Plan an amazing Obidos day trip from Lisbon with this guide. It is perfect if you wish to discover a quaint charming town, away from Sintra and the famed Pena Palace, and explore all the highlights in one day in Obidos itinerary.
The walled town of Obidos is one of the most well-preserved medieval villages in Portugal.
The town is located in the west central region of Portugal, about 85 km (58 miles) north of Lisbon. It takes about an hour to get there by bus or rental car.
One Day in Obidos Itinerary: A Must-Do Guide for Obidos day trip from Lisbon
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Snapshot: One day in Obidos Itinerary: Obidos day trip from Lisbon
- Enter and admire the town’s gate – Porta da Vila
- Stroll through the medieval Rua Direita lined with pretty houses
- Head to the Obidos Castle
- Walk the old town walls of Castelo de Óbidos
- Visit the Igreja de Santiago
- Explore the Municipal Musuem of Obidos
- Sample some of the town’s famous ginjinha liqueur
- Go shopping in the old town
So, if you’re looking for things to do in Obidos in one day, this list has you covered. We have also included additional items to add to your itinerary below.
From exploring the town’s medieval castle to sampling its famed ginjinha liqueur, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
And with plenty of traditional restaurants to choose from, you’ll be sure to find a delicious meal to refuel along the way.
Getting to Obidos from Lisbon
Here are all the ways you can travel from Lisbon to Obidos,
- Car: As mentioned it takes about an hour and a half to drive to Obidos from Lisbon (one way). Once you are in Obidos you will have to walk as it is a walled town, and the main street access is on foot only
- Bus: Buses take an hour as well. You can hop on the Green Express buses from Lisbon Campo Grande to Óbidos Rua da Praça
- Trains: Trains are available from Lisboa – Santa Apolonia to Obidos, but it takes over two hours (and sometimes longer). This option is great if you wish to stay overnight in Obidos
- Tours: A day tour is a nice way to explore Obidos as well. It also stops in Fatima, Batalha, and Nazare. Check out the Óbidos full day tour here
Note that all vehicles have to be parked outside the main town gate, and then you will have to walk to the medieval heaven filled with cobblestone lanes!
The walk is not long, just a few minutes. We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes to enjoy the day.
Why You Should Visit Obidos: History of this charming Portuguese town
Portugal’s medieval town of Obidos is a must-visit for history and liqueur lovers alike. With its well-preserved castle, traditional houses, and quaint squares, Obidos transport visitors back in time.
And of course, no visit to Obidos would be complete without sampling some of the town’s famous ginjinha or ginja liqueur.
This travel guide will show you how to make the most of your time in this charming Portuguese town.
History of Obidos:
The history of Obidos dates back to the 6th century when it was founded by the Visigoths. The town later fell under Moorish rule before being reconquered by the Christians in the 12th century.
Obidos then became a possession of the Portuguese monarchy and remained so until the 19th century.
Today, the town is a popular tourist destination, known for its well-preserved medieval streets and buildings.
Obidos got its name from the Latin word oppidum, meaning “citadel” or “fortified city”. True to its name it is encircled by ancient walls even today, and there is only one main street, which is also pedestrian access only.
Obidos is often known as the wedding gift town or the Queen’s Town, as it was a present from King Denis of Portugal to his wife when they got married in 1282. That is why you will find cute flower pots hanging from all the windows showcasing the celebrations, and this is how the town has stayed over the years!
Today, the town has over 3,000 people (around 11k in the municipality), and most of the old houses are either Airbnbs or shops and restaurants where you can hang out.
So, here is what you can do in Obidos in a day,
Enter and admire the town’s gate – Porta da Vila
When you arrive in Obidos, you will have to cross a gate to enter the main town. Porta da Vila is the main town gate of Obidos.
These gateways were built to prevent a direct cavalry charge on the castle. There are two staggered gateways and in between, you will find a stunning balcony with azulejos artwork, which depicts the Passion of Christ.
The painted ceiling above the tiles illustrates a crown of thorns. This balcony served as an oratory and dates back to the 1740s.
Stroll through the medieval Rua Direita lined with pretty houses
As you enter the town gates, you will soon be at the Rua Direita. And this is the main street of Óbidos. It is a pedestrian-only lane, and the only ‘street’ in town, so it is hard to miss!
Take the time to wander the narrow, winding streets and admire the pretty shops and restaurants.
You will see pot brims with cascades of bright flowers flowing from shop and house windows or walls.
As you leave the main street to narrow alleys, you will find strands of hot-pink bougainvillea hugging house corners.
These side lanes are mostly empty and are perfect for photos minus crowds.
Head to the Obidos Castle for a dose of history and panoramic views
The Obidos Castle is one of the town’s most iconic landmarks. The castle dates back to the 12th century and was originally built as a military fortification.
There were further additions to the Castelo de Óbidos in the 14th century which included the king’s residence. That area is now a hotel – Pousada Castelo de Óbidos.
You can book a room here to stay in the heart of the medieval town, but note that you must pack light to get to the castle rooms.
The castle is open to the public and offers stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside. You can also explore the castle gardens, bastions, and other structures.
Right behind the castle is a large terrace square, known as the “Old Arms Square”. This is the site where the town’s main festivals take place.
Popular festivals include the Chocolate Festival (spring), the Medieval Fair (summer), the Literary Festival (autumn), and the Christmas Village (December).
Walk the old city walls of Castelo de Óbidos
One of the popular and must-do things in Obidos is to walk along the 13-meter-high city wall or battlements. This encircles the entire town of Obidos.
Access is completely free, and you get a bird’s eye view of the town and the nearby areas. And let me tell you it is absolutely stunning.
Even if the town centre and the main street are busy, the walls are not. So they are perfect for photos as well.
In order to climb the walls, you will find a series of stairs right in the middle of the town. Do take note that the steps and the walking area are uneven, and they don’t have guard rails.
Once you are at the top, you will have half the walls on one side, and nothing on the other, so exercise caution as you stroll or hike. For your safety, please do not run, or place tripods up there, it could be dangerous.
Visit the Igreja de Santiago
Igreja de Santiago is a collegiate church serving the Castle of Obidos. It dates back to the year 1186 when it was established under the orders of Dom Sancho I.
What you see today is a rebuilt of the old church that was destroyed in the 1775 Lisbon earthquake.
You can enter the church for free and admire the beautiful paintings inside.
Explore the Municipal Musuem of Obidos
The Municipal Museum is a small museum located on the main street of Obidos. It showcases artwork and paintings by Josefa de Óbidos and André Reinoso (from the 1600s).
The museum was first opened in 1970 in another building but later moved to its present site.
The building where it is housed is that of an 18th-century manor home, which belonged to Eduardo Malta, a well-known artist who once lived here.
Museu Municipal de Óbidos is a great place to learn about the town’s artistic past. Note that the museum is closed on Mondays, but is open on all other days from 09:30 am onwards. Entry is free.
Visit the Santa Maria Church
The Santa Maria Church is one of Obidos’ most important religious landmarks. The small church dates back to the 13th century and is known for its beautiful Gothic architecture.
You can explore the church’s interior, which is decorated with stunning blue and white tile work.
There are paintings on the ceilings and an equally beautiful painted altar. You will also find a 16th-century tomb inside.
There are two other churches in Obidos that can be visited in a day – Igreja San Pedro and the Capela de São Martinho (chapel), both located at the centre.
Sample some of the town’s famous ginja liqueur
Ginja is a traditional Portuguese liqueur made from sour cherries. It is often associated with Obidos but can be found in the capital city of Lisbon as well.
It is typically made with a distilled alcohol called aguardiente, which gives the liqueur its characteristic strong flavor. The liqueur is typically served in a small chocolate cup and is a popular souvenir for visitors to Obidos.
My guide in Lisbon said that you drink the liquor first, and then consume the chocolate (I had the whole thing at once, lol. It tasted good both ways!)
In Obidos, you will find a ton of small stalls with ginja, ranging from 1 to 1.50 euros (paid in cash).
One of the popular stops is to try Ginja right outside the main town gate. They also sell chocolates in a cute wood container, which can be brought home as a souvenir.
Go shopping in the old town
Located in the cobbled streets of Obidos, are cute shops where you can browse and shop or window shop for goodies to take back home.
Buy magnets that depict the castle walls, pick up handicrafts, or bottles of ginha – tons of options to choose from!
What to Do in Obidos in one day: Sightseeing Map
Travel Tips: Sightseeing near Óbidos Central Portugal
If you are driving to Obidos, or taking a day tour you can cover a ton of other sites and smaller towns in Portugal. Here are our top picks
Bacalhôa Buddha Eden Garden:
Located in the Quinta dos Loridos, is the stunning Buddha Eden garden. This is considered to be the largest oriental garden in Europe.
It is all of 35 hectares of gorgeous space and can be reached from Obidos in about 20 minutes by car. Other than the garden, you will also find a shop and a restaurant on-site.
The entry fee is 5 euros. And they are open every day except January 1st and December 25th from 09:30 am to 06:30 pm.
Known as one of the prettiest beach towns of Portugal’s Costa de Prata (Silver Coast), Nazare is an easy addition to your one day in Obidos itinerary.
Obidos to Nazaré is about 40 minutes by car, and many day tours also include a stop here.
Visit Nazare for the beaches, and cute local markets, and meet with the ladies wearing seven skirts selling fruits and dates. These traditions make a visit to Nazare worthwhile (whether you are a beach lover or not).
Nazare Beach is amazing, and you can see some of the world’s highest waves here.
Note that Lisbon to Nazare is an hour and a half drive away (car, or tours) if you wish to visit it standalone.
Batalha Monastery in one day
Obidos to Batalha is about 50 minute drive away. There are day tours that cover both Obidos and Batalha in one day (along with Fatima and Nazare).
As part of the day tour, you can visit the Batalha Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It will take about 2 hours to explore the monastery complex.
Batalha means battle, and it is a town in the central region of Portugal with over 8000 residents. It is widely known for the Gothic monastery that was built to commemorate the victory of Portugal over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385.
Other than the monastery you can enjoy the tranquil gardens, relax at a nice cafe or go souvenir shopping. The complex also has cloisters and chapels worth visiting. Here is a small group tour with good reviews on GetYourGuide
Fatima is one of the most important religious sites in Portugal, and millions of pilgrims flock here each year.
On your visit, be sure to see the Chapel of the Apparitions, where three shepherd children reported seeing the Virgin Mary in 1917. Other highlights include the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Sanctuary of our Lady of Fatima.
Obidos to Fatima is an hour away by car. Book: A private half day Fátima tour
Where to stay in Obidos?
If you decide to stay overnight in Obidos, you are in for a real treat. By late evening, most day trippers leave Obidos for Lisbon or other destinations, making this medieval town pretty empty, but serene.
We have rounded up some of the best places to stay in Obidos.
- Pousada do Castelo de Óbidos: Stay at the stunning castle hotel in the midst of history and panoramic views. You have all the modern amenities at your fingertips, plus a free breakfast. Book your stay here
- The Literary Man Óbidos Hotel: Another cool property to call home in Obidos is this 4 star hotel. The Literary Man hotel is housed inside a former convent and oozes literary vibes. You will find a restaurant, a gin bar, and a wine cellar on-site. Per night room rates are decent. Find current prices and availability here
We hope you enjoyed our post, and are ready to visit the charming town of Óbidos.
Whether you’re looking to explore Obidos’ medieval past or simply relax with a delicious drink in hand, we are sure you will enjoy your day in this Portuguese town.
More Portugal travel resources below
- Portugal: 2 weeks in Portugal Itinerary
- Lisbon: Best photo spots in Lisbon | 2 day Lisbon Itinerary | Best hotels with pools in Lisbon