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Streets of Óbidos

Óbidos: the perfect day trip from Lisbon or Porto

When you travel to Portugal, you might hear of a tiny town called Óbidos, a favourite day trip from Lisbon or Porto for many! It’s one of Portugal’s most beautiful towns and a must-see UNESCO site! In this guide, you'll discover what you can expect when you visit this medieval settlement on the hill.

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How to get to Óbidos from Lisbon or Porto

The little medieval town of Óbidos lies in the province of Estremadura, in the Oeste region of Portugal. It’s a perfect day trip from Lisbon as you’ll reach the town in about an hour by car from Lisbon. A visit is often combined with a stopover in Fátima, Peniche, Caldas da Rainha, Alcobaça or Nazaré. Parking can be challenging, but there are designated car parking spaces on the foot of the hill, and close to Óbidos Castle.

The town lies nestled along the N8 and is by far the easiest to reach by car. There are buses and trains to Caldas da Rainha, and with the Omio App, you can easily schedule your trip with public transport. Also, Flixbus has connections between Lisbon, Óbidos and Porto. From Porto, the drive takes a little over 2 hours. There are fewer organised tours from Porto, and renting a car, or a private tour will be the easiest option.

Another easy way to visit is by booking a tour from Lisbon or Porto.

Group tours from Lisbon
Full day group tours including visits to Fatima, Obidos, Batalha, and Nazaré
Private tours from Lisbon
Full day private tour including Óbidos, Nazaré & Alcobaça + multilingual guide
One Way Porto to Lisbon
Private tour Porto to Lisbon via Aveiro, Nazaré , Alcobaça and Óbidos.

A present for the Queen

Once upon a time, Óbidos was owned by the Queen of Portugal, Queen Isabel. King Denis of Portugal gifted the town to her at her wedding. The town is still as charming as ever and a favourite destination by tourists.

Well before the time of the royals, the town was a Roman settlement. Archaeological evidence of a forum, Roman structures and baths were found close to the settlement. The Moors settled in around 713, but the first King of Portugal took control of the region in the 12th century.

As soon as you arrive in Óbidos, you’ll get a taster of the royal and medieval atmosphere. You can enter the walled town several ways, and most visitors arrive at the Castle of Óbidos or Porta da Vila. You’ll easily spend a few hours exploring the cobbled streets, beautiful shops, city walls and quaint houses in the romantic medieval town. And every you look, you’ll see the medieval castle as a dramatic backdrop.

What to do in this medieval town?

Rua Diretta is the main street in Óbidos, where you can find most restaurants and shops. Around this street, you can explore tons of little streets with cobblestones and colourful flowers. The town is also known for its bookshops, and you can visit no less than 14 bookstores in Óbidos.

A unique way to discover Óbidos is by following the stone walls around the town. When you follow this route, you’ll end up at Óbidos Castle. It’s a fantastic example of medieval architecture; currently, a pousada is located in the castle.

The town is not only known for its bookshops and medieval character but also for its Ginja de Óbidos! Ginjinha de Óbidos is one of Portugal’s most known liquors, and it’s often served in small chocolate cups. This alcoholic drink is made from the fruit from the morello trees (ginjeiras), and you can buy this everywhere in Óbidos. Will you try this cherry-flavoured alcoholic drink?

The Medieval Festival in Óbidos

Every year in July, a medieval market is held at Óbidos Castle. It is a great way to enjoy the town’s atmosphere, and the festival lasts for two weeks. Make sure to book your accommodation well in advance if you want to stay in town!

Flags and banners decorate the inner walls of Óbidos, and you can watch medieval shows and a costumed parade. Hundreds of people dress up as soldiers and merchants. Don’t forget to look at the traditional handicrafts fair where you can buy some nice souvenirs.

At night you’ll enjoy a medieval dinner with soups, rabbit, roasted hog, and many other grilled types of meat. You’ll eat from wooden trenchers and drink from wooden drinking cups (tankards), and it really feels like you’re in the Middle Ages!

If you’re a fan of books, visit Óbidos during “Folio – International Literary Festival of Óbidos“! It takes place every year in October. Other excellent festivals are the Christmas Village Vila Natal from December until the first week of January and the Chocolate Festival in April or May.

Accommodations in this fairytale town

The best way to enjoy Óbidos might be at night. Depending on when you visit the medieval town, it can get jam-packed with day trippers. Once all the tourists are gone, you have Óbidos to yourself! There are many accommodations where you can enjoy a well-deserved sleep.


If you have time, it’s well worth visiting Óbidos for the day! I hope these tips were helpful for you and that you’ll have a fantastic day in this medieval town! Besides, in the area are many more places to visit. Nazaré is known for the big waves, and Buddha Eden is the largest oriental garden in the whole of Europe!

Written by Marga

Written by Marga

Content creator, travel writer and photographer

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I’m Marga, the blogger and photographer behind this site! I live in Lisbon, and I’m a cat-mum to 13-year-old Savage. I love coffee, cheese, a good book and exploring this beautiful country. I write about Lisbon and the rest of Portugal, and I hope this website will help as an inspiration for your holiday.

11 Responses

  1. Wow, your photographs are stunning. This looks like a lovely place to visit! I’ll have to add Portugal to my list. The castle is so pretty!

  2. Love Obidos. Used to live just down the road in Lourinhã and always took guests or the dog for a walk here. They had a lot of fun festivals and events there.

  3. We were really happy that we decided to stay in Obidos for a few days when we visited rather than just day trip. It was lovely to have the town to ourselves when the day tourists left. We loved the walk on top of the walls for the view down over the town and countryside. Good thing we have no problem with heights. It would be great to plan a trip when the medieval market is on.

  4. Lol can you imagine being given a flipping town as a wedding gift! Royalty do get a little extra don’t they!? Still, Óbidos really does look lovely. We are planning to visit Portugal next autumn, I will try to make it there. <3

  5. I loved Obidos. Walking the wall was a treat. I stayed in Obidos and the host treated me to ginja in a chocolate cup.

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