The medieval walled city of Obidos is a magical place that instantly transports you into the past…
If you’ve ever wondered, is Obidos worth visiting, the answer is YES!
It was just one of those places that took me by surprise. Even though I had done research before visiting and knew what to expect, nothing could prepare you for the special feel of this charming little village in Portugal.
The entire village is located on a hilltop and still has the original medieval wall surrounding the town and the Obidos Castle. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a UNESCO Creative City of Literature. This makes it the ideal destination for history lovers as well as literature lovers (I am both – so really fell in love with this place).
Located in central Portugal, this gem is only about an hour away from Lisbon. This makes it a popular day-trip destination for travelers staying in Lisbon. As a result, the village can be extremely busy during the day when the tour buses arrive.
My advice is to spend a few nights in the village to see it without all the tourists.
Don’t have time to go through the entire post? Here are my top picks on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do when visiting Obidos:
? Where to stay: The Literary Man Obidos
? Where to eat: Maria Batata
?♀️ What to do: Explore the village on a private tour
Use this guide to immerse yourself in this special medieval village.
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Table of Contents
Walk Along the Castle Wall
The best thing to do in Obidos is to walk along the castle wall.
The wall is still well-maintained and intact which allows visitors to view the picturesque village from above. Look out for the stairs that lead up to the wall from the village streets (there are a few places to ascend). It is quite high up so not recommended for children, but great for people looking to conquer a fear of heights (like me)!
The gorgeous views and unique experience make it an unforgettable activity.
Explore the Medieval Village
Obidos is such a cute place and just such fun to explore. You find something new to admire around every corner.
It is also so small that it is easy to explore the entire village within a day. As a result, you can truly get to know the place and the surrounding area.
Make sure to pop into the souvenir shops along the main road to find some locally produced gifts. Along the way, you should also sample Ginjinha Obidos (a local cherry liqueur) served in chocolate cups. If you are a book lover you will want to search for the numerous bookstores that make up this village such as the one found in a church.
Check Out Obidos Castle
Obidos Castle is definitely worth visiting while exploring the village.
Unfortunately, visitors can’t enter the well-maintained castle as it is now in use as a luxury hotel called the Pousada Castelo Obidos. Only hotel guests have access to the castle, but it is still impressive to view from the outside.
Make your way along the castle wall and descend where it ends, right by the castle.
Obidos at Night
We found Obidos to be truly magical at night after the day-trip tourists had left.
The energy of the village when the sun started to set was so peaceful and we spent quite some time wandering around at dusk. Find the doorways that take you beyond the wall to find some gorgeous lookout points.
You can get a true sense of the history of the village when you walk around at night and we were so glad we had opted to spend two nights here.
Where to Stay in Obidos
We were lucky enough to stay in one of the best hotels in the village, The Literary Man Obidos Hotel.
The Literary Man Obidos Hotel is located just outside of the village wall which makes it so convenient for exploring after dark. A stay in this unique hotel is perfect for bibliophiles, as within the walls is an astounding collection of 65000 books. Guests can read the books in their rooms or other common areas throughout the hotel and have the option to buy these books.
The 19th-century building was originally a convent and has such an interesting layout. Although its historical significance has been maintained, the rooms have all the modern facilities expected of four-star hotels.
We spent two nights at this superb hotel and loved the experience. I was in heaven surrounded by so many books during our time here!
Where to Eat in Obidos
Although there are a number of exciting places to dine within the village itself, be open to trying restaurants in the surrounding area.
We had the absolute pleasure of dining at Maria Batata, which is the on-site restaurant at the eco-hotel Rio do Prado.
Rio do Prado is a superb sustainable hotel located in the farmlands nearby. The stunning property has a focus on maintaining nature and much of the food consists of ingredients that come from their own gardens or the farms nearby.
We were treated to a five-course dinner full of amazing dishes. The meal included dishes such as deep-fried eel and pork cheek (both surprisingly delicious) combined with complimenting vegetables.
We most enjoyed our team of hosts who seemed to revel in sharing these dishes and information about their establishment with us. I highly recommend that you dine at Maria Batata!
How do I get to Obidos?
The easiest way is by car or bus from Lisbon. By car, take the A8 highway from Lisbon, which takes about 45 minutes. By bus, take the Expresso bus from Lisbon, which takes about an hour and a half.
What are the top things to see in Obidos?
Some of the top things to see include the medieval castle, the Church of Santa Maria, the Porta da Vila gateway, and the town’s narrow streets and charming architecture. You can also explore the town’s shops and cafes, walk along the town’s walls, and visit the lagoon.
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. The summer months can be very hot and crowded, while the winter months can be chilly and rainy.
We would like to thank The Literary Man Obidos Hotel for hosting our stay & Maria Batata at Rio do Prado for hosting us for dinner! As always all opinions are my own.
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Sounds really nice! Lisbon is in my bucket list so definitely want to visit Obidos too! The meal sounds a bit intimidating haha
Oh definitely go to Obidos while you are in the area! It was a bit intimidating at first but unbelievably delicious.
This sounds so amazing! I’m going to add this to my bucket list.
I highly recommend that you do that!
I love your photos!
Thank you, my husband is quite talented!
Your pictures are stunning! I have been reading a lot about Portugal lately and the more and more I read the more interested I get! I’ll definitely be adding this to my list for a day trip from Lisbon!
Yes, Portugal has become quite popular with travelers and for good reason. I would suggest spending at least one night here instead of just a day trip so that you can enjoy the village without tons of tourists for a while.
Ah what a beautiful magical looking place, this is now on my bucket list! I don’t suppose you know whether there are plenty of roadside opportunities for wild camping in a camper, do you? 🙂 Thank you x
The area around it is quite rural with mostly farmlands, so I think there are a lot of options for wild camping in the area. I hope you visit soon!
Portugal really is beautiful! I was surprised how different the food was compared to France and Spain… such a fab game lace to explore. It looks like you made the most of it!
I wish I could visit!
Looks beautiful! I’ll definitely put Portugal on my bucket travel list!
Oh, you should Michelle, it’s lovely!
Now I know where I am going when I find myself in Obidos!
Portugal is still one of the least expensive travel destinations in Europe, although I could see an increase in prices over the past years. Still, cheaper than Italy or Spain, but equally beautiful. Obidos seems to have everything I’m looking for when I travel around Europe: small village charm, the fabulous Portuguese food, history, local traditions, beautiful landscape and plenty of sunshine! When I go to Lisbon again, I’ll remember to take an hour ride inland and check this village. Thanks for sharing your enjoyable experience!
I’ve only been to Porto, but reading this and seeing your photos makes me regret that!
Amazing! This place sounds amazing and I would definitely lose a few hours in the hotel with all the books, fantastic recommendation thank you
[…] it’s worth noting that there are several different ways to get from Lisbon to Obidos when planning a visit to Obidos. But in my mind, apart from car, train or a guided tour, the best travel method would definitely be […]