Obidos in Portugal is a picturesque town packed with things to do and see. From exploring its ancient castles to indulging in delicious local cuisine, Obidos has something for everyone. If you’re looking for the ultimate guide to this charming Portuguese town, then look no further! In this article, we will take you through all the things to do in Obidos – from sightseeing attractions like castle tours and walking trails to cultural activities such as discovering the local cuisine. So get ready for an unforgettable experience in the heart of Portugal!
10 Best things to do in Obidos
Obidos will pleasantly surprise you with its plethora of activities, buildings steeped in history, and picturesque scenery. Walking through the town is like taking a step back in time. With our 10 recommended activities, you’ll be sure to see all the highlights and make the most out of your visit.
Tip: the map of Obidos below pinpoints all the best attractions in the area. You can enlarge the map by clicking on the top right corner, and if you click on the star symbol next to the title, you can save it to your Google Maps account. In doing so, different categories will be displayed that you can use for navigation when arriving at your destination.
When you arrive in Obidos you see the walls with the towers of the Castle from far away. The Castle of Obidos is an impressive medieval fortification located in the town of Obidos, Portugal. Originally built by the Moors in the 8th century and later fortified by Alfonso III of Leon in 1282.
Today, it is one of Portugal’s most iconic sights and is worth visiting for its stunning architecture and the view that you have over Obidos. The castle can be visited only not from the inside because a hotel is located there. While exploring the castle you see ancient towers, admire the beautiful gardens and courtyards, or simply take a stroll through its cobblestone streets. With its well-preserved structures and fascinating stories, a visit to Obidos Castle is a must for anyone interested in exploring Portugal’s rich history.
Tip: during the summer on weekends you should visit the stage behind the castle because performances are often given here. When we were there the local choir was doing a performance.
The historical center of Obidos
Walking through the historical center is one of, if not the best things to do in Obidos. The old-world charm has been preserved throughout centuries and is a beautiful site to see. The city walls demarcate the boundaries of the historical center.
With cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings with beautiful details, walking through the town feels like living in a medieval fairytale. The heart of the city is home to some of the most beautiful architecture in Portugal, including churches, cathedrals, and many other monuments that tell the story of the country’s complex history.
While exploring the historical center of Obidos you can find several small shops filled with traditional Portuguese products and handmade goods, as well as restaurants offering delicious local cuisine.
Tip: there are several shops where you can try local liquor that taste like a combination of wine and thick berry juice. It doesn’t matter where you buy it, they are the same everywhere.
Walking over the walls
One of the most important and exciting things to do in Obidos is to take a walk over the city walls. You can find several staircases that lead up to the top of the walls, but the best and safest one is located at the south gate of Obidos, Porta da Vila. From here you get an incredible view over the historical center and beyond.
The walk itself is roughly 30 minutes and is only recommended to do if you feel safe. Check on the spot to determine if you want to do it. It is worth it, but you should be safe and comfortable.
You will have a unique perspective over all of Obidos, one that you would never get if you only visit from ground level. The best time to come for the most incredible views is either early in the morning before it gets too busy or during evening hours when all the lights are on!
Stay in the evening after all the tourists left
The best tip that we can share is to visit Obidos in the evening, this is a special and unique experience. After the day-time tourists have left, the town of Obidos is transformed into a tranquil village that still holds on to its medieval charm. The cobbled streets are empty, and you can wander through them with no one else around. This is the perfect time to truly get a sense of what life was like in ancient times.
The historical center is illuminated in the evening, making it all even more beautiful than during the day. Strolling through Obidos after dark reveals a hidden side of the city. As well as exploring the center, there are other things to do in Obidos at night. You can visit local bars for some Portuguese drinks and traditional snacks or explore the castle which is open until late.
Igreja de Santa Maria
Located in the heart of the historical center is one of Portugal’s most beautiful churches, Igreja de Santa Maria. This church was built in the 15th century and has stunning Manueline-style architecture. The facade is adorned with intricate patterns of stone, depicting scenes from both Christian and pagan mythology.
You can visit it daily for free, inside are several ornate altars and sculptures, as well as beautiful stained glass. The church is a wonderful example of Portugal’s rich history and culture, for us, it was one of the best spots to make a picture. So make sure to add Igreja de Santa Maria to your things to do in Obidos list!
Viewpoints of Obidos
When walking over the walls you pass a couple of viewpoints. Our personal favorites are the viewpoint at the castle of Obidos and in the west behind Hotel Rainha Santa Isabel because there is nobody else plus you can oversee the whole west field over Obidos. In the south you can see the typical mills of Portugal, it is like looking at a picture from the past. From these viewpoints, you can see things you wouldn’t be able to see from the ground level and take some fantastic photographs.
The map at the beginning of this article illustrates where the best viewpoints are located.
Discover the local cuisine
One of the most important things to do in Obidos is to discover its local cuisine. There is an abundance of traditional Portuguese dishes that are worth trying while you’re here, and the city’s restaurants serve up some fine examples. Try a dish like caldeirada de peixe, a fish stew with potatoes, onions, and garlic, or the traditional feijoada com arroz, a pork and bean stew with rice. You can also try some of Obidos’ famous wines in many of the city’s restaurants.
We recommend going to Tasca Torta, which is run by two friends who are very happy to serve delicious food. The menu changes daily but we enjoyed our dinner twice here and were impressed with both the fish and meat options. Per person, it costs about €16 / $16, including a drink, so it’s an affordable way to enjoy a meal in Obidos. It is not necessary to make a reservation at Tasca Torta.
Praça de Santa Maria
Praça de Santa Maria is located in the heart of the historical center of Obidos and is one of the most beautiful squares in all of Portugal. The square is a wonderful example of Portugal’s rich history and culture, and it’s worth a visit while you’re in Obidos. The square is located in the center of town, so you will pass it while exploring Obidos – our tip is to sit on one of the benches with a drink and take some time to soak up everything you see.
Porta da Vila
Porta da Vila is the main entrance to Obidos and it’s located just 2 minutes away from the parking lot. It’s a beautiful, historical gate that was built in the 15th century. The Manueline-style architecture is stunning and the facade is adorned with intricate patterns of stone, depicting scenes from both Christian and pagan mythology.
When you walk through the gate, you enter Obidos’ historical center and you will be surprised by its charm. If you want to take a photo without anybody else around, we recommend coming back in the afternoon or evening as it can get crowded during the day.
Igreja de São Tiago
Igreja de São Tiago is a beautiful church located in the historical center of Obidos. The church was built in the 16th century and has stunning Manueline-style architecture.
The inside of the church is just as beautiful as the outside, with ornate altars and sculptures, as well as beautiful stained glass. The bookshop inside the church distracts from the beauty of the architecture, but you can still appreciate the details.
Upon arrival in Obidos via Porta da Vila, you’ll pass down R. dureita until you reach the end of the street where Igresa de São Tiago is located. This church is beautiful and brightly colored, with equally stunning buildings on either side of it.
Day trip to Obidos
This tip is only applicable to people who are in Lisbon otherwise you can skip this tip. When you visit Lisbon, one of the things you should do is take a day trip to Obidos.
If you’re looking for a day trip that’s both interesting and enjoyable, we recommend booking this tour because you visit not only Obidos but also Batalha, Fatima, and Nazaré. In Batalha, you can explore the famous Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória; in Fatima, you can experience one of the holiest sites in all of Portugal; and in Nazaré, you can enjoy a delicious seafood meal.
At the end of the day, you’ll be sure to have had an amazing cultural experience. An organized tour is easy if you don’t have transport and want to make the most of your time.
How many days do you need for Obidos
We recommend spending one day and a night in Obidos. Upon arrival in the afternoon, you’ll have enough time to explore all the highlights. Many people only visit Obidos for a few hours, but it is better to come in the afternoon and stay the night when most of the tourists have already left.
Where to stay in Obidos
We recommend staying within or close to the walls of Obidos where you do not need to drive anymore in the evening and can enjoy some good wine. Two places where we suggest staying are Casa de S. Thiago do Castelo and Casa Picva, both are excellent accommodations.
Don’t wait too long to book your stay because both options are popular and fill up quickly.
Located within the walls of Obidos, Casa de S. Thiago do Castelo is a charming bed and breakfast that offers excellent amenities. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. The location is perfect for exploring Obidos, and the breakfast each morning is delicious.
Casa Picva is another excellent option. This bed and breakfast is located just outside of the walls of the town, making it easy to get around. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The location is perfect for exploring Obidos, and the breakfast is good.
Where to eat in Obidos
Obidos is home to many excellent restaurants and cafes. If you’re looking for a traditional Portuguese meal, we recommend trying Tasca Torta. This restaurant serves delicious grilled meats and fresh seafood, as well as homemade desserts like pastel de nata and bolo rei. Other excellent options include A Cozinha do Lagar for traditional Portuguese dishes and O Forno for delicious sandwiches and pastries.
If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, we recommend A Nova Casa de Ramiro, which serves contemporary Portuguese cuisine combined with a great atmosphere.
For a more casual and budget-friendly option, try one of the many cafes and bars in Obidos. These eateries serve delicious snacks and drinks at reasonable prices.
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Transportation in Obidos
Since cars and buses are not allowed in Obidos, the best way to get around is on foot. You can easily explore all of Obidos’ attractions and historical sites within a few hours by walking.
How to get to Obidos
The easiest way to get to Obidos is by car. The town is located about 1.5 hours from Lisbon, and 2.5 hours from Porto. You can also take a bus or train from either city, but it will take longer than driving yourself.
When you follow our Portugal itinerary you travel from Coimbra to Obidos. For reference, see below how long it takes to reach Obidos from the popular spots in Portugal:
- Lisbon to Obidos: 1 hour and 15 minutes | 85 km / 52 miles
- Coimbra to Obidos: 1 hour and 25 minutes | 134 km / 83 miles
- Nazaré to Obidos: 37 minutes | 40 km / 24 miles
- Aveiro to Obidos: 1 hour 45 minutes | 175 km / 108 miles
- Porto to Obidos: 2 hours and 20 minutes | 240 km / 149 miles
If you travel to Portugal by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.
The best time to visit Obidos
The best time to visit Obidos is from April through October. During these months, temperatures are mild and comfortable, making it the perfect time to explore the town and its attractions. July and August are particularly busy months due to school holidays in Europe, so if you’re looking for a quieter experience, try visiting in June or September. If you’re looking for a bit more relaxed atmosphere, April and May are also great months to visit Obidos. No matter when you decide to go, Obidos is sure to be an unforgettable experience!
Things to do in Obidos FAQ
1. Is it easy to get around Obidos on foot?
Yes, it is easy to get around Obidos on foot. All of the attractions and historical sites in Obidos are within walking distance, and several carriages are available for hire if you need assistance getting around.
2. Are there any festivals or events in Obidos?
Yes, there are several festivals and events held in Obidos each year. The most popular of these is the Medieval Festival, which takes place in July. Other annual events include the Wine Festival and Easter Celebrations. There are also many cultural performances and street markets held throughout the year.
Do you want to see more in Portugal?
Obidos is a stunning medieval town in Portugal that pleasantly surprised us. With our tips, we hope you will have the same experience and fully enjoy Obidos.
After Obidos, you can visit more cities like Lisbon, Coimbra, or Nazaré. These cities are great destinations to discover Portuguese culture, history, and cuisine. The best beaches are located in the south which you can also visit from Obidos.
No matter which direction you choose to explore, you won’t regret going to Obidos and its surroundings. Enjoy your trip!
What do you think of Obidos? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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