Óbidos is an enchanting walled town rich in history located about an hour north (80 km) of Lisbon. Entering the village through the Porta da Vila gate, visitors are transported back to medieval times.
The charm and beauty of the town was so endearing that the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, presented the town as a gift to his wife, Queen Santa Isabel, in 1148. The whitewashed houses and narrow stone streets offer visitors an exceptional “step back in time” experience. Beyond its natural beauty, the town has a number of museums and hosts several wonderful events such as Holy Week, the Ancient Music Festival in October, and the International Chocolate Festival in March.
The centerpiece of Óbidos is the 12th C. Castelo de Óbidos, which was the first historic monument to be converted into a Pousada in 1951. In 2007 it was selected as one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal. Visitors who want to experience what it was like to stay in a castle can book one of the 9 rooms in the original castle (including 3 in the turrets) or select a room in the Cottage section, which is a traditional 17th C. Noble house adjacent to the castle entry.
In addition to the castle, other sights to see include:
- Porta da Vila – southern entry gate to the medieval village, contains a small Baroque chapel
- Igreja de Santa Maria – historic church with walls covered in tiles from the 17th and 18th C.
- Igreja Santa Casa da Misericórdia – 15th church founded by Queen Leonor
- Museo Municipal – town’s municipal museum with a collection of paintings from the 16th, 17th and 18th C. and other local artifacts
- Santuario do Senhor Jesus da Pedra – hexagonal sanctuary with a stone cross dating from the 2nd or 3rd C. located just outside of town
- Aqueduto de Óbidos – impressive aqueduct built in 1570 that stretches 6 km. outside of town
- Lagoa de Óbidos – lagoon west of the town
- Caldas da Rainha (Queen’s Hot Springs) – a nearby spa town founded by Queen Leonor that is known for its therapeutic thermal springs
Driving info: Please note that new traffic patterns were implemented in Óbidos to deter people who are not hotel guests from driving up to the castle. GPS apps (e.g. Google Maps) do not provide correct directions to the castle, and vehicles larger than a standard size car (e.g. minivans or larger) will not be able to pass through the narrow streets in the village. Visitors should park their car in the parking area located just outside of the historic section, such as the Estacionamento Aqueduto de Óbidos, and walk 5 minutes to the Porta da Vila entry gate to enter the village.
If you decide to spend the night you can stay at one of the three Pousadas of Portugal hotels located in town, including the 12th C. castle. For more information and reservations, click here.
Book a private tour! You may want to consider booking a private tour with an English-speaking guide, if you want to visit Óbidos as a day trip from Lisbon. Your personal guide can provide you with information on the city and its historic sites. For more information on our Lisbon Day Trip that includes Óbidos, click here, and for information on all of our Lisbon & Lisbon Day Trip tours, click here.
For assistance with your travel plans, including hotel and private tour reservations, click here.