Incredible Things to Do in Óbidos Portugal (Tips & Map)

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Why You Need to Visit Óbidos and The Best Things to Do

One of the most charming cities you can visit in Portugal is easily Obidos. Full of cobblestone streets, medieval charm, and blue and white-washed architecture, Obidos is everything you could ask for when it comes to a unique Portuguese town to visit. In this Portugal guide, you will learn some of the best things to do when visiting Obidos, travel tips, and more!

Additionally, you will find a map with all the spots for you to save!

Things to do in Óbidos Portugal - white washed homes with yellow and plants

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Things to See and Do When Visiting Óbidos

This town was originally established by the Romans, however, after Rome fell, the Moors took control of the land and constructed the castle walls that encircle it. In fact, the name Obidos is derived from the Latin word oppidum, which stands for “walled city.”

Eventually, King Afonso Henriques, Portugal’s first king, conquered Obidos in 1149. As the years went on, Obidos was maintained by many of Portugal’s queens, who commissioned many of the monuments we still see today.

View of the Obidos Castle from the castle walls

Óbidos Castle

One of the most popular things to visit in Obidos is none other than the Óbidos Castle.

This stunning medieval castle was built as a military fortress by the Moors, who took over after the Romans abandoned the land.

While you can’t currently go inside this castle for a tour, you can certainly admire the castle from the outside. But if you really want a peek inside, book a night here since part of it does function as a hotel, Pousada Castelo de Obidos.

Address: R. Josefa de Óbidos, 2510-001 Óbidos, Portugal

Óbidos Castle from the front - one of the best things to do
Close up of Óbidos Castle in Portugal

Walk the Castle of Obidos Walls

One of our favorite things to do in Obidos was walking the fortress walls, which is completely free to do! It is important to note that the castle walls do not have any protective barrier. Therefore, warning signs are at the stairs to let you know before you climb. If you fall or get hurt, it is all at your own risk.

So, if you are brave enough and able to climb these walls, the views looking down on Obidos and the surrounding area are really amazing. We didn’t walk the entire length, but we really enjoyed the area closest to Porta da Vila.

Walking the Castle walls in Óbidos Portugal
Walking up the stairs to the fortress walls in Obidos Portugal

Igreja de Santa Maria

Arguably, one of the most important sites in Obidos is the church of Santa Maria. Sitting at the center of the Santa Maria square, this church dates back to the 16th century.

So, what makes this church interesting? Well, it is where King D. Afonso V of Portugal married his wife, who happened to be his cousin. Later, it was renovated by Queen D. Catherine of Austria.

Address: Praça de Santa Maria, 2510-001 Óbidos, Portugal

Igreja de Santa Maria

Porta da Vila (Vila de Óbidos)

While wandering around Óbidos, make sure to stop by Porta da Vila, which in English stands for Town Gate and Our Lady of Piety Oratory. This has been a National Monument since 1910, and you will find some beautiful painted tiles.

It is believed to have been built around 1376, and there was a musician playing during our visit. It is right by one of the steps to climb the castle walls.

Address: R. Josefa de Óbidos 2, 2510-001 Óbidos, Portugal

Porta da Vila with man playing music and colorful tiles

The Óbidos Aqueduct (Acueducto de Óbidos)

While in Óbidos, you can also see the Acueducto de Óbidos, a 16th-century Aqueduct that would provide water to the people of Óbidos. Queen Catherine of Austria had this aqueduct built and even sold land to pay for it herself.

As you will see, the structure is still in great shape and can even be seen from the castle walls. In fact, there is a parking lot beside it that is a popular place for tourists to park before entering the Medieval town.

Address: N114 9, Óbidos, Portugal

Taste Ginjinha – A Famous Drink in Óbidos

While exploring around Óbidos, you will likely see places selling something called Ginja, and you should certainly consider tasting it! Famously sold in Obidos in chocolate cups, this is a sour cherry liqueur that is also served with a cherry.

Many consider Ginjinha to have originated from Obidos, while others believe it was Lisbon. However, there is no denying some of the best tasting Ginjinha can be consumed in Obidos. One of the reasons people believe this is because the Ginjinha cherries are grown in Obidos. A shot/chocolate cup is usually around 1 Euro.

Ginjinha in a chocolate cup in Obidos under a red napkin

Igreja Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Óbidos

Originally known as the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, this chapel acts more as a museum than a place of worship today. During a visit, you can see 17th century sculptures and art. It is certainly worth a quick stop if you are spending the day visiting Obidos.

Igreja Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Óbidos

Souvenir Shopping in Óbidos

Obidos is a great place to do it if you love shopping for souvenirs! We found the prices to be very reasonable in Obidos, and there is a large variety of things to buy. Furthermore, the shops have more of a local feel than places in Lisbon and Porto.

You will find all the Portuguese classics like linens, ceramics, tiles, cork products, and Galo de Barcelos (Portugal Rooster).

Souvenir Shopping in Óbidos - one of the best things to do

Santuário do Senhor Jesus da Pedra (Sanctuary of the Lord of the Stone)

Located just outside the castle walls is Santuário do Senhor Jesus da Pedra. While the monument was never finished, it is a fine example of baroque architecture.

You can even see it from the Castle walls! It is the white building outside the walls in the photo below.

Address: Largo do Santuário, 2510-071 Óbidos, Portugal

Santuário do Senhor Jesus da Pedra from the Castle Walls of Obidos

Hang Out in Praça De Santa Maria (Saint Mary’s Square)

This is a lovely square surrounded by restaurants and souvenir shops, and is a great place to visit while in Obidos. We can thank Queen Catarina of Austria, who commissioned the square to be built, and it is one of the best places to visit in Obidos.

Aside from just relaxing in this square, you will find the Saint Mary’s Church (the focal point of the square), the town’s fountain, Aboins Manor House, and the former Town Hall that has now turned into a museum.

Praça De Santa Maria in Óbidos - one of the best things to do

Queen Mary’s Fountain

I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this fountain, however, it is right outside the castle walls. Queen Maria I had ordered the fountain to be erected for public use. Therefore, this serves as the memory of the structure. It is right by Ja!mon Ja!mon.

Queen Mary's Fountain in Obidos Portugal

Wander the Charming Streets in Obidos

I know this sounds very general, but Obidos has some of the most charming alleys I have ever seen – especially because many of the flowers were in bloom during our visit. Every corner felt so picturesque, and I found myself just wanting to get lost walking around the cobblestone streets.

So, don’t be afraid to wander up and down the alleys – aside from walking the castle walls, this was my next favorite thing to do in Obidos. Oh, and make your way down Rua Direita Street, which is considered the main street.

Colorful Alleys in Obidos with Sam Opp standing in the middle
White-washed buildings with blue paint and orange pottery hanging in Obidos Portugal and cobblestone alleys
 Rua Direita Street in Obidos
Rua Direita Street

Peek Inside Capela De São Martinho

Known as Óbidos’ only surviving completely medieval building since others were partly destroyed, taking a quick look at Capela De São Martinho is worth it. Although the inside is usually empty, there was an interesting sculpture during our visit. During Christmas time, there is usually a nativity scene.

This private shrine was built in 1331 to house the tombs of clergymen from Lisbon’s cathedral.

Obidos Fun Fact: A major Napoleon defeat happened just a few kilometers from here.

Walking into Capela De São Martinho
Inside Capela De São Martinho in Obidos

Attend One of the Festivals in Obidos

Depending on when you’re visiting Portugal, you may want to visit some of the vibrant events in Obidos. We visited on a Sunday, and there were plenty of people dressed in medieval attire and shooting bow arrows near the castle.

Furthermore, they host:

  • Chocolate Festival in the Spring
  • The Medieval Fair (July)
  • International Literary Festival (September/early October)
  • Christmas Holiday Market
Archery in Obidos inside the castle walls

How To Get To Obidos

Now that you know some of the best things to do while visiting Obidos, you may be wondering how to get here. Located about an hour North of Lisbon and 2 hours South of Porto, Obidos is a great day trip. If you are planning on driving between Porto and Lisbon, Obidos is a must-stop, in my humble opinion.

If you drive to Obidos (what we did), I suggest parking on the outskirts of the city. This is because the streets are tiny, with single lanes. Parking towards the outside will be easier and less stressful! We parked on R. do Chafariz dos Cavalos and walked up to the city walls near Ja!mon Ja!mon restaurant.

If you don’t have a car, it is still quite easy to reach Obidos from Lisbon via public transportation. Additionally, you can join a group trip with transportation. These tours usually include a few stops.

Pretty cobblestone alley in Obidos Portugal

How Many Days in Óbidos

Most people take a day trip to Óbidos, which I think is fine. The town is very small, so you can really enjoy a couple of hours here if you’re pressed for time. However, if you are doing a road trip through Portugal, Obidos can be a nice place to spend the night, especially if you’re visiting Portugal during the summer.

Since most tourists visit during the day, being in Obidos in the late afternoon and morning will give you the opportunity to enjoy the city without the crowds. Plus, the area is so charming that you might want to spend more time slowing down and taking it in.

We did a road trip from Porto to Lagos with a stop in Obidos, and I wouldn’t have minded spending the night in Obidos looking back at our trip.

If you want to really embrace this town, spending 1-2 days will be plenty of time in Obidos.

Flower covered alley in Obidos

Places to Eat in Obidos

There are dozens of places to eat when visiting Obidos. Some places to try when visiting Obidos include:

  • Capinha d’Óbidos – Bakery and good sandwiches.
  • Real Casa do Petisco – Traditional Portugese food.
  • Ja!mon Ja!mon – We didn’t eat here, but it is highly rated.
Restaurants in Obidos

Best Time to Visit Obidos

I still consider Obidos more of a hidden gem, although it is becoming more and more popular. During the Spring, Fall, and Winter, you will find the fewest crowds in Portugal, therefore, Obidos will be less crowded as well.

If you’re visiting Obidos during the summer, the best time to visit will be earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon when the tour groups leave. Additionally, if you really want to avoid crowds, consider visiting Obidos on the weekdays.

Pretty red door in Obidos with plants around it

Where to Stay in Obidos

If you decide to spend the night in Obidos, here are some options to consider. The town is very small, so bookings fill up fast, therefore, booking in advance is important.

Homes covered with plants in Obidos

Best Things to Do When Visiting Óbidos Portugal Wrap-up

This concludes some of the best things you should do when visiting Obidos. I hope you have the best time exploring this colorful and charming Medieval town!

Do you have any questions about this guide on things to do in Obidos, or feel like I missed something? Please let me know via DM or in the comments below!

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Best things to do in Obidos Portugal
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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

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