7 Reasons You Should Visit Obidos, Portugal

Written By: The Planet D

Have you considered visiting Portugal? We share 7 reasons why you should make Obidos, Portugal, more than just a stopover or day trip. 

7 Reasons You Should Visit Obidos, Portugal

In contrast to its size, Portugal packs a punch with innumerable sights to visit and places to experience. From beach bumming in Algarve to adventuring in riverside Porto, travelers are spoiled for choices. Obidos, a charming town reminiscent of yesteryear, often finds a place only as a quick stop-over for photographs.

We spent a few days winding down in this gem of a town, coming to the realization that Obidos deserves a few days of your time when in Portugal.

visit obidos portugal

Only an hour away from Lisbon, Obidos can be experienced on a comfortable day trip. The downside of this is that your experience will likely be tainted by a crowd of noisy day-trippers who come into the town around late morning and stay till about evening.

To experience more than just knocking off the ‘things to do in Obidos,’ the magical silent nights, the lit-up lanes, the sounds of fado, and the calm sunrise will make sure you stay in Obidos for at least a day or longer.

Trust us, you won’t regret visiting this magical little town.

1. Soak-Up History In The Medieval Town

visit obidos portugal
Walk on Fort Walls

Obidos is as old as it gets. Believed to have existed even before the foundation of Portugal, Obidos has been able to maintain its old-town charm very well.

To get the most out of the old-town experience, read up on the fascinating history of the town to add meaning to the cobbled streets, architecture, and the significance of the village. Walking up and down the hill would be bliss if you managed to reach the town before the day trips started.

Besides, one can walk on the fort walls and get a stunning bird’s eye view of the old town.

2. Experience the Literary Culture Of Portugal

obidos portugal cathedral
The most useful use of an old Church

If the smell of old books lifts your senses, Obidos is nothing less than a book spa. Old churches dating back a hundred years and rock-solid stone rooms are converted into bookshops in Obidos, accommodating a humungous collection of books of all kinds. This is a good enough reason to spend days in the town reading through the stunning collection placed in the most exclusive setting.

Besides, you could live in a hotel made of books when in Obidos! Look up the Literary Man Hotel, which accommodates more than 50,000 books, with a stack at every corner you walk through.

3. Sip On Ginja Served In Chocolate Cups

coffee obidos portugal
Caution: The creamy Ginja de Obidos decorated outside a store

The strong cherry-based liquor, Ginja, is available in most of Portugal, Obidos being a pioneer for the most premium version. Served as an aperitif, Ginja in Obidos tastes richer and creamier than what you may find in other Portuguese cities.

At first sight, one finds the old lanes loaded with Ginja stalls making it appear a bit commercial and touristy. It takes a few minutes to find the premium old-style stores to taste the best version of the drink. Lately, serving Ginja in a dark-chocolate cup has become the ‘trend’ so you may find a lot of local stores doing that.

Honestly, the combination tastes pretty amazing, so try a few before you go for a big bottle for the day.

4. Shop For Portuguese Souvenirs

visit obidos shoppping
Not a bad idea to buy those Christmas presents in Obidos, eh?

Like any other popular tourist spot, Obidos has an array of souvenir stores across its length and breadth. In the usual piles, you will often find stunning pieces of handicraft, magnets, bags, and antiques that aren’t manufactured to trap tourists.

They are absolute gems, and many may have an old tale about them. I say bring a bag to fill up with gifts for friends and family back home. My favorite among the lot was shopping for old records of Portuguese Fado at an unnoticed music store. Perhaps you will find your favorite there, too.

5. Eat At a Family Run Portuguese Restaurant

visit obidos food
Order Fish ‘Dorado’ for the best flavors of Portugal

With Azulejo tiles splattered along its walls, a great selection of homemade wines, cooking mastered over generations, and noisy tables of locals enjoying languid lunches and suppers make Portuguese family-run restaurants a special affair.

In the square near Santuario do Senhor Jesus da Pedra, Vila Da Infanta is one such family-run affair. The owner, an extremely friendly man, inherited the place from his father and spent years in the kitchen perfecting his dishes.

While it’s hard to beat their grilled bacalao or robalo, the meat dishes are no less either. The desserts are on a first-come-first-serve basis, so dig in before its late because they’re as homely as they come.

6. Get A Taste Of Medieval Architecture

visit obidos portugal
Doesn’t it seem like a postcard from the 18th Century?

Obidos is an admirable relic of medieval architecture, which is evident just from a quick glance at its castle walls.

But beyond the main castle itself, there are architectural delights at every corner, beginning with the entrance to the old town. The double-arched entrance is peppered with tiles from the 18th century and decorated with intricate paintings.

There’s more ceramic tiles and painted barrels to admire at the Churches while the 16th-century aqueduct is another architectural marvel whose style is in stark contrast to the rest of the buildings. Whichever building or street you walk into, be sure to look closely for each brick, which is a delight to look at.

7. Detox From The Digital World

things to do in obidos
The silence in Obidos is an addiction.

With not more than a few thousand residents, barely any supermarkets, clubs, loud streets, or even the noise of usual traffic, the town is ideal to take a break from the hustle and bustle. Surrounded by books, history, paintings, and slow life, Obidos makes a great spot for those looking at inspiration and serenity.

I would even go to the extent of suggesting Obidos as a honeymoon spot for creative souls. What better way to pause or start a life together than being in an ancient town that is nothing but a wonder on Earth?

Obidos Key Facts

  • Getting There: To get to Obidos, the quickest and ideal way is to get there by bus from Lisbon. Buses operate from the Campo Grande bus station regularly, and the journey takes just over an hour. There is no advance ticketing required for this, but it can be tricky to locate the bus as there were no signages as of 2018. When you reach the station area, get off and ask around (or look from the bus stop near the huge herd of pigeons!)
  • Before tsunamis and earthquakes moved the coastline ten kilometers out, Obidos was once a port town. Hence, it is an apt base from which to explore the town of Peniche or go on a sailing expedition to the Berlengas islands.
  • There are a few hotels and hostels just outside the medieval town that are less expensive. If you are looking for a budget holiday, check those out instead of staying inside the town.
  • Check out TripAdvisor for hotels in Obidos.
  • Check the Festival calendar for Obidos before you plan a trip. Literature Festivals, Fado Nights, and more are often organized in the old town.
  • If you are coming only for a day trip, make sure to get here very early in the morning to see the town in silence.

Portugal stole our hearts away and gave us a hundred reasons to come back for a longer duration.

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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7 thoughts on “7 Reasons You Should Visit Obidos, Portugal”

  1. Will definitely have a visit to this small town when we return to central Portugal. So looking forward to it! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Visiting OBIDOS means travelling back to medieval era, This magnificent town’s Architecture, Food Culture, Souvenir shops and more. Thanks for sharing your valuable post and insights.

  3. A Beautiful Narration by Divya & Vikas.

    I visited Portugal last year and I Had enjoyed a lot with my friends.

    Portugal is a heavenly place to spend time with family & friends.

  4. I had always interest in Portugal . Divya & Vikas thank you so much for your nice blog . I also want you to visit Bangladesh once. Bangladesh is a beautiful country and I wish you will enjoy

  5. Loved your pictures.
    Your blog is wonderful.
    Thanks a lot to share a nice post!!
    It look wonderful place to visit there.

  6. I was in this town during winter and it was so freaking windy! I loved the cute little streets and promised myself that I have to come back again, in a warmer season.