medieval streets of obidos

Lisbon to Obidos Day Trip: An Insider’s Guide

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Historical Background of Óbidos

Ever wondered about those places that make you feel like you’ve hopped into a time machine? Obidos is one such gem. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, its history dates back to pre-Roman times. The Celts were among its early settlers. The Romans took over later, attracted by its strategic position. Over the years, it has seen Visigoths, Moors, and finally the Christians. Each left a mark, creating a rich tapestry of cultures and stories.

Here’s a juicy tidbit: King Dinis once gifted this entire town to his queen, Isabel, as a wedding present. Talk about grand gestures! This romantic tradition continued, with the medieval town of Óbidos becoming part of many Portuguese queens’ dowries. It’s no wonder that this place is one of the popular tourist destinations.

The village is more than old stones. It’s a mosaic of medieval charm, one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Portugal. With whitewashed houses, scenic streets, and gothic windows from the Middle Ages, it’s a testament to its rich history from as far back as the 12th century. And the festivals? From medieval fairs to the chocolate festival, Óbidos knows how to celebrate its vibrant past and present.

The Medieval Wall at Obidos - Lisbon to Obidos day trip
The Medieval Wall at Obidos

It’s no surprise that Óbidos is considered a great place for history buffs and travelers alike. It’s often featured in the best day trips from nearby cities. So, if you’re on a road trip, make sure to stop by and experience the splendor of its medieval castle and surroundings.

In short, a stroll here isn’t just sightseeing. It’s a journey through time. Dive in and embrace the magic of Óbidos on your Lisbon to Óbidos day trip!

How to Get to Obidos

By Car from Lisbon to Obidos 

Driving from Lisbon to Óbidos? Great choice! It’s the quickest way, about 83 kilometers (53 miles) and typically takes an hour. Zoom mainly on the A8 motorway. While it’s the fastest route, remember there’s a toll fee of around 9 euros.

Exit the A8 at Exit 15, and voila, signs will guide you straight to “Óbidos”. Though you can’t drive inside the walled city, there are handy car parks just outside. Have some change ready for parking and, as always, keep those valuables safe.

Óbidos is just 1km off the A8, a major highway linking Lisbon to northern Portugal. If you’re headed to Coimbra or Porto, consider Óbidos as a delightful pit stop! GPS for those car parks? Check Obidos Car Park 1 and Obidos Car Park 2. Safe driving! 

By train from Lisbon to Obidos

Thinking about taking the train from Lisbon to Óbidos? Keep in mind: The trip usually takes more than two hours, and train schedules might not be as frequent as you’d prefer.

If you’re set on the railway experience, kick off from Lisbon’s Sete Rios train station. Tickets? They go for around 9 euros, comparable to bus fare or driving tolls. You can snag them either on or directly at the station. For real-time train schedules, Google Maps is your best buddy.

Pro tip: Buses often emerge as the more convenient choice, cutting travel time in half. So, weigh your options and choose what’s best for your Lisbon to Óbidos adventure! 

By Bus from Lisbon to Obidos

Looking to bus it from Lisbon to Óbidos? Smart move, in my opinion, it’s the easiest way. The Rodotejo bus company runs an express bus service at Campo Grande bus station, it will get you there in an hour. An easy ride with no parking hassles.

Tickets? Cash-only at 8 euros, right on the bus. Remember, for a round trip, you’ll be buying two singles. Returns aren’t a thing to Obidos. 

The bus, from the “Rapida Verde” (Green Express) fleet, offers 32 daily departures on weekdays but only 13 on weekends and bank holidays. Check out the timetable. Be aware, it’s a PDF.

Summer’s great but buses get packed. No pre-booking means arriving early is smart. Got luggage? Store it underneath.

Find the “Rapida Verde” bus stop at (See Location Map) on “Rua Actor Antonio Silva”, east of Campo Grande metro station. It’s marked with the Rapida Verde timetable. And sometimes, buses might display ‘Caldas da Rainha’, their final stop.

The Rapida Verde Lisbon to Obidos Bus
The Rapida Verde Lisbon to Obidos Bus

Once in Óbidos, step off at Rua da Praça (See Location Map). You’re a quick 5-minute walk from the town center.

Lastly, for football fans, the Campo Grande bus station neighbors the José Alvalade Stadium, home of Sporting Lisbon. A little bonus for your trip! 

Best Things to Do in Óbidos

Marvel at Óbidos Castle

The iconic medieval Obidos Castle is a must-visit. Constructed between the 12th and 13th centuries, it’s one of the reasons many journeys from Lisbon. Although you can’t tour inside as it’s now a hotel, the castle’s silhouette is an impressive sight.

Stroll the Town’s Medieval Walls

Get a bird’s-eye view from Óbidos’ ancient walls. Originating from the Moorish era, this 1,560-metre circuit offers panoramic views of the town and landscape. Access is via multiple staircases, but many start at the Porta da Vila entrance.

The Obidos Castle and Wall
The Obidos Castle and Wall

Discover Igreja de Santa Maria

Beyond its graceful façade, the church dazzles with 17th-century blue and white azulejos by artist Josefa de Óbidos. Don’t miss the 16th-century tomb housed within.

Sip on Unique Ginja

Ginja, a cherry-infused liquor, is a Portuguese delight. In Óbidos, experience its unique twist: served in a chocolate shot glass. For an authentic experience, pop into Bar Ibn Errik Rex, known for its vintage décor and amiable proprietor.

Meander Medieval Streets – Lisbon to Obidos Day Trip

The essence of Óbidos lies in its quaint lanes. Wander amidst vibrant homes, cobblestone pathways, and boutique shops. The entirely pedestrianized town center, starting from the azulejos-adorned Porta da Vila gate, offers a tranquil exploration.

Meander the medieval streets of Obidos
Meander the medieval streets of Obidos

Explore the Municipal Museum of Óbidos

Delve into the town’s artistic heritage at this museum, located in an 18th-century manor beside Igreja de Santa Maria. Showcasing works by artists like Josefa de Óbidos and André Reinoso from the 1600s, it offers a deep dive into the artistic past. The museum offers free entry, operates every day except Mondays from 09:30 am, and was once the residence of renowned artist Eduardo Malta.

Our Top 3 Restaurants in Óbidos

A Nova Casa de Ramiro

The entrance to A Nova Casa de Ramiro
The entrance to A Nova Casa de Ramiro

Type: Portuguese

Price Range: €€€

Rating: 4.6* (based on 821 Google Reviews)

Nestled with a distinctive cave-like charm, A Nova Casa de Ramiro promises an enchanting dining atmosphere with its arched ceilings, stone floors, and walls adorned with age-old wine vats. Their menu boasts tantalizing choices, from the creamy shrimp risotto and melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef to the richly flavored blackened pork tenderloin enveloped in a delectable almond sauce. They also graciously cater to the vegan and vegetarian palates.

On our recent visit, even without reservations and arriving early, the staff warmly welcomed us. The evening’s gastronomic highlight was undoubtedly the filet mignon draped in Nana’s special sauce, vying closely with the savory cod Bacalhau paired with a hearty chickpea mash. Declaring the filet as one of the most remarkable steak dishes we’ve ever relished, our dining experience at Ramiro was nothing short of memorable. We wholeheartedly endorse a revisit.

The creamy Shrimp Rissoto at A Nova Casa de Ramiro
The creamy Shrimp Rissoto at A Nova Casa de Ramiro

Echoing our feelings, our friends who joined us couldn’t stop raving about their dinner at Ramiro during our stay in Óbidos. They felt it wasn’t just a standout meal in the town but also ranked among the best in Portugal. We were collectively taken by the hospitable hosts, attentive staff, and the perfectly curated wine list. We all gave special praise to the perfectly grilled steak and the prawns, which were a flavorful mix of garlic, olive oil, and a touch of chili. Given our experience, this restaurant is definitely a culinary highlight in Óbidos.

R. Porta do Vale 12, 2510-053 Óbidos, Portugal (See location map). Open Tuesday-Friday: 12–3pm, 7–11pm; Saturday: 1–4pm, 7–11pm; Sunday: Closed; Monday: 7–11pm. To Book Call +351 967 265 945

Jamon Jamon (aka Ja!mon Ja!mon)

The unassuming entrance to Jamon Jamon
The unassuming entrance to Jamon Jamon

Type: Portuguese

Price Range: €

Rating: 4.5 (based on 1,635 Google Reviews)

At the family-owned Jamon Jamon, the allure is both its authentic Portuguese fare and the magnificent setting. The restaurant is nestled just outside Óbidos’ castle walls, beneath the arches of a 16th-century aqueduct. This prime spot provides guests with breathtaking countryside views as they dine alfresco.

The menu champions comfort food, boasting dishes like the richly flavorful pork cheeks and oxtail, both braised to perfection in a robust red wine sauce. For poultry lovers, the confit duck leg, adorned with a sweet orange glaze, is a must-try. Given the hearty portion sizes, consider sharing, especially when you’re pairing your meal with local wine or their signature ginja.

On my recent visit, I was drawn to the Portuguese tapas. The pork cheeks, incredibly tender and bursting with flavor, and the cheese pastry, with its flaky crust and indulgent filling, were standouts. I even added a salad to my order, with the crunchy nuts being an excellent touch. I couldn’t help but return the following night, sampling the Ukrainian crepe with a savory meat filling and ending my meal with a delightful caramel pudding. Beyond the food, the service was impeccable—easily the most attentive and congenial I’ve experienced in Portugal. A visit to Jamon Jamon is an absolute must when you’re in Óbidos.

The melt in your mouth Pork cheeks at Jamon Jamon
The melt in your mouth Pork cheeks at Jamon Jamon

Dona Maria, Largo do chafariz, R. da Biquinha, 2510-046 Óbidos, Portugal (Location Map). Opening times Tuesday-Saturday: 12:30–3:30pm, 7–10pm; Sunday: 12:30–3pm, 7–10pm; Monday: Closed. To Book Call +351 964 789 306

Avocado Coffee & Healthy Food

Type: European

Price Range: €

Rating: 4.6 (based on 528 Google Reviews)

The terrace at Avocado Coffee & Healthy Food
The terrace at Avocado Coffee & Healthy Food

Nestled near the picturesque Aqueduto da Usseira, Avocado Coffee & Healthy Food offers a refreshing detour from traditional Portuguese cuisine. This café excels at crafting light, flavorful dishes, making it an ideal spot for a quick coffee, snack, or wholesome meal.

On my visit, I indulged in the vibrant vegan bowl complemented by a rich coconut cream. My girlfriend was equally impressed with their tuna fish wrap and the delectable peanut butter banana pancake. To quench our thirst, we opted for the zesty ginger mint lemonade and a non-alcoholic piña colada. Every dish was a testament to the chef’s dedication to flavor and freshness.

On a subsequent visit, I really enjoyed their salmon with avocado toast— a big serving that didn’t disappoint. There were plenty of other intriguing dishes on the menu that caught my eye, but my appetite had met its match for the day. All in all, Avocado is a must-visit in Óbidos, offering a laid-back atmosphere, friendly service, and a menu that leaves you eager to return.

Avocado toast and eggs at Avocado Coffee & Healthy Food
Avocado toast and eggs at Avocado Coffee & Healthy Food

R. da Porta da Vila 16 18, 2510-089 Óbidos, Portugal (Location Map), Wednesday-Sunday: 10am–6pm; Tuesday & Monday: Closed. You can visit Avocado Instagram Account or call +351 262 950 602 for further information. Booking isn’t required. 

Shopping: Take a Piece of Óbidos Home

Nestled within the charming cobbled lanes of Óbidos, delightful boutiques beckon visitors with an array of unique treasures. Whether you’re on a mission to shop or simply enjoy window browsing, don’t miss the opportunity to explore these stores. Here, you’ll discover intricately woven fabrics, traditional regional rugs, handcrafted bags, and delicate local lace.

As one of Portugal’s most culturally rich towns, Óbidos’ main thoroughfare, Rua Direita (Location Map), is adorned with boutiques showcasing ceramics, fine embroideries, wine, and intricate woodcarvings. Noteworthy is the Oficina do Barro (Location Map) at Praça de Santa Maria, closely linked to the town’s tourist office. This establishment houses a studio, open for visitors, where artisans craft exquisite ceramics—often glazed in pristine white—mimicking the texture of woven baskets. 

Rua Direita, Ibidos
Rua Direita, Ibidos

Another gem, Loja dos Arcos on Rua Direita (Location Map), stands out for its eclectic mix of wine, leather, and ceramics, offering selections that are distinctively more captivating than its neighboring shops.

Practical Tips for your Lisbon to Obidos Day Trip

  • Dress Code – Comfy shoes. I cannot stress this enough. Cobblestone streets are beautiful but tricky. And layers? Always a good idea.
  • Payment Methods: Cash or card? Óbidos is flexible but often has spots that only accept Cash. It’s always good to have some Euros handy. And if you’re hunting for an ATM, a quick search on Google Maps will point you in the right direction.
  • Bring a power bank – If you’re capturing moments throughout the day like I do, your phone battery might deplete quickly.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle – If you’re planning to do a lot of walking, especially in the summer when it can get very hot, it’s crucial to have a bottle to refill and ensure you remain hydrated.

Óbidos: Medieval Tales and Secrets Spots Walking Tour

During my last visit to Obidos I went on the Medieval Tales and Secrets Spots Walking Tour, and I was captivated every step of the way. The tour started at the main village gate, weaving its way through the narrow lanes of the Moorish and Jewish quarters. Two hours seemed to fly by as the rich history of this place unraveled before me.

Key Details from My Experience

  • Cancellation: I loved the flexibility here – I could cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
  • Payment: Booking was easy and stress-free. I reserved my spot and didn’t have to pay anything upfront.
  • Duration: The 2-hour tour was just the right length for an immersive exploration.
  • Languages: The tour was offered in both English and Portuguese, which was fantastic for our group.

Highlights from My Obidos Tour

  • I got to savor the authentic Portuguese Ginjinha. This sour cherry liqueur is something I’ll definitely remember.
  • I was fascinated by the artworks of Josefa de Óbidos, an artist deeply rooted in the town’s history.
  • The ancient Moorish and Portuguese castle was a step back in time that left me in awe.

What My Day Looked Like

The journey began right at Óbidos’ grand main gate. From there, I was led through the village’s winding narrow streets, a delightful detour from the usual tourist spots. The Moorish & Jewish neighborhoods, characterized by their white-painted homes, were picturesque, to say the least.

The main gate to Obidos
The main gate to Obidos

And oh, the Ginjinha tasting! This local cherry liquor is brimming with rich flavors, and the one I tasted was pure and unadulterated.

Places I Visited

  • A walk around the heart of Óbidos village
  • A unique book haven, the Mercado Biológico
  • The serene Saint Mary Church
  • The Moorish and Jewish neighborhoods, rich in history
  • The Sao Tiago Church, which spoke of bygone eras
  • The ancient 8th-century Moorish castle

My Personal Take

Our local guide, Joao Pedro, truly elevated the experience. His knowledge was impressive, catering to the history buffs among us. I especially appreciated how he adjusted the pace for both the kids and adults in our group. Joao also introduced us to some hidden gems in Óbidos and gave fantastic restaurant recommendations. If you’re looking for an in-depth view of Óbidos beyond the regular tourist spots, this tour is a must!

The view from Obidos castle
The view from Obidos castle

Designing Your Personal Óbidos Journey – My Recommended Óbidos Itinerary

While guided tours have their charm, sometimes the allure of self-exploration is irresistible. If you’re leaning towards crafting your own journey at your own pace but need a touch of guidance, I’ve got you covered. Below is my recommended Óbidos itinerary, an interactive guide crafted with care. And the best part? I’ve integrated it with Google Maps for your convenience, allowing you to save and access it whenever you wish. Enjoy!

Festivals in Obidos

Throughout the year, Óbidos plays host to a slew of Portugal’s most renowned festivals, drawing thousands from far and wide. Ranging from the delectable Chocolate Festival during spring to the atmospheric Christmas Village in December, these festivals are a major draw, especially over weekends, with entrance fees applicable.

Mercado Medieval (Obidos Medieval Festival)

Step back in time every July with the Óbidos Medieval Fair (Click for more details). Set against the castle backdrop, the festival revives the Middle Ages for nearly a month. From knights and soothsayers gracing the terrace behind the castle to medieval music echoing from grand stages, the experience is truly immersive. Relish authentic medieval dishes, explore displays of ancient weaponry, and encounter animals like falcons and ponies. Access to this time capsule requires a ticket, purchasable at the entrance. In 2024, mark your calendars for July 18th to 28th.

Obidos medival festival in full swing
Obidos medival festival in full swing

Óbidos International Chocolate Festival

Every spring, usually between March and May, the Óbidos International Chocolate Festival(Click for more details) turns the town into a chocolate lover’s paradise. Marvel at intricate chocolate sculptures, inspired by a unique theme each year. Indulge in global chocolate tastings, watch culinary maestros at work, and even participate in cocoa-centric workshops. While the castle casts its shadow over the festivities, remember to pick up your entry tickets near the entrance.

Óbidos Vila Literária (Obidos Literary Festival)

The Óbidos International Literary Festival (Click for more details), popularly known as “Folio”, paints the town with literary hues each spring (April) or early autumn (late September or early October). For approximately a week, Óbidos transforms into a grand reading alcove, welcoming authors from Portugal and abroad to discuss various themes. The former church of Santiago, now Santiago Bookstore, is a central venue, but the entire town buzzes with literary events year-round. Those seeking a literary retreat can even choose book-themed accommodations like the Literary Man and the Lovin Book Guesthouse.

Christmas Magic in December

Come December, and Óbidos transforms into a sprawling Christmas wonderland named Obidos Vila Natal (Click for more details). The “Christmas Village” beckons visitors with its festive allure, complete with Santa’s abode, shimmering lights, elves, reindeer, and snowmen. Although the entire town dons a festive look, the core celebrations unfold behind the castle, with an entrance fee. From classical Nutcracker renditions to circus performances, the festivities are diverse and enchanting. In 2023, the celebrations span from November 30th to December 31st.

Where to stay in Obidos

Considering an overnight stay in Óbidos? The experience is truly special. Once the hustle of day visitors heading back to Lisbon or other places fades, the medieval charm of Óbidos takes on a quiet, enchanting aura. Here are some of our top recommendations for accommodations:

  • Pousada do Castelo de Óbidos: Nestled within the town’s historical heart, this majestic castle hotel offers breathtaking vistas and a fusion of ancient charm with modern comforts. Enjoy complimentary breakfast during your stay.
  • The Literary Man Óbidos Hotel: Opt for a unique stay at this 4-star hotel that was once a convent. Exuding literary elegance, The Literary Man offers guests a restaurant, gin bar, and wine cellar. Room rates are pleasantly affordable.

Alternatively, if you prefer to search for other options, refer to the map below.


And there you have it, a day trip from Lisbon to Óbidos offers a glimpse into authentic Portugal. I hope you enjoyed the Lisbon to Obidos Day Trip guide!

But before I sign off, do you have any tips of your own? Anything I missed? Share away in the comments below! Your fellow travelers (and I) would love to hear. Safe travels and happy exploring! 🌍✈️

Recommended reading:

7 Must-Visit Surf Spots in Lisbon: The Ultimate Guide

Ericeira Surf Spots Guide: Portugal’s Top 7 Breaks!

Note: While this information was correct at the time of publishing, it can change. Always confirm rates and details with the relevant companies before planning your trip.

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