Explore Obidos | One Day Tours Portugal
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Explore Obidos With logo

Medieval Town with Cobblestone Streets, Colorful Houses, and Vigorous Festivals.


Obidos is a charming, wonderful open-air museum of white houses surrounded by a medieval castle

According to recent archaeological finds, people have settled in Obidos since the Late Paleolithic period. It eventually became an important trading post for the Phoenicians and later an important Roman military outpost. It’s hard to believe, but this tiny town, with two streets and a population of no more than ten thousand inhabitants, was once an impregnable fortress. After the Islamic period, in the 12th century, started the construction of one of the most famous Obidos tourist attractions, Obidos Castle. It was built by the Arabs and reconstructed by order of Alfonso Enriquez. The harsh fortress walls that surround it were built later, and most often served as protection against attacks by corsairs. Today, the castle is one of the seven most outstanding architectural monuments in Portugal. 

Since King Dinis gave the city as a wedding gift to his wife Isabella, Obidos belonged to Portuguese queens until the 19th century. Since then, Obidos historic town has been considered a city of weddings, and newlyweds are advised to visit it for good luck. Many come here and spend their honeymoon. This fact explains why so many architectural monuments, such as the Aqueduct, were built. The earthquake of 1755 and the Peninsular War in the early 19th century took their toll and led to renovations to the historic center, but Obidos never lost its medieval urban charm.

Nowadays the city is a popular tourist destination, famous for its medieval market and the delicious Ginjinha cherry liqueur served in every bar in the city. You can easily explore Obidos in one day, or stay overnight and see other nearby attractions such as Lagoa de Óbidos and Buddha Garden.

Obidos historical architecture is characterized by a huge number of ancient cathedrals with magnificent chapels. The most popular from a tourist's point of view is the Cathedral of Santa Maria. The most ancient and still active in Obidos is the Cathedral of St. James, built at the beginning of the 12th century. Not far from it is the Church of St. John the Baptist, which attracts tourists with its unusually elegant Chapel of St. Martin.

Obidos is also home to a great religious spirit, expressed in its churches and shrines, which are emphasized by their scale and architecture. The main churches are Santa Maria and San Pedro, both of which have a royal atmosphere upon entry. The Church of the Misericordia, or the Church of Our Lady of Montserrat in Baroque style are also on the list of must-see Obidos attractions. The Chapel of Sao Martinho is an example of charming medieval and gothic mixes. Don't forget to visit the incredibly beautiful Temple of Senhor Jesus da Pedra, the perfect creation of Rodrigo Franco.

The largest fair takes place here, where you can buy Obidos souvenirs, made in the best traditions of Portuguese craftsmen. In addition, souvenirs and even antiques can be purchased in one of the shops on Rua Direita.

Also, on the list of Obidos things to do is the International Chocolate Festival, held annually, because several small confectionery factories are located on two streets of the town. During this culinary event, the entire city turns into one big confectionery shop, with incredible tastings of chocolate figures and fountains.

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All About Obidos

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When to Visit

Obidos can be visited around the year, but the best time depends on Obidos weather and your preferences. The spring period, April to June, is characterized by the most mild weather, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C, blooming flowers, and fewer crowds, ideal for exploring the town's streets and medieval charm. Summer is a peak tourist season with higher temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C, perfect for vacations because of its numerous lively events like the Medieval Festival.

Autumn also offers pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C, harvest festivals, and colorful foliage, perfect for walking around and enjoying picturesque landscapes. The winter period is much quieter, good for people who prefer standing out of the crowd, although it can be chilly, with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 15°C, especially in the evenings. When planning your visit to Obidos, think about your preferences, but be sure that it's amazing around the year.

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Getting Around

Obidos is tiny and cozy, so moving around it is relatively easy. The best way to explore it is on foot. One more great option is on a bicycle. Bicycle rental prices vary but are typically around €10-€15 per day.

For longer distances, there is a taxi service available within the town. Within Obidos, taxi fares are relatively affordable. The average price for short rides is around €5-€10 depending on the distance. Overall, walking and cycling are the most convenient and enjoyable ways to explore Obidos, but taxi service is also available. For most travelers, it takes just a few hours to walk around all the most significant places in the city.

Prices for transportation are reasonable, making it accessible for travelers with different budgets.

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Travel Information

You can get an unforgettable experience while traveling in Obidos if you consider a few simple Obidos travel tips:

1. How to make the first trip to Obidos unforgettable?

Obidos Castle is on the list of must-see things in Portugal during a trip to the Central Region.

You can walk by the moors, visit local restaurants, and buy the famous ginja.

The best way to start visiting the city is through the Porta da Vila gate, richly decorated with ancient tiles.

Then climb the fortress walls and explore the city from a bird's eye view. Afterward, take a walk along the main street Rua Direita, and buy local souvenirs as a souvenir. It leads the way to the Church of San Pedro and the Chapel of St. Martin - the main attractions. After climbing the hill there is an observation deck. Then visit the castle and walk around the courtyard.

After a short walk along Rua da Talhada, come to the Church of St. Mary, where you can admire the works of Joseph de Obidos and examine the interior of the temple. Under the church, there is an interesting municipal museum, which is also worth a look.

2. What is a list of Obidos hidden gems?

There are some unique attractions, located off the beaten path. First of all, in Obidos, there is not a single natural reservoir, so it’s extracted using water wells. Among Obidos must-see places should be mentioned the oldest city water supply, the aqueduct, which was built back in the 16th century, provided water to the town, and is now a picturesque backdrop for walks and photography.

One more non-tourist place to see is Praia del Rey Beach, located just a short drive from Obidos, offering pristine sands and dramatic cliffs, ideal for a relaxing day by the sea away from the crowds.

If you wanna see the real Portugal countryside not far from the main attraction, Aldeia da Mata Pequena is a great choice. This small village nestled in the countryside near Obidos offers a glimpse into traditional rural life. Authentic experience is guaranteed.

3. What dishes are the must-try in Obidos?

Every region in Portugal has its culinary specialties. In Obidos local cuisine a special place is occupied by a rice dish with various varieties of fish and shrimp - “caldeirada” according to a recipe from Lagoa de Obidos. The wines from the Oeste region are the best match for Caldeirada. And of course, at the center of the attention of all tourists is the famous cherry liqueur, Ginjinha. It can be found in all bars and restaurants of the city, and the best way to taste it is from a chocolate glass. For more variable experience be sure to try the local macarons, made from fresh fruits and with a variety of liqueurs inside - they are even tastier than in France.

Top Attractions Near Obidos

Explore Obidos' excellent selection of attractions, from ancient historic wonders to vibrant cultural sightseeing

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Frequently Asked Questions

Get clear and useful insider tips for the most common queries about Obidos

What is the best way to get to Obidos from Lisbon or Porto?

Getting to Obidos from Lisbon or Porto is rather easy. From Lisbon, you can get a convenient direct bus or train journey. The average time on the road is approximately one hour. From Porto, there is a scenic train ride to Caldas da Rainha, followed by a short bus or taxi ride. Along the road are guaranteed picturesque views of the Portuguese countryside, creating the overall travel experience.

Are there any must-visit events or festivals in Obidos?

Obidos is well-known for its numerous events and festivals. In summer there is the Medieval Market, where the town transforms into a bustling medieval village. One more great event, the Spring Chocolate Festival in April, presents mouthwatering chocolate creations from local chocolatiers. The most colorful event in winter is the Christmas Village, a magical destination for families and travelers. Tours from Lisbon to Obidos already include a transfer.

What is the top of the most authentic local Obidos restaurants and cafes?

The most recommended place to visit and top traveler's choice is Tasquinha do Oliveira, where you can taste traditional dishes prepared with local ingredients in a cozy atmosphere. For the best dining experience, head to the historic building of Petrarum Domus, and indulge in exquisite gastronomic creations paired with fine wines.