Is Obidos Worth Visiting? This is a question we get a lot from visiting guests. The short answer is yes! Obidos Portugal is definitely worth your time and will leave you with memories for a lifetime. Keep reading for essential tips that are sure to make your visit to Obidos memorable.
Is Obidos Worth Visiting? The Most Common Questions
The beautiful fortified village has been a jewel in the Portuguese crown since times past. King Dinis actually gave the picturesque town to Queen Isabel as a wedding gift on their wedding day in 1282. And although the castle structure suffered significant damage in the 1755 earthquake, it has been fully refurbished to its earlier glory. Here is a list of the most common questions we get from guests during their stay in Portugal.
Is Obidos Worth Visiting as a Family?
Both the young and the old will enjoy a day trip to Obidos Portugal. The town is packed with narrow cobblestone streets that offer stunning views of the village and valley below and is held within a castle wall that is perfect for exploring with kids. There are also several excellent restaurants and shops in the town that are sure to please everyone in your group. Walking down the main drag is a treat in itself, with its traditional ceramic shops, old fashioned toys, beautiful artisan jewlery shops and little cafes. The street is lined with flowerpots hanging on lacey window ledges and the general feel is that time has stopped here, offering passersby a glimpse of what once was. Obidos is known for its marvelous family-oriented fairs, markets and costumed events, so make sure to check what’s on and add it to your itinerary.
Can You Go Inside Obidos Castle?
Yes! Although there are many vendors on the walk up to the castle entrance, the main attraction is inside the Obidos Castle. The castle is open to the public year-round and offers stunning views of the town and valley below. You can visit the Porta da Traição (Gate of the Betrayal) right in the entrance of the castle. The beautiful Portuguese tiles give us an idea of what the castle once was. There is also the Santiago church, at the end of the main street, which is now a bookstore! It is one of the most unusually pleasing sights I have come across in Portugal, and lends itself well to the fact that UNESCO declared Obidos a City of Literature in 2015.
Should I Walk the Wall?
Definitely walk the wall! Although there is no guard rail, the walkway is fairly wide, and unless you’re afraid of heights, I recommend it! The views are stunning, and the fun of walking in the shoes of a castle sentinel for an hour can’t be beat.
Is the Food Good in Obidos?
As in most of Portugal, the fare is really very good in Obidos too! Obidos is known for its Ginga, a cherry liqueur made of bing cherries. It is usually served in a dark chocolate cup to form the perfect combination for anyone with a sweet tooth. Make sure to grab one at the 1 Euro stalls on the main street!
There are also several excellent family-run restaurants in Obidos. One of our favorites is A Poço dos Sabores, because of the fabulous castle-like atmosphere. Many places in Obidos have kept the original castle-like features and rough stone walls intact to recreate an interesting dining experience for its patrons. Jamon Jamon is another excellent option with a fabulous outdoor terrace with garden. Eating a meal is an experience in itself in Obidos, so don’t miss out!
Are there any Obidos Festivals Worth Visiting?
Some of the most popular Portuguese festivals take place in Obidos. Check out the Obidos events page for more details.
Obidos Medieval Market
This is truly best festival Obidos puts on. We love this fair and have been several times to enjoy the incredible atmosphere created by the actors strewn all around the village in costume. During the last week in July, jesters, knights, peasants, nobles, witches and mule drivers fill the streets, and delight visitors with plays, games,and shows. Traditional food is on offer in street stalls, and super interesting workshops such as fencing, sword yeilding, hunting and wool dying and weaving are options. This is the best fair of this kind I have seen. Not to be missed! Click here for more info.
Obidos Chocolate Fair
This delicious event is a favorite for obvious reasons! The first of its kind in Portugal, incredible showcases of patissier chefs, bonbon competitions, chocolate statues, and a slew of gastronomical delights and experiences are on display the last weekend of March and the first of April. Not to be missed! Click here for more information.
FOLIO- International Literary Festival of Obidos
This cultural event is THE literary reference in Portugal. Here exhibitions, concerts, conferences, masterclasses, book launches, seminars, literature courses, performances, gatherings and conversations with the authors, cinema sessions, and much more is on offer for anyone interested in learning about Portuguese literature within the international sphere.
It takes place the first few weeks of October. Click here for more info.
Obidos Christmas Market
Come and enjoy the truly magical world created in Obidos during the whole month of December. The market is full of interesting arts and crafts, elves, magical creatures, and of course, Santa is there too to visit with the children. The lights hung on the castle, face make up, rides, popcorn and cotton candy really create the magic of Christmas! Come and enjoy a magical day in Obidos. Click here for more info.
Latitudes -Literature and Travelers
Mid May this festival is an extension of the FOLIO event, which allows participants to travel through literature and food.
How Much Time Do You Need in Obidos?
Obidos can be seen in as little as a few hours. Spend an hour roaming the village’s narrow cobblestone streets and walking the castle wall all the way around, then walk down the main street and take in the whimsical atmosphere and a chocolate cup of ginga before having lunch and heading out. Obidos is an ideal day trip since it’s only about an hour from Lisbon and you just feel like you get a lot of bang for your buck!
How Do You Get to Obidos?
The easiest way to get to Obidos is by car. It is about an hour from Lisbon just off the A8 highway, and the large parking lot right outside the village makes driving and parking there very easy.
You can also take the bus from Lisbon’s Campo Grande station on the Rodotejo ‘Rapida Verde’. It takes about 60 minutes and frequently leaves the terminal. Tickets cost 8 Euros and can be bought when boarding. It will drop you off right outside the castle entrance. Check out schedules here.
On arriving you may decide to take a local guide on. We’ve had several of our guests do this and they enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s only 30 Euros and you would be helping the local economy.
🔴 Check out this tour for a local tour guide to meet you at the gate and take you on a private walking tour for a few hours.
If renting a car is not what you had in mind and the bus is too much of a hastle, you can also take an organized tour from Lisbon.
🔴 Check out this tour which leaves from Lisbon and does both Obidos and Mafra’s Palace in one day. I recommend this tour since it gives you enough time to see each attraction and you get to see a little more than just Obidos.
🔴 Check out this tour which leaves from Lisbon and visits Fatima, Batalha, Nazare and Obidos all in one day. This is a popuular tour since you really do get to see the most, but remember that you won’t have a lot of time in each location.
The Wrap-Up: Is Obidos Portugal Worth Visiting?
Obidos is a charming medieval town in Portugal that is worth visiting for its old-world charm and festivals. Some of the most popular Portuguese festivals take place here within the castle walls and will leave you with memories for a lifetime! Since the town can be seen in as little as a few hours, it truly is an ideal day trip from Lisbon, or an excellent addition to any itinerary on the way to Lisbon. Don’t miss out on this gem of a village!