obidos serve the cherry liqueur out of cute little dark chocolate cups you can eat afterward. So yummy!

famous ginjinha de óbidos
drinking Ginjinha when visiting óbidos

3. Climb the Medieval Castle Walls

At the end of Rua Direita, you will find the Castle of Óbidos! You can climb on top of the castle walls and walk the entire perimeter of the castle, taking in the breathtaking panoramic countryside views. The perimeter is around 5134 ft (1.565 meters).

castle walls of obidos in central portugal
views from the town walls when you as you walk along the castle walls when you visit obidos.

The castle wall walk takes about 1-2 hours, depending on how often you stop. It was raining and quite slippery when we visited, so we could only walk a short portion before turning around, but the views were still worth the short walk!

Hotel Medieval castle inside city walls of óbidos portugal named the óbidos castle

Be aware: The castle walls do not have any safety barriers and can be quite narrow at times, so watch your steps!

Unfortunately, the castle is not open to visitors. It has been converted into a luxury hotel that combines 14th-century medieval accommodations with more modern facilities.


Ultimate Portugal Itinerary

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Book your stay inside The Castle of Obidos Hotel, where you can take a guided tour of its majestic castle and gardens and access exclusive guest-only areas with intriguing medieval suits of armor and historical artwork!

4. Visit Óbidos Churches

The beautiful village of Obidos is home to several historical churches.

One of the most famous churches is the Igreja de Santa Maria, or Church of Saint Mary. King Afonso V married his cousin, Princess Isabella of Coimbra, at the Igreja de Santa Maria in 1441 when she was only10 years old!

Ingreja de Santa Maria is located in Calçada dos Clérigos in the town center.

Staying the night? Book your hotel in Obidos, Portugal.

Igreja de Santa Maria in Obidos Portugal

The Igreja de Santa Maria is a small but richly decorated church with a painted wooden ceiling and blue-painted tile artwork (azulejos), and a painted ceiling.

blue tiles similar to porta da vila and other churches that show replacement tiles that don't perfectly match
visiting óbidos churches you can locate the blue replacement tiles like these

Did you know? If azulejos were damaged, the townspeople would search for another azulejo that best matched the artwork design – even if it didn’t fit perfectly. You might spot some mismatched tiles throughout churches in Portugal. Other mix-matched tiles blended so well that you wouldn’t notice!

5. Municipal Museum of Obidos, Portugal

The Municipal Museum of Obidos, located just off the main street on Rua Direita, is a tiny but FREE museum. Its collection includes Roman artifacts, sculptures and paintings from local churches, baroque furniture, and French and English weapons dating back to the Napoleonic Wars.

Also Read: Portugal Guide: Lisbon to Porto

The museum has clean restrooms and a small souvenir shop. Please note that the Municipal Museum is closed on Mondays.

Visiting Obidos, Portugal

The town of Óbidos is very small and easy to get around. Be aware that the entire center of the town is pedestrian-only, meaning no cars are allowed to drive into the village. You must park outside the old town before passing through the town gate.

Also Read: Top Travel Essentials for Your Next Vacation

walking streets in Obidos

Getting There

Obidos is located in central Portugal, making it a popular day trip for those in Lisbon or other nearby cities.

Since the city is pedestrian-only, you must park in the designated car park outside the walled city and access the village on foot.

By Car: It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Lisbon to Obidos (one way).

We had a car during our 3-week road trip through Portugal. We stopped to explore Obidos in the shoulder season (September) and had no problem finding paved parking. We recommend getting to Obidos early in the morning during peak season to secure close parking.

By Bus: Busses run from Lisbon to Obidos. You can hop on the Green Express Bus from the Lisbon Campo Grande Bus Station.

By Train: This is the longest route from Lisbon to Obidos, as this train stops multiple times before reaching Obidos. You will board at Santa Apolonia Lisbon. The Train will take 2+ hours.

Day Tours: A day tour from Lisbon is another great way to explore Obidos.

Check out this Day Trip to Obidos, Nazare, Fatima, and Batalha.

Where to Stay In Obidos, Portugal

If you are looking for a tranquil evening in the Obidos village, stay overnight. During the day, this town is often crowded with tourists taking a day trip from Lisbon; however, when they leave at nightfall, Fado music will fill the streets, and you will enjoy Obidos without all the hustle and bustle!

There is a range of accommodations for you to choose from. If you plan on staying inside the old village of Obidos, we recommend choosing a place to stay that is closer to the village entrances unless you don’t mind carrying your luggage through the narrow cobblestone streets.

Best Hotels Obidos:

ancient walled city of Obidos, Portugal

Eating and Drinking in Óbidos, Portugal

A visit to the small town of Obidos is not complete without a visit to one of its many restaurants, serving traditional Portuguese cuisine. The main street, Rua Direita, and the surrounding streets are filled with restaurants and cafes.

Favorite Obidos Restaurants:

  • Pontinha: local ingredients & menu changes weekly
  • Ja!mon Ja!mon: cozy courtyard and highly rated
  • Petrarum Domus: medieval stone wood interior, warm and cozy
  • Real Casa do Petisco: tapas and wine with contemporary Portuguese fare

What is Couvert in Portugal?

You will likely see Courvert on many Portuguese menus. In Portugal, it is customary for these items (couvert) to be brought to your table so you don’t have to order them. However, if you consume any of the couvert, you will still be charged for it. Couvert typically consists of small items like bread or a plate of olives.

Obidos Portugal Couvert platter with cheese and olive spreads
Obidos Portugal Couvert menu sample

If you do not want to consume any items, you can politely inform your server that you do not wish to eat the Couvert, and they will remove the platter from your table. You will not be charged if you do not touch the Couvert on your table.

What is Ginjinha or Ginja?

Ginjinha or Ginja is a Portuguese liquor made by infusing ginja berries in alcohol with added sugar, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Portugal produces close to 150,000 liters of Ginjinha per year!

How to drink Ginja?

Ginja is typically served in a shot with a piece of fruit at the bottom. However, you will likely see Ginjinha or Ginja served in Obidos from small edible chocolate cups.

Top Tours in Obidos, Portugal

Óbidos Portugal FAQs

Is Óbidos Portugal worth visiting?

Yes! Obidos is an enchanting medieval village in Portugal that is 100% worth visiting. The old-world charms of this town, coupled with the amazing Portuguese fare within its castle walls, make it an experience to remember! You can explore Obidos and take in all its beauty within a few hours – making it perfect for day trips from Lisbon or as part of your itinerary heading towards the city.

Is Óbidos walkable?

Óbidos’ historic center is pedestrian only. No cars are allowed inside the old city walls. Depending on how often you stop to shop, you can walk the entire old town in just a few hours. For those who want more adventure, you can walk the castle walls. Please note that no guardrails or handrails are on the castle wall walk. Wear proper shoes and watch your step.

What is the meaning of Óbidos?

The name Obidos is derived from the Latin Oppidum, which means walled city.

Also Read: 3 Week Portugal Vacation

What is Óbidos Portugal known for?

Óbidos is a small but vibrant town with a year-round event lineup. The most popular are the International Chocolate Festival, FOLIO – Óbidos International Literary Festival, the Mediaeval Market, and Obidos Christmas Town, when the town becomes filled with festive decorations.

How much time do you need in Óbidos?

Obidos is an ideal destination for a day trip or an overnight stay. In just a few hours, you can stroll the entire town, walk the castle walls, and savor local cuisine. But if your plans allow it, we recommend staying overnight to truly grasp this charming village’s atmosphere at nightfall. However, if you are limited on time, a few hours will do!

Is Óbidos a day trip from Lisbon?

Yes, we recommend this day trip from Lisbon as it allows you to explore some of Portugal’s best towns- Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima, and Batalha!

Can you go inside Óbidos Castle?

The Obidos Castle is not open to the public. The only way to view the inside of the Óbidos Castle is by booking a hotel room. Book your night at The Castle Of Obidos Hotel here.

This post shares everything you need to know about visiting Obidos Portugal. 

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