Tips for visiting Óbidos
The medieval town of Óbidos is one of the most picturesque and well preserved in Portugal.
Quite close to the capital Lisbon (87Km approx.) and located on high ground near the Atlantic coast, Óbidos has had a strategic importance in the territory. It had already been settled prior to the Romans’ arrival in the Iberian Peninsula, and the town prospered after being chosen by the royal family. King Dinis offered it to his wife, Queen Isabel, in the 13th century, and it became part of Casa das Rainhas (Queens’ Estate), who improved and enriched it throughout the various dynasties. This is one of the main reasons for the high concentration of churches in this small place.
To get to Óbidos from Lisbon, you can take a train from the Santa Apolonia station. A bus service is also available and it takes about
1 h 48 m.
Driving will take less than 1 hour. Ample parking is available not too far from the town centre. Best parking location is at the Viaduct.
The city is completely walled and it is 1.5 km in length. It is well worth the walk with wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. However caution, the ledges are relatively narrow, without handrails, some of the towers have steep steps.
The streets are cobblestoned so (as always in Portugal) make sure to bring good walking shoes/tennis.
There is a section of the city that stages medieval events/reconstruction. The month of July is usually dedicated to the Medieval Fair & Festival events, so make sure to check out the schedule beforehand.
The local craft shops have quality products and are worth visiting. Do not leave the city before tasting the local chocolate & trying the “Ginjinha”, a sweet, cherry-based liqueur that originated in the region. Maybe even take a bottle home and relive your wonderful memories from Portugal during the long winter evenings!
If you are a bookworm and/or just love wandering around book stores, Óbidos is the place for you. It is renowned as a book lover’s paradise! In fact UNESCO named Óbidos as a “City of Literature” joining other prestigious cities such as Dublin & Barcelona.
If time is limited at least visit the Santiago Bookstore.
For restaurants, try to avoid them between 12:30pm and 2:00pm otherwise you are likely to have to wait some time for a table.
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